Alumni Impact Made in Madison

Arrowhead Instrumentalist Make Plays at Camp Randall


As another home game comes to an end, the University of Wisconsin Marching Band prepares to take the field for what anxious student's and seasoned guests have been looking "forward" to all afternoon, The Fifth Quarter. You will not see the names of these band members in the program or on the back of their uniforms, but on this day, Arrowhead High School Alumni make a statement and if you look real close, you might just recognize ten of them!

It has not always been this way, during the 2006-07 school year, only one University of Wisconsin-Madison Marching Band member listed Arrowhead High School as his alma mater. Today, that number has grown tenfold - with four members from the Class of 2007 (Elizabeth Conlon, David Nebel, Bryan Reuter and Justin Sattler), five from the Class of 2009 (Gigi Anton, Ryan McElhinny, Dylan Rounds, Shannon Sattler and Clayton Smith) and one from the Class of 2010 (Paige Bostrom). This statistic makes Arrowhead one of the best represented high schools in the UW Marching Band.

The "Arrowhead dectet" represents several sections in the marching band, with Conlon (cymbals), McElhinny (snare), Reuter (snare) and Smith (bass) on percussion; Nebel and Justin Sattler on trombone; Rounds and Shannon Sattler on mellophone (marching French horn); and Anton and Bostrom on trumpet. Plus, some of these Arrowhead graduates recently accepted leadership roles, with Justin and Shannon Sattler both serving as rank leaders.

One common thread about these UW Band members is that all of them participated in at least one UW Band Day as Arrowhead Marching Band members. Only high schools with alumni in the UW Marching are invited to attend UW Band Day - an event that has inspired many high school students to try out for the UW Marching Band.

Here's what these Arrowhead High School alumni have to say about the UW Marching Band. "The UW Marching Band combines several things I love: attending sporting (football, basketball, hockey and volleyball) events, performing a physically strenuous activity, and making music," explained four-year member Justin Sattler. "My most memorable moments in the marching band have taken place on Lambeau Field; I have supremely enjoyed being close to several Packers players (by far my favorite sports team) and amplifying the atmosphere in Lambeau Field."

Reuter, a three-year member, said, "When I started thinking about colleges to apply to, I knew right away I wanted to go to UW-Madison. As far as joining the band, I knew I wanted to continue on in music but also join in something which I've identified with all my life". My most memorable experience was marching in the Champs Sports Bowl (Orlando, Fla.) this past winter. It was the culmination of an entire year's worth of work and we had no more than 15 total minutes on the field to showcase what we do for a different and unique crowd. The energy was amazing and the shows were nearly perfect. I really enjoy the response that we get throughout the state and even outside of the state when we travel. I feel like this band means a lot to people in Wisconsin and that stems from the amount of dedication required from its members. The physicality and mental toughness needed is unique to the Wisconsin band and it's a completely different challenge from anything I've ever experienced. There is a respect and camaraderie among currents members, alumni and the fans that is extremely strong and one of a kind.

Collectively, the other Arrowhead percussionists stated that they tried out for the UW Marching Band because others told them they couldn't "have it." Earning a spot in the percussion section is extremely competitive. Upper classmen "hassle" freshmen during registration week, teasing them that they really don't want to be a member and they can't have a spot.

Shannon Sattler, the 2007 and 2008 Arrowhead drum major, strives to follow a motto that UW Marching Band Director Michael Leckrone often delivers, "All it takes is all you got."

"I was inspired to try out for the UW Marching Band after I went to a Badger game the fall of my senior year of high school and the Varsity Concert at the Kohl Center in the spring," said Bostrom. "I knew that I wanted to continue with music after high school, but concert band was never really my thing. I worked out every day this past summer and practiced marching with some Arrowhead grads that were already members of the band. Registration week was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I kept pushing myself and I am now a full member of the Badger Band. Practice is hard work and requires a lot of time; energy and sweat go into every performance. I haven't been in the band long, but my most memorable band experience was definitely my first game day. Game day is so different than practice. Playing in front of the entire Camp Randall crowd where you're completely surrounded by thousands of fans is truly an amazing experience. My first game day was awesome. The weather was gorgeous and my rank was a ton of fun. I traveled through Camp Randall to play for fans in the stands, and I got to play during fifth quarter. To top it all off, the Badgers won! I'm so glad I'm in the marching band. It's a great group of people and a great workout.

In addition to marching band, many of these Arrowhead alumni are members of the UW Varsity Band, which performs concerts throughout the state during the spring semester. The season's climax is when the band plays in the Kohl Center for its spring concerts. Next year's concerts are April 14, 15 and 16.

To learn more about the UW bands, band tryouts and concert dates, visit Badger Band. Also, you can find photos of these Arrowhead graduates on the Badger Band web site.