The Songs From The Soul Of Service songwriting contest invited the men and women of our active military to share with us their thoughts and feelings. Presented by the Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) with assistance from the Office of the Secretary of Defenses’ America Supports You Program, the contest provided the civilian community with a way to say to those servicing in our military, we’re thinking about you; we care about you; we appreciate the work you have to do; and we value what you have to say. Speaking on the value of the project, the current Commander of the US Army Band, Colonel Thomas Rotondi said, “…What a great initiative!!! I'd like to be involved… What you folks are doing is fantastic! Thanks for your great support of our Service Members!!!

The project was so successful that the contest model has been used by the military to continue the contest.

For more information about Songs From The Soul Of Service or to acquire CDs for an event you are planning contact: Dallas Songwriters Association.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Documenting the Emotions of Service Men and Women on Active Duty

A marine in Fallujah pens a song about standing watch. A sailor stationed in Hawaii scribbles a lullaby for his son, while in the Iraqi desert, a soldier raps into a tape recorder. These soldier-songwriters along with others stationed around the world submitted hundreds of their original songs to Songs from the Soul of Service, the songwriting contest exclusively for the men and women of the US military.   As Songwriter, Master Sergeant David Arsement put it, “To write a song during my time in IRAQ…  Between 17-hour workdays and Mortar rounds coming at us, it took longer than most of my songs to write, but a soldier’s gotta do what a soldier’s gotta do.”
After many months of anticipation, the contest’s judges from across the music profession have made their choices for the 2008 contest.   There are 18 category winners and runners up.  From among these, the top three songs overall are #1 “Ask Me To”, by Air Force Captain Steve Wilson; #2 “If Tomorrow Were A Dream” by National Guard E4 Greg Pritchard; and #3 “I Can’t Wait To Love You”, by Jill Charles, the wife of Army Staff Sergeant Robert Charles.  Below is a complete list of winners and runners up.  
As was the case with the 2005/2006 running of the contest, support from sponsors and news organizations played a major role in finding the best songs to include on the compilation CD. The winners are being recognized with prizes sponsored by, among others, Broad Jam Music Service, Chase Bank, the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, and the Texas VFW.   The professionally produced compact disc compilation of winning songs from the 2008 contest is now available along with the CD from 2007. They have been included in packages sent the soldiers overseas from the Sons of Hermann Lodge and various other non-profit service appreciation organizations. Please contact us if your organization would like to distribute the albums. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tribute Video

Didn't make it to the concert? You can view our podcast tribute to our fallen soldiers from DFW.

URL: http://dallassongwriters.podOmatic.com/entry/2009-05-21T21_14_44-07_00

Concert Tweet / Cd available

Our Concert was Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 23rd at the Neotropolis in the North Carrollton area. The Black Doves with lead singer and our grand prize winner, Capt. Steve Wilson was our awesome headliner. Also. winner Jill Charles performed a super rendition of the National Anthem and her winning song, among others.
Anna Terry and Bob Paterno also performed between sets in the cafe.

The Cd of the 2008 winning songs, Songs From the Soul of Service Vol. 2 released for public sales at the concert and is now available online at: http://store.kagi.com/cgi-bin/store.cgi?storeID=7TE_LIVE&page=SSS4

Produced by The Dallas Songwriters Association,
Songs From The Soul of Service Committee:
William Brown, Phd, Committee Chair
Barbara McMillen, Cd Production
Jose Volante, Mike Dawson, Lisa Lazo, Joni Ringo, Nancy Rynders, Bob Paterno, Buck Morgan, Steve Sullivan, Chris Liddiard & Kevin Sproul

Mastered at Dyer Sound Lab by Don Ashley, Dallas, TX, dashley at texasmusicgroup.com
Art Direction, Graphic Layout and Design by Chris Liddiard, Chris at bottomlinedesign.co.uk
Insert printed at PostNet, North Dallas, TX, tx191@postnet.com
Duplication by Crystal Clear, Dallas, Tx, cdr at crystalclearstudios.com
Cds and jewel cases provided by WM Sales 800-836-7745
Special Thanks to Ross Vick for Production on "We'll Be Together"
ross at truehearttexas.com

Thanks to our sponsors: TexasVFW.org, Gaylord Texan, Broadjam.com, Don Ashley, Bottomlinedesign.co.uk, Crystal Clear Sound, WM Sales, Ross Vick & Chase Bank

Thanks to our judges : Lawrence Gelburd, Blake Milton, Sir Earl Toon, Barbara Farkas, Mark Menza, Steve Weingart & Mitch Paliga.
Thanks to our screeners: Mary Dawson, Ducado Vega, Mathew JC, Michael Gott, and Greg Dugan.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Winners of Dallas Songwriters Assoc. “Songs from the Soul of Service”
Sing of Overcoming Distance, Separation Through Music

DALLAS (April XX, 2009)—A captain sings of missing his newborn son while flying missions in Afghanistan. A sergeant’s wife finds the lyrics to a song in the solitude she feels at home while he’s deployed.

The songs and the singers will be celebrated May 23 at 7 p.m. at the Neotropolis Theater, 1130 West Trinity Mills, Carrollton. Sponsored by the Dallas Songwriters Assoc., the concert will feature winners from the DSA’s “Songs from the Soul of Service,” 2008 songwriting contest for military personnel. Tickets are $6 in advance and $7 at the door.

