About Chris Nelson


Posts by Chris Nelson:

Sound Off 2013 Updates, 09/21

by Chris Nelson

So far, we’ve received new donations from the American Antique Auto Museum and United Water. We should have a flyer out around the end of this month. I’ll send it out once it’s finished. if you’d like to forward these emails through your own email networks and contacts, please do!

If you haven’t seen the new logo for this year’s event, take a look at it (top right). This was designed by Ric Albano of 33 Dimensions. I think its a great new look and we’ll be using it a lot on may things we send out. Many thanks to Ric.

Tim Dyer and Dyer’s World Video will be there to capture all the excitement of the show for posterity. (thanks, Tim!) He’s helped us out for several events now, and you can see some of his videos of 2012 shows here.

I’m still working on the lineup of bands for the show, but I’ll send out a full schedule once everything’s been finalized. I’m still looking for someone to supply us with two folding tables and six chairs for the day of the event. There is not going to be anywhere to sit and we need a place to put the prizes and ticket sales. There will be other vendors in the courtyard that day, so space will be limited to beside the stage area. If you can help, or know someone who can. please let me know. Other thatn that things are on track. We can always use more donations of prizes for the drawing, so if you’d like to help, please contact me.

Until next time,
Chris Nelson

Sound Off 2013 Updates, 09/08

by Chris Nelson

So far, things are going really well. We have our event location, sound support, and a few musicians and bands have been eager to join this event.

Today, I’m sending out donation requests by email and fax. I have a long list of places to send these to. I have attached a PDF version of the letter, which you can print or email to anyone you think would like to help.

So far, we’ve received contributions from:

  • LB Smith Ford
  • Hoffman Ford
  • 33 Dimensions
  • Dale’s Drum Shop

This is just the beginning, so I’m sure this list will get longer.

Ric Albano has offered to transport the drums to the site and then back to Dale’s Drum Shop after the event, so that problem has been resolved.

In addition, we will need to come up with two folding tables and about 6 chairs in order to set up our ticket sales table and display the prizes that will be raffled off. In anyone can help out by supplying these items the day of the event, please let me know.

We also will need people to help sell tickets. The more volunteers we get, the less time people have to stay at the ticket table.

I’ll have more details as they happen!

Chris Nelson
Sound Off for Vets


Sound Off for Vets 2013

by Chris Nelson

Hello everybody!

Great news! Sound Off 2013 will happen this year, after all! The event will be held at the Broad Street Market in Harrisburg, PA from noon until 4 pm.

We’re even going to try the prize drawing, provided we get enough support from the community. Needless to say, we’ll have to re-do the donation request letters and send them out to those who haven’t already responded. If any of you know someone who may want to donate or can locate someone who wants to contribute, please forward this message along.

Our sound man, Chris Hicks and Voyager Music will be providing the sound again and Dale’s Drum Shop has offered us a drum set to use. 33 Dimensions has been continuously providing us with a web site–if you haven’t seen it, the link as at the bottom of this message to visit.

Things are looking pretty good and we should attract a crowd and get lots of contributions. (I hope!) This year, I’m changing the format a little bit. Bands will be a major part of the show, but I want to include acoustic musicians in the space between the acts in order to keep the crowd that we may draw. We’ll do that after the drawings, which should only take about a minute each hour.

Another change is the way I’m communicating with all of you. I am sending out one email to the whole group, including the organizational messages, so everyone will feel more involved. If you don’t want to receive these emails, let me know and I will delete you from the list.

Finally, I will need volunteers to help with the event. Specifically, I’ll need someone to help me get the drum set to the show site, since I no longer have the capability to do this. I’ll also need people to help with selling prize drawing tickets. If you want to help out, let me know.

Here’s to making this years event a great show!

Sound Off for Vets

Thanks To All!

by Chris Nelson

Hello, everybody!

First, I wanted to say thank you for all of your support with this year’s event. All of you through your help and support made it possible to raise $900 from this year’s event before expenses. I will be sending a check to the Wounded Warrior Project very soon.

