Sunday concert to celebrate Memorial Day and 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force

Two U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band vocalists will be featured in the upcoming concert in Irvington, conducted by Maj. Michael Hoerber and 2nd Lt. Philip Emory.

The free concert will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 28, on Irvington Commons, 98 King Carter Drive, Irvington, reported CJ Carter, one of the organizers of the event presented by The Irvington Village Improvement Association.

Vocalists will include Airman 1st Class Christina Bagley, a 2010 graduate of Wilde Lake High School in the greater Baltimore, Md., area. Her father, who was active in community theater, taught her to read music by the age of six. In addition to developing her vocal skills, Christina learned to play piano and guitar before earning a bachelors degree from Towson University and a masters in jazz vocal music from Western Michigan University.

“I initially joined the military because I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn new skills and travel by doing something I love: singing,” she said. “But I now realize how important it is to serve my country by offering my gift.”

Technical Sergeant Edward Justin Allen, who was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in Indianapolis, Ind., began performing at an early age in community and school ensembles. Before enlisting in the Air Force, Sgt. Allen worked as a stage actor at various venues in the Midwest.

Under the leadership of Maj. Hoerber and Lt. Emory, these vocalists will combine with the 40-member ensemble to deliver a 90-minute celebration of musical Americana. The performance will be particularly interesting because the U.S. Air Force celebrates its 70th birthday this year, according to musical resources specialist Ray Landon.

“Every performance helps underline the USAF’s commitment to all Airmen—past, present and future,” he said. “Musically our program this year will incorporate our anniversary by including music reflecting our work and our history. There also will be a medley of Big Band tunes from 1947, as well a new piece written to celebrate our 70 years.

“The Air Force is sort of ‘the baby’ of the military at only 70 years young, but our advancements in air and space over that time are incredible. To carry on that legacy is to continue to grow as the most powerful air force in the world,” said Landon.

“These men and women always provide an outstanding musical experience,” said Carter. “I’m sure we’ll have people in the audience May 28 who have seen them a dozen or more times.”

The band has graciously played a holiday or summer concert in Irvington each year for the past 27 years, she said.

“We’ve gotten in the habit of these wonderful concerts being in the evening,” she said.  “A concert with a picnic lunch in the sunshine will be a new experience.”

Folks are urged to bring lawn chairs and coolers. Open-sided tents may be put up beginning in late morning along the back and sides of Irvington Commons. Chesapeake Bank will provide free hot dogs, chips, and desserts beginning at noon.