Congrats to Susan German, Oakes, N.D., High School Band!

A small-town band from the heart of North Dakota makes a world of difference. That’s one of the reason’s Gov. Jack Dalrymple selected the group from Oakes, N.D., High School as his 2011 State Governor’s Band.

Students in Oakes’ band not only play proficiently, Dalrymple said, but they also perform annual community concerts and stage fundraising shows for breast cancer awareness and Haiti earthquake relief.

The 14- through 18-year-olds, under the direction of instructor, Susan German, performed for the governor, his wife and the entire school Friday.

Members of the Oakes, N.D., High School band perform for the governor, local dignitaries, community members and fellow students Friday. Gov. Jack Dalrymple selected Oakes as his 2011-2012 Governor's Band.

To greet the governor and his travel mates, Oakes residents created signs like this one which reads "From 'YOUR BAND' Welcome to Oakes Gov. and Mrs. D. ... You Rock N.D.!!" Signs posted on city streets, gas station marquees, classroom windows, etc., greeted the guests as they drove through the town of about 1,800 people.

First Lady Betsy Dalrymple takes in the myriad of welcome signs designed by students of Oakes, N.D. Public Schools. Gov. Jack Dalrymple like one of the signs so much, he removed it from the wall and asked to take it home.

Oakes mayor, and foreman of Dakota Valley's Oakes outpost, Monty Zimmer, addressed the crowd at Oakes High School's gymnasium, Friday. Zimmer said the students at Oakes High School work hard, and the governor's recognition was well-deserved.

For her hard work, the governor and Oakes community recognized Susan German, the director of the Oakes, N.D., High School Band. German graduated from Valley City State University in 1973. Since then, she taught at schools in Lisbon, Fullerton and Dickey before taking her current Oakes post in 1997.