A group of Legionnaires are looking for singers and songwriters who are willing to tell their service stories through song and verse.
"Operation Encore ," an organization created by professional musicians who also happen to currently be in the military, is taking song submissions from veterans and active servicemembers for a chance to record in a professional studio on an all-military compilation CD. Submissions, which are due on Feb. 28, can be of any musical genre or variation - the only requirement is that they relate an experience about military service.
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . They can be in the form of an MP3, YouTube link, MPEG or even just an email with lyrics. Submissions should also include a short artist bio, which includes years of service, military branch, experience as a musician, occupation and location.
Selected winners will be flown to Arizona, travel expenses paid, to professionally record their tracks on the Operation Encore CD. The target date for release of the CD is mid-2014.
"We're pretty wide open on the genre, but we want to keep it simple and genuine," said Rob Raymond, an Operation Encore founder and professional musician. "The theme is ‘personal stories' related to your military experience. Nothing overly political or pandering. That has already been done."
Once the CD begins to sell, the plan is to pay a percentage of income to artists as royalty fees, then use the remainder to pay for travel and production costs and for donations to veterans charities.
Song submissions from artists associated with all branches of the military are welcome. The goal, Operation Encore founders say, is to fly all selected artists to Arizona on the same date for a collaborative recording session among all musicians selected.
"We hope to find talent that is off the radar, get people together to collaborate, and share our experiences with the public through music," Raymond said. "With a little luck, we'll raise money for charity and have a blast in the process."
Operation Encore is founded by two current Air Force pilots - Raymond and Chris Kurek - who bonded in 2001 over a love of music. Both are professional musicians who have sold thousands of albums and have performed in the U.S. and Europe. The third partner of Operation Encore, Erik Brine, is not a musician but a veteran and Legionnaire who shares his contemporaries' passion for song.