Photo gallery A special day for UW Marching Band fan
Badger Band superfans come in all ages and sizes — including the toddler variety. Thursday evening, 2½-year-old Ila Hellgren from Madison got a sneak peek of this weekend’s UW Varsity Band Spring Concert during a rehearsal at the Kohl Center. The special moment was made possible by Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, which learned of Ila’s enthusiasm for the UW Marching Band and reached out to director Corey Pompey, who eagerly made it happen. Ila is a liver transplant recipient who loves to “play marching band,” according to her parents, Jadon Scullion and Dana Hellgren. During Ila’s medical treatments, her father would take her for morning bike rides. They would park and watch the band practice —and Ila would pretend to march along. Thursday’s sneak peek of the band rehearsal is what Make-A-Wish calls a “Make-A-Wish boost” while Ila awaits her wish for a pontoon boat to come true.
Ila Hellgren, a 2 ½ year old marching band fan, watches the UW Varsity Band Spring Concert dress rehearsal in the Kohl Center.
Ila is a big fan of the marching band.
At left, Josh Richlen, drum major and tuba player, offers Ila a drum cover signed by all the members of the tuba section while Ila’s parents Jadon Scullion and Dana Hellgren look on.
The drum cover gifted to Ila was signed by members of the drum section.
Ila greets UW band director Corey Pompey at the dress rehearsal of the UW Varsity Band Spring Concert in the Kohl Center.
Ila wonders if her stuffed toy Bucky would fit in the sousaphone’s bell of Josh Richlen, drum major and tuba player.
Ila Hellgren, a 2 ½ year old marching band fan, watches the UW Band’s dress rehearsal.