Since 1882, the university band program has been an integral part of USD. The band program offers you the opportunity to perform in a variety of outstanding ensembles and obtain quality, individualized instruction on wind and percussion instruments. You'll have the opportunity to work with world-renowned guest soloists, conductors and composers.
The USD Concert Band is an outstanding ensemble consisting of highly talented woodwind, brass and percussion players, including both music majors and non-music majors. The Concert Band performs the finest pieces available for winds, including traditional wind band repertoire, marches, transcriptions and the newest 21st century works. The Concert Band typically performs one concert in the fall and two in the spring.
Coyote Pep Band
The Coyote Pep Band performs in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center for USD men’s and women’s basketball games. As a member of the pep band, you provide the soundtrack and high-energy atmosphere that leads the teams to victory. Performing the finest pop, jazz and traditional USD arrangements, Pep Band repertoire builds on that of The SOUND of USD Marching Band’s fall season. The Coyote Pep Band is composed of approximately 35 energetic brass, woodwind and rhythm section musicians, and members of the marching band receive preference at pep band auditions.
The University of South Dakota Jazz Ensembles perform a variety of music from this American art form, from classics by Basie and Ellington to new contemporary jazz works. The bands perform concerts each semester, both on campus and on tour within the region. The USD Jazz Ensemble 1 has also toured Germany and the Netherlands and has performed at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in Chicago. Every year, USD hosts guest jazz artists on campus to work with students and perform with them.
Our students have the opportunity to participate in several unique percussion experiences, including traditional percussion ensembles, marimba ensembles and the steel drum band. Participating in the traditional and marimba ensembles requires a strong background in performing numerous traditional percussion instruments.
For students with an interest in music of the Caribbean, the steel drum band offers the chance to perform at both the beginning and advanced levels. Students with a basic understanding of note-reading and some keyboard experience will find playing a steel pan a great experience.
Our symphonic band is the premier wind band and the flagship ensemble of the university band program. Our band comprises the finest woodwind, brass and percussion players at the university, including both music majors and talented non-music majors. Concert repertoire consists of the highest quality music written or transcribed for wind instruments representing all periods of music history. There are typically two concerts a semester, which regularly feature guest soloists and guest conductors. The band tours the region annually and performs every other year at the South Dakota Bandmasters Convention.