The UW Varsity Band performed an energetic, fun, and melodically magnificent concert at New London High School on Monday, March 4. The band kept the audience dancing, laughing, and singing along throughout the evening.
The Band, under the direction of Michael Leckrone, performed a program with selections from “Gone But Not Forgotten”, “William Told”, “Rock Band Revue”, “Rolling Stones”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Rock of Ages”, “Toon Tunes”, and several Kohl Center and Fifth Quarter classics. The concert opened with “On Wisconsin” and included “Songs to Thee Wisconsin”, “Varsity”, and “If You Want to be a Badger”.
Among the more popular selections were Kohl Center classics and Fifth Quarter selections. The UW Band fuels the raucous Badger fans to a high level of spirit and enthusiasm during games at the Kohl Center, and the Fifth Quarter has lifted spirits for over 30 years.
The Fifth Quarter is a phenomenon that knows no boundaries as it has stretched from sunny Florida to frigid northern states and from New York City to Pasadena. Each year, more and more fans have learned to celebrate with the UW Band, and have come to anticipate a lengthy post-game celebration.
Band members danced, sang, and shouted, “When you say Wisconsin you’ve said it all”, performed the “Chicken Dance”, and did the polka.
Michael Leckrone is the director of the marching band and director of bands at the University of Wisconsin. A native of Indiana, Leckrone received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Butler University in Indianapolis and has continued his studies at the doctoral level at Indiana University.
Before coming to Wisconsin, he taught at his alma mater, where he developed one of the finest marching bands in the Midwest. He is in constant demand as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator for concert and marching bands throughout the US and Canada, and his experience also includes considerable professional work as an arranger, composer and performer.
The UW Band was organized in 1885 under the direction of F.O. May, and since that time has established a most enviable reputation of performance. The band annually appears before thousands at Camp Randall Stadium and millions via national television, and has traveled extensively from coast to coast.
Wherever the appearances may be, the band receives widespread acclaim for its innovative shows, precise marching and playing style, and intense energy. The spirit of this famous unit is one of the keystones of the band’s success, and the band’s enthusiasm could be considered the embodiment of school spirit at Wisconsin.
In addition to the UW Marching Band, the five concert organizations perform formal concerts and tour throughout the state of Wisconsin and the Midwest. The Varsity Band – well known for their music and entertainment – makes appearances at all basketball games, hockey games, and other indoor events.
The Varsity Band concludes its very busy year at the annual spring concert where it regularly plays to 30,000 fans in three nights.
Several UW Band musicians with ties to the local area performed in New London on Monday night. They included New London’s Matt Karow and Justin Vanevenhoven; Greenville’s Monica Daane; Iola’s Joshua Sether; Seymour’s Joshua Rynish; Menasha’s Anthony Pyle; Neenah’s Jennifer Kehler; Oshkosh’s John Beck and Jennifer Deringer; and Appleton’s Steven Gruber, Amber Gordon, Christopher Jumes, Rachel Wenninger, William Huth, Andrew Schultz, Aaron Muhowski, Eric Nigh, and Owen Schneider.
To learn more about the UW Band, visit www.badgerband.com.