Pride Spotlight: Martin Jackson

IAN LACK Reporter

With most every home football game, members of both the team on the field and the audience in the stands can hear Martin Jackson playing tenor saxophone in The Pride.

Originally from Colorado Springs, Jackson is a fourth year music major who graduated from Rapid City Central High School. He can still recall when he first decided to take up the saxophone in junior high school.

“I remember my mom and I were listening to the radio all the time and jazz kept coming on, and I asked her what instrument was playing and she said it was the saxophone. I was like, ‘Oh, that sounds so cool! I want to do that!’” Jackson said. 

Now, 10 years later, Martin still does. He practices with The Pride every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for just over an hour, in addition to the rehearsal practices on Saturday before games. Around this time during the year, he says he’s found that The Pride has been all about learning new drills, the movements and formations that come with band marches. However, whenever the band is ready for new music, they must also learn the new music selection in addition to new drills for that week.

But even with all of the practices for The Pride, Martin says he can still find time for other organizations and student clubs. He is a member of the dance club, BSA and is captain of the men’s step team. He says that The Pride can be fairly understanding of its members when it comes to practices, and it is usually easy to manage. Martin also travels with The Pride and the football team to a majority of their meets, sometimes out of state.

“What I most enjoy is just playing in the stands, even off the field. It’s awesome being able to interact with other students and act like a pep band. But staying focused on gameday is pretty hard. There’s a lot of energy whenever The Pride gets on the field and people go nuts,” Jackson said.

Martin really values the people who encompass the band. Director Kevin Kessler was new to SDSU this year, but Martin says that he has taken The Pride in new directions and is “the perfect mix of playful and strict.” Martin also values the camaraderie within the band. “Pride is pretty unique,” Jackson said. “We embrace the fact that we are different, and we goof around a lot. The atmosphere, especially with practices, is really comfortable and accepting.”