Wild Blue Country will be performing a free concert on Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Glen Rose High School auditorium. The concert will be part of the band’s Texas tour which includes performances in several Texas cities such as Amarillo and Fort Worth.
Wild Blue Country, part of the U.S. Air Force Academy Band, has regularly been featured on the Grand Ole Opry and appeared with dozens of major recording artists such as Reba McEntire, Hank Williams, Jr., and Charlie Daniels. They have also appeared on several radio and television programs including “Good Morning America.”
In addition to the U.S. performances, Wild Blue Country has also made tours through Iraq and Afghanistan where they performed for service men and women near the front lines. In addition to their musical training the band also had to undergo weapons and chemical-attack training. Training that came in handy when one concert was interrupted by a rocket-propelled grenade attack.
The band consists of five members and all have a diverse musical background. Technical Sergeant Julie A. Bradley has performed in operas and musicals including “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Grease.” She was also a featured soloist with the Wichita State Jazz Arts Ensemble.
Master Sergeant Jerome J. Oddo plays bass and is the group’s leader. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and joined the Air Force Academy Band in 2000. He has performed with Crystal Gayle, Lari White and the Christ Church Mass Choir in Nashville, Tennessee.
Technical Sergeant Stephen L. Brannen is from Nashville, Tennessee and plays guitar in the band. He has Texas ties having attended the University of Texas at Arlington. He was also a guitarist at Opryland USA in Nashville.
Technical Sergeant Timothy A. Stombaugh plays drums and is a native of Port Orange, Florida. He attended the University of North Florida and was a member of the One O’Clock Jazz Band and Jazz Combo which was awarded Downbeat magazine’s “Best College Small Group” award. Brannen was also named “Outstanding Jazz Musician” for 1998 and has performed with the famed Count Basie Orchestra.
Technical Sergeant Jeff S. Valentine is a native of Denton and studied jazz at the University of North Texas. He plays steel guitar in Wild Blue Country and trombone in the Air Force Academy Marching Band. While attending the University of North Texas, Valentine was a member of the award winning jazz trombone ensemble, “Slide Tradition.”
The Wild Blue Country concert is being sponsored by the Glen Rose Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Glen Rose. The concert gets under way at 2 p.m. and is free to the public. Additional information can be obtained by calling 254-897-3081.