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Learn more about The Salvation Army's year-round Music Programs.
The Salvation Army’s music and arts programs teach people of all ages how to perform to the glory of God and for the blessing of others. Whether it’s playing in a brass band, singing in a choir, participating in a praise band, or dancing and performing dramatizations, these programs provide participants with a lifetime of fulfillment through musical excellence with spiritual purpose. Trained staff pursue this mission through educational, performance, and resourcing efforts that benefit local music and arts programs, and through the administrative work and professional development of program leaders.
For more information, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!
The SWONEKY Divisional Band exists to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the medium of music. In so doing, it functions in support of The Salvation Army’s work and outreach in Southwest Ohio and Northeast Kentucky. The band serves as the model of musical excellence and dedication for all Salvation Army music ensembles in our division. Through its music and the lives of its members, the band seeks to help strengthen believers, to stir the hearts and minds of unbelievers, and to set a standard of musical distinction appropriate for musicians whose lives and talents are dedicated to the Lord.
Divisional band members are faithful Salvationist soldiers/local officers who are dedicated to their local Corps’ ministry of music and the arts.
The SWONEKY Divisional Youth Band exists to spread the love of Jesus Christ through quality musical artistry. Through its music and the lives of its members, the Band seeks to be an example of young Christian fellowship and exemplary musical excellence. It is a ministry to train up and mentor young artists from the Salvation Army in brass banding for the glory of God. Through group performance, discipleship and leadership opportunities within the Division, our artists have the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Divisional Praise Team engages God’s people to connect with Him through participatory worship that seeks to glorify His Holy name and bring about transformation to the likeness of Jesus Christ. The SWONEKY Divisional Praise Team is made up of Salvationist artists who give of their time and talent in this ministry endeavor. They minister at various Salvation Army events throughout the year using the ministry of music.
The SWONEKY Divisional timbrel group exists as an artistic expression of God’s creativity through the art of playing the tambourine.
Timbrels are a longstanding tradition in The Salvation Army and have been played for more than 100 years in worship centers, parades and other events as a unique aspect to the organization. The Timbrel ensemble performs for Salvation Army engagements and shares in ministry opportunities at various annual events.
The SWONEKY Dance and Drama Ensembles exist to provide opportunities to encounter God through sincere artistic expressions and reflect the creativity of God. This is an opportunity for youth to grow through the medium of dance and theatre in a group setting for the purpose of ministry at Salvation Army Corps. It exists to hone talents of young artists and reach new heights in the understanding of faith and artistic ministry. These groups shine light in dark spaces and evangelize through creative talents!
The Salvation Army’s summer music programs are designed to impact musicians, actors, and dancers of various ages and skill levels through performance-based groups and education-focused training programs. The summer programs exist to train young artists for continued performing arts involvement, leadership roles in their local community, and more advanced musical connection in other areas of The Salvation Army’s ministries.
The Salvation Army offers two Music and Arts summer camp opportunities in Southwest Ohio and Northeast Kentucky at Camp SWONEKY: Music and Worship Arts Camp, and SWONEKY Music Conservatory.
Music and Worship Arts Camp is The Salvation Army’s annual camp offered to local Corps and community center music and arts participants across Southwest Ohio and Northeast Kentucky. This 8-day camp gives an opportunity for artists ages 7-14, of all technical levels, to receive group instruction in their art form. Each artist goes through an audition process for placement in their primary track and choir.
Brass ensembles are available for musicians to receive instruction based on playing ability. In addition to the brass band track, Creative Arts tracks are offered with emphases in Dance, Timbrels and Theater, as well as percussion track, guitar track and vocal performance track.
Delegates have the opportunity to participate in a variety of elective classes which include: Timbrels, Dance, Painting, Piano, Guitar, and more. They also have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful nature around them through activities such as swimming, horseback riding, ropes course, archery, and various sports. Most importantly, each delegate will study God’s Word while at camp through their age-appropriate Bible class each day.
The SWONEKY Music & Arts team trains, disciples, mentors, encourages and resources our local leaders and Salvationist artists of the SWONEKY Division in a variety of music and arts ministry opportunities (i.e., brass banding, dance, theatre, vocal ministries – singing company/songsters, praise and worship team training, and other art forms). Our goal as a department is the strengthening and development of local officers and Salvationist artists by supplying practical knowledge, and expert instruction to bring excellence and consistency to every Corps’ worship life to the glory of God.
Lousson Smith has been serving as the Divisional Music Director in the SWONEKY Division since August of 2019. Originally from the South Florida area, Lousson moved to Cincinnati in 2017 to join the Music Department as Assistant Divisional Music Director.
Lousson earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from University of Central Florida, and went on to pursue a Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the tutelage of international soloist Ashely Hall.
As an educator he believes everyone can develop a love for music no matter what their skill level may be. As a performer, he believes it’s our duty to do the music justice. As a follower of Christ, he believes we are meant to use our gifts to their highest ability to honor the One who gave them to us.
Anita Cocker-Hunt is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Music in trumpet degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She also earned her Master of Music degree in Instrumental Wind Conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Anita served as Divisional Music Director for the Salvation Army in Southwest Ohio and Northeast Kentucky for over 15 years and currently serves as the Divisional Music Instructor.
She is also Associate Conductor of the Commonwealth Brass Band, an ensemble in residence at Indiana University Southeast, and on staff as an adjunct faculty member at IUS.
With a background in education, Amy is dedicated to seeing the bible come alive to all ages. She studied classical piano for 12 years and now uses these skills to lead worship and teaches others to lead worship using the arts. She believes that leading others into the presence of God brings healing and joy- what a high honor! Amy and her husband Jerome love living in Ohio and have two little boys.