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TOPs in Blue

By Joe Starkey



“We came here to sing!” was the joyous announcement that tells you the heart of over 35 very talented young men and women of the Air Force. They hit the stage at 7:30 PM and went non-stop with high stepping, high energy productions of everything from soul to Tom Jones with stops at country and classical music until slightly after 9 PM. Their theme was “Love” and they celebrated it to the beat of Soul Train by the cast as various soloists and groups broke out into all the many ways Love can be celebrated in song. Happy, sad, rocking, country, and classic tributes to singers and writers of all colors and music are featured during the show by some truly awesome singing and playing talents. And if you happen to want to sit down front when they come back to Abilene, take a book and go early. I got to the Civic Center about 5 minutes BEFORE 7 PM and the front 10 rows were full. By 7:15 the late comers were finding their way up to fill the back rows in the balcony. I have grown to prefer the front of the balcony both for the sound and the view of the stage. Next paragraph is {{more}} copied from their web site and tells more about the team and what they do. What most of the audience does not realize is that these same folks who are singing and dancing for 90 minutes also spent most of the afternoon putting the stage and all of the equipment in place and will spend 2 ½ hours after the show is over and the audience goes home to be taking it all down and putting it on the truck before getting on the bus to travel to the next show.Each team begins their tour with an intense 45 day training period at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, “Home of Tops In Blue”. This training consists of a highly accelerated educational process to prepare them to succeed as world-class entertainers and distinguished Air Force Ambassadors during their nine month tour. The performers must not only master the instrumental, vocal, choreography, and staging requirements of the performance, but also the intricate responsibilities of being their own technical staff. The performing team under the guidance of five technical personnel is responsible for setting up over 36,000 pounds of staging, lighting, audio, and special effects equipment required for each performance. They must also become a complete self-contained operational unit with each member being responsible for logistical responsibilities such as ground transportation, airlift, lodging, dining, wardrobe, palletizing, etc. throughout the tour.For the latest information about the TIB tour or information on auditioning for Tops In Blue, click on the link below to go to Air Force Entertainment’s official TIB website: The last show of this group will be at their home base of Lackland AFB in San Antonio on February 22nd and 23rd before they return to their home

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