College of Fine Arts Music

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The Sound of USD

The Sound of USD

The Sound of USD is a visible and active part of the campus life here at USD. The band includes brass, woodwinds, percussion, and color guard and performs a wide variety of musical genres. The Sound is open to music and non-music majors and previous marching experience is not required. The band performs at all USD home football games, as the exhibition band at contests and festivals, and travels to at least one road football game annually. The Sound has traveled and performed internationally and continues to offer opportunities to perform abroad. The Sound also is the featured exhibition band at the annual Quad State Marching Competition hosted by the USD Department of Music.

The Sound has four specific goals:

  1. Perform the highest quality of music, drill and choreography
  2. Perform at the highest level
  3. Entertain audiences everywhere
  4. HAVE FUN!

Band Camp

Band Camp is held the week before classes begin. This fun-filled week includes learning show and stands music, drill, basic marching techniques, and much more. Students are allowed to move into the dorms prior to band camp for free, avoiding the chaos of move-in day. Band camp is also a prime opportunity to meet people, make new friends, explore the campus, and become familiar with the numerous marching band traditions.


No audition is required to participate in The Sound. Placement auditions for the Drum Line and Color Guard occur the first day of band camp.

Practice Schedule

The Sound's rehearsal schedule:

Monday 4 - 5 p.m.
Tuesday 3:30 - 5 p.m.
Wednesday No rehearsal
Thursday 3:30 - 5 p.m.
Friday 4 - 5 p.m.

On game day, the band rehearses for an hour in the DakotaDome.

Performance Stipends

Stipends are available in the amount of $300. Applications are available during band camp or by contacting Dr. Jonathan Alvis.

Uniforms and Instruments

At the beginning of the fall semester, each student is assigned a band uniform and given a Sound t-shirt. All Sound members are responsible for getting black "Vanguard" by Dinkles marching shoes. The Color Guard has different shoes; please check with Dr. Alvis for current requirements. If needed, a student can check out an instrument at no charge.

The Sound of USD Links

 Faculty Leadership

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Jonathan Alvis
Department of Music
The University of South Dakota
414 E Clark St.
Vermillion SD 57069