When Star Lake Musicamp rolls around each summer, Ian Wettlaufer looks forward to a week of honing his tuba skills and seeing old friends and acquaintances.
“I come because is it all fun and a place to be with your family,” he says. “The Christian family is really important here. It’s a big aspect and I come just to get away from all the outside stuff and to get in touch with myself and with my friends and my Christian community.
“It’s a great week to improve my music and myself.”
Wettlaufer, who comes from the Lancaster, Pa., Corps, attended Star Lake from Aug. 8–16 for his fourth year. Besides the tuba, Wettlaufer loves to sing in the chorus.
“That’s my type of worship,” he says. “I come and I play my horn, and people see me as a brass player, but I’m actually a natural vocalist. I just love singing and that’s God’s gift to me and I want to go places and to use it.”
He currently uses his skills to help teach a variety of music programs at his corps, including singing, banding, and timbrels. He also helped teach at his divisional music camp.
“We teach them how to use their gifts and to teach the world about Jesus,” he says.
Wettlaufer went to a Methodist church near his home when he was younger, but he started attending the Lancaster corps seven years ago when his officer grandparents, Majors Catherine and John Wettlaufer, retired and moved there.
“I just loved it,” he says. “It was something completely different from the Methodist church. It was something new and exciting and I’ve loved it ever since.”
Wettlaufer said retired Lt. Colonel Ada Southwood taught him to play the cornet. Bandmaster Harold Burgmayer, PENDEL’s former divisional music director, switched him to tuba, and “I love playing that even more.”
Wettlaufer said he is a fifth–generation Salvationist, “but a third–generation bandsman.” His father, John, is a former member of PENDEL Brass.
“It’s fun at Christmas because we all take our instruments out to kettles and we just play,” Wettlaufer says. “As a family it’s a lot of fun to be able to go out and play together and to worship together.”
by Robert Mitchell