After hurricane, music brings cheer

In a move to bring encouragement to communities impacted by Hurricane Isabel, The Salvation Army Carolinas' Music & Arts (CMA) program will perform in three North Carolina cities this week for their Hurricane Isabel Mission Tour.

BY HEATHER MOYER | CHARLOTTE, N.C. | May 18, 2004


Major floods struck parts of southeast and south central Ohio in January. (Photo courtesy West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church)
Credit: Disaster News Network

In a move to bring encouragement to communities impacted by Hurricane Isabel, The Salvation Army Carolinas' Music & Arts (CMA) program will perform in three North Carolina cities this week for their Hurricane Isabel Mission Tour.

CMA, made up of youth performers from North and South Carolina, will perform in Swan Quarter on Friday, New Bern on Saturday, and Atlantic School on Sunday - all cities on the coast. Each event will include music from the band, prayer, drama, and a short inspirational message.

"(The Salvation Army - North & South Carolina Division) Emergency & Disaster Services department desired to do something to continue encouraging the people of the affected area, and each year the Carolinas' Music & Arts (CMA) program seeks ministry opportunities," said Desmond Smith, assistant divisional music director for CMA.

"The leadership of the CMA programs encourages both musical and artistic development, as well as faith and service development, so this opportunity was viewed as an excellent means by which these young people could develop their 'people-serving' skill."

The Isabel Mission Tour cities were selected because they are in the regions of eastern North Carolina that were hardest hit by the hurricane. David Dawe, CMA's divisional music director, said The Salvation Army helped people there immediately after the storm, and has maintained the relationships since.

Dawe and the participating youth are very excited. "It's going to be a great trip," said Dawe, who directs the Divisional Youth Band of CMA. The youth band is made up of 30 young people from middle schools, high schools, and colleges around North Carolina.

"This band is the cream of the crop," he said, adding that members must audition for it and be in good standing with their home churches to make it in.

Dawe's wife leads the Divisional Youth Drama team, as well as the 'Timbrels,' - a youth dance team. Both will be performing during this week's tour.

Working with youth through music and drama is something Dawes said he and his wife were called by God to do. "I love it, and they certainly keep you humble and honest," he laughed. "You can't fool them."

He added that kids also have an amazing way of interacting with disaster survivors. "Adults approach disaster survivors in such a different way, you know, we're kind of guarded and careful," he explained. "It's incredible how the kids interact. They're real and honest, and end up always having a powerful connection with people."

Smith said CMA mostly travels around the Carolinas, but has also gone beyond those borders for other shows. They're even planning a trip to Portugal in 2005.

CMA youth work hard to be part of the various groups, said Dawe, with some even driving eight hours for the Divisional Youth Band rehearsals.

"They're great kids."


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