Exploring Madison's Music Scene
Jul 9, 2013
09:41 AM
Local Sounds

Inspiring and Exciting 10th Annual Madison Area Music Awards

Inspiring and Exciting 10th Annual Madison Area Music Awards

Photo by Bob Wydra

Mitch Henck sings 'Happy Birthday' to the MAMAs. See more photos from the awards show in the slideshow below.

The Capitol Theater was nearly packed on Sunday, June 23, with over 800 people on hand as the Madison Area Music Association presented the 10th annual Madison Area Music Awards. The MAMAs, as they are known, raise money for youth music programs and also provide musical instruments for Madison-area youths.

There were highlights aplenty beginning with the red carpet celebration in the rotunda of the Overture Center. Local Sounds and Red Dragon TV were broadcasting as a pay-per-view over the Internet, interviewing attendees and nominees as they made their entrances.

While the MAMAs handed out ninety-four trophies over the course of its two-and-a-half hour program, it was the special presentations that provided some poignant and even humorous moments. Several artists were honored in the tribute segment of the program and one of those, Marques Bovre, was honored with the first-ever Songwriter Recognition Award. Bovre’s wife Terese accepted the award on his behalf. The late Paulie Heenan was also voted Live Sound Engineer of the Year. His parents made a moving acceptance and were then presented with a $500 donation from the MAMAs to Pauile’s Gift, a foundation that also supports music education programs through the Fender Foundation. It’s safe to say there were more than a few tears flowing both in front of the house and backstage.

The tears were replaced by laughter a short time later when UW Band Director Mike Leckrone was presented with the Michael St. John Lifetime Achievement Award. Entering from the rear of the theater, Leckrone tossed UW swag out to the crowd while about a dozen UW Band alumni serenaded him with “On Wisconsin.” Mitch Henck did the honors of making the presentation to Leckrone who then followed with a brief acceptance speech littered with humorous anecdotes. Henck also opened the show by leading the audience in singing “Happy Birthday” in celebration of the MAMAs’s ten-year anniversary, complete with birthday cake.

Highlighting its mission, the MAMAs brought out several youths who were recognized with awards in several categories. Heid Music followed that up with the recognition of the 1st Chair recipients. “1st Chair” is a program sponsored by Heid along with the MAMAs and WISC-TV3 and is similar to the popular “Top-Notch Teachers” program. The Student of the Year Award was presented to Mt. Horeb’s Emily Hefty and the Teacher of the Year was presented to Steve Sveum from Sun Prairie High School.

The Jimmys took home the coveted Artist of the Year Award, which includes a full day of recording from Paradyme Productions. The Jimmys were the big winners overall with six awards including instrumental honors in several categories. The Family Business dominated the rock categories winning for Album, Song and Performer of the Year. The New Artist of the Year went to Phox, who also won in multiple categories, including wins for both of their albums released in 2012.

If all that wasn’t enough, over 120 performers took the stage throughout the evening, putting the diversity of Madison music fully on display. High school rock band the Daze followed up Mitch Henck’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” by cranking out a furious version of the Beatles’ “Birthday” before launching into one of their own songs. Kicksville proved that theater and rock music still have a working relationship; their eighteen-piece ensemble was augmented by a red-suited gentleman in a pig nose planting a sloppy kiss on the leading lady. Anna Vogelzang delivered a beautiful folk song while playing banjo. Ladies Must Swing displayed the full-force of their all-female big band out for everyone to see. 1st Chair winner and UW Youth Orchestra founder and conductor Mikko Utevsky wowed the crowd with a magnificently poised solo viola performance. Tefman represented hip-hop, and his performance segued into what had to be the most impressive MAMA performance to date, Anthony Lamarr. His award-winning song “Elevation” included a fully choreographed dance sequence complete with choir robes, a truly monumental effort. That wasn’t the only dancing either as Mike Massey and his crack band presented a medley from the very successful Dracula: A Rock Ballet. Marguerite Luksik came on to give a thoroughly entertaining modern ballet performance while the band cranked it out. The show ended on an uplifting note with Tani Diakite and the Afrofunkstars demonstrating their prowess and their unique Malian sound.

For a full list of the winners click here.

A full photo gallery is still being assembled but you can see a plethora of fine photos by visiting the Bob Wydra Photography Facebook Page.

The MAMAs rely solely on community support. If you’d like to make a donation, visit the web page and click on the “Donate” button.

Photos by Bob Wydra.

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About This Blog

Rick Tvedt has been a performing musician since the age of eight and had regional success with local band The And. He has also been a solo performer and was a member of the Sled Dogs. He launched the monthly local music newspaper Rick’s Café in January of 2003, which is now publishing online as Local Sounds Magazine. That same year he founded the Madison Area Music Association, a charitable organization that raises money to fund music programs for kids and provides musical instruments. The MAMAs also produce the annual Madison Area Music Awards.

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