The Sunday after the last football game at Camp Randall Stadium marks the annual Band Banquet. Edson W. Morphy started this tradition during the 1927-28 school year. The banquet allows the band members to look back at the marching season that was, swap stories, and celebrate a job well done.
The banquet itself is a formal, yet informal affair. The dress is formal, yet skyrockets fly all over the room and the percussion section performs cadences with plates and silverware. The banquet has been held at various venues on and off campus. For many years the banquet was held at Great Hall in Memorial Union where fudge-bottom pie was the big hit. In recent years the banquet has been held at the Concourse and Edgewater Hotels.
After dessert, time is taken to reflect upon the season and also honor the lifeblood of the band: the students. First-year members receive nothing except a hearty “Thank You.” Second-year members receive a band letter. Third-year members receive a band lapel pin. Fourth-year members receive the much coveted band blanket, and the fifth-year members are awarded a beautiful scroll. Individual awards are also presented. These awards include the Steve Singel Award, the Custer Awards, the Most Valuable Percussionists, and the Karl Strieby Award. These awards are given to students who give outstanding effort all year long and represent the spirit of the Wisconsin Band. After viewing a slideshow of the past season, the banquet traditionally ends with an emotional rendition of Varsity because for many graduating seniors, this is the last time they will experience the camaraderie of the Wisconsin Band.