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Airman sings the 'Blues'

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes
  • 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
"Music is who I am." 

These are the words of an Edwards lieutenant whose passion for music landed her a spot at the 2008 "Deja Blue" tour for Tops In Blue -- the Air Force's expeditionary entertainment group. 

Second Lt. Rhoda Marie Lazo, 412th Operations Support Squadron section commander, is one of 25 new members of the tour, which kicks off Feb. 2. 

A big fan of the entertainment group, she said she is looking forward to traveling the world. 

"I am hoping we go overseas, especially to (deployed locations)," Lieutenant Lazo said. "We are given an opportunity to use our talent and perform our duty for a year, and we should make good use of it." 

She learned about Tops In Blue from her Reserve Officers' Training Corps noncommissioned officer in charge. 

"I researched about it, and as soon as I entered active duty, I said I wanted to try out for it," Lieutenant Lazo said. 

She submitted her package, consisting of her talent resume, audition tape and a letter of commitment to Headquarters Air Force Services Agency Entertainment Branch in San Antonio. There, a team of entertainment professionals selected participants for the Worldwide Talent Contest held in December at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. 

"I was selected to compete in the contest," she said. 

To prepare for the big day, she practiced to perfect her skills and analyzed what song would perfectly suit her. 

"Song selection is really important because you have to sing what you are comfortable with, including your style and your voice," said Lieutenant Lazo. 

She chose to sing "Beautiful Disaster" by popular singer Kelly Clarkson. On Dec. 17, she received the news that she would be a part of the 2008 Tops In Blue tour. 

The next stage for Lieutenant Lazo is going to Lackland AFB for "staging," which consists of getting together as a team, collaborating, getting the show together and preparing the songs. 

"We are also doing a lot of exercises to prepare our body for strenuous activities," she said. "We are not just going to sing or dance, we are also going to be responsible for setting up and breaking down our stage." 

Lieutenant Lazo's love for music came from her mom and dad, who sang karaoke for fun. 

"I started singing just for fun," the Milledgeville, Ga., native said. "As a kid, I attended family potlucks where my relatives would ask me to play the piano or sing. I used to hate it, but eventually, I discovered I wasn't bad at it." 

She started singing in kindergarten where she learned acting and performing. She also performed during her middle school and high school plays. 

"I always knew I wanted to pursue singing, music and dance," Lieutenant Lazo said. "That's what I am passionate about. I definitely knew I wanted to expand my horizon and continue performing." 

If not doing her job, Lieutenant Lazo usually performs activities that are still music related. She is part of the High Desert Dance Company in Lancaster, Calif., and an active member of the Edwards Chapel choir. 

"She is an excellent singer, and we have really enjoyed her talents," said Capt. Jon Lehan, 95th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy chief and Edwards Catholic Chapel community musical director. 

Captain Lehan said she is a perfect fit for the Tops In Blue. 

"She has an incredible positive attitude," he said. "I think that is a huge asset to Tops In Blue and to the Air Force. A year of touring gets tough, and she'll be there to encourage her teammates." 

Lieutenant Lazo said she is very excited to start performing as part of Tops In Blue. 

"It is definitely (good) for Airmen's morale," she said. "We are doing this not just for the Airmen and their families, but also the surrounding communities. It brings a different perspective to what the military is capable of."