USD students competed against others from South Dakota State University, Augustana University, Northern State University and Black Hills State University.

First place winners in the state 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.


Young Artist in Piano

1st Place - Nicole Gerdes
Junior Piano Performance major
Renner, South Dakota
Student of Susan Keith Gray, D.M.A.

Young Artist in Piano

2nd Place - Evaggelia Nikolaidou
Graduate Piano Performance major
Volos, Greece
Student of Alessandra Feris, D.M.

Young Artist in Piano

Honorable Mention - Luke Most
Graduate Piano Performance major
Des Moines, Iowa
Student of Alessandra Feris, D.M.


Collegiate Voice I (Freshman/Sophomore Men and Women)

1st Place - Brian Shirley
Freshman Musical Arts and Business major
Rapid City, South Dakota
Student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A.

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

Collegiate Woodwinds

2nd Place - Anna Klocke, clarinet
Sophomore Music Education major
Tea, South Dakota
Student of Luis Viquez, D.M.A.

Collegiate Piano

2nd Place - Deanne Eckstrand
Freshman Piano Performance and Music Education major
Pocahontas, Iowa
Student of Susan Keith Gray, D.M.A.

3rd Place - Leon Urias
Junior Piano Performance major
Pita, Poland
Student of Alessandra Feris, 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 their pursuit of musical excellence. The three-tiered competitions begin with state competitions. 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.

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