Nov 15, 2012

USD musicians shine at MTNA/SDMTA competition in Spearfish

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Four musicians from the University of South Dakota showcased their talents at the South Dakota Music Teachers Association (SDMTA) Conference at Spearfish, Nov. 1-2.

Adrian Ries of Elk Point, S.D., a senior piano performance major and a student of Professor Susan Keith Gray, D.M.A., was a first place performer in the MTNA Steinway & Sons Young Artist Piano Competition, which is held in conjunction with the SDMTA. Ries qualified for regionals to be held in Lawrence, Kan. in January.

Laura Bertschinger, a graduate student in vocal performance, finished in second place in the MTNA Young Artist Voice Competition. A Creighton, Neb. native, Bertschinger is the alternate for the January regional competition in Kansas. She is a student of Voice Professor Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

Blake Proehl, a sophomore piano performance major from Parkston, S.D., received first place in the SDMTA collegiate piano competition while Jared Mogen, a junior music education major from Sioux Falls, S.D., received honorable mention honors in the SDMTA sponsored voice competition. Proehl is a student of Professor Susan Keith Gray while Mogen studies with Brandon Hendrickson, D.M.A., assistant professor of voice.

The SDMTA Conference featured students from USD, South Dakota State University, Augustana College, Black Hills State University and the University of Sioux Falls. SDMTA was founded in 1955 by a group of educators across the state to improve the standards of teaching music and is an affiliate of Music Teachers National Association. Members teach piano, organ, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion to individuals or to small groups. Any music professional or college music student is invited to join.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
< Back to news
414 East Clark Street • Vermillion, SD 57069
605-677-5759 • 605-677-6534 fax