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Dan Clark, far left in the back row, poses with a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison bandmates in front of the Rose Bowl gates in Pasadena, Calif., earlier this month. Clark, a 2011 Delavan-Darien High School graduate, is hoping he'll be among the 100-some members of the UW Varsity Band to perform at a Jan. 27 concert at DDHS. Photo submitted.
DELAVAN — They warmed up with a third consecutive appearance in the Tournament of Roses parade and performed at halftime of the University of Wisconsin’s Rose Bowl game loss to Stanford.
More than 100 members of the UW Varsity Band who rocked the folks in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day are bringing their talents to Delavan-Darien High School.
One of the best collegiate bands in the country will play in the dome at DDHS at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 (see accompanying graphic).
And two former Comets will be enjoying a homecoming.
Dan Clark and Meghan Smith graduated from Delavan-Darien in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and whether they are chosen — from a group that numbers more than 300 total — to perform in their old stomping grounds or not, they are planning to attend what they say will be a wonderful experience.
However, they’re still trying to come down from their emotional and memorable holiday trip to the West Coast.
“It really was awesome, an experience of a lifetime for me,” said Clark, a trumpet player and sophomore computer science major. “I was a little nervous before (the halftime show) but not as much as I could have been. But the crowd cheered so loudly … it was fabulous. We have around 315 band members, but somewhere between 220 and 260 actually get on the field. We have 118 trumpet players, and about 80 of us played at halftime.”
Smith, a freshman sousaphone player, didn’t get to perform during halftime, but she did march with her musical brethren during the morning parade.
“It was cool,” said Smith, who also has played trombone, baritone and bass guitar. “It was something special because of the hills and the sunshine and all of those people watching and being so excited. So I got to do everything but be in the halftime show.”
Smith and Clark, who has played piano since he was in first or second grade, are hoping to display their skills in front of family and friends. And there should be plenty of them in attendance for a rare small-town performance.
“I’m a UW grad, and Bill (Clark) is a UW grad, so selfishly this is a special treat for us to have the Varsity Band coming to Delavan,” said DDHS band booster club member and event organizer Mike Ettner. “Bill and Pam (Clark) brought the idea up at one of our meetings, so it was their brainchild. But we worked out all of the particulars and locked in the contract about a month or so ago.”
Ettner’s son, Christopher, is a 2012 DDHS graduate currently attending Carthage College and his son, Ryan, is a junior in high school, and both have been involved with band and choir.
So, he said that even though the event is a fundraiser, it’s much more than that.
See them live
-- What: UW Varsity Band performance
-- When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27 (doors open at 1 p.m.)
-- Where: Delavan-Darien High School, 150 Cummings St., Delavan
-- How much: Tickets cost $10 each and $5 for DDHS and Phoenix Middle School students. All tickets are general admission.
-- Get tickets: Buy tickets at Piggly Wiggly stores in Delavan and Lake Geneva, Sentry Foods in Walworth, Breber Music in Elkhorn,