MITCHELLVILLE, Md. --
A Marine musician left concert goers in awe after performing a five-song country-rock set at the American Heroes Festival July 24.
Lt. Col. Mike Corrado took the stage at Six Flags as the show’s opening act; a performance dedicated to families who have lost loved ones in wars fought for America’s freedom.
Corrado, an operations officer with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, said he enjoys playing music to help other people get through their pain and heal the soul.
“To be a part of this event is amazing,” Corrado said.
Before taking up the guitar, Corrado loved to play the drums. Although while attending the Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, his passion for drumming became an issue with his neighbors. This is around the time when Corrado picked up a guitar and taught himself how to play.
Today, Corrado has produced eight albums and opened for big names like The Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi and John Myer. Before returning to active duty in 2001, he performed between 200 and 250 shows a year.
“After 9/11, I got a call saying they could really use me,” Corrado said.
Tommy Brothers, a guitar player in the Mike Corrado Band, said having a Marine in the group made things a little more difficult because of the distance. However, he understands that being a Marine is very important to Corrado.
“He has been an inspiration for me and I am very honored he does what he does for me,” said Brothers, a Wilmington, N.C., native.
Steve Thorne, a Virginia Beach, Va., native and saxophone player in Mike Corrado Band, said it’s an honor to play with a Marine, and to play in front of the families of the fallen.
“To play some music to help heal the soul is humbling and an amazing opportunity,” Corrado said.