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Moments of Happiness Book Cover

Moments of Happiness

Community Rooms 301 & 302

When Mike Leckrone retired as director of bands at the University of Wisconsin in 2019, he had served in that role for an astonishing fifty years. A brilliant showman, he became known for aerial entries and sequined outfits. He created the Fifth Quarter celebration that follows all home football games, removed barriers for women to march in the band, and established regular appearances at Camp Randall by special-needs high school musicians. Above all, Leckrone has always sought joy in life—which, along with his sixty-year love affair with his late wife, UW “band mom” Phyllis Leckrone, was perhaps the secret to his remarkable career. A consummate musician, as both a trumpeter and an arranger, Leckrone remains an outstanding raconteur—a talent beautifully on display in his long-awaited memoir. 

This book is the next best thing to sitting down with this master storyteller. Coauthor Doug Moe captures the joys of performing—whether at Camp Randall, in the Kohl Center, or along the Rose Bowl Parade route. Reading Leckrone’s story, one comes to understand the mix of discipline, showmanship, work ethic, warmth, toughness, wit, and musical skill that make him a Wisconsin treasure. Even for people who know Leckrone, Moments of Happiness details the stories behind the highlights and the unglamorous work that made his accomplishments possible. It both cements his legend and offers unprecedented insights into a career that will never be equaled.

Mike Leckrone

Mike Leckrone Author Photo

Mike Leckrone’s myriad civic, music, and academic recognitions include Outstanding Educator of America by the Outstanding Americans Foundation, Citation of Excellence by the National Band Association, John Bascom Professorship by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Hometown Hero Award by the Wisconsin State Assembly, and induction into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Football Hall of Fame.

Recent Book
Moments of Happiness

Doug Moe

Doug Moe headshot

Doug Moe is one of Wisconsin’s best-known journalists and nonfiction authors. A former editor of Madison Magazine, he wrote a daily newspaper column in Madison for two decades and has published more than a dozen books, including Tommy: My Journey of a Lifetime (a collaboration with Tommy G. Thompson) and The Right Thing to Do: Kit Saunders-Nordeen and the Rise of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Wisconsin and Beyond.