Tag Archives: Concerts

Q&A: Prof. Mike Leckrone, UW Varsity Band

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.

Leckrone flies in with a “jet pack” at the 2019 Varsity Band Spring Concert.

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!

Continue reading Q&A: Prof. Mike Leckrone, UW Varsity Band

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Have you ever wondered who makes those sounds emerge from the majestic bell tower on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus? In today’s Wisconsin Life sneak peek, meet Lyle Anderson, the school’s official carillonneur for more than 30 years and learn how he manages the tower’s 56 bronze bells to create beautiful music!

Don't Stop Believin'

Watch Independent Lens “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey” at 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Arnel PinedaWhat are the odds of being plucked from a YouTube video and thrown into stardom? Not very good. But every so often, someone with true talent is found mixed in with the millions of hours of video.

With a hundred hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it can be hard for anyone to get noticed. Most of the viral sensations find a niche in comedy or cuteness, rack up millions of views, enjoy their 15 minutes of fame and then fall by the wayside. Just imagine the surge of disbelief that would rush over you when a few videos posted online lead to a phone call and a job offer to be a rock star.

I guess it’s true what they say – with enough hard work and dedication, anything is possible. You just have to keep doing what you’re doing and of course, never stop believing.

Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert

Watch Great Performances “Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2013” at 8 p.m. Friday, August 16 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Vienna PhilharmonicIt makes me sad to think that August is already half over and the end of summer is fast approaching. It’s not just the inevitable cold weather that makes it sad, the end of summer also means the end of summer concerts. I can’t believe it has already been two weeks since the last Concerts on the Square here in Madison.

Luckily there are still many fine concerts and performances scheduled to air even after we’ve all given up on trying to enjoy the outdoors. It might not be the same experience to sit inside and watch these stellar performances on TV, but even with cheese and crackers and a bottle of wine, sitting out on the Capitol lawn for a live concert in the dead of winter doesn’t sound very enjoyable.

For now my goal is to make the most out of the weeks we have left and make it to as many concerts, fairs and state parks as possible. Then I suppose it will be time to start looking into what interesting programs will be coming out this fall to help pass the months of limited daylight. What exciting plans do you still have on your calendar? Any new shows you’re already looking forward to?

A Night to Remember

Watch The National Memorial Day Concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 26 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Memorial Day ConcertIt’s that time of year again. The long awaited three-day weekend filled with camping, grilling out and great music is finally here. But don’t let all of the summer fun keep you from remembering what the holiday is all about – Honoring our men and women in uniform. Not to worry, once again PBS will be bringing you the perfect opportunity to celebrate with people across the nation.

Don’t miss this spectacular annual event featuring an all-star lineup of artists held on the lawn of the White House. There aren’t many celebrations quite like this available all that often. A concert you can watch from the comfort of your own home with people all across the country for free? That’s practically unheard of nowadays. Enjoy!

The Final Forte

Watch Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14 on Wisconsin Public Television.

It’s competitions like these that always make me feel a little sad inside. I mean not really, but I do wish I would have learned to play an instrument when I was growing up. Sure I could play a few simple nursery rhymes on the piano, but the music bug never really latched on. I think my sister stole all of the musical talent in the family, so instead I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy other people’s musical skills.

Year after year I am amazed by these kids. The time and dedication they have to put into their respective instruments to perform at this level at such a young age is simply astounding. Kind of makes you wonder though – is it that doing something consistently starting at a young age makes you great at it? Or are some people just lucky enough to find their special niche and a very young age?

Don’t forget to check out each competitor’s bio and learn a little more about how they got to where they are today:
C. Andrew Dunlap

Christopher Eom
Lauren McNeel
Chloé Tula

A Night of Music

Enjoy a fantastic lineup of musical performances Saturday, March 9 on Wisconsin Public Television.

We’ll be bringing you great programs that you know and love all day Saturday, but I thought it might be nice to give you a little taste of things to come. For a full look at programming, you can check out our online schedule.

Magic Moments: The Best of '50s PopMagic Moments: The Best of ’50s Pop
6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9
Take a step back in time to celebrate some of the greatest pop hits of the ’50s with artists like Mel Carter, the Four Aces, the Chordettes, the Four Lads, Patti Page, Don Cherry and the Crew Cuts. What could be better than a trip down memory lane with some of your old favorites?

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll CircusThe Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus
8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9
Take a trip to London (in the 1960s) and sit back with some of the greats like the Stones, The Who, John Lennon and much much more. I have to say I’m not even that big of a fan of “old school” rock and roll. However, I’m very curious to see such a large production that was originally pulled from the BBC lineup for “substandard performance.” Only to have all of the footage collected over the years and put back together into what we have for you now.

The Doors Live at the Bowl '68The Doors Live at the Bowl ’68
10:00 p.m. Saturday, March 9
What more can I say? Sit back, relax, and enjoy the acclaimed performance of The Doors at the 1968 Hollywood Bowl with their hits “Light My Fire,” “Hello, I Love You” and “The End.”


New Year's Eve

Watch New Year’s Eve Specials starting at 7 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television.

The Joffery Ballet: Mavericks of American DanceIt’s that special time of year when you have the amazing opportunity to turn your couch into front row seats at some amazing performances. And as you know, there’s no better way to enjoy a great show on the holidays than from the comfort of your own home and at absolutely no cost to you.

I’m fairly certain that the last time I looked into buying tickets for a concert, they started at $72 and went up from there… not to mention “convenience fees.” I swear there used to be a lot more to do for a lot less, but it looks like the idea of ‘no free lunch’ is growing ever truer each day.

On the bright side, every once in a while we stumble upon a diamond in the rough and have the rare opportunity to enjoy a spectacular event 100% free of charge. Don’t miss your chance to sit back and enjoy these wonderful productions.

 7 p.m. Live from Lincoln Center “One Singular Sensation: Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch”

8:30 p.m. – American Masters “The Joffery Ballet: Mavericks of American Dance”

10:00 p.m. – Cirque Du Soleil – Flowers in the Desert

Music of the Movies

Watch Great Performances “Jackie Evancho: Music of the Movies” at 7 p.m. Monday, August 13 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Jackie EvanchoShe’s back! It’s been a year since we first brought you Jackie Evancho in concert with her debut album, “Dream with Me,” and now she’s back with yet another great performance.

Don’t miss her singing some of your favorite songs from the big screen… I for one can’t wait to hear a new version of Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. You’ll also get to see Jackie perform tracks from films like The Lion King, Titanic and Moulin Rouge to name a few. You can find a full listing of the songs here.

I can’t see the schedule another year in the future, but I think it’s safe to say we will be seeing more of Miss Evancho in the years to come. Her talent speaks for itself.

Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil’s

Watch Great Performances: “Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin” at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6 on Wisconsin Public Television.

I absolutely love classical music! I’ve always been a huge fan of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Moonlight Sonata. Not to say that I don’t also enjoy William Tell Overture and most of Mozart’s work as well. What I’ve found to be even better is classical music infused with something a little more modern. Now of course you can’t beat the classics when they are used properly in a movie or when you just want to sit around listening to some good music. However, when you’re going for concert quality, giving classical music a boost makes it even better.

Hands down, my favorite concert is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas concert. The classical ballads combined with rock is just an amazing sound – not to mention the amazing show they put on. I can only hope that Gustavo Dudamel and Herbie Hancock can create the same amazing type of sound when they blend classical music with jazz and a symphony orchestra.