Salvation Army composer Andrew Mackereth and his wife, Stella, have been to U.S. music camps before, but this summer was their first trip to picturesque Star Lake. And you might say they liked what they saw.
“I’ve been impressed with the quality of the facilities and the quality of the musicianship,” Andrew says. “I absolutely love the setting. I’ve been to other settings where the facilities are all new and health club–standard … but the camps themselves lack such an abundance of beauty. The lake is an absolute Godsend.”
Stella adds, “It’s certainly the most beautiful camp. And what else could you want with these surroundings?”
The bucolic mountains of northern New Jersey caught Andrew’s eye. But more than that, he called the spiritual dimension of Star Lake Musicamp “very, very strong.”
“I like the fact that they hear their instructors in their rehearsals, but those same instructors will give a word of testimony in a morning service or in an evening meeting,” Andrew says. “It really kind of reminds the young people of the reasons why we do all of this stuff. It comes through strongly.”
The MacKereths live in Nuneaton, England, near Birmingham. They attend the Nuneaton Citadel Corps, where Andrew serves as bandmaster.
Andrew, who has had several of his compositions published and featured in concerts by Salvation Army bands, is also the principal of a high school called The Parker Academy.