SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band at South Dakota State University usually hits the field in Brookings during Jackrabbit football games. With no games this year, the university is coming up with new ways to give students a great marching band experience and that includes a special concert this Saturday.
This is the 130th year The Pride of the Dakotas has been serving up musical performances at SDSU, but 2020 hasn’t gone as planned.
“It’s been challenging for our students. Certainly disappointing for our older students who love the excitement and the energy of game day but they’ve really come through. They’ve remained excited about the marching band. They’ve just worked real hard and we’ve done everything we could to keep the activity exciting for them as well,” Kessler said.
Junior Valeska Momotic is one of 225 students that take part in The Pride. She’s the captain of the color guard.
Holsen: Has it still been fun this year?
Momotic: This year has been very different. Although not ideal, The Pride is still something that we can all take as a fun activity still. I very much enjoy coming and seeing the color guard.
There’s some good news for Momotic, The Pride will be taking the field at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium after all. A live concert is set for this Saturday night at 8.
“To be in Dykhouse again and just performing with everyone and being able to have an audience, although very limited to seating and we have to distance. I’m very excited to see people in the stands once again,” Momotic said.
“We’ve been able to set the stadium up in a way that we can have an audience and yet they’re still distanced and safe,” Kessler said.
Only friends and family of band members will be allowed to attend but it will be live-streamed for anyone else interested.
“In spite of it all. In spite of a pandemic, that the band was able to push through and continue to be a family and continue to spread joy musically in spite of it all,” Kessler said.
In addition to Saturday, The Pride is also splitting into four different groups to play four public performances at SDSU this October. For more information on that and a link to Saturday’s livestream, click here.