‘Celebrate America Concert’ to feature AMC Band, Choir

HUNTSVILLE – The “2018 Celebrate America Concert” will feature the U.S. Army Materiel Command or AMC Band from Redstone Arsenal in one of its last performances before its deactivation.

An 80-voice choir from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also will perform. The choir represents 15 congregations in North Central and Northeast Alabama, including Madison and Huntsville.

Concert times will be at 4 and 6 p.m. on June 23 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1804 Sparkman Drive NW in Huntsville. The concerts are free and open to the public.

Both concerts will have limited walk-in seating, so organizers recommend reservations, which are available at wecelebrateamerica.org.

Local civic and military leaders will narrate the patriotic concert, which will honor area veterans. “I’m particularly moved each year when veterans are recognized for their service to our country. The first year, a World War II veteran stood with dignity in the very uniform he had worn during the war,” event organizer Keith Draughon shared.

In March and April, six AMC Band soldiers traveled to Kuwait and Jordan to support Operation Inherent Resolve.

Sadly, the Army will deactivate the AMC Band at the end of June. “The Huntsville-Madison community is truly one of the most supportive communities I’ve been involved with in my career,” Chief Warrant Officer James Bettencourt said. “The military has to make the tough choices of putting the right assets in the right places to maximize support for the whole nation.”

“This assignment will be among my fondest memories as a band commander,” Bettencourt said. He now will lead the NATO Band at Mons, Belgium.

Celebrate America Concert narrators will include numerous public officials, military leaders and public personalities, including Rep. Mike Ball, Congressman Mo Brooks, Dr. Joe Fitzgerald, Fran Fluhler, Margo Gray, Deputy Chief Corey Harris, Commissioner Craig Hill, Col. Thomas P. Holliday, Mary Scott Hunter, retired Col. Bill Marks, Brenda Martin, Dr. Jennie Robinson and Rep. Howard Sanderford.

In addition, the AMC Band will present its final two public concerts on June 25 at 6:30 p.m. in Huntsville’s Big Springs Park and on June 26 at 7 p.m. in Zompa Auditorium at Bob Jones High School in Madison. The concerts are free.

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