The Divisional Star Search events for 2017 are now history!  Our Territorial Music Secretary, Derek Lance, invited members of the Territorial Music Department team to visit a division in order to give support and experience the day’s activities.  Here are their reflections ……

Karen Shaffstall visited the Swoneky Division:

I was privileged to attend Swoneky’s Star Search for 2017.  What a great day!  The day began bright….well maybe not bright as there was all kind of flooding from torrential rains…..but certainly was started early.  The Dayton Kroc was bubbling with excited children…and adults!  More than 100+ over last year’s attendance with almost twice as many performers/groups.  We were welcomed by B/M Anita Cocker Hunt and Divisional Leaders, Major’s Larry and Janet Ashcraft.  Given instructions and the schedule and the day was off!

Group’s events, i.e. singing companies, youth bands, timbrels, Drama teams, etc. took place all morning and the afternoon was filled with individual solo performances.  Controllers and adjudicators were busy all day calculating scores and encouraging participants.  There were featured guest soloists at the conclusion of the solo displays by Sarah George and myself while the scores were being tallied and then we quickly moved to the Awards Ceremony.

It was very clear that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and.  most importantly, God’s name was lifted high through voice, instrument, dance, drama and timbrel!  Participants were reminded to perform as to the Lord and it was evident that the joy of the Lord was clearly experienced

Tom Scheibner visited the Northern New England Division….

In the 2017 event, over 30 additional individual and group category talent display presentations were included in the program beyond the 2016 count.  This made for a non-stop whirlwind of activities from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM with lunch fitted in when possible by participants, adjudicators and controllers.

An exciting Awards Ceremony was held in a packed chapel where awards were given out to category winners.  These included the Keene, NH Corps, who received a first place award for Level A timbrels and the Portland Citadel Singing Company, who won first place in the Singing Company category – one of eight singing companies that took part in this event.  Special awards were given to Portland Citadel, the corps that had the highest number of participants in the division, and to Anthony Moore of Portland Citadel, who had the highest individual score as the winner of the Level 4 Vocal Category.  The Star Search

Talent Display continues to grow from strength to strength in the Northern New England Division and reference to a bigger venue across the street at Portland High School is already being discussed for next year’s event.

Brindley Venables visited the Western Pennsylvania Division…..

Western Pennsylvania Division Star Search was held at Camp Alleghany in Ellwood City, PA. Over one hundred fifty participants took part. Divisional Music Director (DMD) David LaBossiere started the day out with prayer and gave us all a rundown of how the day would unfold.

Although this was a year that there were not as many brass participants / youth bands as in the past, the singing company and dance groups were a real bright spot for this division and were a positive thing to see. The afternoon awards ceremony was held in the chapel and an ensemble from the division played a few numbers before awards were announced. Overall a great day and God was praised by all the talents displayed.

Brindley Venables visited the Massachusetts Division….

Held at the Lowell Citadel in Lowell, MA, the Massachusetts Division star search was headed by DMD Matthew Luhn. Mr. Luhn has been DMD for the Massachusetts division going on three years now and his efforts in this position are really showing – the brass program has been revitalized and there is a wealth of singing companies with good numbers in each group.

This year the mass division had over 246 participants and over 350 were in attendance for the final awards ceremony.  Mass Brass put on a mini concert before the ceremony and featured some well-known repertoire including “Star Wars” and “Happy” which the kids absolutely loved.

Warren Smith visited the Empire Division….

It was a cold and rainy day, but the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm and excitement evident on May 6, 2017, for the Empire Divisional Star Search held at beautiful Camp Long Point.  On Friday evening, many gathered for a divisional youth rally.  The rally concluded on Saturday morning and the Opening Ceremony began at 10:00 AM

supported by the Empire Brass and Singers to inspire the young people who were about to were on duty to support the kick off the day as the young people prepared for their events throughout the day.  Over 300 people gathered to encourage and support each other and the 190 participants covering all the arts and music categories.

The day concluded with the Awards Ceremony at 4:00 PM.  It was a time of excitement as the awards were announced, but also of encouragement and enthusiasm for all the participants.  Again, Empire Brass and Singers were in attendance to support and encourage the young people and it was great to hear a combined Singing Company singing the test piece.  The day ended with the Schenectady Corps receiving the Divisional Commander’s Awards for the number of participants.

Doug Berry visited the Puerto Rico Division….

If I had to describe Puerto Rico’s annual Star Search in one word, it would be “growth.”  I was privileged to attend this event 4 years ago and once again the growth of music and arts in P.R. was on display.  Over a dozen brass players, 3 Jr. Band’s and a wealth of dance and drama participants presented their offerings to the Lord throughout the day.  May God bless Richard and Mabel Lopez, Victor Morales, Natalia Cruz and all the other leaders that have invested in the lives of the Puerto Rican youth!

Doug Berry visited the New Jersey Division….

From the first introductory words spoken from newly appointed Divisional Music Director Simon Morton, it was evident that the competitive aspect of Star Search was not the purpose or aim of the day’s events, but rather displaying what the Lord is doing in the lives of the NJ youth through music and the arts.  There was an attitude of encouragement that manifested itself all day long from the children and those supporting them.  Music and the arts are thriving in NJ and it’s on the rise!  The newly assembled team of Simon Morton, Felipe Concha, Evy Stickland and their staff did a fantastic job of organizing the day and directing the focus on our Lord and creator.

Dorothy Gates visited the Greater New York and Pendel Divisions…

Star Search day in Greater New York arrived bright and early at Star Lake Camp.  This is a day like no other.  This is Star Search on steroids.  There was a record breaking number

of people on camp grounds at Star Lake.  There was a total of 900 participants, controllers, judges, leaders, family, friends etc.  Every category was represented and I believe every corps.  All the participants worked hard to represent well the God they love and their corps family through their music and arts presentations.  God was surely glorified in Bloomingdale, NJ that day.

The most inspiring moments of the day for me was watching the young Salvationists perform with a deep passion for their Lord and their chosen craft . . . a superb combination which is very contagious for the observer.  This contagious passion also filled the performances of the four divisional groups that participated in the opening and closing meetings.  Well done GNY! See you at Territorial Star Search.

It was such a pleasure to attend the Pendel’s Divisional Star Search.  The day started early in Lancaster, PA as each corps came to register.  There was an air of excitement and anticipation in the corps building.  It soon became clear that everyone had worked very hard to prepare, as each young Salvationist presented their talents to God in song and dance, drama and brass.  There were students in every category and a lot of local leaders and helpers for the day.

How great to see the Pendel tradition continues to be strong under Gavin Whitehouse’s capable leadership.  Well done Pendel Star Search participants, controllers, judges, accompanists, leaders, officers, parents & friends.  What an excellent day of creativity for our Creator!  See you at Territorial Star Search.

Derek Lance visited the NEOSA Division….

Star Search in any division is a great day of celebration and a wonderful chance for young people to display their talents.  The NEOSA Divisional Star Search was no exception.   Each person had gathered to display what they have been preparing for the last several months.

In the opening ceremony there was great music from the up and coming NEOSA Youth Band.

We quickly moved into performances in every category.  The day finished with the awards ceremony and a mini concert from the NEOSA Brass, Singers and Timbrelists.  There was a wonderful feeling of encouragement and young people from all places were genuinely excited about seeing their friends win and be celebrated.  Kudos to Eric Dina and the NEOSA team for their great work in organizing a very successful and God honoring event.  It was also wonderful to see some new technology on display with the use of a very clever Star Search app.

It was a great day for the young people of the NEOSA Division

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