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USD Music Students Take Home Top Prizes in SDMTA Competitions

A view of the College of Fine Arts building from the front. A red sculpture welcomes students into the building. Multiple USD Department of Music students were among the top prizewinners at the 2021 South Dakota Music Teachers Association competitions.

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota Department of Music students were among the top prizewinners at two competitions hosted by the South Dakota Music Teachers Association (SDMTA).

The competitions were held at Augustana University on Nov. 5 and 6. Participating universities included USD, South Dakota State University, Black Hills State University and Augustana University.

First place winners in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competitions will advance to the West Central regional level competition to be held virtually in January.

The following USD students won prizes in their respective divisions.

MTNA

Young Artist in Piano

1st Place – Marcello Ratzkowski
Graduate Piano Performance major
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Student of Alessandra Feris, D.M.

Young Artist in Voice

1st Place – Lauren Paul
Graduate Vocal Performance major
Evansville, Wisconsin
Student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

Young Artist in Strings

1st Place – Nathan Van Den Oever
Graduate Viola Performance major
Vermillion, South Dakota
Student of Ioana Galu, D.M.A.

2nd Place – Natalie Sterba
Graduate Violin Performance major
Omaha, Nebraska
Student of Ioana Galu, D.M.A.

Senior Performance in Piano

1st Place – Rebecca Kelley
Freshman Piano Performance major
Vermillion, South Dakota
Student of Alessandra Feris, D.M.

SDMTA

Collegiate Voice I (Freshman/Sophomore)

1st Place – Elisabeth Peirce
Sophomore Vocal Performance/Music Education major
Elk Point, South Dakota
Student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

2nd Place – Katelyn Privett
Sophomore Music Education major
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

Collegiate Voice II (Junior/Senior)

2nd Place – Denisse Balandran
Junior Vocal Performance major
Storm Lake, Iowa
Student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

Honorable mention –Brian Shirley
Sophomore Musical Arts/Business major
Rapid City, South Dakota
Student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

Collegiate Woodwinds

1st Place – Anna Klocke
Junior Music Performance/Music Education major
Tea, South Dakota
Student of Luis Viquez, D.M.A.

2nd Place – Zain Spangler
Freshman Music Performance major
Wakonda, South Dakota
Student of Luis Viquez, D.M.A.

Honorable mention – Caleb Nadeau
Sophomore Music Education major
Wyoming, Minnesota
Student of Luis Viquez, D.M.A.

Honorable mention – Kylie Weier
Junior Communication Sciences and Disorders major
Algona, Iowa
Student of Luis Viquez, D.M.A.

Collegiate Piano

1st Place – Deanne Ekstrand
Sophomore Piano Performance/Music Education major
Pocahontas, Iowa
Student of Susan Keith Gray, D.M.A.

Collegiate Strings

1st Place – Rachel Bozonie
Junior Cello Performance/Music Education major
Storm Lake, Iowa
Student of Sonja Kraus, D.M.

2nd Place (tie) – Skyler Steffey
Senior Cello Performance major
Omaha, Nebraska
Student of Sonja Kraus, D.M.

2nd Place (tie) – Emily Weisenburger
Sophomore Music Education major
Tea, South Dakota
Student of Sonja Kraus, D.M.

The MTNA national student competitions are among the most prestigious student competitions in the country. The purpose of the MTNA competitions is to provide educational experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in pursuit of musical excellence. The three-tiered competitions begin with state competitions, and the winners of each state’s competitions advance to a regional division competition. Division winners compete in the national finals at the annual MTNA National Conference.

SDMTA is an affiliate of Music Teachers National Association. SDMTA competitions provide opportunities for musical growth for member teachers and their students through recognition of high-performance standards. The SDMTA competition is separate from the MTNA competition, but they are held concurrently at the state conference.

ABOUT THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS

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.

ABOUT USD

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.

PRESS CONTACT

Hanna DeLange
usdnews@usd.edu
@usd
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