DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

Music Camp Helps Veterans Tell Their Stories In Song

Posted in Music Stories by darielb on December 31, 2011

I came across a press release that I thought was kind of interesting and cool, so I thought I’d share the info with you.  There’s a songwriting camp for veterans, sort of a transitional program that’s specially designed for members of the military and their families. It’s taking place Jan. 19-23, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

It’s being hosted by a nonprofit group called LifeQuest Military Transitions. According to this press release all costs for veterans are covered – travel, accommodations and the music camp. The LifeQuest mission is to empower military service members with life skills that enable personal growth, promote leadership development and facilitate positive change during transition into, through and beyond military life.

Austin, Texas-based musician Darden Smith will direct the songwriting program. A longtime singer/songwriter, Smith recorded

The multi-faceted musician also created Songs From the Big Sky, a documentary for BBC Radio in 2006 about the relationship between Texas songwriters and the state’s landscape. (photo courtesy dardensmith.com)

his first album in 1986 (Native Soil/ Redi-Mix Records; re-released on Watermelon Records in 1992), which, had some big-name backup players – Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith. Since then, he’s recorded 12 others, including Sunflower (2002/Dualtone Music Group), which included the hit single “After All This Time,” a tune that reached No. 3 on the BBC Radio 2 chart. His most recent is Marathon (2010/Darden Music). Quoting his website,Combining a sophisticated austerity with philosophical heft, Marathon undoubtedly reflects a veteran songwriter in transition, a truth-seeker willing to lay bare the hardships of scrutinizing his place in the modern world. Smith admits: ‘I couldn’t have written these songs 20 years ago.’”

Part of Darden Smith’s place in the modern world is clearly helping his fellow humans find their own place, and he most definitely has an affinity for those in the service of their country. This songwriting retreat is a follow-up to an earlier camp held in July 2011 in Edwards, Colo. Smith gathered a team of pros who worked with a group of participating service men and women.  Their songs were performed at a September 11 concert at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, and are now available on iTunes. After the January 2012 music camp, the songs from both camps will be compiled on a new album. Proceeds from the recordings will benefit the veterans and help fun LifeQuest programs.

If you know anyone who would benefit from this (or maybe someone in a position to volunteer or help our financially), please pass this along.

Music Camp Website (Go to EVENTS tab)

About LifeQuest Military Transitions

LifeQuest Military Transitions (LQMT) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, Colo. that provides a unique variety of transition programs for military members and their families. Participants come from all over the United States.  LifeQuest’s programs center on physical rehabilitation & training, adventure activities, and life skills development for wounded, ill and injured veterans. The program emphasis is always to empower participants through choice, challenge and change.


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