A special concert with Darden Smith to honor Hampton Roads Military
Free to all Active-Duty Military and Veterans.
$10 Donation for General Public
Darden Smith, the Founder of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, comes to Hampton Roads with Mary Judd, the program’s Executive Director to take part in the Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival, a three day celebration of original music and local artists. Darden will open for Shawn Colvin at the Naro Expanded Cinema in Ghent, Norfolk on Thursday, April 10. On Friday, Darden facilitates a songwriting workshop at School of Rock, Norfolk for area artists interested in honing their skills. Friday night Darden and a guest artist will present a very special concert at the Nauticus Theater, an intimate venue for 350 at the Norfolk waterfront’s Nauticus Museum. The concert will include video, soldier stories and songs from SW:S retreats.
Information will be shared with service members and veterans through Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk and the Flagship newspaper. We are in contact with the Wounded Warriors program. A news release will be issued to major media outlets promoting the event, and 300 posters will be printed and circulated throughout Hampton Roads, in high-traffic areas like city centers, waterfronts, college campuses and military bases. FaceBook and LinkedIn also are used for informing and interacting with a large fan base.
Writing well takes focus, creativity, and bravery. Songwriting takes an added dose of attention in order to maximize the medium of music. What happens if you feel you’ve got all the ingredients above, but still don’t feel like you’re getting where you need or want to be as a writer? It’s likely you are missing a key ingredient – a reason for writing. Most of us know how easily the words come when we have a specific story to tell or point we want to make and we simply “get out of our own way” and write. Having a purpose for our writing fuels our passion. What’s your purpose as a writer? To many of us, that’s a complicated question. Sometimes we don’t quite know our purpose, other times we’ve lost track of it or aren’t confident that it matters.
In this workshop, through exercises, demonstrations, and discussions, we will help you tune in to what you really care about and find meaningful ways to apply your passion to your craft. Once you can do that, you just might find your work reaching far beyond your expectations.
Songwriting With:Soldiers was created with the goal of helping veterans and active-duty service members tell their stories through song. In single-day workshops and multi-day retreats, soldiers (including service men and women from all branches of the military) are paired with professional songwriters. Together, they transform stories about combat and the return home into lyrics and melodies, a collaborative process that fosters trust, healing, and creativity.
The resulting songs—losing a friend in battle, struggling with substance abuse, reconnecting with a spouse—are as diverse as the participants themselves. As founder Darden Smith says, “It’s all about listening.” After each event, participants receive CDs of the songs, a lasting artifact that can be shared with families, friends, communities, and beyond.
Our program helps bridge the divide between military and civilian communities. As these songs circulate through CDs, performances, videos, lyric books, and website downloads, they inspire connection, compassion, and understanding of the challenges faced by the brave men and women who serve their country.