An Absolute, Once-in-a-Lifetime Feeling

Grateful for every opportunity, Jamee Kattner is a firm believer that future bands will march in the footsteps of the Pride of the Dakotas.

For trumpet player Jamee Kattner, being a part of the Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band is all about living in the moment.

After two years of performing with the group, Jamee’s time with the Pride has been a collection of favorite memories. From meeting lifelong friends, to witnessing the Jackrabbit Football Team take home the coveted Dakota Marker against NDSU, to simply getting lost in the dance number of her favorite song to perform, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” she’s grateful for every unique moment and all the moments still to come. Jamee describes playing with the Pride as, “an absolute, once-in-a-lifetime feeling” – even though the band performs countless times each year.

Next up in her Jackrabbit career, Jamee’s looking ahead to one of her favorite moments yet: the opportunity to appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A trip to New York has always been on her bucket list, and the chance to make history as the group shines a national spotlight on the university will make the experience that much more incredible. While Jamee’s eager to take in the glitz and glamor of being in New York City, she’s also looking forward to taking on new adventures with her favorite group of Jackrabbits.

“We’re a community of loving and caring people who like to see success in one another,” she explains, and, for any marching band in the country, there’s no greater success than performing in Times Square in one of America’s most beloved holiday traditions.

Help send the Pride to NYC

We caught up with the music education major from Huron, SD, to chat all things Pride.

What does performing at the Macy’s Parade mean to you?

Performing at the Macy’s Parade means that I can show the little girl at home, watching us perform with everything in us, that she can become that one day. That it doesn’t matter whether you are from a big city or college – what really matters is your amount of effort and willingness to strive to do greater things. That is why marching in this parade means everything to me: we are paving the way for future South Dakotan bands to do great things.

If you could speak to a donor who is helping send the Pride to NYC, what would you say to them?

I would tell them how much their donation has really helped everyone in the Pride financially. Thanks to the donors, we not only get to go to New York on a cost-efficient trip but are well supported and feel that guidance every step of the way. It is an amazing feeling to know that people care for the things that you offer to the SDSU campus. We wouldn’t be the band we are today if it weren’t for the huge generosity of so many caring donors. I will forever be grateful to our donors for this experience that will help shape not only my future, but the Pride of the Dakotas’, too.

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What are some key life lessons that being in the Pride has taught you?

Never stray from those who make you feel at home, and live in every moment like it is your last. The Pride is very positively spirited, and we like to have fun; the morale we can project to the crowds is insane. I enjoy the moments with everyone as a family, and I genuinely feel love and care for each one of my fellow band members because we all have the same goal: to have fun and cheer on the Jacks!

What’s the best part of being a member of the Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band?

The best part of being a Pride of the Dakotas band member is the wide range of experiences that I get to participate in. We create crowd spirit and raise morale during intense games, which is too much fun because the Pride can get very spirited!

How will this trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade change your college experience?

The trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will change my college experience because I will have those memories and first-hand encounters with the amazing things we will strive to do while there. This opportunity will not only take me out of my comfort zone, but will help me to never take any of my future moments at SDSU for granted.

Your gift can help the Pride of the Dakotas pave the way for future South Dakotan bands, just as Jamee described – but the road to landmark performances like the Macy’s Parade comes at a price.

While each student has committed $500 of their own to attend the upcoming trip, the actual cost per Jackrabbit is $2,500. Through our generosity, we can offer members of the Pride one of their most memorable collegiate moments yet, helping one of SDSU’s favorite student organizations reach a milestone that is truly once-in-a-lifetime.

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Help send the Pride to New York City

Your donation of any size can ensure the Pride’s decades-long dream of reaching the Macy’s Parade becomes a reality.

Make a gift today