Passion, dedication and persistence are core values for the Sound of USD members.
The Sound of USD includes about 100 students who all enjoy what they do: showcasing music for the USD community. This enthusiasm can be seen through the marching band and the pep band, both of which are groups under the umbrella of the Sound
The marching band performs at home football games, festivals and concerts around the Midwest. The pep band performs at basketball games and gets the student body motivated to cheer on the Coyotes.
Andrew Quinn, graduate assistant for the Sound of USD, said the organization has rehearsals every week. This requires students to manage their time well, he added.
“Game days we rehearse at 8 for an hour and we have the morning off before we march back to the Dome. It’s a lot of fun, it seems like a lot, but it’s not really,” he said. “For pep band, if we have a couple of rehearsals at the beginning of the season, it’s a lot of the same music we play in marching band, so for us to translate it over to pep band is really simple.”
Senior Thad Alberty, a music performance major with an emphasis on trumpet, said he was ready for the experiences and time commitments he would encounter in the Sound of USD.
“It was really exhausting, but it was really rewarding to learn about music, especially because some of the music that we have done here is really unique,” Alberty said. “We have done classical music shows, (a) Latin music show as well as pop shows.”
Alberty said as his first year continued, he was struck by the talent of his fellow musicians.
“It was really eye-opening to hear fellow trumpet players who were better than me,” Alberty said. “To hear that and see how hard it is to make it in the world of professional music.”
Alberty said he knew he would have to practice hard to make it to the top again.
In his four years of playing in the marching band and pep band, Alberty has played in the DakotaDome for football games, traveled to high schools to perform for the students and played at basketball games. The last big tour the marching band went on was in Grand Forks, ND. The pep band also recently went to Iowa City for the women’s
Being in these environments is what Alberty said he enjoys the most, especially when the women’s basketball team made it to the NCAA tournament in 2014.
“We followed them to Ames, Iowa. That was a really fun atmosphere to be in,” Alberty said. “It was a proud feeling (to also) represent USD on national TV. It was fun to follow the team and support them. It was really fun because the women’s basketball team has a lot of good people.”
Sophomore Hope Knedler, a music performance major with an emphasis on trumpet, came to USD on a music scholarship for the marching band.
“It was a strange experience. It felt more like a summer camp in high school and it kept going throughout the year,” Knedler said. “I met a lot of my friends that first week that I still talk to now in marching band.”
As a horn player, Knedler played trumpet in high school. She said being on the Sound of USD has allowed her to experience new things.
“It’s different going to sporting events. It’s not something I would typically go to and do on my free time. It has been really interesting,” Knedler said. “I enjoy going to the football games and the basketball games.”
Knedler said going on tours for the marching band has been fun.
“It’s fun to go out and recruit for high schoolers,” she said. “Watching them watch us is really cool because we usually go to smaller schools and it’s kind of a new experience for them.”
Representing USD and going on tour are experiences Knedler said she won’t forget.
“Going on tour is probably the most memorable. It’s really fun performing and going out in front of high schools and recruiting some and having some free time and meet people,” Knedler said. “We (also) went down to Kansas and played in Rock Creek and I got to know some of the kids there and we got to perform with them.”
Alberty said the key to successful time management is efficiency.
“Do homework, even if you have five minutes, get a little bit of your reading, writing or problems done if you have a few minutes,” Alberty said.
Knedler said she manages her time between both bands and homework by scheduling her days in detail.
“I am a very organized person,” she said. “I schedule every week out before it starts so I am able to get everything done I need to and have time to go to rehearsals. Being a music major is definitely stressful, but being a part of music in general is an outlet. It is my major and it is stressful but it is also stress relieving.”
Whether at the sporting events or going on tour, Knedler enjoys showcasing USD.
“To have everyone in the same uniform and have USD on is a good way to represent our school,” Knedler said. “It’s so much fun. It’s really cool getting to talk to people afterwards and they’re amazed that we can know where we are going while playing music. It’s such a strange concept to people.”