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Three USD Music Students Were Chosen to Join Exclusive Young Artist Summer Programs

Old Main on the University of South Dakota campus Kaitlin Pearson, Bailey Quade and Mikayla Trenhaile, music students at USD, participated in opera apprenticeship programs over the summer.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Three music students from the University of South Dakota’s College of Fine Arts were selected to join very sought-after opera apprenticeship programs over the summer.

Kaitlin Pearson, a second-year graduate student from Gretna, Nebraska, was invited to perform a leading role with the Red River Lyric Opera in Texas. While in most scenarios, students are asked to audition for these opportunities, Pearson was approached by the Red River Lyric Opera to join their group. She played the role of Tisbe in Rossini's “La Cenerentola.”

Bailey Quade, a junior from Rapid City, South Dakota, was accepted by audition to two young artist programs. She participated in the Redwoods Opera Workshop in California, followed by the Red River Lyric Opera, where she sang a supporting role in the baroque opera, “La Calisto.”

Mikayla Trenhaile, a junior from Yankton, South Dakota, was accepted by audition to the Druid City Opera Workshop in Alabama, where she performed opera scenes and arias as one of only 24 singers accepted nationwide.

"I am so proud of these talented young women who have been accepted to some of the most prestigious young artist programs in the nation,” said Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., associate professor of voice/opera and the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair. “Their participation in these programs is a testament to their artistry and hard work thus far in preparing for professional careers in opera. I can't wait to see what their futures hold."


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