UW Varsity Band Concert at Kohl Center April 18-20

March 27, 2013

Photo: UW Varsity Band in concert

The 2013 edition of the UW Varsity Band Concert, conducted by Mike Leckrone, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 18-20 at the Kohl Center.

Photo: UW Bands/Gary Smith

The 2013 edition of the UW Varsity Band Concert will be bigger and better than ever, says conductor Mike Leckrone, who promises handclapping Badger favorites, multimedia displays, dramatic pyrotechnics, and aerial stunts performed by Leckrone himself.

Graphic: cartoon Bucky Badger in band uniform


“It’s like an indoor Fifth Quarter,” he says. “We have plenty of room this year, and we want all Badger fans to help us celebrate.”

Special guests at the concert, being performed April 18-20 at the Kohl Center, will be tuba player Nat McIntosh, co-founder of the Young Blood Brass Band, an eight-piece brass and drum ensemble that’s based in the tradition of a New-Orleans-style band, and who studied tuba performance at the UW; and trumpet player Grant Manhart, who’s toured with Buddy Rich, Rita Moreno, Tito Puente, and many others. Manhart, who currently teaches at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., where he runs a trumpet ensemble, is a frequent guest at Varsity Band concerts.

The event will feature a salute to 50 years of The Rolling Stones, and an adaptation of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Leckrone and his 300-plus student musicians will also recall highlights from the Badger sports season, especially men’s basketball and the Rose Bowl.

“Never mind what else happened in Pasadena,” says Leckrone. “The band won!”

On the football field, it’s the Marching Band. When not marching, at Kohl Center hockey and basketball, it’s called the Varsity Band. The organization was formed during the 1885-86 school year. During its first seasons it had only around a dozen musicians. Leckrone has been the director since 1969, and his annual spring Varsity Band concerts began in 1975.

The 2013 concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 18-20 at the Kohl Center. Tickets are $22 each, with a special price on Thursday only of $17 for groups of eight or more and UW students. UW residence hall groups of 15 or more can order Thursday tickets for $10. For reservations or ticket information, visit the Marching Band website or phone 608-265-4120.

The event is made possible by sponsors including Robert W. Baird & Company, The University Book Store, WSUM-FM student radio, WISC-TV and Channel 3000.

—Jay Rath