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The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Band gets new uniforms, new look

Zoey Schentzel
The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band performs during halftime of a football game against Montana State Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings. The Pride will perform a new halftime show for SDSU’s games against Northern Iowa on Hobo Day and NDSU.

South Dakota State’s Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band has returned to the field dressed in new uniforms this season.  

Students, fans, faculty and the Brookings community saw the new uniforms as The Pride performed during the first home football game Aug. 31.  

The last time The Pride got new uniforms was in December 2011.  

“The average life span of the uniforms is 10 years,” said Kevin Kessler, director of athletic bands and assistant professor of music. “It was planned; the old uniforms started to show their age.” 

The first conversation about new uniforms started three years ago.  

“I had initial sketches made up in December 2020,” Kessler said. 

 After that, a committee was formed to begin the process of getting new uniforms in October 2021. The committee included staff from The Pride, alums, current Pride members, the athletic department, the president’s and more.  

After the committee worked out the logistics, funding for the new uniforms came from the school and donors. The university ordered a total of 380 new uniforms.  

“President Barry Dunn also made a big push,” Kessler said.  

Sarah Stoddard, a senior member of the Pride, has had the opportunity to wear both the old and new uniforms.  

“For me, the new uniforms mean a new beginning and a new level of energy for us and those we support,” said Stoddard.  

The new uniforms also tie in older, more traditional looks from previous generations of The Pride.  

“The new hats add height and are visually more appealing,” said Kessler. “Ties in a lot of tradition in a very modern look.”  

“The most notable change in the uniforms this year would be that we now technically have more than one uniform we can display on game days,” said Stoddard. 

Another notable difference is that the old uniforms were darker than the new ones.

 “There is now an overlay we can wear that gives off a completely different look depending on the game intensity and if there is a color theme for the day,” Stoddard said.  

“To me, the new uniforms are a way to connect to the audience and be a part of the student culture as well,” said Ember Hodgins, a freshman member of The Pride. 

“The hats are definitely not like the previous years; they’ll take some getting used to, especially with making sure we’ve all got our plumes,” said Hodgins. “We’re flexible though; we can go from ‘Yee Haw’ Aussies to ‘Yes Sir’ Marine hats, no problem.” 

On top of the new uniforms, “this year is about keeping the momentum going,” said Kessler. This is the next big step for The Pride.  

Stoddard also hopes to keep the momentum going as she hopes to return to Frisco. 

“To experience that once is something I cannot put into words,” she said.The pride I felt during that final game was unmeasurable.”  

Keeping the momentum going is a shared goal by Kessler and Stoddard; Hodgins has a slightly different mindset for the next four years in The Pride. 

“Being in marching band is all about the journey, and I’m here to take in every moment of it,” said Hodgins. “My goal for these years in The Pride is to open myself to new opportunities and to just go for it. I’ll savor every step and those who will walk with me along the way.” 

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