Star Lake Musicamp 2018 – Wet and Wild!
SLMC 2018 started out with a boom, as a loud noise indicated that power was going out throughout camp during a thunderstorm on the opening night Welcome Program in the Tabernacle. This followed a day of rain showers and thunderstorms that necessitated changes in locations for audition locations and for the opening band rehearsals and other major track classes. Flexibility was the key word for the day, as the auditions carried on and the rehearsals went on as scheduled. Even the welcome meeting at night continued on in darkness, and the Instructors’ Ensemble provided their selection with the aid of lighted up cell phones shining on music parts.
Fortunately, the weather improved somewhat later in the week to allow the all-camp outing at a water-themed park to take place as scheduled. Another special program held earlier in the week featured the You-Tube superstars “The Melodica Men”. These two virtuosos of the melodica entertained campers and staff with a program that contained both well-known standard tunes plus a time when requests were taken and music was composed on the spot.
Special guests Andrew and Sue Blyth from the United Kingdom Territory provided excellent musical leadership with a spiritual sensitivity that endeared themselves to campers and staff alike. In addition, Bandmaster Brian Johnson of the Southport Citadel Band in the UK Territory was the guest recipient of the Budd, Strehle and Royle Program Staff Chair who provided experienced training to the Pequannock Band throughout the week. In addition, three South American Territories were represented at this year’s musicamp (in addition to 23 delegates from our own territory’s Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Division). Nayara Moraes from the Brazil Territory was the Erik Leidzen Memorial Scholarship winner, Samuel Iwanczuk was the Commissioner Richard E. Holz Program Staff Chair from the South America East Territory and Ariel Saveedra from Chile was a scholarship winner from the South America West Territory.
The Grand Finale Program on the last night of musicamp was an exciting event. Each band and chorus were in top form. Band highlights included the performances of “Romans 8” by the Hilltop Band (B/M Matthew Luhn) and “Blazon” by the Star Lake Band (B/M Andrew Blyth). Another highlight was the induction of Stephen Bulla and Thomas Scheibner into the Star Lake Musicamp Hall of Fame. A privilege for me on this night was the opportunity to conduct the world premiere of “Through the Years” with the Appalachian Band, a selection written by Steve Bulla highlighting my 50th year in a row in attendance at Star Lake Musicamp as a camper and staff member.
While it is encouraging to see musical standards continuing to be raised each year at Star Lake Musicamp, it is a blessing to see spiritual growth not being neglected and life-changing decisions being made during worship time at camp. This year at camp was special for me and never to be forgotten because of my 50 year milestone, but I hope and pray that it also has been a milestone for a young person accepting Jesus Christ as Savior for the first time. Star Lake Musicamp is a special place because of the opportunities for both musical and spiritual growth.
Thomas Scheibner, Assistant Territorial Music Secretary, Program Director – Star Lake Musicamp