The Sunday after the last regular season football game marks the annual Band Banquet. Edson W. Morphy started this tradition during the 1927-28 school year. The banquet allows the band members to look back at the marching season, swap stories, and celebrate a job well done.
Dress for the banquet is formal, yet skyrockets fly and the percussion section performs cadences with dinnerware. The banquet has been held at various venues on and off campus. For many years the banquet was held at Great Hall in Memorial Union where fudge-bottom pie was the big hit. In recent years the banquet has been held at the The Madison Concourse Hotel and The Edgewater.
After dessert, time is taken to reflect upon the season and honor the students. First-year members receive a hearty “thank you.” Second-year members receive a band letter. Third-year members receive a band lapel pin. Fourth-year members receive the much coveted band blanket, and the fifth-year members are awarded a beautiful scroll. Individual awards are also presented. These include the Steve Singel Award, the Custer Awards, the “Most Valuable Percussionist”, and the Karl Strieby Award. These awards are given to students who give outstanding effort all year long and represent the spirit of the Badger Band. After viewing a slideshow of the past season, the banquet traditionally ends with an emotional rendition of “Varsity” because for many graduating seniors, this is the last time they will experience the camaraderie of the band.