Pride of the Dakotas performs at U.S. Bank Stadium with hopes of recruitment


Gina Gobilrsch, Copy Editor

The Youth In Music Championships (YIM)hosted The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band Oct. 12 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The event, is a competition for area high school bands to showcase their talents. This year was The Pride’s third time performing in the event. This year, the competition featured 34 high school bands and served as a recruiting opportunity for South Dakota State University.

“We were able to set up the (head) of the School of Performing Arts, Dr. David Reynolds, at a booth in the concourse all day to talk to students and give information as they walk through,” Kevin Kessler, Director of Athletic Bands, said.

Advertising along with the Minnesota State University, Mankato and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, The Pride was also able to promote its program through a promotional video on the big screen in the stadium.

“The band had an absolutely amazing performance,” Jacob Smilloff, a sophomore tuba player said. “You could tell the crowd loved it.”

YIM gave the band a chance to refine their performance musically and visually before their next big performance — College GameDay.

“I can’t say for sure what our involvement will be, but I know we will play a part,” Kessler said.

Not only do events like YIM help with recruitment and fine-tuning performances, they also create long-lasting memories for the members of The Pride.

“The experience The Pride gets from these trips is unparalleled,” Smilloff said. “You gain so much useful performance experience, and you become really close with the members of [The] Pride.”

For Smilloff, that includes singing with the other tuba players for hours on the bus and going out to eat with his friends after a great performance.