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USD Music Student Chosen to Apprentice at Boston Festival

Portrait of Abby Beach, music education major USD music student Abby Beach was selected to apprentice at the Berkshire Choral International Festival in June.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Abby Beach, a junior music education major from Lennox, South Dakota, was selected by audition to be a vocal apprentice for the Berkshire Choral International Festival to be held June 23-30 in Boston.

The highly competitive Berkshire Choral International apprentice program provides an opportunity for professional-track undergraduate and graduate students to study, rehearse and perform major choral/orchestral works with eminent conductors. Beach will apprentice with conductor Erin Freeman in preparation for Felix Mendelssohn's master work, “Elijah.”

Beach will also receive private lessons and coaching and perform as a soloist for master classes and on a group recital. Apprentices also facilitate choral rehearsals and assist the musical staff. Beach received a full scholarship, including tuition, travel, room and board.

Beach is a student of Tracelyn Gesteland, associate professor of voice/opera and the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair.

"Abby is a wonderful student who is passionate about both teaching and performing,” said Gesteland. “She will have the opportunity to refine her skills in both areas amongst high caliber artists from around the world, and I know that she will be an excellent representative of USD on the international stage."


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