Center Stage: Music for Veterans
Music for Veterans is an organization going on eleven years, but have just started branching out to Nashville, Tennessee. Music for Veterans is a non-profit organization for veterans and musicians to connect and heal through music. This upcoming Saturday, October 8th, there will be a kickoff concert featuring artists Adam Warner, Billy Lee, 3 Gun Whiskey and Sami Lin. Keep reading to hear more about our veterans, the stories and how this organization came to be.
1. What is Music For Veterans about?
"Music for Veterans is a non-profit organization that provides the opportunity for social interactions with fellow Veterans who may be facing the same issues of reintegrating into civilian life... all through the fun activity of playing a musical instrument!"
2. Why are you putting on this fundraiser?
"Music for Veterans originated about 11 years ago when Vinny Steffaneli was asked to teach music to veterans at a Vet Center in Pennsylvania. From those first days, the organization grew. In 2021 while trying to combat my own PTSD and anxiety, I found the therapeutic effects music can have on the mind, body, and soul by starting to play the guitar. Born and raised in Tennessee, I came home after a 23-year career in the Air Force and had a difficult time integrating into civilian life along with finding a new identity and purpose in life. Feeling that music probably saved my life, I knew that there were so many veterans that have had the same issues I have dealt with. I decided to create a non-profit myself. Researching non-profits I came across Vinny and Music for Veterans. He and I just hit it off. He offered to give me lessons over zoom. Together we decided to combine our efforts and this benefit concert is the kickoff to Music for Veterans coming to Tennessee!"
3. How are you promoting your event?
"We have had a big social media push for the last month as well as advertising on our website. www.music4veteranstn.org
The event is at Urban Nector Cantina in Nashville. They have advertised at their restaurant and the entertainers have put the concert details on their social media."
4. How can people support you both musicians and non-musicians alike?
"We accept all kinds of donations, including
any kind of musical instrument no matter what kind of shape they are in. We never know what instrument veterans want to play and other than piano we can usually hold onto them until they find a veteran. Musicians wanting to help teach a veteran are always needed. We get veterans from all over the country that contact us wanting to learn an instrument. Even if they are not in our area, if we can get them an internet connection, then musicians can give back to veterans with their musical talents. Being a non-profit we can only survive on donations."
5. What has been your greatest accomplishment this year?
"Without a doubt, setting up a new office in a new state has been a huge accomplishment. However, this benefit concert will be enormous to help spread the word that we are here for all veterans and active-duty members. Hopefully, we will raise enough money to fund the program for the next year. Whether it's buying instruments or fixing instruments for veterans."
6. What can we expect from you in the Future? Where do you see this progressing?
"We will continue to establish groups of veterans in as many areas of Tennessee as possible. All we need is someone willing to organize the weekly jam sessions and a musician, which can be one and the same. Tennessee has one of the biggest veteran populations in the US. So there is plenty of work that can be done to help veterans find their peace through music. We also hope to continue to highlight and help veterans that are pursuing music as a way of life through events such as our Kickoff Concert."
7. What will be some highlights of the event on Oct 8th?
"Hopefully, we have a great number of people and lots of veterans we can connect with about the program, all while listening to some very talented musicians and some veteran musicians. We have an online auction that is live right now through the concert. Items include Jason Aldean, Stevie Nicks, Nashville Predators, Tennessee Titans, and Vanderbilt football tickets. We also have a fender acoustic guitar signed by numerous famous musicians and a Vanderbilt football helmet signed by Head Coach Clark Lea."
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