John LaCognata

John LaCognata

Assistant Professor, Director of Bands, Trumpet


W M Lee Center for Fine Arts 115

Phone: (605) 658-3468




John P. LaCognata was appointed Director of Bands at the University of South Dakota in 2017. Dr. LaCognata received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois (1986), Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Auburn University (1989) and PhD in Music Education with an emphasis in Wind Conducting from the University of Florida (2010) where he was awarded a Doctoral Teaching Fellowship.

Teaching Interests:

Wind Bands, Instrumental Conducting, Trumpet

Research Interests:

Student Assessment in Performance-based Ensembles


  • CBDNA Intercollegiate Band, Council on Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. (2018 - 2018)

Awards and Honors:

  • Citation of Excellence, National Band Association, 2018


  • LaCognata, John P.. Divide and Conquer. Presented at the University of South Dakota Band Directors Institute, Vermillion, South Dakota, United States. (June 22, 2018)