Kansas Rocks Veterans with ‘Carry On’
Kansas may not realize it, but when they performed with members of the U.S. Army Orchestra during the Army Entertainment ‘Carry On’ concert, they left some very special memories behind. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christina Wensel, who performed ‘Dust in the Wind’ with Kansas violinist David Ragsdale at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. noted the Veterans Day concert was something she’ll never forget.
“We didn’t actually get to rehearse it until the sound check right before the show, so I was just totally — words can’t really describe how exciting it was to play up there with them,” said Wensel in a posting on the homepage of the U.S. Army. “That was the highlight of a lifetime to get to share the stage with legends.”
The band had the idea to perform with the soldiers earlier this year and drummer Phil Erhart contacted concert promoter Glenn Smith to insist “it’s going to be 11-11-11, and it’s Veterans Day — we’ve got to do something.”
“This is a great, great group of musicians,” said lead guitarist Billy Greer, who celebrated his 23rd wedding anniversary playing with the U.S. Army Orchestra. “What better place for a military orchestra than at Constitution Hall in our nation’s capital on Veterans Day on 11-11-11? There’s something special about that.”
Ragsdale seconded that sentiment.
“I first heard about it from Phil,” he said. “Phil is a colonel’s son, and I’m a bit of a patriot myself. I got choked up when he told me. Washington, D.C., Constitution Hall, Veterans Day, military orchestra — I was overcome. They are a phenomenal group. … And we would like to say to all the troops: ‘For all you do, this tune is for you.'”
Kansas opened with ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ played classics ‘Point of No Return,’ ‘Dust in the Wind’ and ‘Miracle out of Nowhere,’ before closing the 90-minute show with ‘Carry on my Wayward Son.’
“I wish I had gotten to see that band when I was about 16″ said Wensel, who has an advanced degree from the famed Juilliard Conservatory in New York. “I would have definitely thought the violin was a lot cooler.”
Watch Kansas and the U.S. Army Orchestra Perform ‘Carry On’