Every summer, Salvation Army camps all over the United States host at least one week that’s dedicated to nurturing young musicians. Here in Southern California our music camp is called the Chris Mallett School of Music, named for a great guy and one of the most talented musicians The Salvation Army ever had the privilege to know.

Here’s how it works; kids with musical gifts or a yet undiscovered talent for music are invited to participate in a week full of one-to-one training, ensemble practice and opportunities to perform for an audience. At the end of that week, family and friends are invited to hear the melodic results.

One of the quintessential images associated with The Salvation Army – apart from the red kettle and the local thrift store – is the brass band. Salvation Army bandsmen and women are some of the best trained musicians in the world. Our folks play in major symphony orchestras all over the United States and abroad. We’ve got a reputation, and it’s a good one!

But our interest in music doesn’t end with the brass band. We’ve also got a broad range of musical styles in our churches and love to encourage new musical expression. Click here for a link to our new Territorial Commander’s blog where he writes about the different types of groups he saw and heard in the Chris Mallett School of Music’s final performance.

Why all this emphasis on music, you ask? As Christians, we believe that music is one of the languages we use to communicate with God; to tell Him that we love Him and to thank Him for loving us.

My colleague John Docter took some wonderful photos at music camp when he wasn’t busy sharing his great musical gift (he’s one of the Army’s star cornet players!) with his students! Here’s a slideshow of his images:

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