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January 11, 2010

Campaign to outfit U.S. service personnel on two war fronts with MP3s

Through a campaign called Songs for Soldiers, Americans can support the troops in a musical way.

The campaign, created by the Connecticut-based Flatflash Group, aims to hand-deliver credit card-sized, sand-proof and shock-proof MP3 players to all 184,000 U.S. service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You can order a player (or lots of them) for soldiers by going to 

this site. Clicking on "donate now" at the bottom of the page will take you to the site of the USO of Metropolitan New York, which is handling the orders. The MP3 is priced at $29; the purchase price is tax-deductible.

According to the press release, "the USO guarantees that each gift will be handed to all active duty troops in Iraq or Afghanistan."

Although the players will come loaded with original music composed and performed by military personnel (active and vet), soldiers can, of course, upload their own choices at will. Naturally, I'd like to think that at least a few of the recipients will opt for some hot classical music tracks, but this campaign is obviously worthy regardless.

Posted by Tim Smith at 1:02 PM | | Comments (1)


Hi Tim,

That's an excellent point! The USO and Songs for Soldiers are definitely open to all genres of music. The tracks that are currently being donated are by a record label who's music is all performed by either active US soldiers and/or veterans. We are open to more donations, which the USO would have to approve.

If you knew of any great classical music that can be donated to the cause, we're all for it!


Songs for Soldiers

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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