TO mark the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force, the RAF’s finest musicians will perform a Stars & Stripes themed musical tribute to their fellow aviators at this year’s RAF in Concert Tour which marches into Poole this weekend.

Amongst the musicians performing American Legends at the Lighthouse on Sunday, there will be a familiar face to some members of the audience.

Former Bournemouth girl, Sarah Francis, is the only civilian soloist who will be singing big band numbers including Broadway musicals and Motown.

Sarah, 27, grew up in Bournemouth, was educated at St Peter’s School in Southbourne and a member of Big Little Theatre School.

“I’ve always loved singing and dancing and I still thrive on performing live and I don’t think that will ever die.”

When she’s not performing, Sarah works with children teaching drama, runs baby sensory classes, and is also training to be a spin instructor.

“It’s very different touring with the RAF as it’s more sporadic rather than being on the road continuously, but it’s amazing to have a 40-piece band playing behind me.

“Everyone is very welcoming. You never feel like an outsider.”

But even though Sarah is a seasoned professional, she says she finds it quite over-whelming having to perform in front of friends and family.

“I probably get more nervous performing in front of people I know, which is strange because although you know they are your biggest fans, they will also know if I’ve made a mistake!

“I put myself under pressure to be on top form so I have to remember they’ re here to enjoy it so it’s important I do too.”