Over his 50-year career leading the University of Wisconsin Bands, Prof. Mike Leckrone has often spoken of “moments of happiness” – the peaks in life that make the valleys easier to bear. He’s had many of those moments at Camp Randall Stadium and the Kohl Center.
So it’s fitting that “Moments of Happiness” is the title of his final Varsity Band Spring Concert.
Watch the legendary Leckrone take his final bow at the Kohl Center 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 on WPT, with game day favorites, the best of popular and musical theater standards and (as always) many surprises.
Leckrone took time out of his still-busy schedule to speak with us. Read his reflections – including just what he plans to do after stepping down – in our Q&A below!
Yes, that is rock legend and former lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May and yes, he is cradling a curled-up hedgehog. Featured in a new documentary hosted by British naturalist Steven Backshall (pictured at right), Meet the Hedgehogs uncovers the secretive life of the world’s most popular spiny mammal and reveals current efforts to protect them. Meet the Hedgehogs premieres on WPT Sunday, April 7 at 6 p.m.
Portraits From Rural Wisconsin premieres 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11 on Wisconsin Public Television. Through a series of interwoven personal essays, see why some western Wisconsin residents still say that “rural life is the best life” – even in the face of hardship and change.
Producer/reporter Andy Soth, whose work has appeared on Here & Now, WisContext and Wisconsin Life (among others), spoke to us about the multi-year process that has brought these unique visual essays to life.
From his home base in Marinette, writer, director and comedian Pete Schwaba remains connected to the independent film community as host of Director’s Cut, as well as introducing documentaries shown on Independent Lens and POV.
Each year, the Director’s Cut season kicks off with a preview of the Wisconsin Film Festival. Join Schwaba and special guests – festival organizers and filmmakers – 9 p.m. Monday, April 1 on WPT to discuss some of the great offerings in store. Then, come on down to the fest itself from April 4-11, where Schwaba presents the Golden Badger Awards to the best of Wisconsin’s Own films.
Schwaba spoke with us to share some of his favorite indie film picks from past seasons, and what he loves about public TV. Read on!
What is it about Joni Mitchell that connects so deeply with audiences? Perhaps it’s because her songs can express things within ourselves that we sometimes struggle to put into words. We listen to her music and we understand. Whatever quality it is that grants a sense of clarity on both reality and the imaginary, Joni’s got it.
The daughter of a Canadian school teacher and flight instructor, her journey from the prairies of Saskatchewan to the hills of Laurel Canyon produced some of the 20th century’s greatest music.
Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club is a documentary premiering 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14 on Wisconsin Public Television.
The documentary explores the cultural and historical events that shaped supper club culture in the badger state. Current supper club owners and patrons discuss the institution’s past and imagine its future.
Filmmaker and WPT history producer Holly De Ruyter sat down with us to talk about the documentary.
Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’ is a new television special with an old twist.
In the program, premiering 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 on Wisconsin Public Television, celebrated Wisconsin author and humorist Michael Perry looks back on his Clodhopper tales of life in Wisconsin with an eye toward the ways his stories of the past connect us to the future. Checking in from north of Wisconsin’s Highway 64, Perry reflects on the people and places that shaped his life, while sharing stories relatable to every Wisconsinite.
Laurie Gorman and Grant Fenster, co-producers of Michael Perry: How Ya Doin’, sat down with us to discuss the upcoming special.
Read on to learn more from the people who put this new program together!