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USD Music Students Proceed to National Singing Competition

VERMILLION, S.D. – Four students from the University of South Dakota’s music department placed in the top five at the North Central Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, qualifying them to compete in the national online screening round next month.

Winners from the national online screening round will advance to the live national semifinal round at the 2019 National Student Auditions, which will be held at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, on June 27-29.

The competition included students from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. USD students earned the following honors:

  • Graduate student Kaitlin Pearson of Gretna, Nebraska – 1st Place in Advanced College Women
  • Senior Eldon Warner of Council Bluffs, Iowa – 1st Place in 3rd Year College Men and 1st Place in Upper College Musical Theatre Men
  • Junior Abby Beach of Lennox, South Dakota – 3rd Place in Upper College Musical Theatre Women
  • Junior Bailey Quade of Rapid City, South Dakota – 4th Place in 3rd Year College Women

Pearson, Warner, Beach and Quade all study under Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., associate professor of voice/opera and the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair. Gesteland said she was excited to see the strong performance of the musicians at the regional competition. 

“I am so proud of these students. They are all fine young artists and will represent USD and the music department well as they progress toward nationals,” Gesteland said.

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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