• Airman 1st Class Cody Bond sings “Tomorrow” by Chris Young. Bond was the only country-western crooner at the Festival of the Arts U.S. Army Competition.

    Airman 1st Class Cody Bond

    Airman 1st Class Cody Bond sings “Tomorrow” by Chris Young. Bond was the only country-western crooner at the Festival of the Arts U.S. Army Competition.

  • Jakob Lopez performs a religious song he wrote and composed called “How He Loves,” a song inspired by a near-fatal illness. The 19-year-old is the son of a Soldier.

    Jakob Lopez

    Jakob Lopez performs a religious song he wrote and composed called “How He Loves,” a song inspired by a near-fatal illness. The 19-year-old is the son of a Soldier.

  • Airman 1st Class Michael McAnderson takes a moment to get close the crowd while singing “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

    Airman 1st Class Michael McAnderson

    Airman 1st Class Michael McAnderson takes a moment to get close the crowd while singing “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Music and voices filled the Hacienda Recreation Center June 9, as service members performed in the BOSS Festival of the Arts U.S. Army Competition.

This year’s event, titled “A Musical Splendor” and directed and produced by Ben Paniagua, featured 18 acts with 16 performers, including singers, a saxophonist and even a mentalist making their grand debuts.

“It was great. Everything fell into place,” said Paniagua, who last year garnered six awards for his show and his performers. “I thought the service members were magnificent.”

The Festival of the Arts is the Army’s annual celebration of theater, art and music. Awards go out to the top three winners in theater, music and special event categories. Top artists are noticed and selected to join Family and MWR’s entertainment programs such as the U.S. Army Soldier Show.

The competition, established to recognize and encourage distinguished achievement in entertainment and recreation, pits local performers against a global talent pool including 18 military installations.

Sgt. Tony Cooper, a vocalist with the 232nd Medical Brigade Band, has been performing all his life. The Festival of the Arts offered a great stage for his talents.

“I really enjoyed the venue,” said Cooper, who was dressed in white from head to toe including a slightly tilted fedora. “The stage was great. It was a wonderful place to perform.”

Cooper mellowed the crowd with his soulful rendition of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s World.”

Winners of the worldwide competition will be announced at the end of September.

Page last updated Thu June 16th, 2011 at 13:48