Band delights patriotic crowd
Using basketball slang, you could walk away from a Christmas concert Sunday afternoon in Basehor saying the Kansas Army National Guard Band has some serious game.
On a dreary December day that brought news that U.S. military forces captured Saddam Hussein, patriotism as well as the holiday spirit ran high as 40 members of the band performed to a crowd of music fans.
The band was well received by the audience and garnered several standing ovations during its performance.
"I thought it went terrific," said Debbie Bonee, president of the Basehor Chamber of Commerce. "They said it was one of the best audiences they had ever played for and they liked playing in the auditorium."
The Basehor Chamber of Commerce and The Basehor Sentinel co-sponsored the event.
Bonee thanked the Basehor-Linwood School District, Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11499, Boy Scout Troop 169 and The Tonganoxie Mirror for helping coordinate the concert.
Warrant Officer Stephen J. Patterson served as conductor as the band performed 12 numbers during the performance.
The play list included a range of selections -- from classical numbers such as "The Nutcracker Suite," to Christmas songs such as "A Christmas Portrait," to patriotic numbers including "America the Beautiful."
A particularly endearing moment for concert goers occurred after intermission when the master of ceremonies, Sgt. John Moore, asked all veterans in the crowd to stand.
The veterans received a standing ovation.
"Because of you we can all be here this afternoon," Moore said. "Because of you, our country is free."
Moore said the day's concert was a tribute to those veterans, their families and the fighting men and women overseas, including "those who got Saddam today."
Ten members of the Basehor-Linwood High School Band performed with the National Guard group during a song Sunday. High school band director Donald Lemley conducted the song.