About Jim McKinney
Mr. Jim McKinney joined the South Dakota State University Music Faculty in 1973, as Assistant Director of Bands and Percussion Instructor. He served in that capacity through 1975, when he accepted a similar position at Iowa State University. He returned to SDSU in 1983, as Associate Director of Bands and Director of the “Pride of the Dakotas” Marching Band. He became Director of Bands in 1985, and served in that role until his retirement in May, 2009. Mr. McKinney also worked with the jazz ensemble program. He not only served as director for several of these ensembles but he conceived and developed, with the Brookings Optimist Club, the Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival. This annual event has brought major jazz artists/educators to campus to perform with SDSU Jazz Ensemble I, and to present clinics and adjudicate attending school jazz bands. In addition, Mr. McKinney maintained an active schedule as a performer in both classical and jazz traditions. He was co-founder of the New Ensemble for Clarinet and Percussion (NECAP), a member of the faculty chamber music ensemble known as “Wind Power,” and for twenty years presented annual jazz and classical recitals. Mr. McKinney has also served the state and region as a clinician (holding sponsorships by both Ludwig and Selmer), as honor and all-state band conductor, as conductor for the revitalized Brookings Area Community Band, and as co-conductor of the Dakota Wind Ensemble.