She will receive the 2016 NATS Emerging Leader Award in July at the group’s national convention in Chicago. Gesteland will be able to attend master classes and sessions on all aspects of singing and the teaching of singing and have the chance to meet and network with other professionals in the field. She’s expected to develop a program based on the information gathered from those sessions and make a presentation within the next year.

The award is given to a teacher who has no more than 10 years of full-time teaching experience and has demonstrated dedication to the field of singing through excellence in teaching, scholarship and performance.

“It is an honor to have been selected as an emerging leader by NATS,” said Gesteland. “The organization does so much to promote vocal education and research in our field, and I am always impressed by the level of singing and scholarly work presented by our members and their students. I look forward to future service and continued participation in NATS at the state, regional, and national level.”

Gesteland holds music degrees from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music (D.M.A., vocal performance), Roosevelt University (M.M., vocal performance and pedagogy) and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (B.M., music education with a drama minor). She received USD’s highest teaching honor in 2015, the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching, and holds the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka Buhler Endowed Chair. Gesteland, an American mezzo-soprano, also performs on the opera, concert and recital stages.

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