We spent Saturday with Steve, his wife Amy, and their kids, chasing the band around on game day. After breakfast at Mickey’s Dairy Bar, a place where band members gathered to eat before the 6:30 am Saturday game day band practices, we went to Union South for a brief, and crowded, concert. The city really comes alive for football games, and even when the Badgers weren’t winning games, hordes of people come out to tailgate and listen to the band. We followed the band to the stadium and made it to our seats in time to watch pregame. The UW Band pregame is fun, and exciting, and an incredible display of endurance.
During half time, my band director was inducted into the UW Athletic Hall of Fame. Leckrone has been the director for 49 years, and is living proof that 80 is the new 20. When the game was done, we stuck around to watch the band perform 5th Quarter – a show that many stay to watch. They don’t just stand there and play on the field; they dance, play leap frog, serenade the student section – it’s crazy. One of my favorite memories was being a part of the first UW Band to march at Lambeau Field. The entire crowd stayed at the Packers’ stadium throughout 5th Quarter, and the crowd sang along so loud I couldn’t even hear myself play. It was a rush, to say the least.