UW Marching Band seamstress plans to retire with Mike Leckrone

BEAVER DAM, Wis. (WMTV) -- After 50 years, UW Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone led the band for the last time at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday. As he prepares to retire, so does the band’s seamstress. Lois Levenhagen has kept the band looking sharp since 1991.

"Ya know the shenanigans in fifth quarter, they bust the crotches out or wearing out knees, ya know, I had to fix all that," said Levenhagen.

It all started when Levenhagen’s daughter was in the band. She came home and shared that Leckrone was looking for someone to help hem pants. Levenhagen agreed to help with the hemming and said Leckrone asked her to create a new sequin vest after a spring concert in 1991. She had never worked with sequins.

"I figured it out and I've been doing it now for 27 years." Said Levenhagen.

Years of memorable outfits have since been created in her Beaver Dam basement.

"My heart just flutters the first time he steps out and has it on," said Levenhagen. "Usually, with his costumes, I usually don't find that out until maybe a month to six weeks before the show."

Assistant Director of Bands Darin Olsen said the band does not have a new seamstress in place for the next school year. Levenhagen said she’d be happy to help train in the band’s next seamstress.

"I've been doing this for 27 years with Mike, time to step aside too, ya know?” said Levenhagen.

Levenhagen said even though she is retiring from working with the band, she will continue teaching sewing classes and sewing for the Beaver Dam Area Community Theater and her church.

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