Enriching Lives One Note at a Time


The Salvation Army has long believed in the transforming power of musicboth in healing lives and providing life-changing opportunities, especially in the case of young people. Studies have shown that youngsters involved in music programs demonstrate increased confidence and self-esteem, and perform better in the classroom. Yet when school budgets are stretched, music programs, unfortunately, are among the first things to go.

The Salvation Army is dedicated to keeping music and the arts alive for youngsters of all ages. Across the Greater New York area, Salvation Army music programs offer instrumental, voice, and theory lessons for hundreds of youngsters and young adults each year, many of whom are at-risk. Often, these young people go on to become members of Salvation Army music groups like the Railton Brass & Chorus (elementary) and Greater New York Youth Band & Chorus (advanced). Salvation Army music programs are also an integral part of our Star Lake summer youth camp, providing intensive hands-on music instruction and performance opportunities for ages ranging from 7 to 17. A highlight of our music programs is our annual Star Search event, where youngsters compete for awards in multiple music and arts categories while receiving valuable instruction to further develop their talent. Some 500 youngsters attend this event each year.

Operating costs for these music programs is considerable: The Salvation Army Greater New York Division annually commits huge resources to keep these vital programs alive.

While we work to minimize the cost to families of youngsters taking part in these programs, some familiesstruggling to pay the rent or put food on the tablefind even a minimal fee is too much.

You can help, though―today. Right now.

Would you consider helping The Salvation Army bring the gift of music to at-risk youngsters by sponsoring one or more scholarships to our music programs? As you’ve read, the impact on young lives can be immeasurable.

The total amount The Salvation Army commits annually for music programs throughout the Greater New York area
The total cost for The Salvation Army to provide 220 scholarships to the Music & Creative Arts Camp at Star Lake Camp
The total cost for The Salvation Army to host the Music Conservatory for young musicians at Star Lake Camp
The average cost to sponsor one young person to attend The Salvation Army’s Music Conservatory at Star Lake Camp

At twelve years of age I went to The Salvation Army Hempstead Citadel [corps community center] on a Sunday morning and I remember seeing and hearing instruments being played and I became intrigued and soon started attending the music classes offered. Later, I was able to attend the summer music camps and conservatories at Star Lake Camp where I was able to grow as a musician and a Christian. My love and passion for music originated at a Salvation Army corps and I am inspired to give back to the future generations the joys that Salvation Army music programs have given me.
― Christopher, Salvation Army music-program alumnus, current Salvation Army youth-music instructor, music-education graduate

My family came to The Salvation Army in Kingston [NY] at a time of great crisis and because of this I started attending the many corps programs, including music. I eventually became a member of the Greater New York Youth Chorus and spent my summers at Star Lake Camp, where I learned my musical foundation. I decided to study opera and after five years away I have returned to attend graduate school in New York City. This also gives me the opportunity to give back and share what I have learned with the children in the music program in Kingston.
― Danielle, Salvation Army music-program alumnus, current Salvation Army youth-music instructor

I’m just really grateful I was able to go into the program for free, and now I’m able to do the same thing in other children’s lives. I know what my leaders have done for me in my life. They’ve helped me through a lot of things. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have those people in my life. I guess it means a lot to me that I can be one of those people for other children that were in my same position.
― Devonte, Salvation Army music-program alumnus, current Salvation Army youth-music instructor

To ensure that future generations of children will be able to receive the gift of music, consider leaving a legacy to The Salvation Army in your will or living trust. Some donors have chosen to establish a Music Endowment in their name or the name of a loved one to ensure that children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn an instrument or take voice lessons might experience these potentially life-changing programs.

For further information, please contact our Planned Giving Department at (212) 352-5687.