The Good Neighbor Festival Board of Trustees is honored to announce that Michael Leckrone, retiring director of the Marching Band and Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin – and a long-time Middleton resident – has accepted the role of Parade Marshal for the 2019 Good Neighbor Festival. Leckrone will lead over 100 entries during the August 25th parade through the streets of downtown Middleton.
Leckrone holds memberships in numerous professional organizations, as well as several honorary fraternities. In 2007, he was presented with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music (this was only the second time this preeminent award had been conferred), and in 2010 the Wisconsin State Historical society presented him with the “Spencer Tracy Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts”, and in 2013 the Madison Area Music Association named him the recipient of the Michael St. John Lifetime Achievement Award.
Leckrone retires this year after 50 years as Director of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. He has had a remarkable career, and has served as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator for concert and marching bands throughout the United States and Canada. His experience also includes considerable professional work as an arranger, composer and performer.
This will be Leckrone’s second time leading the Good Neighbor Festival parade. The first time was in 1983, as part of the Festival’s Music! Music! Music! theme. That year, Leckrone was parade marshal along with the band directors of Middleton High School and Kromrey Middle School – Vern Pieper and Lois Gurske.
The Festival’s annual parade will be held on Sunday, August 25th at noon on University Avenue and Parmenter Street. Get there early and get a good spot to see Michael and over 100 entertaining entries. This year’s theme is “Superhero City- Celebrating Those Serve”. The public and a panel of judges select entries for awards based on how well they express the theme.
Leckrone has composed or arranged music for numerous high school and university bands, and over 200 of his arrangements and compositions for marching band and concert band have been published. He is also the author of two texts for use by marching band directors, a handbook for band arranging and a text dealing with popular music in the United States.