Students from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Manitoba and Saskatchewan submitted performance videos that were evaluated by a panel of judges. The USD students will next compete in a national preliminary online round, followed by live semifinals and finals in San Diego in July.

The USD students advancing to nationals include the following.

(Listed in alphabetical order by category)

Advanced Collegiate Classical Treble

  • Kelsey Huxman, a graduate student from Wichita, Kansas, majoring in vocal performance
  • Lauren Paul, a graduate student from Evansville, Wisconsin, majoring in vocal performance
  • Abigail Rockhill, a graduate student from Orange City, Iowa, majoring in vocal performance

Fourth/Fifth-Year Classical Treble

  • Denisse Balandran, a senior from Storm Lake, Iowa, majoring in vocal performance
  • Margaret Meierhenry, a senior from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, majoring in musical arts

Third-Year Classical Treble

  • Elisabeth Peirce, a junior from Elk Point, South Dakota, majoring in vocal performance and music education

Third-Year Classical TBB (tenor/baritone/bass):

  • Brian Shirley, a junior from Rapid City, South Dakota, majoring in musical arts and business

Upper College Musical Theatre Treble

  • Denisse Balandran

Upper College Musical Theatre TBB

  • Brian Shirley

The students study voice with Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., professor of voice/opera and the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair.

“I am so proud of each of these talented and hard-working young artists," said Gesteland. "It takes a lot of effort, planning and practice to enter this competition during a very busy time of year for voice students, and for all of them to have advanced is a great achievement. I know that they will represent USD very well at nationals.”

The singers' pianists were Deanna Wehrspann and Carson Covey, staff accompanists.

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