I’d also like to share my thoughts on how things went during this year’s event.

We had a great show and had terrific performances by the bands and musicians. Videos of some of these performances should be coming out very soon. I’m told the quality is excellent this year, so I expect to see a few of these on the artist pages sometime in the future. We’ll also have links to these videos from our Facebook page, as well. A big thanks goes out to Tim Dyer of Dyer’s World Video and Chris Hicks and the rest of the crew of Voyager Music. It was like being at a rock concert. I’d also like to say thank you to Dale’s Drum Shop for furnishing us with a drum kit for the bands to use. Tim has already told me how impressed he is with this year’s video sound quality.

I’d like to again thank all of our perfromers this year for what I think was the best show in our three-year history. These folks came out and played free of charge in order to help us get the word out about our wounded service men and women. When you have the time, I urge all of you to go visit the musicians’ web sites and listen to their music. You won’t be disappointed! Links to all their web sites can be found here.

This year, we were able to get a lot of press from some of the local radio and TV stations. That helps us get the word out a little more about what we’re doing, and more importantly, why we’re doing it. I will try to find links to some of these items and post them on our Facebook page. A big thanks to Mike Randazzo for arranging all that for us.

We also had posters that helped us get the word out, so I think we left a bigger impression on the community. Thanks to Major Frank Brown and Sergeant Damian Smith for printing those for us. I think it helped a lot.

While we’re on the subject of publicity, I need to recognize Ric Albano and 33 Dimensions for updating and maintaining our web site. He does a fantastic job keeping up with all of that and I thank him for all of his help.

I really appreciate the help of our booth volunteers this year. Anita Lenker and Rebecca Smith worked the entire four-hour event in the booth selling raffle tickets and wristbands. They also helped with the raffle drawings, too! Outstanding job!

I’d also like to mention that L.B. Smith Ford is going to help us with sending out the thank you letters to all of our contributors. Thank you very much for all of your support – they also were a contributor to this year’s event. you can find a complete list of our contributors on our web site.

I saw lots of cameras pointed at the stage, so I hope any of you who were there taking pictures will please post them to our Facebook page. The more pictures we get, the better we can use them for publicity the next time around. if you have trouble, contact me and we’ll figure something out.

Overall, I think we did good with the amount of time we were given, although things got a little chaotic when the helicopers took off five minutes after Shift Seven finished playing! Hopefully, we can coordinate that a little better with the Army next year. With any luck, we won’t have to worry about a baseball game immediately after the Armed Forces Day event so we’ll have more time. There were so many more acts we could’ve booked if we’d had the time.

We’re just about out of wristbands, so we will need to find something else to sell for next year’s event. T-shirts are one possibility, but without an event date like those we had in 2011. That way, we can sell the remaining shirts during a future event and continue raising more money. The down side to this is we’d have to raise an additional amount of money to produce the t-shirts, which is more overhead. Since we sold about 50 in 2011, we can probably get away with ordering 50 next year. I’m open to suggestions, if anyone has any ideas. If anyone wants to contribute t-shirts for next year’s event, I’m OK with that, too!

I’d like to have something people would be motivated to buy on a whim, thus making more money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Possibly another version of the wrist bands would work, too. They seem to be popular.

Tim Dyer suggested we sell a DVD featuring some of the perfromances as a possible way to raise money. I think this has possibilties. I’d like to know what all of you thnk about it. It’ll cost us approximately $185 for 50 DVDs in shrink-wrapped cases through Disc Makers/CD Baby . I wouldn’t suggest ordering any more than that unless we’re sure we can sell them. this number is manageable.

I’d also like to mention that Rhyne McCormick and Shift Seven contributed CDs as part of the fundraising. I think Shift Seven would have sold some of the ones they contributed if the booth hadn’t been taken down during their set. However, Rhyne sold several of his, so this is another option for raising some extra money for the event that I will discuss with the bands next time around.

All in all, this event turned out even better than I expected it to. If you’d like to send me your thoughts, please reply to this message. If you prefer, you can post your comments on our Facebook page for open discussion.

