Edward Hardy — from student to teacher
At the Newark (Ironbound), N.J., Corps, 15–year–old Edward Hardy has gone from merely participating in Salvation Army programs to actually becoming a leader and a teacher at the corps.
When a friend who was also a member of The Salvation Army first invited Edward to the corps, Ironbound’s diverse and multicultural corps family welcomed him right away.
“I didn’t know anything about The Salvation Army,” says Edward. “It was very surprising that the church offered to pick me up so I could have a ride for my first visit.”
“Afterwards, I took some time to think about it,” says Edward. “But after going there a few more times, I said to myself, this is the place for me.”
It was also the place where Edward’s untapped talent grew. He impressed church members with his drum–playing abilities, which he had started to develop at age seven. However, he played strictly by ear rather than by reading music.
In less than two months and with the help of Dean Farrar, the New Jersey divisional music director, Edward learned to read sheet music and play the snare drum. Since then, he has won both the divisional and territorial Star Search competitions. This year, he won 1st place in the Level Three Snare Drum Soloist competition.
Edward shares both his musical ability and his love of The Salvation Army with people. After becoming a member of the corps, he introduced his siblings to The Salvation Army. He now performs in musicals for the division. He also joined the marching band in his school.
Edward has become a teacher and a mentor to younger soldiers of the corps interested in playing the drums. His two students have competed in Star Search for the snare drum; both have won first place, like their teacher.
“I teach the younger students, and they go on to win,” Hardy says with a smile.
At this year’s Future All–Star Weekend, a mentoring event for young musicians of The Salvation Army, Lt. Colonel Kenneth W. Maynor, territorial program secretary, was Hardy’s prayer partner. He praised Edward for being a rich source of encouragement to the Army’s young people.
Lieutenant Darell Houseton, associate corps officer, says, “Edward isn’t just a person about whom you say, ‘He can do great things’. Edward has continuously done so well in everything he tries that it has reached the point where it doesn’t even surprise us anymore. We have just come to know he’s going to do well in whatever he tries.”