USD music students take top honors for singing at regional contest March 24

Katie Pacza, a graduate student from the University of South Dakota, was awarded first place at the South Dakota District National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award (NATSAA) competition at Northern State University in Aberdeen on March 24.

Pacza, of Holstein, IA, received first in the Graduate Classical Division and qualified for the North Central Regional Competition in La Crosse, WS, on April 22. Natalie Campbell of Sioux Falls finished second in the Graduate Classical Division and will serve as the alternate to Pacza at the North Central Regional Competition next month.

Pacza is a student of Tracelyn Gesteland, D.M.A., assistant professor of music (voice/opera at USD) while Campbell studies with Brandon Hendrickson, D.M.A., assistant professor of music (voice/opera) at USD.

NATSAA, designed to assist singers prepared to launch their professional careers, is a young artist competition where students are required to prepare 60 minutes of music, including a portion that's performed before a panel of three judges.

Several USD students participated at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition that was also held at Northern State University on March 24. Aubrey Sea of Sioux City, Iowa was awarded first place in Women's Musical Theatre and second in Sophomore Women's Classical. Matt Black of Yankton received first place in Men's Musical Theatre.

Students awarded second place at the NATS contest included Amanda Rich of South Sioux City, NE, Senior Women's Classical; Cody Perk of Yankton, Junior/Senior Men's Classical; Jordyn Bangasser of Sioux Falls, Freshmen Women's Classical; Jared Mogen of Sioux Falls, Sophomore Men's Classical; Brian Rasmussen of Sioux City, IA, Freshmen Men's Classical; and Hannah Lambertz of Yankton, was awarded second place in Women's Musical Theatre.

Additionally, Kristin Edwards of Aberdeen received third place in Women's Musical Theatre, and Ashley Hogarth of Sioux Falls received honorable mention in Women's Musical Theatre. In all, there were 122 entries from USD, South Dakota State University, Northern State and Black Hills State University.

Bangasser, Black, Edwards, Hogarth, Lambertz, Perk, Rich and Sea are all students of Gesteland. Mogen and Rasmussen are students studying with Hendrickson. Pianists accompanying the USD singers at the competition were Adrian Ries of Elk Point, Zach Rowling of Des Moines, IA, Becca Lunstrum of Redfield, SD, Christopher Larson of Holstein, Campbell and Parker Knox of Vermillion.

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