I can’t say it enough, I really appreciate all of your help and support making this event into what it’s become: a fundraising concert to help out our Wounded Warriors! See you next year!

Chris Nelson


Sound Off 2012 Concert Lineup Has Strong Military Connections

The performers for this year’s Sound Off for Vets concert, scheduled for May 19, 2012 on City Island, all possess strong ties to U.S. Military service. The show is an effort to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. The performers for the show are:

Although three of the performers have played this event before, newcomer Rhyne McCormick is particularly excited to be a part of this year’s show. McCormick served in the U.S. Air Force from 1987 to 1996 before launching his successful career as a performer and recording artist.

“[I] absolutely [want to do this show],” McCormick said recently, “I’m a vet.”

The events organizer, Chris Nelson, is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served from 1983 until 2004.

“After serving in the military,” Nelson explains, “I wanted to give something back using my music. This is a way that I can do that while doing something I feel really proud of.”

The band Shift Seven played the first two Sound Off concerts in June 2010 and May 2011, and Michael Anthony Smith and the Dirty, Thieving Gypsies played last year. Both of these bands have relatives serving in the military.

There are only four acts this year due to a Harrisburg Senators baseball game scheduled for later that day. The event will take place during the 11th Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration and will be located at the base of the stairs leading towards the ball field.

The 11th annual Armed Forces Day–the ultimate extreme military makeover–will once again return, RAIN OR SHINE, to the shores of Harrisburg’s City Island on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Armed Forces Day 2011 is a FREE, FUN-FILLED, FAMILY event that transforms City Island into a bustling military base for one day. In addition to great food, this year’s event will feature over 100 displays and equipment from all services and service-related groups including aviation, artillery, construction, employment information and recruiting booths, veterans’ resources, living history demonstrations and a wide variety of family and children’s activities and fitness challenges.

This year also marks the first time that there will be an MC, Mike Randazzo who will keep things going in between performances and conduct the prize drawings. Once again, Voyager Music will be providing the audio support and PA System for the event and Dale’s Drum Shop is providing a drum set for the bands to use during the concert.

Although operations appear to be winding down overseas, our wounded military veterans still need help and support to deal with their disabilities. In some cases, it may be a life-long struggle.

“As if they aren’t suffering enough already, many of America’s wounded heroes feel like they are being forgotten. But the injured warriors you have helped through WWP know they have not been forgotten — and they’re full of gratitude.”

With injury reports from Afghanistan no longer prominent in the news, wounded service members feel like they are ‘out of sight, out of mind,” Steven Nardizzi, the Executive Director for the WWP commented in a recent message to fundraisers.

The show is raising money for the WWP in a number of ways. There will be a ‘tip jar’ where audience members can contribute whatever amount they wish, wrist bands which can be purchased, and raffle tickets for a large selection of prizes contributed by local community businesses and individuals. Last year, Sound Off conduced two concert events and raised over $1000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. This year’s fundraising goal is to raise $1000 during this one event.

Nelson is confident that they will reach this goal.


May 19th Sound Off Concert

by Sound Off for Vets

Preparations have begun, setting the stage for the 2012 Sound Off for Vets concert which will be held on May 19th at City Island in Harrisburg, PA. The show, which will run from Noon to 4 pm, will once again raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and also hopes to elevate the importance of supporting these combat-wounded men and women in the face of these conflicts in the Middle East coming to an end.

This year, Sound Off is providing the musical entertainment for the annual Armed Forces Day celebration. This means the performers will be using the main stage and hope to gain a larger audience. This also means that they will be performing in the parking lot area instead of by the riverfront, as they had done in years past.

One significant change this year is the length of the concert. In years past, the shows have been able to feature a multitude of musical acts. This year, due to a previously scheduled Harrisburg Senators baseball game, the show must end at 4 pm this year in order to accommodate the ball game.

Sound Off has been able to raise over $1,500 for the Wounded Warrior Project since it began holding these concerts in 2010. This year, the goal is to raise $1000 during this one event.

