Orange County Music and Dance (OCMD) launched its newest outreach program, Operation Gig. Through the healing powers of music, Operation Gig has brought the veteran community together during these times of social isolation. Our weekly group classes have launched countless new aspiring musicians who have learned new skills, met new friends and pushed their boundaries of confidence and self-esteem.

Operation Gig Band Coach, Marten Andersson Photo by Sarah Delgado

Over the last eight weeks, veterans have been learning and rehearsing together and building solid relationships. In total, Operation Gig has served more than 40 Veterans in 9 weekly music classes and two bands! Operation Gig wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our donors. While reflecting on their experience, both participants and coaches alike are overcome with immense gratitude for the opportunity to connect with fellow vets and, in many cases, learn a new skill.

Marten Andersson, the professional bass guitarist for bands like Lita Ford, Steelheart, From Classical to Rock has been coaching the Veteran Bands through the duration of the program. “I am so proud of them. They are really teaching me so much more than I am teaching them, and musically they have progressed so much in just a few weeks. It is a beautiful thing to see them all smile and have a great time,” said Andersson.