Salvation Army officer helps spread holiday spirit through music

Major Kim Feinauer has played alongside the red kettle for 30 years
For the past 30 years, Major Kim Feinauer has harnessed the power of music
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:24 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - For the past 30 years, three things have remained constant in Major Kim Feinauer’s life: music, a red kettle and Christmas spirit.

“It’s really remarkable how music touches people,” Major Feinauer said.

Major Feinauer joined the Salvation Army 40 years ago and, at the time, he knew how to play piano and the French horn. The only problem?

“I found out that the Salvation Army doesn’t use French horns,” Major Feinauer said.

Of course, like any daring musician, he taught himself how to play the instruments that they did use.

By 1989, Major Feinauer was a Salvation Army officer and could play 30 different instruments. And, when it was time for the Salvation Army red kettles to make their return, Major Feinauer made sure the instruments came with them.

“The first year I did it was in Atlanta and I played for about 10 hours a day,” Major Feinauer said. “I found after 10 hours of playing a day, by the end of the season, I could do things on the horn that I could never do before.”

As the Major mastered his craft, he also began touching the lives of those who heard his music on a daily basis.

He said he has at least 20 different people approach him each day saying how much they appreciate him playing, some of whom are brought to tears.

“In a way it’s special, but I think anybody can do it,” Major Feinauer said. “I’ve seen people who are out there in Santa costumes or who are just really outgoing with people and can bring a blessing to them. So, I’ve realized it’s not just an instrument that does that. People have their own talents or a way of connecting that’s really remarkable.”

So, whether it’s performance or a simple gesture, goodwill can come from anywhere in the eyes of Major Feinauer. And, where there is goodwill, there is also music, a red kettle, and Christmas spirit.

“Sometimes it’s those intangible things that are life’s greatest blessings,” Major Feinauer said.

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