Music has been an important part of religious life in The Salvation Army. Throughout its history, music has symbolized the cheerful religion of Salvationists, providing both the expression of a joyous faith and a form of recreation. Many officers and soldiers play musical instruments and participate in informal musical sessions. Historically, that music has consisted of brass bands and vocal groups. This tradition continues today through The Salvation Army’s public concerts and efforts to share music wherever it may bring cheer.
Bands and songster brigades (choirs) are recognized for their achievements and often are called upon to participate in community activities. Famous conductors and composers have commended Salvation Army bands for their musical excellence. The list includes John Philip Sousa, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edwin Franko Goldman, Erik Leidzen, Meredith Willson, Dr. Rudolph Ringwald and others. Many prominent musicians throughout the world have received their music training in The Salvation Army.