Game days are always long for everyone involved with Badger football, and the Marching Band is no exception. Breakfast (often at Mickie’s Dairy Bar) occurs an hour before rehearsal. The band rehearses approximately four to five hours before kick-off. A pre-game concert is presented at Union South an hour before kick-off. At Camp Randall, the band performs pre-game, halftime, and the 5th Quarter. Finally, the band marches back to the Humanities Building where dismissal occurs.
The staff and drum major take their places above the band, while the members congregate in the area above the Humanities courtyard, outside the entrance to the Dvorak Gallery. Dismissal commences with the mellophone section leader calling out the names of the directors, teaching assistants, and the drum majors. All staff members are recognized by the band with a skyrocket. The team, fans, and the band are collectively recognized. The director offers a reflection upon the week, game day, and what lies ahead in coming weeks. The drum major then calls the band to attention and leads singing of “Varsity”. The drum major proceeds to motivate the band for upcoming weeks with a speech and a slogan. The band repeats the slogan and is finally dismissed.
The last dismissal of the year is especially touching. There is hardly a dry eye among the graduating seniors, having just marched their last game in Camp Randall Stadium. The graduating seniors join the staff and drum major above the band as the underclassmen recognize them with a special song and an emotional rendition of “Varsity.” The band is dismissed, while hugs and congratulations abound as graduating seniors bid farewell.