Jumping on the Jackrabbit bandwagonon

Tammie Tamara

Tammie TamaraSection Editor

The Pride has always been big. Size is one of its distinguishing characteristics.

But this year it’s huge.

Prior to this year, the Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band had never hit 300 people. Its largest year ever was in 1998 with 285 members.

“This year we’re at 400,” Director of Bands James McKinney said. “We skipped right on through 300 and went on to 400. We’re really excited about that.”

The excitement of having such an immense band outweighs the difficulties of managing the high numbers, though the difficulties are in no short supply.

“Just taking roll is a headache,” McKinney said. “We’ve had to increase everything8211; our music folders, our music, the instruments, and we’ve had to order new uniforms.”

About 100 uniforms are needed. To solve the problem, the drummers will be wearing old uniforms for most of the season.

The whole band will have uniforms by November, in time for their New Year’s trip to Pasadena, Calif., for their performance in the Rose Bowl Parade.

Though the cost of extra uniforms is a drawback, McKinney expects them to be a good investment.

And if band membership stays up, they will continue to make use of the uniforms. They are supplied by the university, free to students for the season. The band only orders new uniforms every eight to 10 years. President Peggy Gordon Miller authorized this year’s special purchase.

McKinney would like to see the momentum from this year carried over in future years. “It will shrink some, but we hope everyone enjoys it enough to stay over 300. That would be fun,” he said.

Communication studies and theater major Lindsey Nordsiden has been in the band all four years. She joined her first year because it was required, back when she was a music major. Now, she won’t give it up.

“I don’t have to (be in the Pride), but I want to,” the piccolo player said. “It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve made really great friends through this. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities to travel.”

She is eagerly anticipating the California trip.

“When we march, we’re usually so high-energy that it’s infectious, and the audience is yelling back. Everywhere we go, people just seem to love us. It’s so much fun,” she said.

The size of the band this year will be a challenge well worth the effort for Nordsiden. “It’s really fun to have a big band,” she said. “It’s going to be tough this year, but it’s going to be worth it.”

She doesn’t expect any major problems because members of the Pride are dedicated.”It’s going to be challenging, especially when we start getting into our formations for the field show,” she said. “But in the end, it will all come together because it