Yankton High School Alumni

Yankton, South Dakota (SD)

Alumni Stories

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James A. Gullikson

Class of 1977

James A Gullikson
1317 12th Street
Hawarden Ia. 51023

Graduate of Yankton High School / 1977
Graduate of Mount Marty College /Fine Arts/ 1981
Graduate of University of South Dakota / Masters of Music / Conducting / 1983
West Sioux Community Schools, Hawarden Iowa
- Director of Choral Activities/ 1983 – Present

Born: June 15, 1959 to Robert and Jean Gullikson, Yankton S.D.
Brothers, Mike of Yankton and Tom of Honolulu Hi.
Married: Donna Pazour, September 11, 1982
Children: Daughter –Tegan, Atlanta Ga.
Son – Noah, Peoria Ill.

I started my music career with piano lessons at the age of 7 from our neighbor Marlys Johnson. Shortly after that I was in the musical “Oliver” at Mount Marty College and I was hooked on performing. I started percussion lessons in fifth grade with Jim Piechowski, Middle School Instrumental instructor. I was a member of the Middle School Band and Orchestra, under the direction of Lucy Weed. I believe these two instructors had a major influence in helping shape my music career.
During my High School years I continued to be involved in Band (Merle Larson), Choir (Forrest Conrad), Orchestra (David Elder) and Drama (Terry Winter). I was an All-State Choir member for 4 years, played with the United States Armed Forces Bicentennial band as a percussionist, and was a member of the marching band, concert band, pep band, jazz band, and numerous solos and group performances in school concerts and state small group contests as a vocalist and percussionist. I joined the Musicians Union and performed during High School and College in the community concert and jazz band. My senior year Mark Magera and I started to perform with my uncles dance band “The Gullikson Brothers + 2 . A few years later Mark and I started the band Timberline with members, Reid Hanson, Mark Kiger and Dr. Mark Johnson. Most of the original members played for six years in Yankton, as well as southeast South Dakota, northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska.
I attended Mount Marty College from 1977-1981 earning my B.A. in fine arts. I was a member of the choirs, (Jack Lyons) bands (Harry Mclamb, Gary Reeves), and drama department. For my practice teaching experience, I was fortunate to be assigned to Jim Piechowski, Middle School Band, and Margret Lyons for Elementary Music.
In 1981 I was awarded the Vocal Music Teaching Assistant Scholarship at the University of South Dakota. My duties included giving voice lessons and assisting with all the Choirs. Professor Larry Tokelson gave me the opportunity to work with and conduct the University Concert, Chamber and Mens and Womens Choirs. I was awarded my Masters of Music and Conducting degree in 1983.
I started teaching Vocal Music at the West Sioux Community Schools in 1983. My initial assignment included K-6 Elementary Music in Ireton, Iowa and 9- 12 Vocal Music in Hawarden, Iowa. After 12 years my duties changed to 6-12 Vocal at West Sioux Community Schools in Hawarden. Some of my teaching duties have included: Concert Choirs, Chamber Choirs, Show Choirs, Vocal Jazz Choirs, Musicals, Iowa All-State Choirs, N.W. Iowa Honor Choirs, Middle School Vocal Festivals, State Small and Large Group Contests. My High School Vocal Jazz Choirs have recently been crowned “Iowa Class 1A Vocal Jazz Champions” for 2011 and 2012.
I continued playing in local dance bands when I moved to Hawarden. I was able to join “ The Homegrown Band “ a very well known Country/Rock band from Beresford area, for the next 12 years.
The end of this year will mark my 30th year of teaching at West Sioux Community Schools and my 32nd year of teaching Vocal Music.

Submitted: Jim Gullikson

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