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Marching Cobras Founder and Director

Mr. Willie Smith, a former Social Studies teacher at Lincoln Junior High School,  was concerned about the lack of constructive extracurricular activities for children within the urban core.  He saw the need for a  social outlet and positive activity that would provide young people as an alternative to hanging around the streets. 


So, in September, 1969, Mr. Smith entered thirteen young men in a school talent show in which they won first place and the birth of the KC Marching Cobras began. Within a year, the number of the group had tripled and its popularity increased.  As Mr. Smith envisioned, the group became recognized as a positive social outlet for youth in the urban core. Over a span of almost 45 years, there have been an estimated 9,000 or more youth - both male and female - that have participated.


Mr. Willie Smith has remained the heart and soul of this dynamic organization.  He has built this organization with blood, sweat, tears and every penny he could scrap together to provide for the needs of the group. He is a public figure whose accomplishments are seen by many as an outstanding example of a commitment to young people. He is known in Kansas City as The Legendary Willie Arthur Smith.

Willie Smith

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