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.

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

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