The Wisconsin School Music Association Marching Band Hall of Fame is intended to recognize the contributions made by individuals to the marching activity in Wisconsin and is open to any person that has made a significant contribution.
Nominations will accepted for the 2023 Marching Band Hall of Fame during April. Additional information and nomination form can be found here.
2022 Hall of Fame Inductee: LeRoy Lee
LeRoy Lee has been a prominent advocate for the marching arts in Wisconsin for over 30 years. In that span, he established two of the most successful marching band programs in the state, positively influencing countless students, educators and community members along the way.
Under his direction, the River Falls High School Marching Band won the inaugural Class AA WSMA State Marching Band Championships in 1985; this began the incredible streak of 35 consecutive years of participation, the only band in the state to hold such a distinction. River Falls High School Marching Band would win an additional 10 championships in that span.
Lee’s marching experience began at Westby High School. Following graduation, he would continue his education at UW-Eau Claire. After completing his degree, Lee started teaching at the Prairie Farm School District in 1961, moving on to New Richmond High School two years later. While at New Richmond, Lee put together a parade band that would travel across Wisconsin and Minnesota winning several sweepstake circuits and championship parades. In 1976, the New Richmond High School Marching Band represented the state of Wisconsin in the Inauguration Parade of President Jimmy Carter. The band was also invited to perform at Arlington National Cemetery, one of only a few high school bands to ever do so.
In 1980, Lee began his tenure at River Falls High School. It was there that he rose to prominence as an outstanding field show designer. His cutting edge musical arrangements combined with an award-winning percussion section quickly defined the River Falls style that would lead them to success for over two decades. Under his leadership, the River Falls High School Marching Band performed at the Frontier Days in Wyoming, the Red Rock Theatre inColorado, the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona, Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota, and hundreds of local parades and festivals throughout the Midwest. Additionally, the band performed for the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis, and on Wisconsin Public Radio.
Lee was a WSMA adjudicator for over 30 years and an enthusiastic supporter of WSMA programming. During his tenure, several River Falls students successfully participated in the WSMA State Honors Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Ensembles. Lee was an active member of Wisconsin Music Educators Association and Saint Croix Valley Music Association.
Described as thoughtful and gracious, Lee left a lasting legacy in the state of Wisconsin through his advocacy for students’ music education and commitment to the WSMA state marching band program. LeRoy Lee always gave credit to his students for the successes that came his way, including this honor of being named into the Marching Band Hall of Fame.