Founded by Dustin Welch in 2011 in Austin, Texas, Soldier Songs and Voices is now a nationwide program, with five chapters operating throughout the USA. Dustin saw an opportunity for the program to work in Australia and through the support and backing of People First Charitable Trust, launched Soldier Songs and Voices Australia in March 2016.
We are very aware of the sacrifices our defense men and women have made and continue to make for their country, so we wanted a way to give back and show our gratitude. The workshops are a place for like-minded people to come together, have some fun and learn some new skills. Our goal is to create long-lasting change through songwriting and music in the lives of active duty and prior service veterans and their families.
While music has long been believed to have therapeutic power, 20th century advances in neuroscience allowed researchers to map the effects of music on the brain. We are contributing to the growing body of research that indicates music is not a supplement to therapy, but is in itself a proven method to retrain and re-educate the brain.
Are you a veteran curious about learning an instrument or participating in our free music workshops? We're here for you.
Interested in starting a Soldier Songs and Voices program in your community? We can help.
President and Founder
A Nashville native, Dustin grew up surrounded by writers, singers, pickers, and artists of all kinds. At an early age, he was exposed to the literary value of song form, and formed his own unique style of storytelling. Appalachian grooves and melodies coupled with lyrics, strange and beautiful. He encountered solid recognition for his talent and hard driving music and lyrical style for his first two solo records Whisky Priest and Tijuana Bible, putting him into the upper realm of Austin rockers.
"It's a little bit strong, a little bit unhinged, a little bit scary at times. He seems to be weaving together elements of various mythological traditions, pulling good old-fashioned Texas songwriting with some underworld imagery....This guy seems to be a very fully realized songwriter. He's not working anything out here. It sounds like he showed up knowing just what to do, and you better get out of the way so he can do it."
-Kim Ruehl, No Depression
Kevin Welch is an American country music artist. He has charted five singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and released eight studio albums. He is also one of the co-founders of the Dead Reckoning Records label, which he founded with fellow musicians Kieran Kane, Tammy Rogers, Mike Henderson, and Harry Stinson.
Kevin left his Oklahoma home at age 17 to pursue a life in music, settling in Nashville in 1978 after years of traveling. He soon signed on as a staff writer at Sony/Tree and over the decade to follow authoring songs for artists including Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Skaggs, and the Highwaymen.
Kevin is considered by many to be one of the founding forces behind the Alternative Country and Americana movements. He was Americana before they had a name for it and to this day, few performers can fill a room with their presence as he can.
Secretary and Treasurer
As Secretary, Hannah oversees administration and all internal functions at SSV. As Treasurer, she leads financial operations including book keeping, financial reporting, annual audits, and fundraising activities.
Hannah deployed to Bahrain in support of OIF and OEF in 2004 as an Intelligence Specialist in the US Navy. After completing her service, she enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle where she obtained a B.A. in International Studies from the Henry M. Jackson School and a B.A. in English Literature.