Kansas City concert band puts on a show

Kansas City concert band puts on a show
The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City performs during the American Legion National Convention Band Contest at the 96th National Convention in Houston on Aug. 24. (Photo by Tom Strattman.)

The American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City (Mo.) maintained a remarkable streak at the American Legion National Convention Band Contest on Saturday afternoon in Houston, making its 63rd consecutive appearance. Russ Bohm, a member of the accompanying color guard for 17 years, says the group is "fortunate - they've had the funds, the enthusiasm and dedicated band members" to travel to the national convention year after year. Bohm's wife, Catherine, has been an alto sax since 1976, and other members go back to the 1960s. Of the color guard, Bohm adds that three of the four members are veterans, "to be able to step out and honor the flag is a really big thing."

Competition numbers were down this year. Actually, the Kansas City band was the only competitor. Contest officials attributed the dip to the distance and expense of traveling to Houston, and expect numbers at next year's national convention in Charlotte to be higher. The band was formally credited with a score of 92.8, and played a set that included "Celebration Fanfare" by Steven Reineke; "The Northwind March" by W. Paris Chambers; and Symphony No. 3/"Slavyanskaya" by Boris Kozhevnikov.

National Commander James E. Koutz presented the championship award to the Kansas City group, commenting, "Thank you for all you do."

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