The University of Wisconsin Varsity Band Concert was held on April 19-21 at the Kohl Center, playing to its usual exuberant and participative audience. As in past years, Band Director Mike Leckrone made his “not so typical” entrance on stage this year – flying through the air on a jet-powered tricycle to much applause.
Titled “Oh, What a Night,” the performance celebrated the conclusion of a season of “firsts”… a season full of thrills… a season full of surprises… and a season filled with “moments of happiness.” It began with a televised night football game against UNLV and victory for the Badgers. In September the band made the first of three appearances in an NFL stadium at Soldier Field as the Badgers overpowered Northern Illinois. Continuing into October, Wisconsin initiated Nebraska into the Big Ten with an electrifying win in Camp Randall to make the Badgers contenders, and that was capped in November by a win over Penn State before a triumph in the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game. The band was there celebrating with fellow alums and the Big Ten Champs.
That victory led to back-to-back appearances at the Rose Bowl, with performances in Disneyland and an electrifying pep rally at the Santa Monica Pier. Although the Badgers didn’t win the game, the Badger faithful and the band were still celebrating… and the Rose Bowl once again belonged to them.
Many thanks to fellow Wisconsinites Tom Wopat, Dave Jones and Gregory Brumfeld, along with third-year bachelor of music undergraduate student Ariana Douglas, members of Four Seasons Theatre, The MadHatters and Gymfinity for sharing their singing and performing talents with an engaged Kohl Center audience. On Wisconsin!