The Black Doves, featuring contest winner Capt. Steve Wilson, a University of North Texas graduate and a B-52 electronic warfare officer, will perform songs including Wilson’s personal and poignant “Like I Do,” inspired by the loneliness and separation he felt being away from his infant son. Wilson recalls, “On Sept. 10, 2002, my son Connor was born. Two months later, my unit deployed to fly missions in Afghanistan… Leaving my two-month-old first born son was difficult, to say the least.”

Jill Charles, the wife of Sgt. Robert Charles, wrote her song “I Can’t Wait to Love You” during Sgt. Charles’ initial deployment. “My heart was so broken and aching for him,” she remembers. “I was in the kitchen praying as I was doing dishes, and the song came to me.”

In addition to the winning songwriters’ performances, award winning local artist Tania Cordobes and her band will perform on stage, and other local artist will perform in the theater lobby beginning at 6:00 p.m., when doors open. A memorial to Texas’s fallen service members is also planned for the event.

Songs From The Soul Of Service is presented by the DSA with assistance from the Office of the Secretary of Defenses’ America Supports You program, and support from Broad Jam Music Service, Chase Bank, the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, and the Texas VFW.

Volunteer Opportunities for SSS Concert May 23

· Ticket Takers
· Ushers – two are three people assist our guest in finding their way around the theatre.
· Supplemental Security – we will have one or two professionals but a couple of more sets of eyes back stage and in the parking lot wouldn’t hurt.
· Stage Hand – someone to help with equipment setup and breakdown.
· Coordinate hospitality for special guest and performers – make sure there are refreshments available for them and they have a contact for directions and information.
· Transportation for one performer from Love Field to the Neotropolis in Carrollton and possibly from the Neotropolis to Arlington.
· Get items donated to raffle off at the concert.
· Help with the display of raffle items and sell of raffle tickets at the concert.
· Help with the DSA display; sell DSA merchandise; provide DSA membership information.
· Ticket Sales – this is a big one everyone possible needs to help with the sale of tickets. Send me a message to let me know how many tickets you need, and I’ll get them two you.
· Advertising Sales – another big one. Ask your entrepreneur friends, business associates, and personal services providers if they would like to advertise on the concert poster. If you or someone you know would like to purchase and ad, please follow the steps below:

1. Mail check made out to Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA), Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd. Box 20, Dallas, TX 75219.

2. Ref. ad size on check: a) 2x1.25=$100 b) 2x3=$150 c) 2x4=$200 d)3x4=$300 e)3x6=$450 f) 3x8=$600

3. Email your ad size & content in jpg/jpeg format to William@SongsSoulService.Org prior to May 15.

Related Links

If you aren't familiar with Songs from the Soul of Service, please visit the youtube and other links below. You'll be inspired.

The following links contain videos, songs and stories related to the contest.








Thursday, September 18, 2008


Rarely do the citizens served by the men and women of our military get the chance to know their thoughts and feelings. Songs from the Soul of Service, the songwriting contest for military personnel, provides that opportunity. "This contest truly personalizes the image of the military," says overall winner, Captain Steve Wilson. He goes on to say, "This contest gives us the chance to showcase what might otherwise remain silent or be forgotten."

Captain Wilson, the son of a retired Chief Master Sergeant, graduated from the University of North Texas, and soon after answered the call to duty becoming a B-52 electronic warfare officer. His songs reflect his love of family and the sacrifices occasioned by military service. One particularly personal and poignant song, "Like I Do," resulted from a deployment that separated Wilson from his then infant son. As Captain Wilson explains, "On September 10th 2002 (one day before the anniversary of 9/11) my son Connor was born. Two months later, my unit deployed to fly missions in Afghanistan... Leaving my two month old first born son was difficult to say the least."

Songs From the Soul of Service also introduced us to Mrs. Jill Charles, the wife of Army Staff Sergeant Robert Charles. An active member of the Fort Hood Army Base community and acclaimed local performer in the area, Mrs. Charles, like Captain Wilson, writes songs full of echoes of love, service, and sacrifice. Her song, "I Can't Wait To Love You," is a response to her husband's first deployment. Mrs. Charles describes the inception of the song; "My heart was so broken and aching for him. I was in the kitchen praying as I was doing dishes, and the song came to me. I grabbed some paper and started writing." The result was the top song in contest's Inspirational category.

The contest has uncovered a treasure trove of talented songwriters from within our nations military, each with a unique story and background but all sharing a devotion to service and a desire to have the rest of the citizenry see into their personal thoughts and feeling on what that service really means. The value of this is expressed well by contest finalist Army Sergeant Paul Cataldi:

" I feel it is of the utmost importance for Americans to know how we feel as service men and women, as well as for them to hear our personal experiences. War can be a very confusing thing, and changes you in many ways forever. Without having been through it though, many will never understand how exactly it changes those who've seen it. My hope is that myself and my fellow military artists will be able to provide some insight into the psyche of the soldier."

Songs From The Soul Of Service is presented by the Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) with assistance from the Office of the Secretary of Defenses' America Supports You program, and support from Broad Jam Music Service, Chase Bank, the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, and the Texas VFW.

Songs From The Soul Of Service
Dallas Songwriter Association
Sammons Center for the Arts
3630 Harry Hines Blvd. Box 20
Dallas, TX 75219

Related websites: