Pride of the Dakotas premiers new look

Denise Watt

Denise Watt

Marching in front of hundreds of fans at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium can be a thrilling experience for even the most veteran members of the Pride of the Dakotas.

Now, members of this year’s marching band have another reason to be excited.

During halftime of Saturday’s game, the more than 300-member band debuted its new look, thanks to the success of raising more than $300,000 last year.

The money went toward replacing aging band instruments with new silver ones. The purchases included 16 tubas costing nearly $100,000.

“I think it’s really cool that they just hand out a brand new Bach trumpet to just anybody,” said Scott Benson, a senior sociology major and fourth-year Pride member.

By matching private gifts, First Bank & Trust helped initiate the “Step Up for the Pride” campaign, which began last September and wrapped up in December. More than 900 people donated to the effort, according to the SDSU Foundation.

The bank received a Pride photo collage during Saturday’s halftime performance.

“I guess you could almost say it (the campaign) was a grassroots effort,” Director Jim McKinney said in an earlier press release.

“Hopefully our payback will be many years of great music for the people to enjoy.”

Benson said band members love the new instruments.

“We really appreciate that they (sponsors) provided the money.”

#1.884401:3132437548.jpg:Pride02.jpg:Members of the Pride of the Dakotas marching band show off their new instruments at Saturday’s football game.: