WVU Potomac State College (PSC) alumnus (Class of 1992), Elk Garden native and accomplished singer, Master Sergeant Kevin Bennear, who serves as the male vocal soloist and concert moderator for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, will return home to his alma mater this spring to address the Potomac State College Graduating Class of 2017 during Commencement Ceremonies on May 6.  

Kevin Bennear
Kevin Bennear

Master Sergeant Bennear was named to the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in January 2000 after months of rigorous auditions.  In addition to performing regularly at the White House for presidents, foreign dignitaries and heads of state, Master Sergeant Bennear has also had the duty of performing at funerals and memorial services for former presidents as they were laid to rest. 

In addition to the primary function of providing music for the President of the United States, Master Sergeant Bennear prepares program notes, moderates concerts, performs solos, and travels nationally performing with other ensembles.  

He’s belted out the National Anthem on numerous occasions including: one year after the September 11th attacks on America as President Bush unfurled the flag over the restored Pentagon; during Memorial Day Ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery; and during Flag Day festivities on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  Additionally, he’s made appearances on PBS; Nightline specials; on ESPN for Monday Night Football; and has performed during two Super Bowls.  He performed at the NASCAR race in Richmond, Va. last year as well.   

Master Sergeant Bennear earned his associate degree from Potomac State, his bachelor’s degree in music from West Virginia University, his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee with a specialization in vocal performance, and his performance diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music.  He was also recognized by Potomac State with the presentation of the “Young Alumni Award” in 2007.

Master Sergeant Bennear credits his late father, a World War II veteran who entertained troops with his musical talents, with inspiring a love of music in him.  

From singing solos in church as a young boy to singing for president’s at the White House, Bennear has had the opportunity to not only observe history in the making, but to actually be a part of history in the making.