Macy’s means end of Pride experience for seniors


Gracie Terrall

(Top, from left) Annamarie Dobbs, Jared Pannell, Kylie LaVoy and Isaac Pham. (Bottom, from left) Hannah Ferens, Mercedes Lodmell, Justine Wiik and Garrett Satterly

Gracie Terrall and Jordan Rusche

The Pride of the Dakotas will be marching in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow, and for some members, this will be their last guaranteed performance with the band. Sixty-four students will be graduating this year, and The Collegian caught up with eight of them to talk about their experience with the Pride and their plans after graduating. 


Isaac Pham

Name: Isaac Pham

Major: Music Education

From: Lincoln, Nebraska

Instrument: Drumline

What has your Pride experience been like so far: The Pride has been a multitude of things, and an experience that I definitely won’t forget; something I didn’t expect it to be when I was a freshman, but in the best possible way, I was very surprised by what it was. I think it’s a wonderful experience. I’ve met a lot of really good friends I can call my family and had some great moments making music.

What are you excited for in NYC: I’m just excited to be in a place I’ve always wanted to go to with people that I love being around, as well as just, you know, spending time with the band as a family and to make some pretty cool stuff happen.

What are your plans after college: I think one thing I definitely want to do after I graduate is move somewhere a little closer to home. I’m not too far from home right now, but I’d love to move back to Nebraska and to be closer to my family that’s down there. And obviously, I’d want to utilize my degree in some way. Teaching down there sounds really, really nice, really awesome, something that I would love to do. And if I don’t end up teaching, I want to be involved in the music community somehow.


Jared Pannell

Name: Jared Pannell

Major: History

From: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Instrument: Baritone

What has your Pride experience been like so far: I had never done marching bands before I came to SDSU, and it’s become like a second home for me. So, I’ve made a lot of really good friends in all the years I’ve been here that I still talk to even if they’re not in the band anymore.

What are you excited for in NYC: I’m just excited to show what the band can do in front of millions of people, both in person and on TV.

What are your plans after college: I’m hoping to get my master’s degree so I can teach at a university level. I’m hoping to teach religious history and religious studies.



Mercedes Lodmell

Name: Mercedes Lodmell

Major: Music Education

From: Dell Rapids, South Dakota

Instrument: Alto Saxophone

What has your Pride experience been like so far: So far, I’ve been in it now for four years. It’s meant a lot to me as far as finding a community, other than everybody who is in the music building already with my major. It’s a different sense of home. Since I do come from a town that’s so close to Brookings, I already know a lot of people, but it’s kind of nice to come and still meet people that have the same values as I do in performing arts and whatever else. Marching band is also something that I didn’t really get to experience in my small high school, so coming to a much larger scale where it’s still fun, but also really valuable, is really nice.

What are you excited for in NYC: I’m looking forward to at least exploring a little bit more than I’ve done anywhere else. I don’t travel that often, but I would like to, so this would be a fun experience for that. And then also just getting to know the rest of the sections a lot better and actually spending quality time with one another.

What are your plans after college: My degree is in music education. I’m not sure if I want to teach. I’m not really sure if grad school is in the future, but I would like it to be, just for choral conducting or voice pedagogy would be nice. But that’s pretty much what I’m looking at, but if I could teach middle school, that would be okay.


Garrett Satterly

Name: Garrett Satterly

Major: Communication Studies

From: Colman, South Dakota

Instrument: Sousaphone

What has your Pride experience been like so far: I didn’t have a traditional start to the Pride. I was never going to be in it until student orientation when Dr. Kessler pulled me aside. He’d seen me in honor band in high school and said, ‘hey, I’ll give you a scholarship. You don’t even have to audition, just come and join.’ And the first year was a normal year. We had a lot of fun, did a lot of great things. Then the COVID year was a little different, but we still had the same spirit that we’ve always had and pep and everything. 

What are you excited for in NYC: I’ve been looking forward to it. It’s kind of been my encouragement to get through the semester. It’s a lot of fun working with the younger students and getting them familiar with how to march on the street. A lot of them maybe haven’t marched in the streets before; they come from schools that have only done field performances. So being able to mentor younger students and getting them ready for a huge parade that’s broadcast to millions of people is a great opportunity.

What are your plans after college: After I graduate, I want to go to grad school for student affairs. I’m not quite sure where yet and hopefully I can continue to make music, but I’m not sure yet.


Justine Wiik

Name: Justine Wiik

Major: Medical Lab Science

From: Big Stone City, South Dakota

Instrument: Drumline

What has your Pride experience been like so far:  It’s been pretty fun, especially being in the drumline. We’re kind of a pretty tight-knit, bigger section of the band. We take up a majority of it, and we’re a really big leading part of the band. I think that that’s given me a very important role in the band as well as a very good environment, and a lot of fun working with those people.

What are you excited for in NYC: The thing I look forward to the most every year is walking through the Hobo Day parade, and this is like 100 times bigger. That’s gonna be probably the most fun thing about this experience.

What are your plans after college: Being a medical lab science major, there’s a big demand for medical lab scientists because they are only graduating like 18 of us a year. I actually signed a contract with Sanford Health to work there for two years after I graduated. It’s been kind of nice not having to look for a job as I’m finishing my last semester in school.


Annamarie Dobbs

Name: Annamarie Dobbs

Major: Mathematics

From: Rapid City, South Dakota

Instrument: Piccolo

What has your Pride experience been like so far: I remember being really nervous to join the Pride because I didn’t have marching band in high school. But I kind of just took a leap of faith, and it has been the best decision that I’ve ever made. I met some of my best friends and my roommates through being in the Pride, and it also gave me a sense of belonging early on in campus when everybody else is trying to figure things out. I already had built-in friendships and relationships.

What are you excited for in NYC: I’m looking forward to just taking it all in. I’ve never been to New York before and I’m just excited to be there and experience a different part of the country that I’ve never seen.

What are your plans after college: I’ll graduate in May and then come back in August to start a master’s in the mathematics program. 


Kylie LaVoy

Name: Kylie LaVoy

Major: Spanish education

From: Cottonwood, Minnesota

Instrument: Piccolo

What has your Pride experience been like so far: It’s definitely a lot and it keeps me busy. But I just couldn’t imagine feeling so connected to SDSU. For example, it forced me to go to football games. In high school, I went to football games, but didn’t really care about them. I didn’t think I’d really care too much about football in college, but because I had to go to every football game, I ended up slowly getting into it. It’s gotten me to do things that I never would have done before like the one year we went to the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and we performed.

What are you excited for in NYC: I think it’ll be really cool being in the parade and seeing the audience. I really want to see little kids. I really hope I get to see my family. I told them exactly where to be so they can see me.

What are your plans after college: I haven’t completely decided yet, but I’m either gonna be a Spanish teacher or an English as a Second Language teacher.


Hannah Ferens

Name: Hannah Ferens

Major: Nursing

From: Fairfax, Virginia

Instrument: Tenor Saxophone

What has your Pride experience been like so far: It’s been none like anything we’ve been before; All these years, and now this awesome experience of going to New York. 

What are you excited for in NYC: The parade I think, but also the dinner cruise, because all the stress is over. And then we just get to relax and hang out, and my family’s going, and my boyfriend and his family are going too, so spending time with them. It’s still Thanksgiving, so having those people around me will be good.

What are your plans after college: I am moving to Sioux Falls and I’m going to work at Avera McKennan Hospital.