VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota is the newest university affiliated with Conn-Selmer, Inc., the largest manufacturer of band and orchestral instruments and accessories in the United States.
“Being labeled a ‘Conn-Selmer School’ is significant,” said Dr. Larry Schou, dean of the College of Fine Arts at USD. “The Conn-Selmer School Program is an excellent program for our faculty, students, and department to be associated with. We are proud to join the ranks of the other fine schools in this program.”
According to Grant Johnston, marketing communications manager for Conn-Selmer, USD purchased a wide range of new instruments – thanks to an in-kind grant from Conn-Selmer – that will increase the institution’s national profile as a music school, allowing The U to recruit more high-quality students, secure more grants and achieve a long-term position as a leader in music and music education.
“Conn-Selmer has a long standing tradition of excellence in instrument manufacturing and will contribute greatly to the department of music here at USD,” added Jonathan Alvis, D.M.A., assistant professor of music and director of athletic bands at The U. “The ‘Sound of USD’ will benefit from the superior instruments found in the King Series of Marching Brass.”
In becoming A Conn-Selmer School, Schou hopes the partnership aids in attracting the finest students into USD’s music performance and music education programs.
“A degree in music from The University of South Dakota provides students with a solid foundation to enter the teaching profession, gain confidence as a performer, or to seek an advanced degree in music education, performance, or music history,” Schou explained.
The music department, created at USD in 1887, is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. USD’s music ensembles annually tour the region’s public schools, participate in community events and, this year, plan a scheduled a tour of Europe.