ROCKVILLE, Md. – Roger Waters is directing troops. Literally.
The famous front man has led the British band Pink Floyd for the past half-century. Now he’s leading a practice session in a room filled with wounded military veterans.
MusiCorps, a music rehabilitation program for recovering armed service members, is seeking to expand beyond the 50 recovering veterans now participating in the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band yearly.
Waters is instrumental in the group’s expansion efforts and is vocal about what needs to happen to grow the project.
“What we need,” Waters said in an interview, “is to find a George Soros or someone out there who will give MusiCorps a few million bucks to support this program because it is hugely humane and worthwhile… We ought to be devoting our resources to looking after these men and all people who need our help.”
The program’s founder, composer Arthur Bloom, said music aids wounded warriors in their recovery.
To get them back in a groove, MusiCorps holds practice sessions and performances with accomplished musicians.
Bloom said he too has greater aspirations for MusiCorps, a project that started out as “an experiment” after meeting an injured serviceman at Walter Reed.
The recovering soldier had lost his leg to a roadside bomb, and was worried that he wouldn’t be able to play the drums again.
Bloom said that moment – eight years ago – inspired MusiCorps, the project that has become his “life’s work.”
Tim Donley, a retired Marine corporal, said he’s experiencing the benefits of the program firsthand.
“I’d say something like MusiCorps is saving lives, which I guarantee it has, and I know it has, and I know it still is,” Donley said in an interview, “but that’s that one-liner and it’s corny and people don’t think you mean that.”
Waters, a singer, songwriter and bassist, is hosting a benefit concert featuring the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band on Friday, Oct. 16 at Constitution Hall, to raise money for the program’s future endeavors.