We were excited when Katy gave us free tickets to go to Helzberg/Kauffman Center for the “President’s Own” The United States Marine Band. First off, we had never been to the Kauffman Center where the Kansas City Symphony performs. Second, it is special to see the Marine Band play since the performances are rare in Kansas City. It has been 10 years since they appeared here. After dinner at Anton’s, we were off to a special evening of great music.
The Marine Band is Americaâ€™s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. President since John Adams. Known as â€œThe Presidentâ€™s Ownâ€ since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Bandâ€™s primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
The band, directed by Lieutenant Colonel Jason K. Fettig and 1st Lieutenant Ryan J. Nowlin, played three marches by the “March King,” John Philip Sousa, who was director of the Marine Band for twelve years. One of these, “Solid Men to the Front,” was edited by Frank Byrne, Executive Director at Kansas City Symphony and formerly a 27 year member of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. The marches were played with finesse, pomp and dignity.
The MC for the evening was Gunnery Sergeant Sarah Dell’Omo. Toward the end of the evening she moved the microphone over closer to the band. It was then that we realized she was going to sing. And sing she did. Her voice rung out over the room without her using the pick-up microphone.Â She did two songs “II Bacio” (the kiss) and “Without a Song.” Before she joined the band , she was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera audition program. Dellâ€™Omo joined â€œThe Presidentâ€™s Ownâ€ United States Marine Band in May 2005, becoming the first featured female vocal soloist in Marine Band history.
As a finale, “A Salute to the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” was played. Veterans attending were asked to stand when the song for their branch was played. The finale received such an enthusiastic standing ovation that the band launched into “God Bless America.”Â The audience joined in for a community sing.
When the scheduled finale, “A Salute to the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” was played, veterans of the various services were asked to stand when the song for their branch was played. This finale received such an enthusiastic standing ovation that the band launched into “God Bless America.” The audience joined in with a joyful community sing.
After leaving the hall, we enjoyed the city view out of the massive lobby window and visited the gift shop. It was a wonderful evening!