New program at UTSA provides music lessons to veterans

Local veterans will soon be able to express themselves through music

SAN ANTONIO – The University of Texas at San Antonio’s School of Music is starting a new program where they will teach veterans how to play different musical instruments and will form a concert band.

“We’re really excited to provide this life-long learning opportunity for veterans as a way of giving them a chance for creative self-expression through music,” Tracy Cowden, director at UTSA’s School of Music said.

The program “On-Corps” will be led by a former commander of the Air Force Band of the West, a musical organization with an outstanding record of achievement.

“We’re limiting it to veterans. We’re making it free for them to participate. It’s all donor funded and we are providing instrument, loans and instruction,” Cowden said.

Members of UTSA’s Boom Squad will be mentors, along with other music students. They will teach veterans how to read and play music.

“I think it’s honestly going to be a great experience for them. It’s something new and something challenging that they can, like, really navigate,” Jordan Davis, a UTSA student said.

Low Brass Professor Gary Poffenbarger is also part of the program and says music brings people together and touches hearts.

“As a 24-year member of the Air Force, the Armed Services retired, I was able to travel all around the world as a musician and share music with people of all different countries and people in the United States. And it’s a great way to connect with people,” Poffenbarger said.

Poffenbarger said veterans will learn different instruments including the flute, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet.

“They’re going to make new friends and music is going to bind them together. And they’re going to come together as a team,” Poffenbarger said.

UTSA will host its first information meeting on Saturday, at the main campus at 10 a.m. For more information, click here.

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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