Mr. Dan Carlson graduated in 1994 from Pipestone High School (MN). While in middle and high school, he marched in both the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (1988), as well as the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade (1994). In 1999, he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. Prior to his graduation from SDSU, he student-taught in Luverne, Minnesota. He also completed his Masters of Music Education Degree from the American Band College of Southern Oregon University between the summers of 2002 and 2004.
Mr. Carlson was a Drum Major for the Pride of the Dakotas marching band at SDSU from 1995 through 1998. During his time at SDSU, he marched in the 1996 Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C. In 1992 and 1997 he was a member of Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He has been writing drills for high school and college marching bands around the country since 1996, and has also been an active clinician for drum majors around the region. Mr. Carlson began teaching band at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1999. Mr. Carlson performed in 2004 at the South Dakota Bandmasters Convention with his concert band, and assisted with the symphonic band in their appearances at the Bandmasters Convention in 2001, 2006, 2010, and 2013. As head director, he brought the band to perform at the 2018 South Dakota Bandmster’s Convention. During his time at Lincoln, the LHS Patriot Marching Band has performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 2000 and 2008, and in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California in 2005 and 2013. In both 2015 and 2017, the Lincoln Band was a finalist at the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional, placing 13th overall in finals competition at an event which included over 60 marching bands each year. The band continues to be recognized as one of the top programs in the upper Midwest in all facets. Mr. Carlson is a member of Phi Beta Mu and the South Dakota Bandmasters Association, and was recently featured in School Band and Orchestra Magazine in the article “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.” In 2016 Mr. Carlson received the “Outstanding Bandmaster” Award from Phi Beta Mu, an award granted to one South Dakota Band Director each year. During the summer of 2019, Mr. Carlson also co-directed a band on a seven country tour of Europe with the South Dakota Ambassadors of Music.
Mr. Carlson is in his 21st year as a director at Lincoln, and 7th year as head director – a position previously held by his father for 14 years (during which time they taught together as a father-son team). Dan now directs the Symphonic and Varsity Bands, as well as the Marching band, Pep Band, and Jazz Bands 1 and 3. Mr. Carlson has two daughters, Isabel and Adrienne.