By Cheyenne Reed, Schenectady Citadel, NY
AUGUST 10-18, 2019 — This was my fourth year coming to Star Lake Territorial Music Camp and I always enjoys coming back to Star Lake because it’s a place where I feel at home like when a person has their own “ home away from home “ that’s what Star Lake means to me. Also it’s a special place where I can become even more closer to God and a better musician each and every day of camp through worship and our rehearsals that we have 2-3 times a day where we all work hard. Many Salvationists from the age of 13 and above come from all over the eastern territory to be better musicians and also better christians in the real difficult world in which we live in today. Star Lake Music Camp has always been a great week where everyone can see old friends and meet new people, but then also become closer to God by having their own special times with God to renew their minds and open their hearts to God.
The theme this week was The Days of Hope where we all learned that God gave everyone like Moses and the Israelites in the book of Exodus, and even us a chance for hope of a better day…. by giving Moses and the Israelites a chance of a new home… by giving us Jesus who died on the cross to cleanse our sins and give us a new hope to live for him. All campers would get assigned to either one or two music staff and meet in groups of four other campers and have their own little bible groups. We would all talk with our groups about things like“whatishopetoyou?“,“whathopes
do you have in life and how can God help you? “ and “ who in our lives gives us hope in our everyday lives? “. Thursday night was a powerful night for the holy spirit – the evening program was Praise and Worship night… Lots of campers gave their own personal testimonies which touched the hearts of other campers. That night the Holy Spirit came into the hearts of many campers in many shapes and forms, everyone was praying with each other – a trusted friend or a trusted music camp staff – there were some tears shed but that was the work of the Holy Spirit.
On Thursday (after a morning of majors and chorus rehearsals) the whole camp traveled all the way to Allentown, PA to Dorney Park – an amusement park with high and windy rollercoasters and a big water park… this was a great way to take a break from all of our rehearsals. Everyone would get in big groups and would head to all different rides in the amusement park or into the water park and had a grand old time with wonderful sunny weather through the entire day. Everyone came back to camp exhausted knowing that the next day would be the big day for rehearsals – one last day to prepare for the Grand Finale.
Wednesday evening was the Preview Festival where each major ( band, voice and timberals ) and each chorus would perform some of the music that they all worked hard to learn and play in front of
the whole camp as well as friends and families. We wrapped the end of camp with our Grand Finale Concert with Bands like Appalachian Band playing “My Lighthouse”, “Power Source” and “Que Maravilla” and Star Lake Band (conducted by special guest Southern Territorial Music Secretary Nick Simmons-Smith) playing his piece “The Lost” (mid-week) and “Lt. Colonel Ray Steadman Allen’s “The Holy War” (grand finale). All choruses including Star Lake Chorus and Voice Major (led by our other special guest Assistant Territorial Music Secretary from Canada Heather Osmond) sang all different ranges and types of songs for the Lord. Timberals did a drill to “Feel It” and everyone was jamming along with the timberalists.
My highlight of the week was going to Dorney Park and going on rides and enjoying a day off from rehearsals with my friends. Also enjoying the nice cool water park with wonderful weather. I really didn’t have a low-point for the week… each day I learned something new in my majors and my small group devotions about God’s love for us. This week at Star Lake helped me become a better musician but also a better Christian, learning more about how God can help me get through this world that we live in today with the challenges that we face. I can’t wait for Star Lake next year and to see what God has in store for me every day of my life. ■
By Selena Mendoza, Philadelphia Pioneer Corps, PA
AUGUST 10-18, 2019 — The opening day at Star Lake is always exciting! The process is fun and I’ve always enjoyed it even when I’m so nervous! I had my horn audition with Jason Collier and then I went over to Dr. Dorothy Gates for my Vocal audition. From there off to my cabin and waited to see who my counselor was and who was in the cabin with me this year. After I did all that I met up with some very good friends and had lunch and then majors!
I auditioned into Tabernacle Chorus with Gavin Whitehouse and the music selection this year was amazing!!! I think the highlight of chorus was everyone’s favorite song “Soli Deo Gloria!” Band was no different – Hilltop band had a very solid horn section along with some amazing players from the Eastern and Southern Territories. My experience as the First Horn in hilltop was an amazing one! I was under the leadership of Matthew Luhn and Anita Crocker Hunt for my second year in hilltop!
The first full day was packed with a lot of exciting things like electives and getting to meet the special guests and new friends!
Monday was memorable! Monday’s evening program was the Persian fight club (aka… the knight fight). There were so many positives about Monday!
Tuesday.. everything was great except reading band.. Reading band is a little taste of playing top tier music that was WAY out of my league, for example; Odyssey. That piece of music is a beautiful and exciting piece of music but it was super challenging and I’m going to be honest… I couldn’t play it. I wasn’t there to play it all correctly (even though that’s the ultimate goal) the goal was to be challenged and improve as a musician and that’s what reading band did… challenge me and helped me with Hilltops music for the week.
Wednesday was pretty good, it was hot and humid and made me and a few others miserable during chorus. The Hilltop backstop concert was decent. My favorite thing about the whole preview concert was hearing everyone’s hard work through the week and seeing how far everyone has come so far!
Thursday was the trip to Dorney Park! My group was amazing! We went on nearly every roller coaster and I’m not the only one who thought Thursday was an amazing day! After coming back to Star Lake, we had a very powerful worship service with Unbound. Doug Berry and the wonderful guys in Unbound were incredible!
Friday’s morning devotions with Matt Hodgson were super amazing just like the previous days. I always feel incredibly blessed every morning because Matt brings the Word alive and fits it into our daily lives. Each day of devotions gave me a new “Day of Hope”. Soloist night was AMAZING!! Tia, Chase, and Eric’s solos were absolutely solid. The sacred dance was beautiful and Caroline’s Arrangement of Vitae Aeternum was absolutely gorgeous! Everyone did an amazing and fantastic job and I’m super proud of you all!!
SATURDAY! Saying Saturday was just amazing was an understatement. The chorus’s were a giant blessing. The blessing that came from the bands was spectacular and the Timbrels were fancy like always. Everyone did a fantastic job and I couldn’t be prouder of a group of musicians that gathered together from different parts of the world!
Sunday’s worship was beautiful. This is my sixth year attending Star Lake Musicamp and I have to say, this year was the most amazing, God-driven, and spiritual experience I’ve ever experienced.■
By Isaac Mulholland, Niagara Falls, NY
This year at Star Lake was amazing. Where do I start? To be honest, I was having doubts about going this year because of a situation at home… but with the experience that I had during the week it made me forget all of those doubts. I made it into the Hilltop band and Tabernacle Chorus and I could not have been happier. The musical selection was amazing. The music and my leaders challenged me…I loved it. What I loved more about the week was the presence of God throughout the entire time. At every evening program I felt the Holy Spirit present. There were many different kinds of worship for every night. The devotions every morning spoke to me. Matt Hodgson led devotions and he had a different story every morning that was tied into our scripture for the week – It was outstanding. But really, the one thing that EVERYONE took away from the week, was that Major Phil Ferreira is truly….the BEST pep song leader Star Lake Musicamp has ever had. ■
Read more stories in the Fall 2019 USA East Music Bulletin.