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Tops in Blue charms Wichita Falls

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jelani Gibson
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
A cascade a bright lights and colors streaked across the stage as lively entertainers from the Air Force's Tops in Blue performed at the Memorial Auditorium in Wichita Falls, Texas, Aug. 28, 2014.

Tops in Blue is an all volunteer unit made up of vocalists, musicians, dancers and technicians.

"Loving it, absolutely fantastic," said Senior Airman Mark Roberts, when describing his experience with Tops in Blue as a driver and audio technician.

Originally a vehicle ops Airman by trade, he enjoys the camaraderie of the unit and the skill set required to be in the group.

"I get to be around a lot of talented people," he said.

As the driver for the group, Roberts enjoys life on the road despite its trials and tribulations.

"You're around these people 24 hours a day, seven days a week for nine months and you all bond together, it's just the people you can go to with anything," he said.

Cowboy boots, minions, Beauty and the Beast, tuxedos and dancing hamsters all graced the stage throughout the night, treating the audience to a mixture of entertainment and pop culture. As complex dance routines were played out, the audiences let out roars of applause and delight with each performance.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Velasquez, Tops in Blue keyboardist, tower chief and security head, finds solidarity in striving for one common goal, whether it's on the road or in front of the glittering glow of an auditorium.

"At times we're all tired, but we're just going through the same thing and we have the same mission and same struggles...we pull from the same source of strength to pull together and get it done," he said.

Using music to reach people, Velasquez looks at music through a world-view that's meant to galvanize.

"You might be tired and you might be having a bad day but once you actually start playing music...even through it inspires the crowd it still inspires us too," he said.

With the performance winding down, the Airman's Creed rang throughout the area and the troupe left to the sound of cheers and adulation.