Valdosta native performs worldwide with Tops In Blue

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brigitte N. Brantley-Sisk
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
When Senior Airman Lacy Jones arrived here Nov. 2 to perform as a part of Tops In Blue, she was doing more than singing- she was performing for friends and family.

Originally from Valdosta, the vocalist will return to her job as a dental assistant at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, when her yearlong tour with the group is over.

"I joined the Air Force to travel the world and to serve my country," said Airman Jones. "Being a part of Tops in Blue gives me the chance to do both of those things and being able to do it in my hometown is such a wonderful opportunity."

Tops In Blue is an approximately 30-member crew comprising Airmen from a wide variety of career fields who travel around the world and provide about 120 performances annually. Airman Jones first heard about them while at her first duty station.

"I was stationed at Beale Air Force Base in Calif., when I first saw them perform," she said. "Before that, I had no idea that the Air Force had a group of active-duty individuals who travelled around the world and performed. I was blown away by what they could do."

Airman Jones' application process for being accepted into the group began with her sending in a video of herself singing "Black Velvet." After that stage of the process, she traveled to Lackland AFB, Texas, to perform in the Air Force Worldwide Talent Contest. Her audition there solidified her spot on the 2010 TIB tour.

During the 90-minute show, Airman Jones not only provides back-up vocals but sings a duet with a fellow TIB member.

"Lacy has been singing for many years and it's so great to see her be a part of something like this," said Denise Jones, who has watched her daughter perform a few times. "Her dad was the one who influenced her to pursue music and she really took an interest in it.

"I am so proud of her and very happy to see her entertaining crowds and getting this exposure," Ms. Jones added. "The people in TIB are such a great group and I'm glad she has them to travel with since they're on the road so much."

Extensive travelling is a large part of a performer's life but has its benefits.

"Life on the road can be incredible but also very exhausting," said Airman Jones. "Being a part of Tops In Blue has given me the opportunity to visit so many places. My favorite place we've been so far is Norway, because it is such a gorgeous country."

Norway is just one of nearly a hundred places that the group may perform in any given year. However, the atmosphere at all of them is the same.

"Performing is such a rush of energy and for a few minutes, I feel like a rock star," said Airman Jones. "Before I step on stage, I'm nervous and excited. We always get compliments on how energy-filled and great the show was, so meeting the audience after the show can also be humbling."

Meeting the audience afterward is an important part of the Tops In Blue tour, said the group's first sergeant.

"As performers, we like to have that instant feedback," said Master Sgt. Robert Clark, who is also a vocalist. "It's great to see the audience's reaction after they have seen the ride we take them on during the show and they have seen the pride we have in performing while also serving our country."

Tops In Blue began in 1953 as an outlet for obvious talent within the Air Force. In the past, they have also performed in films, on TV and during the half-time show of the Super Bowl in 1985.