News: AFCENT band, Top Flight, performs for Kyrgyz students in Naryn
Story by Master Sgt. Jason Vaught
NARYN PROVINCE, Kyrgyzstan - Airmen from the U.S. Air Forces Central band, Top Flight, performed for more than 400 Kyrgyz students Sept. 27, 2012, during a live concert at the House of Youth, Naryn Province, Kyrgyzstan.
The six-member band is deployed from Joint Base San Antonio and is currently on a 90-day tour playing for various audiences throughout Southwest Asia. Their 12-day stop in Kyrgyzstan began with performances on the Transit Center at Manas and followed with a 4-day trip to the Naryn Province as part of a U.S. Embassy outreach initiative.
Local teens in Naryn were thrilled that an American band traveled to their city to play live music for them.
“In our country, we only hear music on the radio like Beyoncé or Shakira,” said Arbermet Zhyrgalbekova who is a high school student from Naryn. “Your visit is important to us, we never hear live English music here.”
Zhrygalbekova enjoyed listening to the live music. She was able to see the last AFCENT band, Vector, perform during her vacation to Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, where they were on a similar outreach program as Top Flight.
“We all like when the band visited Issyk-Kul,” she said. “It is great that (Top Flight) now come to Naryn and play for me and my friends. Thank you.”
Top Flight, who performs a mix of pop, rock and country, drove the students and teachers to their feet with hits by Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber.
“The band was very good,” said Alymudunova Sydyrym, who is also resident from Naryn. “The song by Rihanna was my favorite.”
Aliman Temirbek, Transit Center media relations specialist, is no stranger to performing with the AFCENT bands who visit Kyrgyzstan. She was invited by Tech. Sgt. Christin Foley and Senior Airman Henry Roberson, Top Flight vocalists, to sing a few songs.
“I have performed with other Air Force bands but I really enjoyed singing with Top Flight. They play all my favorite pop songs,” said Temirbek, who is a Bishkek native. “For Kyrgyz children to see me singing popular songs in English helps them see how music connects us all.”
After the performance, Tech. Sgt. Chad Newman, Top Flight percussionist and a crowd favorite, was surrounded by students wanting to play the drums.
“Entertaining the audience was the highlight of this trip,” said Newman who is a native of Arlington, Texas. “Having the kids come and play on the drums was a wonderful way to reach the children culturally.”