Since 1976, the Wisconsin Band has concluded their final home halftime show of the season in the same manner, with the On Wisconsin Finale. The music and the movements for this tradition stem from the finale of a production presented on November 17, 1973, which was entitled “The Band Goes Abroad.” Since then the band has used the arrangement as a musical signature. This selection is not only for the final home game, but also for a number of significant yearly events, including the Spring Concert.
The routine remains basically unchanged. While playing a maestoso version of On Wisconsin, the band moves into a series of vertical lines. On cue, the lines flow rapidly into the letters “ON WIS.” As the arrangement nears its conclusion, the musicians high-step toward the audience. There is a long drum roll and a knee bow as the public address announcer assures, “We never say goodbye, simply we’ll see you next year, and ON WISCONSIN!” The finale never fails to elicit a standing ovation from the partisan Badger crowd and a very emotional reaction from all the graduating seniors.