Military News

Friday, March 20, 2015

Warriors of the North climp to the Tops in Blue

by Senior Airman Xaiver Navarro
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/18/2015 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Two members of the Warriors of the North have been selected for the 2015 Tops in Blue tour.

2nd Lt. Nicque Robinson, 319th Contracting Flight contracting specialist, and Capt. Michael Rose, 69th Reconnaissance Group group executive officer, were chosen after a 10-day audition at Lackland AFB, Texas.

Tops in Blue is a group of talented Airmen composed of singers, dancers and technicians working to boost morale in Airmen and military families across the world.

To be picked for the audition, participants had to send in one or two videos of what position they wanted to fill. Robinson auditioned for a vocalist position.

"One song I sang was an original song I wrote, called 'I am Fire'," said Robinson. "It's a song about my personal journey and accepting who I am. I am a very passionate person, which can be good and bad."

Rose's strength was playing the piano and during his audition tape, he played a five-minute medley that consisted of pop classics, Broadway and instrumental songs.

A week after the auditions, the uneasiness and anticipation of not knowing what the results were came to a halt.

"During a commander's call, [Maj. Schofield, 319th Contracting Flight commander], announced the good news that I was picked," said Robinson. "I told my husband, dad and mom, it meant a lot to me more than I thought it would. Those 10 days were tough and really challenging. I felt really proud and humbled when they chose me."

Rose's commander, Col. Lawrence Spinetta, e-mailed him the great news that he was selected for officer in charge, tour director and keyboardist.

"The apprehension and confirmation of not knowing whether I had gotten picked was getting to me," said Rose. "I was excited when I found out that I was selected and told my wife, family and friends that I had auditioned with."

For every talent and dream there is a starting point. For Robinson and Rose, it started at home with their family.

Rose was taught how to play the piano at the age of four by his mother. She taught him standard methods and started to go into more difficult classical pieces.

Robinson started singing at the age of two, when she sang at church. As she got older, she participated in music at West Side High School in Houston, Texas, and played the clarinet. When she joined the Air Force Academy she was involved in musical theater for four years.

"When I joined the military I thought 'I will never get to be a performer and an entertainer'," said Robinson. However when she saw Tops in Blues perform during her freshmen year at the Air Force Academy, it gave her an opportunity to pursue her passion.

Everyone has inspirations they look up to and for Robinson it would be Michael Jackson due to his work ethic and performance, while Mariah Carey's vocals are who she tries to emulate. Her father, Ronald Robinson, is the one who pushed her limits, not only in music, but in everything she does.

Rose's mother is one of his inspirations because of relentless generosity with her talent and willing to play piano for a community. His older brother, Josh was the person who helped fuel his desire to keep playing music.

"My mom had the tenacity to raise nine kids and teach us all how to play piano," said Rose. "It's hard to run a family while trying to teach us how to play piano. I am extremely grateful for the talent that I do have."

"I get to do what I like to do the most in the world while serving my country, which I didn't think it would be possible performing and entertaining," said Robinson. "Now that I'm sitting looking at the year ahead of me, I'm about to use the gift of music to lift people's spirits."

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