2011 Homeless Vets Clothing Drive

Everybody likes free stuff, right? How would you like to see the concert at Sound Off for Veterans’ Day for free? It’s easy!

If you’re going to attend the dinner portion of the event,  you automatically have access to the concert. Dinner tickets are $20, however, and this is not what we’re talking about. Tickets to the concert after the dinner featuring local bands are $5 each.

Those who want to get into the concert for free only have to bring an item of clothing–not something you’re wearing to the event, obviously. We want everyone to stay dressed, please–to donate toward the Harrisburg YWCA’s Homeless Veterans Program. The YWCA is always in need of clothing ites for these veterans as many of them only have what’s on their back. Here are some ideas for donations:

  • Winter Coats: Winter is coming soon and these people will need something warm in order to survive. If you have a coat that is still usable that you’re not using, why not donate it?
  • Socks and underwear: The YWCA is always in need of undergarments and sock for both male and female. Why not purchase a package of underwear in any adult size as a donation?
  • Shirts and Pants: usable clothing that is not torn or shredded make good possibilities for donations. Shirts can be either long or short sleeved variety and either men’s or women’s–they need both.
  • Sweaters & Sweatshirts: Keeping warm on the street will b a challenge and a sweater or sweatshirt can make a huge difference. If you have some of these that you’re not wearing anymore and are in good condition, the YWCA can use them.

Remember, this event is honoring veterans, so what better way to show your support than by giving to those veterans who have fallen on hard times since leaving the military?

Thank You!

Thanks to all of you who helped make this year’s event a success. With your help and support, we were able to raise close to $500 for the Wounded Warrior Project. Here’s looking forward to next year!

    – Chris Nelson, Founder, Sound Off for Vets

The Power of Music

I think that before I start, I should warn you that I’m a hippie. No, not the kind that you see in the old pictures from the 60’s, but I believe, as the hippies did, that there is dignity in freedom and independence is priceless. I thnk that’s also called transcendentalism, but don’t quote me on that. I also share in the belief that music can change the world. No, really, stop laughing!

This week is the lead up to the second Sound Off for Vets concert that will be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (USA) this Saturday, May 21 starting at noon. During this time, I’ve noticed the good that music can achieve. Local musicians from all over central Pennsylvania have shown an interest in performing at the event and some even have asked to volunteer with putting on the event. There has been a large outpouring of support from the local cummunity either by sponsoring the event with a donation or donating a prize for the prize drawings. People from all walks of life have shown an interest in this and I think that it brings out the good in people. Although the cause is a good one and those returning from combat with injuries face a long hard road, the music plays a role in both indentfying this cause and, in a way, easing the suffering a little bit from the joy it brings to those who hear it.

Music plays a central part of all this simply because it is expression in its purest form. Last year, we had started out with very few people, since we held it on a thursday, but once we got going, the sound carrired to the other side of the river and people were coming over just to see what was going on. This year, we have grown in learning from our missteps from last year and building onto what was already here to make it bigger and better. We are part of this year’s Armed Forces Day celebration, an annual event in Harrisb urg highlighting our service men and women’s contributions and sacrifices. This event normally attracts a very large crowd. I am sure our music will attract these people to our show, our message, and ultimatly our cause. Music is what is bringing everyone together, in this case, calling attention to the Wounded Warrior Project and the plight of those who have been severly wounded in battle.

As a result of what happens here, the Wounded Warrior Project will be able to continue easing the transition of those severely wounded veterans who must now re-invent themselves in order to return to civilian life. During this event, people will meet, connections will be made, and friendships will be formed, all as a result of this effort. Through it all, the music is the prime ingredient which enabled all this to happen. There is power in music – the power to do good.

Chris Nelson

2011 Sound Off T-Shirt

Here’s a look at what the official Sound Off for Vets T-shirts will look like:

Front Back
Click for larger images

The actual shirt will be light blue. Get yours for $10 the day of the show. Dont forget, all proceeds will be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project. This is a great way to show your support to our wounded troops.