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!
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.
Go behind the scenes at the Kohl Center with us to meet Tom Wopat – Lodi native, UW alumnus, Broadway actor, recording artist and star of The Dukes of Hazzard. Wopat was back in Wisconsin as a guest artist for the UW Varsity Band Spring Concert.
In this interview, he talks about his long career in show business, his love for the UW Band and his new work with Dukes co-star John Schneider.
Don’t miss Wopat’s performance with the UW Varsity Band during the premiere of the 2012 Spring Concert, “Oh What a Night!” at 7 p.m. Monday, May 7 on WPT!