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Open to all students, be a part of the pageantry and the fun.

Preseason 2021 Begins August 14! 

Fall 2021 should see The SOUND of USD back in full swing! Building on over 100 years of tradition, The SOUND of USD Marching Band is the largest and most visible ensemble on campus. You will perform for over 60,000 fans and spectators each season and bring spirit and energy to Coyote football games in the newly renovated Dakota Dome! In addition to football games, the band performs exhibitions at regional and international contests, festivals and parades. 

The SOUND of USD is comprised of dedicated musicians playing brass, woodwinds and percussion instruments as well as talented color guard members and feature twirlers. Two-thirds of the band's membership have a major other than music. 

No marching experience? No problem. You will learn alongside experienced veterans at our week-long preseason camp held the week before classes begin. All students wishing to participate in The SOUND of USD are accepted. Students must, however, earn their place on the field for pregame and half-time shows by demonstrating mastery of the necessary marching and playing fundamentals. We will teach you, and everyone marches before the end of their first season. 

Join The SOUND of USD

Preseason Camp 

Preseason camp takes place the week before classes begin. You will learn school songs, marching fundamentals, drill and more. Students are allowed to move into dormitories prior to camp for free, avoiding the rush of move-in day, and you can get settled before the rest of the student body arrives. Preseason camp is also a prime opportunity to meet people, make new friends, explore the campus and become familiar with Coyote traditions. Report dates are as follows:

  • Saturday, August 14, 2021 -- New members, drumline and colorguard
  • Monday, August 16, 2021 -- All other members

Rehearsal Schedule

The SOUND of USD Marching Band is an accredited one-hour course that meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8 - 8:50 a.m. and Tuesday and Thursday 8 - 9:15 a.m. in the newly renonvated DakotaDome. All members also attend at least one full-band away game and post-season playoff games. Participation in The SOUND of USD involves less time than most high school bands.


No audition is required for general membership in The SOUND of USD. You must complete the "Join The SOUND of USD" form above, register for Marching Band and make arrangements to attend preseason camp. 

Video auditions are held for Color Guard and Feature Twirler. Choose one of the following links for more information:

Drum Line auditions are held in person with the director and Drum Line instructor on or before the first day of preseason camp. Auditions for positions as Section Leader and Drum Major are held each year in the spring. 


All members of The SOUND of USD receive a Participation Scholarship starting at $350. Members of the drumline, colorguard, and student leaders receive additional scholarship funding!

The Department of Music awards additional scholarships beyond Marching Band Participation Scholarships. Follow this link for more information:

Music Scholarships

Uniforms & Instruments

You will be assigned a band uniform and given other official SOUND attire. You will be responsible for purchasing white gloves, available from USD, white marching shoes and black pants. Color Guard and Feature Twirlers wear different shoes.

If needed, you may check out an instrument at no charge. 


  • Todd Cranson, D.M.A., director of athletic bands
  • John LaCognata, PhD., director of bands
  • Darin Wadley, D.M.A., director of percussion studies
  • Baylee Knippling, color guard instructor and twirler coordinator
  • Lenette Haliburton, graduate assistant

Contact Todd Cranson if you have additional questions.

Name Department & Office Contact
Todd Cranson
  • Assistant Professor of Low Brass, Director of Athletic Bands
W M Lee Center for Fine Arts 116