Pride in Every Note
Mid America Freedom Band provides opportunities for instrumental music lovers to share their passion of performance with the diverse community of Kansas City. It strives for excellence while promoting equality, fostering education and celebrating the joy shared through music.
Alan Day and Zachary Parker began discussing the formation of a band during the summer of 2001. Originally planned as a senior Drum & Bugle Corp, the founders decided to shift focus into becoming a performing musical organization focused on Kansas City’s LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transsexual, and Ally) community. Mid America Freedom Band held its first rehearsal on April 18, 2002 at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Kansas City with four musicians. That same year MAFB also became proud full member of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association an organization complied of now over 35 similar bands across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
On November 15, 2003 MAFB, under the leadership of Zachary Parker, gave its first concert, “Journeys” with only 13 local musicians aided by St. Louis’ Band Together. Mid America Freedom Band in 2004 became incorporated as a non-profit entity and a board of directors took office in 2005. In 2006 the band added an annual holiday concert to the fall and spring season, as well as many other outreach events. The band that once numbered barely a half dozen now has approximately 70+ members to include a volunteer rest section, concert band, marching band, and jazz band.
MAFB believes producing high-quality performances that are entertaining and accessible to all walks of life, while creating a safe, fun, and supportive atmosphere for its members and patrons.
Providing opportunities for instrumental music lovers
MAFB consists of three component ensembles: a concert band (Mid America Freedom Band), a marching/pep band with flag corps (Spirit Pride Band), and a jazz band (Mighty Mo Combo). Each group addresses different needs of its constituent members and the community at large. The active performing membership is over 70 individuals as well as a volunteer/inactive base of 30 members. Auditions are not required of members but the ability to read music is requested for participants.
Sharing passion of performance with the diverse community of Kansas City
MAFB proudly represents the LGBTQIA community, performing at a wide variety of venues across the Kansas City metropolitan area including area churches, local parades, street festivals, and concert halls. From our humble beginnings with four musicians, we now have a full symphonic band that performs 4 concerts each season, an award-winning jazz band that performs at KC Fringe, The Loose Park Rose Show, and other special events, and a marching/pep band that performs at KC PrideFest, AIDSWalk, and the Brookside St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Striving for excellence
MAFB empowers its members by giving musicians a greater sense of confidence and music ability. The artistic staff pushes members and audiences musically by programming attainable, yet challenging, music. For the past several seasons, MAFB has commissioned new works from leading and up and coming composers, championed the music of female, African American, LGBTQIA, and other marginalized composers, and every February holds an educational concert at the National World War I Museum and Memorial to highlight music and cultural issues from that era.
Membership in MAFB is open to all ages 18 and older. Though the organization’s focus is serving the needs of the LGBTQIA community, its membership is as diverse as its audiences. Straight-allied membership continues to grow each concert and they are some of the fiercest defenders of equality. Dues are kept low and need-based scholarships are available so that no one is turned away.
Since MAFB is open to all levels, much rehearsal time is dedicated to skill building and fundamentals. Skilled musicians are spread throughout the sections to assist newer players, and section leaders provide aid in negotiating harder passages. Audiences are treated to an array of classical, light, and popular selections played in styles appropriate to the piece. MAFB champions itself on spotlighting the music of LGBTQ, female, African American, and other marginalized composers, by bringing the wonderful music of these great artists to audiences each season.
Celebrating the joy shared through music
Many members joined MAFB as a place to feel welcome and valued. Everyone is expected to contribute what they can musically and the benefits of a supportive community of those joined in a common goal uplift all.