The Salvation Army Hosts Free Summer Music Program
The Salvation Army Hosts Free Summer Music Program

The Salvation Army Hosts Free Summer Music Program

The music of brass instruments, singing, and even handbells can be heard coming from The Salvation Army church in El Paso.

Fifteen students are participating in The Salvation Army’s 4th Annual Summer Music Camp.  The program is four weeks long and is completely free, making it accessible to any interested children from the community.

Music is a longstanding tradition of The Salvation Army, and brass bands in particular have been associated with the organization since its earliest days in late 19th century London, England. Even today in Salvation Army churches around the world, it is not unusual to find a brass band accompanying congregational singing and providing special music as part of worship services.  These are based on the British brass band format, using cornets instead of trumpets, and alto horns rather than French Horns, and can range in size from small ensembles of as few as four players, to full-sized groups of thirty or more.

“It’s not just a tradition,” said Major Eloisa Estrada, Commanding Officer. “Music is a great way to involve young people in the church and of course music education can improve performance in school and future opportunities.” Studies show that schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2% graduation rate, compared with 72.9% at schools without music programs.

Students attend daily brass classes, with both beginner and intermediate levels available.  Other classes include music theory, hand bells, and choir.  Each morning begins with snacks and a devotional thought before warming up for the day’s lessons and activities.  Although the program’s primary purpose is music education, traditional summer activities such as outdoor recreation and field trips are also part of the weekly schedule.   On Friday, June 17, students visited the El Paso Museum of Archeology as well as the National Border Patrol Museum.  They explored the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Hike while there.  On Friday, June 24, the field trip was at the AMC 16 theater where the kids enjoyed watching “Lightyear.”

Christopher Martinez first learned music during The Salvation Army’s summer program in 2017.  He is now a member of the Ysleta Middle School Honor Band and was selected to participate in All-Region Competition.  “I really enjoy learning music at The Salvation Army with my friends,” said Christopher.  “This year I’m able to help teach the younger kids.  It’s great to be able to give back a little.” Christopher earned 1st Division awards for his performance of “Mussetta’s Waltz” by La Boheme, and “Musette” at the 2022 YISD UIL Solo and Ensemble.

The 2022 Summer Music Camp runs from June 13-July 8.  Students will perform at a music celebration held on Sunday, July 10, 2022 at The Salvation Army Citadel Corps located at 4900 Hercules Ave.


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