Alan D. LaFave is dean of fine arts and professor of music/clarinet at Northern. He holds the B.M.E. in instrumental/vocal music from Northern and the M.M. and D.M.A. in clarinet performance from Arizona State University, Tempe. His formal clarinet training includes studies with Harvey Moen, James Gai, and Robert Spring.
He was director of bands at Northern from 1991-2006. Previously, Dr. LaFave taught at Augustana College, Sioux Falls; Arizona State University, Tempe; Grand Canyon University, Phoenix; and Central High School, Aberdeen, S.D.
Dr. LaFave has performed with the Phoenix Bach Choir Orchestra, Quintessence, the Arizona Ballet Orchestra and the South Dakota Symphony, and was principal clarinet with the Arizona State University Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, and American Serenade Band. He also performed for three consecutive Northern Plains Clarinet symposiums in Grand Forks, N.D., and the Montana/Idaho Clarinet Symposium, Missoula, MT. He is in demand as a soloist throughout the upper Midwest and presented a solo performance for the 2000 International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest.
Dr. LaFave was named the 2000 South Dakota Outstanding Bandmaster of the Year by Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters Fraternity. In March 2002, the NSU Symphonic Band performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. In 2006, Dr. LaFave was elected to the American Bandmasters Association and received the Phi Beta Mu Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. LaFave maintains an active and vigorous schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and soloist throughout the United States and Canada. He has been a guest conductor, soloist, or clinician in Alaska, Arizona, Bahamas, Colorado, Iowa, Manitoba, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. He is the past president of the South Dakota Music Educators' Association. He has taught at the International Music Camp, International Peace Garden, N.D. and Yellowstone Music Camp, Powell, WY; and serves as the director of Rushmore National Music Camp, Keystone, SD.