The impetus for making Striking a Chord is our growing awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and its devastating effects. As director Susan Cohn Rockefeller researched the project, she realized how little civilians actually know about the demands made on soldiers stationed in combat zones.

Striking a Chord brings the audience right into the army bases in Iraq. The film shows the boredom and isolation, the effect of repeated deployments, and the need to create experiences that bring the troops some consolation. Long lines of soldiers waiting to speak with Nell Bryden and the band after every concert attest to the effect of the music on the troops. Their fervent applause and heartfelt comments show how deeply they respond to the concerts.

Inter-cut with uplifting and moving scenes of Nell’s performances and talks with the soldiers are interviews with a psychiatrist who discusses how music addresses PTSD, promoting relaxation, expression of feelings and healing invisible battle scars.

Most importantly, Striking a Chord reminds us that when our soldiers return home, they need special care and attention. PTSD is a disorder which many veterans are ashamed to speak about, yet it’s all too common. As the film shows, music can provide a way to begin the healing process.

Learn about resources for those dealing with PTSD>>

Outreach funding

We’re moving forward in our outreach with the film and looking for funders to support some big events we’d like to organize in support of our troops. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, please send us an email through the contact form.


We’d like to acknowledge and thank the following organizations for partnering with us.

The Soldiers Project

Warrior Support Center

University of Texas at El Paso

Nell Bryden

Nell Bryden is a singer/songwriter with six CDs under her belt. Born and raised in New York City, and currently living in London, Bryden has blended blues, country, modern-Dixie and jazz into a songwriting style uniquely her own. Constantly crossing the oceans, she’s played nearly 500 gigs in just over two years, including opening slots with KT Tunstall and the Counting Crows. Nell’s especially popular in the British Isles. As an independent release, her debut single tracked Top 40 in the Official Irish Charts.

We Are Family Foundation (WAFF)

Striking a Chord was produced in partnership with the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the vision of a global family by creating and supporting programs that inspire and educate the next generation about respect, understanding, and cultural diversity—while striving to solve some of our biggest global problems at the same time. This film will add to their vision by expanding our public understanding of the larger community of our troops in Iraq and the role of music as a force for peace.