There are many great college marching bands in the country, and many college marching band directors, but there is only one Michael Leckrone.
The 78 year old has been the director of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band since 1969. In 1975, Leckrone created the Varsity Band’s Annual Spring Concert, which was only attended by 450 spectators in its first year.
That number has increased dramatically since then. The annual concert now draws more than 25,000 concertgoers per year who flock to see Leckrone enter the arena in some of the most creative ways.
Like the time he flew into the concert hall riding a sousaphone/bicycle contraption that looks like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
He also exploded out of a huge cake for his 40-year anniversary.
And even flew in between exploding fireworks during a rendition of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”.
Leckrone failed to disappoint this year when he entered the stage like the Wizard of Oz himself.
In honor of braving exploding fireballs and flying contraptions, we raise a glass to you Mike. May you glide gracefully into concert halls for years to come.