Gesteland’s research and creative scholarship has received national recognition. She has performed solo and duo recitals and has been on the concert stage with organizations such as the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Opera, the Lone Star Lyric Theatre Festival, the National Opera Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Her professional opera credits include leading roles in four productions for Houston Grand Opera’s touring outreach program. She is also an award-winning director, she brought USD’s opera program to national recognition and she directed operas for the Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival and the Harrower Opera in Atlanta.

Gesteland has presented lecture-recitals nationally and at the International Congress of Voice Teachers conferences in Stockholm, Sweden, and Brisbane, Australia. In 2016, she was selected for the highly competitive NATS Emerging Leader Award as one of only seven recipients nationwide. 

“Congratulations to Dr. Gesteland for her outstanding achievements in research and creative scholarship and for her selection for the College of Fine Arts Knutson Distinguished Professor Award,” said Bruce C. Kelley, Ph.D., interim dean for the College of Fine Arts. “Dr. Gesteland’s work is truly remarkable.”

The Knutson Distinguished Professor Award was established in honor of Wayne S. Knutson who served the University of South Dakota from 1952-1987. Knutson was a champion of the fine arts, and his work touched communities across the state and region. He inspired, mentored and stood as an example to South Dakotans through his sterling gifts as teacher, artist, consultant and friend.

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