Contact Us

Department of Music
Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts, Room 114
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion SD 57069
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Music

From music education to performing, conducting, choir and more, the field of music brings together talented and passionate performers and scholars interested in musical development and personal enrichment. 

At USD, our faculty are qualified and effective leaders who bring a wealth of experiences and insights to the classroom. This expertise, coupled with our small class sizes, creates a rich learning environment for our students, who learn to think creatively and work collaboratively as they strive to further their knowledge and love of music. We connect our students with real-world experiences, like internships and study abroad opportunities, that allow them to learn both inside and outside the classroom. With these skills and experiences guiding them, our students go on to lead, teach, conduct, compose, perform and shape music in our world. You'll find them behind the baton on the marching field or behind the microphone at center stage.

Join our community of passionate and extraordinary scholars with a love of music.


Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Department of Music. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in vocal and instrumental music. 
Faculty Default

Laurie Brown

Senior Secretary
Bio Image for Faculty Member Timothy Campbell

Timothy Campbell

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Todd Cranson

Todd Cranson

Assistant Professor of Music
Bio Image for Faculty Member Alessandra Feris

Alessandra Feris

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ioana Galu

Ioana Galu

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Susan Gray

Susan Gray

Bio Image for Faculty Member David Holdhusen

David Holdhusen

Chair, Music Dept
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sonja Kraus

Sonja Kraus

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Amy Laursen

Amy Laursen

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member John LaCognata

John LaCognata

Assistant Professor of Music
Bio Image for Faculty Member Paul Lombardi

Paul Lombardi

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member David Sanderson

David Sanderson

Assistant Professor of Music
Faculty Default

Luis Viquez

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Darin Wadley

Darin Wadley

Associate Professor

hear from a USD student

Success story Eva Niklaidou smiling.
Everyone is warm and welcoming at USD. Students can grow both as musicians and human beings. I am both a piano performance student and graduate assistant. What amazes me the most is not only the great level of expertise all members of the faculty have, but their continuous dedication, passion and support they give their students.

Eva Nikolaidou

Current Graduate Assistant
Volos, Greece

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

department Opportunities

Explore the variety of opportunities and resources available to students, faculty and staff.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in music.
Students in an art gallery


The Department of Art will provide you with unique and applicable real-world experience and connections that enable you to immerse yourself in an environment built for personal and creative discovery.

the cello section of the USD Symphony


Develop the skills necessary to be successful in your musical career while gaining lifelong friends and mentors. Whether you are interested in teaching, music performance or music history — or some combination of the three — the Department of Music will provide you with real-world experiences and connections to help you succeed.

USD Theatre Production


Whether you are interested in a career in acting, musical theatre, design technology or a related field, the real-world experiences and connections you find in the Department of Theatre will help you get there.

Students listening to visiting artist in classroom.

Visiting Artist's Program

The music department hosts guest artists from around the world each year. These artists provide concert performances, and our students get the opportunity to work directly with them in master classes.
Alcina production graphic

Opera Upcoming Production

Join us for our upcoming production of Handel's Alcina on Saturday, April, 30 and Sunday, May 1.  Handel's masterpiece will be performed by USD’s award-winning Opera program, accompanied by the USD Opera Orchestra, and directed by USD’s award-winning Dr. Tracelyn Gesteland.

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Upcoming Events

Continue Exploring In Music