Throckmorton Theater, 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, CA
Welcome to Operation Encore, a Veteran Music Project! Operation Encore is a collaboration of highly talented singer/songwriters and musicians from across the veteran and military communities. The artists create original music covering an array of topics such as the loneliness of being away from home, the joy of returning to loved ones and the loss of a friend. Tonight the artists include a former sniper, a medic, a helicopter pilot, a military spouse, a paratrooper, and an F-16 pilot. One of the artists, Stephen Covell, will be performing his original song about returning home from Iraq entitled “Sand Hills to Sandals”. Some of the song’s powerful lyrics: “it’s a life time, every day you wake up on the front line, sneaks up like a shadow deep in the night tell yourself it’s alright to turn out the lights”.
ABOUT Operation Encore is a non-profit organization that helps active duty and veteran military musicians take their careers to a professional level through networking, education, live performances, talent development, studio time and distribution. Operation Encore seeks to help bridge the gap between reality and public perception of veterans through the powerful medium of original music. ABOUT THE SINGER/SONGWRITERS
Stephen Covell first picked up a guitar at age 17, and he has been creating music ever since. He enlisted in the Army in 2006, serving as a forward deployed combat medic in the 82nd Airborne on two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A recent graduate of the University of San Francisco Writing program, he is currently finishing his first book, “Bring Your Gun To Work Day.” He returned for Operation Encore’s second album with a song about coming home from Iraq titled “Sand Hills to Sandals” and produced an EP through Operation Encore, “Longing For the Hills”. Stephen recently released his new single “The Ghosts Are Close”.
A folk musician based out ofUtah, Andrew Wiscombe’s style has been referred to as foot-stompin’ street music. He showcases his musical talents in one-man band fashion, playing up to five instruments at once. A Berklee trained award-winning songwriter, Andrew has a unique ability to clothe stories, words, and emotions in American roots music. A married father of two boys and former U.S. Army sniper, he joined Operation Encore with “The River, the Lark, the Pine,” an upbeat song about having the guts to play music in front of people, and being okay with yourself regardless of what others think. Andrew recently released his new album titled “A Green Street Manifesto”.
A musician inspired by her Kentucky roots and a deep commitment to her faith, Rachel Harvey Hill is a military spouse and mother. She began her love for music as a child; Rachel sang with her family and at church, and through a great deal of support and encouragement has developed into an exceptional songwriter and vocalist. Through her music Rachel recounts experiences she and her family have shared throughout their time in the military. She has recorded songs on both Operation Encore albums, including “Another Trip Around the Sun,” and “I’m Going Home,” a song about longing to return to our roots. Rachel recently released her new 10 song album “Acoustic Hymns”.
Listen to Rachel Hill perform “Another Trip Around The Sun”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poVd9_u0KsI
A Mississippi native, Jerry Maniscalco first picked up a guitar at 16 and he has been writing and performing original music ever since. In 2003, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 2007 and entering service as an SH-60B Seahawk pilot. During his time in the Navy–including 3 deployments and a remote tour–he found that music allowed him to unwind and escape. Jerry recorded two songs on our debut compilation album, the upbeat “Wake Up,” and our unofficial anthem, “We Are.” He rejoined OE for our second album with “Waiting,” written from the perspective of a pilot’s spouse waiting for her husband to return home. Jerry recently released an EP produced through Operation Encore titled “Bold Enough To Try”.
Steve Wilson is an award-winning singer-songwriter and a veteran of both the Army and the Air Force. The son of a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, he served for 16 years as an Army paratrooper and a B-52 Electronic Warfare instructor. He later settled in Dallas, Texas with his wife and four children. Steve has created a unique style that comes through clearly in his return to Operation Encore. Steve recorded an updated version of “Cold Steel Rain” for our first album, and returned to our second compilation with “The Words,” about the impact music has on humanity and its capacity to unite. Inspired by a glance into his youngest daughter’s room, it’s an autobiographical roadmap of Steve’s lifelong dream to play music, but touches on the way war affects the veteran.
A native of Eugene, Oregon, Tom began playing guitar when a college friend failed to repay a $100 loan and Tom walked out of his house with an old Harmony F-hole guitar. It’s been downhill ever since, singing and playing with numerous “pilot” bands along the way. Tom spent an almost 22-year career in the Air Force, flying A-10s and F-16s all over the world in peace and war. He is a songwriter, musician, and producer on Operation Encore. Tom is also a pilot for Southwest Airlines, living in Litchfield Park, Arizona. He joined our first album as both a studio musician and songwriter, with “In Tent City,” inspired by his time serving in the Gulf War. He returned to OE with “I’ll Let You Know,” a song about relationships and the uncertainties we all face.