Josh Turner, Angie Johnson to perform at Independence Day concert July 2
American country music superstar and award-winner Josh Turner will perform with the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve at this year's Independence Day concert in Warner Robins July 2.
Also singing her heart out at the concert will be Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson, a vocalist with the 571st Air Force Band, which belongs to the 131st Bomb Wing, Missouri Air National Guard.
Gates open at 6 p.m. for the free concert at Warner Robins' McConnell-Talbert Stadium on South Davis Drive. Festivities begin with the National Anthem and an F-15 fighter jet flyover at 8 p.m. The event features a night of music, fireworks and family entertainment.
"This is a great event and a rare opportunity for everyone from the base and the region to get together," said Lt. Gen Charles E. Stenner Jr., chief of Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command. "What better way to do that than relaxing with great music and one of the most impressive fireworks shows around.
"We've been putting on this concert for 30 years now, and it just keeps getting better and better each year. Josh Turner is a great performer and a strong supporter of the military, so we're really looking forward to having him bring his show here."
Turner, one of the youngest artists to be voted into the Grand Ole Opry, said he's glad to be coming to Warner Robins to perform.
"I'm really looking forward to playing for the troops this year," said the double-platinum-selling singer. "I come from a patriotic background as my ancestors have served as far back as the Civil War, so this will come from the heart."
"We're also very excited to see Angie Johnson come back and perform with our own Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve," said Stenner, referring to Johnson's service with the Reserve band. "We're understandably proud to see how her musical career has taken off."
"Being a vocalist in the Band of the Air Force Reserve got me where I am today," said Johnson, who competed on NBC's "The Voice" this past March. "They took a chance on me and hired me as a very young and very green performer.
"Being a part of this unit helped me sharpen my skills as an entertainer and gave me the confidence to make the move to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry. They'll always be like family."
The commander of that family, Maj. Don Schofield, said the Reserve band's half-century relationship with the local community has been a good one.
"The Band of the Air Force Reserve is proud to have been a community partner for more than 50 years with Middle Georgia," Schofield said. " The Independence Day concert is a way that the Air Force Reserve can say 'thank you' to the uniformed members, families of those who serve, and employers of reservists who continue to support our worldwide missions."
Stenner said an event this size requires a combined effort.
"This is no small or individual effort to pull this show off, so we greatly appreciate the help from our partners in the City of Warner Robins and from the many business sponsors who all teamed up to make this happen," said Stenner.
In addition to the more than 20,000 folks who attend the annual event at McConnell-Talbert Stadium each year, Stenner said the concert will be broadcast to more than 170 countries, all ships and submarines at sea and all United States embassies serving more than a million service members and their families around the world.
"These service members will see this concert aired on American Forces Network television all over the world on July fourth," said Stenner.
Chief Master Sgt. Mark Burditt, manager of the Band of the Air Force Reserve, knows the effect of those broadcasts from personal experience.
"The Independence Day concert is a tremendous morale boost to our men and women serving in deployed locations and a way for the Air Force Reserve to show gratitude for the service and sacrifice," said Burditt. "I've been deployed many times and have been on the receiving end of the incredible broadcasts from the Band of the Air Force Reserve. I watched each of them and was reminded that all of you back home were thinking of us out there."
People attending the concert are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating on the infield.
Food and beverages will be available at concession stands. Bags and containers are subject to search. No pets, no alcoholic beverages and no glass containers are allowed at this family event.
The annual Independence Day concert has been held in the city for 30 years and usually draws a crowd of more than 20,000 people.