Dakota! is a fresh, energetic overture for concert band and is inspired by a visit to Vermillion, SD. Founded in 1859, Vermillion is a city that exudes an attractive sense of vibrancy and community spirit. Located in the southeastern corner of South Dakota, Vermillion is home to the University of South Dakota and the world renowned American Shrine To Music Museum.
The piece begins quite vividly with a trumpet motif that is heard throughout. Strong melodic concentrations and warm harmonies taken at a quick tempo are at the center of the introduction, which represents the citys wonderful radiance. The music then settles into a slower waltz section, depicting the tranquility of the wide-open prairie as evening calmly brings the sunset. The brisk, bold theme from the beginning is once again introduced, and the music concludes with a rousing finish.
Although the beginning tempo markings offer some flexibility, the piece is most effective when played at mm=152. Through the allegro section, strict attention to style markings is vital in order to give your performance a special free-spirited quality. Accent and staccato markings should be tastefully played and not forced. In the ¾ section, the cued parts may also be used to add color as well as reinforce weak or missing parts. As you will be aggressive and energetic in the allegro sections, please be equally gentle in the ¾. The dance section at meas. 142 is a wonderful closing statement, and will depend greatly on style and dynamics being effectively executed.