This past Sunday afternoon approximately 700 people were entertained by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Marching Band, which performed for 90 minutes in the Lancaster High School Gymnasium.
For a few of those in the band, the event allowed them to perform for family and friends, watching their reaction probably as much as they were being watched.
“It was awesome to see all the familiar faces in crowd,” said Ryan Ingebritsen, son of Herald Independent Publisher John Ingebritsen, who organized the event and brought the band to Lancaster. Ryan had numerous members of his family in the crowd, as well as numerous friends in the seats.
Ryan took pride that the Lancaster crowd was one of the bigger ones that the band has performed in front during their community concert series - they perform in communities across the state between February and April. He said they were fresh and lively, and he really felt support from them when performing.
“It was more exciting because i knew a bunch of people,” noted Platteville native Anna Musarra. “it is definitely more fun playing in front a crowd where you know people.”
Anna took a lot of pride in being able to perform for a number of people she went to high school with, and really enjoyed being able to play what they typically do during the ‘Fifth Quarter’ after Badger Football games. “It was really nice to show people what I get to be a part of.”
What Anna also enjoyed was seeing band director Mike Leckrone out there. Leckrone had been sidelined after surgery, and performances this past weekend were his first in months. “I really like Mike interacting with the crowd,” Anna said. “He just has so much fun with the crowd,” she said, noting he was his same old self,” it was fun to see.”
Mackenzie Sullizan of Hillsboro spent much of her time while performing, looking at her grandmothers, who were able to see her perform for the first time as they are not able to go to concerts further away or with larger crowds.
“I would keep looking over the trombones,” Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie saw a large number of friends and family at the Lancaster show, and felt “this is like my hometown.”
Dani Wetter, a trombone player from Dodgeville, also had family in the crowd. Her mom and dad, Kate and Mike, are both originally from Lancaster and came back for the show. Kate is the daughter of the late Vanda Vorwald. Several of her relatives were in the audience as well.
The response to the show has been overwhelmingly positive “I have had so many people this week thanking me for bringing the band to Lancaster,” said Ingebritsen. “Mr. Leckrone said he hoped to see the audience again, maybe in Lancaster next year, maybe at the Kohl Center for the spring concert later in April and he wished for one more trip with the band to Pasadena (for the Rose Bowl).”
Sue Musarra and Kate Wetter helped sell tickets in Platteville and Dodgeville and are excited about the possibility of future shows in their communities as well. “It’s been more than 30 years since the band has been in southwestern Wisconsin,” said Ingebritsen. “I don’t think it will be that long again before their next visit.” Musarra is already looking at the schedule for a show in the Platteville High School for next year.