From “Build Me Up, Buttercup” to the “U-Rah-Rah” of “Varsity,” the UW Marching Band has been the heart of Badger spirit for generations — and the band’s director keeps that heart beating in time!

Join fellow Badgers and friends online for a live conversation and audience Q & A session with two titans of UW pride: Mike Leckrone and Corey Pompey. The program will be moderated by Sarah Schutt, executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. After the program, watch a special showing of PBS Wisconsin’s film Mike Leckrone: Wisconsin’s Showman.

The panel will feature:

Mike Leckrone served as director of the UW Marching Band and director of bands from 1969 to 2019. He established numerous traditions, including the Fifth Quarter, the “Bud Song,” and the band’s high-stepping marching style. Leckrone was recognized as an Outstanding Educator of America by the Outstanding Americans Foundation in 1970 and received the Outstanding Bandmaster Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of Phi Beta in 1973.

Corey Pompey became the Michael E. Leckrone Director of Athletic Bands and associate director of bands at UW–Madison in 2019. Previously, Pompey served as assistant professor of music, associate director of bands/director of athletic bands at the University of Nevada–Reno; assistant director of bands at Pennsylvania State University; and assistant instructor of university bands at the University of Texas at Austin. Pompey also taught in the public schools of Alabama for seven years prior to moving to Texas, where he earned his doctorate.

A recording of each livestream will be available on after the event.


For 50 years, Professor Michael Leckrone led the University of Wisconsin–Madison bands, providing the energy and school spirit for major sporting events, cultivating the lasting traditions of the annual Spring Varsity Band Concerts and inspiring generations of students who marched and performed under his direction.

Mike Leckrone: Wisconsin’s Showman takes us inside the life and work of the legendary band director, with interviews and reflections from Leckrone, band members and alumni, family, friends, fans, and more. From his arrival on Wisconsin’s Big Ten campus through the inception of the Fifth Quarter and onto his final curtain call at the Kohl Center, this documentary reveals the passion behind a talented composer, educator, mentor, and entertainer.

Speakers and schedule are subject to change.

This event is hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association® in partnership with PBS Wisconsin.