History producer Holly De Ruyter is the producer of a documentary about UW Varsity Band director Prof. Mike Leckrone that will air later this year. She also produced Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club, airing 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4. (WPT Passport members can also watch online!)
Holly is newer to WPT, joining the station last November, but she’s a longtime lover of public television. (Who isn’t?) Here are some of her top public TV picks, along with some reflections on her craft.
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!
Band member Tommy Johnson – who snapped the selfie below in the middle of his drum solo this past weekend – sure seems to be!
The best part about this year’s show? You can watch it anywhere! Watch the big 40th Anniversary program – with guest appearances from Tom Wopat and Conan band member (and Badger Band favorite) Mark Pender on air in WPT’s viewing area or streaming online from anywhere at this link. Band director Mike Leckrone – and a few special surprise guests – will be joining us in studio during the show to talk about all of the fun!
Want more Band show fun? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to meet Leckrone in a new Wisconsin Life segment and watch backstage interviews with Wopat and Pender from their last visits to the Badger Band show.
The theme of this year’s concert (performed live April 18-20 at the Kohl Center in Madison) is “Any Dream Will Do” as the concert features scenes and musical selections from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” performed by vocalist Ariana Douglas and the Madison Youth Choirs.
Also sharing the stage with Mike Leckrone and the UW Varsity Band are tuba player Nat McIntosh, a co-founder of the Young Blood Brass Band, and trumpeter Grant Manhart who has toured with Buddy Rich, Rita Moreno and Tito Puente.
Other highlights from the concert include a medley of ’80s hair band anthems from the hit musical “Rock of Ages.” Plus the band pays tribute to 50 years of music from The Rolling Stones with renditions of “Satisfaction,” “Ruby Tuesday” and more hits.
And finally, it wouldn’t be a UW Varsity Band Concert without a high-flying entrance from the director himself. Last year Leckrone flew in on a tricycle… tune in to find out how he tops that in 2013?
See all that, plus beloved Fifth Quarter favorites, during Wisconsin Public Television’s coverage of the UW Varsity Band Show 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4.