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Three students selected to the National Intercollegiate Honor Band

Three students in the South Dakota State University School of Performing Arts have been selected to the National Intercollegiate Honor Band. They are the only students selected from a South Dakota university or college. 

The selected students include Matthew Dulas, a student of Kevin Kessler of Pipestone; Cadence Helleson, a student of Yi Chen of Sioux Falls; and Caroline Reyner, a student of David Reynolds of Independence, IA.

They are part of the 111 students from 44 universities across the United States and Canada to participate. The students will perform during the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) conference February 15 - 18 at the University of Georgia in Athens.

To be considered, students were nominated by their directors to a national selection committee. Following selection, students underwent a competitive audition process that determined their chair placement. Students led this process by preparing and submitting their own audition materials. 

Chair placements for the students were recently announced:

  • Cadence Helleson, 2nd chair alto saxophone
  • Caroline Reyner, 3rd chair trumpet
  • Matthew Dulas, 3rd chair euphonium

Jacob Wallace, associate professor of music and director of concert bands, said, “This is by far the highest chair placement we’ve had for any of our students at this event, and to have all three of them do that well is both very exciting and a testament to the wonderful teaching going on in their studios.”

Matthew Dulas, a senior music education and music studies double major, feels honored to be selected out of hundreds of nominees across the nation. “I am so grateful for the support and guidance of my professors,” said Dulas. “Their teaching has helped me get to this point.”

Wallace is excited for the students to represent SDSU and the state of South Dakota at the conference. 

“The College Band Directors National Association Intercollegiate Band is one of the premier opportunities for college students from around the country to perform at one of the largest professional conferences for collegiate band directors in the world,” explained Wallace. “Historically, the students who have represented the South Dakota State University School of Performing Arts are our best and brightest, and those who have participated and graduated from our programs are now those that represent us in the professional world with the highest level of achievement.”

“Cadence, Caroline and Matthew all exhibit the best that our students have to offer: they’re wonderful people, talented musicians, extremely professional and dedicated to great artistry,” Wallace continued. “I can’t wait to see them performing on that stage in February.”