Sunday, January 29, 2012

Performing for soldiers

After performing an orchestra concert one evening last semester, my boyfriend and I were driving home. He was excited for me about my performance on the concert and we somehow dove into a conversation about music and the audience. I told him that I was really frustrated because the people I really want to play for I do not know how to reach. Playing on an orchestra concert was only so satisfying for me. I wanted to be able to perform where my music wasn't just entertainment, where it was actually needed. I wanted to play in active war zones. Until that point I had believed that the only way a classical musician could do so was by becoming a member of one of the military bands. Due to a back injury from a car accident, I did not believe I would be accepted. That was when my boyfriend, Shaun, told me about a program through the USO where musicians can apply and audition to be able to perform for soldiers in war zones. I could not wait to get home and look up the information. I have always wanted to touch lives with my music and playing in war zones was reinforced even more by the fact that my boyfriend is an army reservist who has already deployed twice. Men and women everyday give up their home lives to go fight for our country. If I could go for even one performance to bring these people hope and a piece of home, then it is the least I could do. I began to research into ways that every day musicians can apply to go overseas. The USO program is for entertainers of celebrity status, but reading through their site, they provided a link to another site for musicians and entertainers that did not fit into the "celebrity" category. Unfortunately, the site is very vague on costs and what the performer will be reimbursed for. For one to find out, they would need to go through the audition process. I will keep looking into this and post my findings.

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