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The Wisconsin Band, officially known as the University of Wisconsin Varsity Band is the pep band for the Wisconsin Badgers. The Band is a large piece of Wisconsin Hockey history, adding a great deal to Wisconsin's lively atmosphere in both its current home, the Kohl Center, as well as the old Dane County Memorial Coliseum. The Band holds a special place in the hearts of Badger fans. In an era where piped-in music played over the public address system is more and more common (even in basketball games played in the Kohl Center), the only music heard during a hockey is game is the Varsity Band blaring out crowd favorities.
The selestion here only represents a small, but classic, portion of the Band's repetoire. The following are all external links:
On, Wisconsin! is the school's fight song, and is played several times during the game, after goals, and as the team comes out on the ice before periods.
Varsity, the school's Alma Mater, is quite a sight to see. Everyone in the arena stands and sings along, culminating with synchronized arm-waving at the end of the song. Varsity is traditionally played at the end of the 2nd intermission and after the game is over.
If You Want To Be A Badger is a catchy tune often heard during stoppages of play, telling fans "If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me...by the bright shiny light of the moon."
Hot Time is played just before the begining of each period. As the song speeds up, the students sway back and forth, faster and faster.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable songs from the UW Band, The Bud Song was adopted from an old Budweiser beer commercial. Fans asked the band to play a polka, but the Band didn't have any polkas in their music. They did, however, have the music for the Budweiser commercial. Band Director Mike Lecrone got the band to substitute "WIS-CON-SIN" for "BUD-WEIS-ER," and the legend was born. The song was first performed for university functions by the Varsity Band during the hockey season of 1972, but it was at the NCAA Championship in 1973 that the tune received its first great popular acceptance as it was played by the Band in the Boston Garden, in hotel lobbies, and in the streets of historic Boston. "When you've said WIS-CON-SIN, you've said it all!"
The Bud song has also spread to other schools. During the 1993 Frozen Four, held in the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Maine coach Shawn Walsh wanted to use the Wisconsin crowd to his advantage, since the Badgers had been eliminated from the tournament. It was suggested to him that the Maine band play the Bud Song to get the crowd on their side. The Maine Band practiced all night, and did indeed win the support of many Badger fans. The song was so catchy that the Maine Band has added their own words to the song, and play it as one of their own.