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USD Singer Performs in Berkshire Choral Scholar Program

Photo of Elizabeth Wensmann. USD voice musician Elizabeth Wensmann was accepted into the Berkshire Scholar program this summer in Asheville, North Carolina.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Elizabeth Wensmann, a rising University of South Dakota senior from Aberdeen, South Dakota, was accepted into the Berkshire Scholar program and performed in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Berkshire Choral International Festival this June.

“What an incredible experience it was to sing with the Berkshire Choir,” said Elizabeth Wensmann. “Singing with a wide range of ages and ability level gave me an insight into how aging affects the vocal chords. I had an amazing time and will cherish the memories forever.”

A vocal music education major, Wensmann was accepted into the program based on her audition recording of three solo pieces and received a full scholarship including tuition, room and board. The program included five hours of choral rehearsals each day and professional private voice lessons culminating in the performance of a major choral orchestral work.

“Elizabeth is a wonderful singer with the potential to be an outstanding music educator. This program was the perfect vehicle for her to gain valuable experience as a soloist, choral singer, and future teacher,” said Tracelyn Gesteland, associate professor of voice at USD.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News