Caldwell arts gain momentum

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Group plans to send dancers to perform at ENCORE! this June.

The Caldwell (Idaho) Corps began a music and arts program late last year on Sunday afternoons.

Each week, over 40 young people participate in dance, piano, percussion, brass and guitar. Three of the volunteer instructors are members of The Salvation Army Western Territory’s performance groups.

The Caldwell School of Music and the Arts gained momentum quickly. The corps plans to send one dance performance group and four soloists to ENCORE!, the territorial competition held during commissioning weekend in June. In addition, the community is taking notice, with the brass band and dance group receiving invitations to perform at the College of Idaho Jewett Auditorium and the annual Winter Wonderland festival.

Hannah Bridgeo, 18, daughter of Corps Officers Captains Robyn and Stephanie Bridgeo, initiated the program.

“Hannah was dancing before she could even walk,” Stephanie Bridgeo said. “When we came to Caldwell and she saw all of the kids here, she asked them if they’d like to learn how to dance and start a brass band. They were ecstatic!”

Bridgeo said that Hannah has been taking dance lessons since she was a toddler and playing cornet since the sixth grade.

“Dance has always been my passion,” Hannah said. “After moving to Caldwell I felt God encouraging me to start a dance program at my corps.”

The kids seem to be taking their lessons seriously, while having fun.

“My sister loves dance so much,” said Ari Barraza, a music school participant. “She is practicing what she learned at the corps all of the time at home.”

The corps adults are excited about the new program, too.

“What a blessing it is to see and hear the band play for church services,” said Lt. Colonel Eda Hokom. “It’s been over 50 years since I’ve heard the sound of the brass band at the Caldwell Corps.”

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