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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

Bryce Thomaschefsky: Local artist talks music, memories and methods
Bryce Thomaschefsky performs at an event at Who’s On Third. Image retrieved from

La Crosse is home to musicians and artists of all genres. With live music at Riverside Park in the summer, in the concert halls, and in bars downtown year-round, artists from around the area perform in their own styles for audiences. Bryce Thomaschefsky is an artist who has been playing country music at various bars around La Crosse and has grown in traction in past months. 

The Racquet Press sat down with Thomaschefsky to learn more about how he started playing music. 

“I never really sang growing up. I wasn’t in band. I didn’t do any of that. When I was 16, there was a memorial benefit in Merrill [city in Wisconsin] called Jessie’s Wish. I had a mandolin [string instrument] and I was messing around with it by the fire. My cousin got me on stage, and I did a Snoop Dogg song. That was the first time that had happened and then from there, it was just kind of, ‘Hey if you can sing for four hours we’ll give you some money,’” Thomaschefsky said. 

Thomaschefsky credits his musical “Aha!” moment to an experience he had in Nashville, Tennessee. 

When Thomaschefsky was 18 he toured the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. “I went to Legend’s corner, which is a couple blocks away from the Ryman. I got invited to sing a song onstage with one of the artists I was just talking to on a smoke break. That moment I felt like, this could probably be a for sure thing, not just playing around,” said Thomaschefsky.  

From there, Thomaschefsky started playing gigs at bars around Merrill. After high school, he went to UW-Oshkosh for a year, still playing in Merrill on the weekends. Then, Bryce transferred to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he began contacting people about performing. One of his first bars was Alpine Inn. 

“When I first moved down here, I just reached out to a couple bars. I texted the Alpine Facebook page and they were like, ‘Yeah, come on up,’” Thomaschefsky said. 

After consistent gigs at Alpine, Thomaschefsky built up more and more contacts around the area. One of these was an up-and-coming country-rock band called Hillbilly Rocketship based in La Crosse and founded by Scooter McCarty. 

“I opened up for [Hillbilly Rocketship] in March. First, I did a show up at Alpine and then just talking with [Scooter McCarty] he was like, ‘Well if you want to come up and sing some songs on our break, go ahead.’ And then it just kind of lead to a bunch of openings and stuff like that. One day he said, ‘Hey we’re doin’ Country Fest and we want you to come play with us,” and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ That really set it in, that [consistently performing music] could happen.” 

Playing at Country Fest was an experience Thomaschefsky said he would never forget: 

“Within a minute that the main headliner ended, we had to start up, so that was fun. We did about six or seven sets throughout the day. We started at 3 in the afternoon and went until 11 at night. That was really fun. I will not forget that,” he said.

Thomaschefsky also shared a memory that, to him, topped playing at Country Fest. 

“I was at a Zach Bryan concert. Coming back into the venue, there was a DJ block party thing. The guy had played for four hours or so, so you could tell he was hitting the wall. And he was kind of screwing up this one song, he’s like, ‘Does anybody know the words?’,” explained Thomaschefsky. Thomaschefsky ended up playing in front of around 2,000 people that night. 

Thomaschefsky continued, “Another guy comes up in overalls and he’s like, ‘Hey what’s your name, where are you from?’ I told him my name, and that I was from La Crosse…When I got done playing, he comes over to me and he says, ‘Hi, I’m DeWayne Bryan, I’m Zach’s dad.’” 

Thomaschefsky is currently a student at Western Technical College and taking classes in paralegal studies. When asked about balancing work, school and music, Bryce said, “It’s a lot of late nights, a lot of early mornings, but it’s all worth it.” 

But those late nights and early mornings don’t matter when you have a passion for performing like Thomaschefsky does. 

“It looks grueling, for a lack of a better term,” said Thomaschefsky. “You get up there and you sing songs that everybody knows, and half the time people don’t pay attention, you’re just background noise. But when you’re actively doing it, it’s something that is really cool. It’s definitely fun. Time goes by like that. I do three-hour gigs and half the time I don’t even take a break because I just don’t know where I’m at. I love it.”

“Every show is a happy memory. I get to do what I love to do, and it’s nice to be able to express my feelings through songs,” Thomaschefsky continued. 

Thomaschefsky also had advice for musicians who want to make a name for themselves. 

“Do open mics. Go out and try to sing as much as you can. If you’re in a bigger city, busk. [perfomring music in public] It’s so easy to get noticed like that.Thomaschefsky identified posting on TikTok as another way for artists to get their name out there.

Thomaschefsky expressed thanks for the people he has met and the La Crosse community for supporting him and his music. 

“I’m thankful for what La Crosse has brought me. I love the city, I love the community, I love everything about it. I definitely would not be where I am, music-wise, without La Crosse and without the people here. I’m very thankful,” said Thomaschefsky. 

While he has been playing covers consistently, Bryce is also working on some original music. He was recently featured in an episode of Bailey Nelson’s “Rim of the City: Sunset Sessions” produced by BVisions Media in La Crosse, where he sang “Sixteen”, an original song about growing up. Bryce plans on recording “Sixteen” and putting it on Spotify. Bryce is also part of Driftless Media, where up and coming artists get showcased.  

Bryce has multiple upcoming shows around the La Crosse area, including evening performances at downtown bars like Broncos on Oct. 12 starting at 8 p.m. and Who’s on Third on Oct 14 starting at 9 p.m. He lists events on his Instagram account, @b_ thomacshefsky, as well. 

Bryce Thomaschefsky poses with his guitar.
Image retrieved from
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About the Contributor
Ann David
Ann David, Multimedia Editor
  • Year at UWL: Junior
  • PGPs: She/Her/Hers
  • Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
  • Major: English: Medical Professions Emphasis
  • Minor: Biology; Music Performance
  • Other Campus Involvement: UWL Wind Ensemble and Orchestra Member
  • Future Plans after Graduation: Attending grad school in Minnesota
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Walking through the Rotary Lights at Riverside Park in the winter with friends.
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