VERMILLION, S.D. – Three University of South Dakota singers competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) national auditions held virtually in June and advanced to the next round.
The singers qualified for the national auditions by placing highly in the regional-level auditions and in the national preliminary round.
Annika Holdhusen, a mezzo-soprano from Vermillion High School, was selected as a semifinalist in the musical theatre high school treble division. She was one of only 14 singers nationwide to receive that honor.
Denisse Balandran, a rising junior soprano from Storm Lake, Iowa, and Colby Stoos, a rising senior baritone from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, advanced to the quarterfinals in the lower college musical theatre treble and upper college musical theatre tenor/baritone/bass categories, respectively.
The students study voice with Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., professor of voice/opera and the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair. "The national auditions were especially competitive this year, with 1,148 singers entering from 14 regions in the U.S. and Canada,” Gesteland said. “I'm so proud of these young artists who were able to represent themselves and USD so beautifully on the national stage."