Military Musicians Showcase Features Songwriting With: Soldiers

Military Musicians Showcase is an hour-long featured music program which airs on Friday and Monday evenings on Wreaths Across America Radio. The show shares our country’s military musicians with various performance ensembles along with information about the groups and performers.

The latest episode of Military Musicians Showcase features the songs written by soldiers in a  retreat program facilitated by a nonprofit organization out of Austin, Texas called, Songwriting With:Soldiers.

On Military Musicians Showcase, Wreaths Across America Radio talks with Co-Founder Darden Smith about Songwriting With: Soldiers and its evolution over the past six years or so since he created the program with Mary Judd.

This quote is what one of the songwriters, Georgia Middleman, had to share recently about her experience collaborating with a soldier to create his musical story. It’s an intense and enlightening human experience.

“I had just written with a soldier who carried so much pain,” Georgia states. “My job was to collaborate with him and get that pain down on paper so he could get it out of his body and be able to look at it from a distance.

Something amazing happens when you do that: when you hear the words of your own story wrapped in a melody, all that sadness and confusion magically turns into a key that - when done right - can unlock that prison door and let your soul see the story for exactly what it was: a story. It doesn’t have to define you anymore. You’re free to move forward, not forgetting what happened, but making space for forgiveness. And freedom.

And once you have your song, it’s like having a secret magic power you can call on at any time: when you forget and need to remember what it was like to feel that kind of clarity and release- all you have to do is hit PLAY.

I’m just a civilian songwriter. By the grace of God, I’ve never had to see or do what these soldiers have had to see or do. But writing songs with them has introduced me to real live superheroes. They have taught me and continue to teach me that if they can live with what they’ve seen and done (and sometimes didn’t do) then so can I. I can be braver. I can take chances and not beat myself up when I fall down. I can be a superhero too.” 

Tune in to Military Musicians Showcase, Monday and Friday evenings at 8:00-9:00 PM EST to hear more with Darden Smith and some of the powerful songs created through Songwriting With: Soldiers.

Find Wreaths Across America Radio here and click on the radio player to listen.