NMS Brings U.S. Coast Guard Band to Kansas City

USCG Band performed at Kauffman Center

Kansas City-area residents and members of the local military received a special treat on April 30, courtesy of VFW’s National Military Services (NMS). 

NMS was pleased to sponsor a performance by the United States Coast Guard Band at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The free concert was part of the Band’s tour around the country, which included stops between New Orleans and Kansas City.  

The concert was steeped in Americana and featured talented soloists, as well as hearty ensembles. Trumpet Soloists and Chief Musicians, Longino Villarreal and Kelly Watkins, impressed the audience with Joseph Turrin’s “Arabesque,” while Soprano Soloist and Musician First Class, Megan Weikleenget, performed a medley of popular songs by the great George Gershwin. Also featured in the program was an energetic set of traditional jazz by the Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band. Scott McAllister’s jovial piece, “More Cowbell!,” the Sousa march, “Riders for the Flag,” and the nostalgic anthem, “America the Beautiful” rounded-out the performance.  

VFW National Commander Richard L. DeNoyer addressed the crowd before the performance, praising the talented members of the Band. He also recognized a special guest, retired Army Col. Roger Donlon. The former Special Forces officer was the first to be awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam.  

The United States Coast Guard Band, under the direction of Commander Kenneth W. Megan, is the premier band representing the United States Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. The 55-member ensemble is based at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. In addition to performing concerts around the nation, the Band has also played in the former Soviet Union, Canada and England. In 2008 the Coast Guard Band became the first premier American military band to perform a concert tour in Japan. July 2011 marked the group’s highly anticipated performance at the WASBE International Band Conference in Chiayi, Taiwan.  

For more information about the Coast Guard Band, visit www.uscg.mil/band.    

To learn more about VFW’s National Military Services programs, click here