Welcome back to the 2013-2014 school year! Good luck in all your instrumental endeavors!

The South Dakota Bandmasters Association is organized exclusively for charitable, cultural, literary and education purposes. These include: (1) promoting mutual cooperation, friendship and fellowship among the band directors of the state (2) cooperating with and aiding other music associations (3) improving the professional efficiency of its members (4) encouraging a genuine spirit of professional ethics (5) raising the standard of music in all forms in South Dakota and (6) furthering the development of music in the schools of South Dakota.

The aforementioned purposes are part of the SDBA Bylaws. You can find the entire document and much more at our website https://www.sdbandmasters.org/ Jason Groon, our webmaster, has done a wonderful job of keeping it updated and adding articles which members have sent to him. Please feel free to send articles about your own events to share with members across the state. One of the most popular last year was the video of the Sioux Falls Lincoln Band shoveling the field so they could have a practice in December for the upcoming Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. A sincere thank you Jason, for your contribution to the website and our organization!

Your South Dakota Bandmasters organization has been active this summer, trying to get the wheels turning on ideas that were developed in February at our conference.

We hosted the first “SDBA SUMMER SYMPOSIUM” in Chamberlain on August 10, 2013. Seventeen people met at the Chamberlain High School to participate in one way or another. Our three presenters, Dave Haugen, Dennis Carlson and Brad Berens, each shared about a specific area affecting band directors.

Mr. Haugen began with discussing recruitment of beginners and getting them started on an instrument. He also addressed some issues with marching band and the challenges facing many small school programs. Mr. Carlson continued the program with his “Welcome to the Greatest Profession in the World!” He spoke about relationships and how important each of them is to a successful program. These included not just teacher/student relationships, but how you relate to fellow teachers and other staff members. Both Dave and Dennis are retired directors of very successful programs. Their passion for our profession was very evident and was inspiring to all who listened to their presentations.
In the afternoon Mr. Berens, an administrator from Mitchell who is a former band director, gave us some insight into how we as band directors can make our administrator’s jobs much easier. He has a unique perspective, having experienced both positions.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the three gentlemen who presented and to Phil Carlson for hosting this event. Although it was initially designed to be for first and second year directors, it was definitely beneficial to all of us. The experience was deemed so successful by those present – we are going to try to make it an annual event. There were many suggestions for presenters and ideas for topics. If you have any ideas, please share them with your board members so we can implement them. Thanks to Dr. Boyd Perkins for making it possible to receive continuing ed credit for this session through Northern State University.

The symposium was an off-shoot of our discussion on mentoring that we had at our conference in February. I am pleased to report that we have seven mentor/mentee relationships established in schools throughout the state. If you are interested in taking part – either as a mentor or mentee – please let the board know. We hope this is the beginning of a great program for all band directors in the state. Thank you to all who are involved and best wishes for a successful outcome!
Membership is accessible online at our website – it’s not too early to renew for this school year!! We are modernizing ways to reach all our members – be sure to “like us on Facebook”. To quote my new superintendent: “Let this be your best year ever!!”

Below are some pictures taken at the 2013 SDBA Summer Symposium held in Chamberlain.



“The experience was very helpful and had a great mix of new and old teachers. The passion from the presenters was contagious.”
– Halie Kirwan (Wagner)

“I enjoyed hearing from the administrator on his point of view on hiring and scheduling. It was eye-opening and great to hear the administrator’s support of music.”
– Ben Latham (Parkston)

“The symposium has a ton of great information, and presented several methods that will help me be a successful teacher. We talked about a few things that we did not cover in my college courses. I would highly recommend this program to younger teachers.”
– C.J. (Dell Rapids)