Lee Greenwood to join Band of Air Force Reserve for Independence concert July 3

  • Published
  • By Holly L. Birchfield
  • 78th ABW/PA
The Band of the Air Force Reserve and country singer Lee Greenwood will join in concert July 3 to celebrate both Independence Day and the U.S. Air Force's 60th anniversary.

The annual concert, sponsored by the Air Force Reserve Command, the Warner Robins Civitan Club, the 21st Century Partnership and a host of other Middle Georgia organizations, will be held at McConnell-Talbert Stadium, with gates opening at 6 p.m.

The Houston County Honor Band, featuring award-winning student musicians from throughout the county, will strike up at 7 p.m., with the main stage show beginning at 8 p.m. in the stadium on South Davis Drive in Warner Robins. Mr. Greenwood will take to the stage around 8:30 p.m.

Dave Ballengee, deputy director of the Band of the Air Force Reserve, said the country music artist performed in the Warner Robins area two weeks after 9/11 and is now returning to the heart of Georgia.

"This year, he's happy to come back and be a part of the Independence Day concert and help the Air Force Reserve Command salute the 60th anniversary of our Air Force," Mr. Balengee said.

Mr. Ballengee said the show is a family-friendly celebration.

"There will be something for everyone," he said. "We're going to open the show with our popular music group, Reserve Generation, and we're going to walk through different years of music, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, doing hits from those eras.

The occasion will be marked with music and fireworks.

Allen Tatman, project chairman for the Independence Day celebration and fireworks for the Warner Robins Civitan Club, said people need an up-close view to enjoy the show.

"The fireworks show is a pyro musical, so the fireworks are set to music," he said. "The only way to get the full effect is to come into the stadium."

Mr. Tatman said he expects the fireworks show to last about 18 minutes.

People may find seating in the stadium's stands or bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the show from the field.

Show goers will experience many surprises during the performance. It's a night people won't want to miss, Mr. Ballengee said.

"We look forward to seeing everyone at the gig," he said. "We've developed a family, if you will, of people that come and see us. We look forward to seeing our friends again," he said.

A full service concession stand will be available onsite, Mr. Tatman said.

With the cancellation of the Big Bang Boom fireworks show in Perry Mr. Ballengee said he expects a good crowd at the Independence Day concert.

The Independence Day concert tradition dates back to the 1980s, when the band performed atop a flatbed truck. While its method of celebration has changed, its purpose has remained the same,

"This is just a very small way for the Air Force Reserve Command to give back to the community that supports not only big picture Team Robins, but also our citizen Airmen of the Air Force Reserve and our headquarters here," Mr. Ballengee said. "There are over 75,000 citizen Airmen and they're managed right out of Robins."

Mr. Ballengee, who has been with the band for more than 35 years, said the band couldn't ask for a better audience than its Middle Georgia family.

"The community of Warner Robins is a fantastic place to live," he said. "The people in the community support the base and support our citizen Airmen, and this has become a tradition for us to set up and play. It's the Air Force Reserve's version of an open house. It's what we can do to give back to the community in recognition of their tremendous support of us."