Pride hitting all of the right notes

Miranda Bader Juice Editor

Not only does The Pride of the Dakotas give students an opportunity to perform at home football games, parades, and for various NFL teams, but it gives members the opportunity to find love. Students practice and perform together day in and day out, have very similar schedules and best of all, they are able to do something they love with people they love. 

“Blood, sweat and tears [go into planning performances]. We have a mini band camp to kick off the season which is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. rain or shine. Then we have practice every day at 4 for an hour,” said junior clarinet player Kaylee Wallace.

With this type of schedule, bonds are going to be made and relationships are likely to spark. 

“My husband and I actually met through music activities in high school,” said newlywed Jessica Wahl. “He is a music major at SDSU, and I decided to be in the Pride to spend some extra time with him. With rehearsals, football games, and trips, we get to know each other pretty well. Also, Pride members have a lot of fun together. It is a nice break from the stress of school.”

Wahl is a fifth year student in the pharmacy program and plays the flute for the Pride. Her husband, Spencer is a senior drum major. 

“The Pride has been a great way for us to meet new people, and we have had so much fun the last few years. We went to Florida for the Citrus Bowl Parade with the Pride right after we got engaged, and it was a fun way to celebrate with all of our friends,” Wahl said.

Vanessa Dykhouse and her boyfriend Austin Vanderwahl might not have met in The Pride either, but certainly have kept a well-rounded relationship through it. The two met in middle school band and after becoming good friends, started dating Dykhouse’s senior year of high school. The two are a year apart in school so after she came to college in 2010, they spent time during the week together by driving to and from Volga. 

“Austin came to all of the football games so he got to know a lot of my friends from the Pride and became friends with them as well. When he came to SDSU in 2011 he already knew quite a few of the people in the Pride,” Dykhouse said.

Like Wahl, Dykhouse feels the time The Pride members spend together is the reason relationships start. 

“We also have an entire day before school starts where we all get together and learn the drill for the season. During the season we spend every game day together at morning rehearsals and the games… spending that much time with each other everyone gets to be really close on and off the field,” Dykhouse said.

Students do not have to be a music major to be a member of The Pride. Often times, they participate for the fun of it, and simply because they love performing. 

 “The majority of the students in The Pride are non-music majors,” said Director of Athletic Bands James Coull. 

However, Coull explained that the recruiting process is much like recruitment for other athletes. 

“The wind and percussion faculty maintain an active recruiting schedule throughout the year by visiting schools and contacting prospective students by phone, email and mailings,” Coull said. 

The performances are determined by the home football schedule, but the trips are scheduled for the year. The Pride tries to present many different types of music for their performances so that the audience can hear something they know.

“Musical selections represent a broad spectrum of genres – from jazz to country to current pop hits. For example, the Beef Bowl halftime will feature a Latin jazz standard, a current country hit and a tune from a popular YouTube video,” Coull said.

 Soul mates have met their match, and single members have truly enjoyed their experience. Maybe this is simply irony at it’s best, but relationships have formed and lasted because of the Pride.