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Marine Band Members
Gunnery Sgt. Kara Santos

Flutist Gunnery Sergeant Kara Santos of Iowa City, Iowa, joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in June 2009.

Gunnery Sgt. Santos began her musical instruction on piano at age 5 and flute at age 7. After graduating in 1994 from Iowa City West High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in music in flute performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1998. She earned her master’s degree (2001) and doctorate (2005) in flute performance from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Her notable instructors included Leone Buyse and Jeffrey Zook at the University of Michigan and Tadeu Coelho and Robert Dick at the University of Iowa.

Prior to joining “The President’s Own,” Gunnery Sgt. Santos was principal flute of the Quad City Symphony in Davenport, Iowa, and flute instructor at the University of Evansville in Indiana. She was also principal flute of the Evansville Philharmonic and a member of the Owensboro Symphony in Kentucky.

Gunnery Sgt. Santos performs with the Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra at the White House, in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and across the country during the band’s annual concert tour. She has been featured as a soloist with the band on Theobald Boehm’s Grand Polonaise, Franz Doppler’s Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy, and with the chamber orchestra on Jean Rivier’s Concerto for Flute and Strings.