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Mid America Freedom Band #PRIDE

The Mid America Freedom Band was founded by Alan Day and Zachary Parker in 2001. It is now in its 20th season. During that time, it has grown from 14 musicians to more than 80. It currently operates three component ensembles: a full concert band, a jazz band known as the Mighty Mo Jazz Orchestra, and a spirit pep band. In addition to hosting its own concerts, MAFB performs at events such as the Kansas City Fringe Festival, the Brookside St. Patrick’s Day Warm-up Parade, AIDS WALK Kansas City, and Kansas City PrideFest, as well as for organizations including the Kansas City Royals. Lee Hartman, the artistic director, stated, “We aren’t just a community band, we are the community. Our music should reflect our time and the communities we serve. With our focus on the music of marginalized composers writing for band, we bring to the stage those who have been systematically denied access. By programming women composers, LGBTQ+ composers, composers of color, and local composers, and through our commissioning of new works, we keep the field vibrant.” MAFB has premiered more than 25 new pieces through the years. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older, knows how to play a concert band instrument, and can read music may become a member – there are no auditions. Learn more at FreedomBand.com

Liz Brent, tuba player


Rameka Jennings, alto saxophone player


The Mighty Mo Jazz Orchestra: Jessie Riggins, Kevin Overton, Joe Duncan, David Deatherage, Tyler Huntington, Christian Montes, and Nathan Brown


Mid America Freedom Band hosted the 2018 Lesbian and Gay Band Association Annual Conference in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo Credit: Andrew Schwartz)

Featured in the June 10, 2023 issue of The Independent. 


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