Capo Tutorial

The Capo is a great tool for the novice or seasoned guitar player.  If you still have a bit of confusion about this device, or have never used one, check out this tutorial video.  It gives a step-by-step approach that addresses why and how to use the capo.  It's important to have a basic knowledge of open chords on the guitar before adding the capo.  You are welcome to review the guitar basics document beforehand.  Enjoy!

Where Mission and Fellowship Meet


What a great start to the 2014/2015 season of our Divisional Music & Arts Ensembles!  Over the September 12-13 weekend, more than 150 Sr and Jr Soldiers from around the Texas Division descended upon Camp Hoblitzelle to take part in one of our 5 divisional bands and 2 creative arts ensembles.  In addition to our youth groups (Contact, CAST, Texas Brass, Lonestar Brass, Bluebonnet Brass and Beginner Brass) we were pleased to add the Texas Divisional Band back into the mix, bringing 37 of our adult musicians and leaders together to play some great music!

So you may ask yourself...Why do we do this?  Why take the time get a group from your corps ready, pack up, hop on a bus and head to camp to spend a perfectly good weekend sitting in rehearsals, when I'm sure there are plenty of other things to do?  As the Divisional Music & Arts Director, I feel it's my job to ask these questions (and maybe you're thinking I don't ask them enough!).  And the answer I keep coming back to can be summed up in two words....Mission and Fellowship.

A few years back, I heard a speaker at our Territorial Youth Workers Conference speak about this.  I'm a little ashamed to say that I forget who the speaker was, but I clearly remember his message.  He talked about how our jobs as leaders in any church capacity is to create opportunities where mission and fellowship come together.  This really struck a chord with me as it relates to our programs.  We tend to be pretty good at both of these, but rarely do they come together.  I think we've all seen both sides of this coin.  How often have you been so occupied with the programs of your corps that you feel like you're busy from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave, and you realize you've barely had a chance to say hi to people?  Or the other side, have you ever been part of a group at the corps (Sunday School Class, weekly fellowship group, maybe even your music groups) where it never seems to go beyond the superficial "hang-put" phase? If we look closely, we realize that mission without fellowship produces burn-out while fellowship minus the mission produces boredom

I believe that these monthly gatherings at camp are so very beneficial to those who take part.  What a great way to stay connected to others throughout the Texas Division who are engaged in the same ministries you are.  But beyond being a good opportunity to hang out, there is a dual sided mission as well.  It is my job to ensure that these groups aren't just rehearsing for themselves.  There are places in Texas and the world who need to hear the message of Christ, and we have a special opportunity to bring that message in our unique way. (by the way, there are some exciting possibilities in the works).  But we also have a mission to disciple and encourage those within the group.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says this: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

My hope and prayer is that you take this scripture to heart as we continue to gather together (next on October 4!), and also that you take this encouragement back to your corps.  These groups do not exist to give you a break from your corps!  Quite the opposite.  My hope is that your involvement would inspire you, as you grow, to examine your corps life and seek how God can bring deeper meaning to all you do.  It is then you will see the fruit!

I hope to see you all again in October, excited to share in this special fellowship and ready to get involved in the mission.  Congratulations if you've read this far into my win the prize! 

See you next month!


What does media have to do with Music and Arts, anyway?

by Joshua Muir

You may have noticed that the Music and Arts Department has started working in the area of media and audio/visual technology.  We've had a media major at Conservatory for 2 years now, and we've begun producing videos from within our department.  This is new for our department, and you may wonder why we are spending any time on these things.

Well, we see the growth in the use of videos, media and technology both in the world and in our corps on a Sunday.  Our department already is involved in teaching and resourcing our division in the areas of brass, vocal and contemporary music, as well as the creative arts of dance, drama, timbrels and more.  We see audio and visual media as a further progression of the Creative Arts.  Increasingly, we need skilled operators of the sound and video equipment currently in our corps.  Very often, these technologies are used to support our music and creative arts forces, whether in supplying the sound for a praise band or drama group, or providing the lyrics in a clear and non-distracting way.  This is best accomplished through careful planning, adequate training and practice, practice, practice!  Does that sound familiar?  Just as we train our Junior and Senior Soldiers in the various music disciplines, we should be focusing a similar effort in the art of running a sound board, or crafting a Power Point show.  

My mission in the Music and Arts Department is to

  • Provide training at the local level on all audio/visual equipment, with special attention to providing the best quality possible for our Sunday morning worship
  • Coordinate audio/visual ministry at the divisional level, to demonstrate the impact of using worship technology at the highest level
  • Generate video and audio resources that can assist the corps in their mission, either on Sunday mornings, or throughout the week, in addition to sharing currently available resources

I am happy to be a part of this amazing division, and hope you will reach out to me.  Let me know what you are doing locally and how I can help in any way.  

The media track at Conservatory has produced a few videos and I share the two final projects with you here as an example of what we accomplish out at camp.

 Conservatory Video Gallery.

Behind the Lens - Recording Our Texas Heritage

by Joshua Muir

Recently, I was asked to create a series of videos which were used at this years family camp, celebrating 125 years of The Salvation Army in Texas.  The goal was to capture interviews with the people who were there during key moments in our division's history. The theme "Our Texas Heritage - Impacting the World for Christ" helped guide the ministries that were chosen as the features for each video.  The ministries highlighted were

  1. The Music Department, specifically during the tenure of Jim Anderson.
  2. Ministry to Mexico
  3. The Office of Media Ministries (OMM)

They all share in common the Texas Division reaching around the world in promoting the gospel of Jesus through the Salvation Army.  With only a few weeks to complete the project, we knew we had to find key figures who we could reach and set up interviews with in a short amount of time.  Luckily we had several in the area willing to sit down on camera.  Additionally, the Bible Conference at Lake Junaluska brought several of our guests into one location.  So with less than two weeks before family camp began, I headed out on the road to capture these interviews.  On day one, I traveled to Lake Junaluska where I met with Major Mark Brown, former OMM Director, as well as former Divisional Commander, Lt. Colonel Jack Waters.  Day two,  I went to Atlanta to gather historical footage from the huge video archive housed there in the Communications Bureau.  I also sat down with Nick Simmons-Smith, formerly of the Texas Music Department and currently the Territorial Music Secretary.  Then on day three, I was off to Clearwater, Florida to meet Lt. Colonel John Mikles. Back home after just three days, I sat down with Jack Morrison and Philip Burn to complete the interviews.  It was a whirlwind that was well worth it in the end!  I hope you enjoy these videos, and share them with your friends!

Please view all the videos here

Contemporary Worship Workshop - October 24-26

Marty Mikles of TransMission will be a featured guest.

Marty Mikles of TransMission will be a featured guest.

This exciting weekend is coming up October 24-26, at Camp Heart 'O Hills in Oklahoma.  It is open to our division to sign up your praise teams and experience a great weekend of learning and worship with other corps throughout our part of the Southern Territory.  They also have individual and beginner training if you don't have a full praise band yet.

They have a generous fee structure as one fee per corps, based on the number of people going, so the more each corps sends, the better the deal!  

Check out all the details here

We hope you can partake in this exciting opportunity!  Let us know if you're planning on going, we hope for a good Texas representation!