The Wisconsin Marching Band and Varsity Band play an important role in the excitement of Badger athletics, the vitality of the Madison campus, and the pride of Wisconsin alumni and fans across the state and throughout the country. Most people are surprised to learn that the University of Wisconsin-Madison does not provide funds to meet the cost of such critical items as new instruments and uniforms, which are not a part of the Band’s annual budget. Outside of contributions, the only money available is generated by the Band’s own activities and is used to meet the costs of daily operations.
However, the lack of institutional dollars is understandable. Current Director of Bands Mike Leckrone, like his predecessor Ray Dvorak, is a professor in the School of Music. Thus, the Band program is part of the School, which must direct its own limited resources to programs for music majors – but few UW Band members are music majors. During the 2007-2008 year, for example, only three of the students in the Marching Band were music majors.
Thus private support is essential for keeping performance quality, showmanship, and energy at the high levels that audiences have always enjoyed from Mike Leckrone and the talented, hard working UW-Madison students who play under his direction. The UW Foundation manages two primary funds for the Varsity Band and the Marching Band – the UW Band Endowment Fund and the Marching Band Fund. Click here to donate!