By Dorothy Gates

Wake up the Saint! Some might think this was a call to the spirit of the late Erik Leidzen that roams Star Lake Camp.  However, this arresting command was the theme for Star Lake Music Camp 2017 and heralded a new chapter in the Star Lake Music Camp story, under the capable direction of Territorial Music secretary, Derek Lance.  The staff met the day before camp in order to pray over the students and the hallowed camp grounds.  Anticipation of God’s leading was high.

God blessed us in many ways, and it started with a record-breaking enrollment.  We had 200 students and 65 staff on camp.  There were so many students a 5th band had to be created, Bloomingdale Brass, under the leadership of Edward Mylechreest – God is good!

New to camp this year was sealed orders; camp fire with vespers and lots of new elective classes, including Electronic Music (Aaron Harris) and Introduction to Song Writing (Doug Berry).  “Sealed Orders”, was a period of quiet reflection after devotions.  Devotions included worship (led by Unbound), the Word (brought to us by Matt Hodgson), small groups and then sealed orders.  Corporate worship and a time for personal reflection every day became something that we all looked forward to.  It was easy to see and sense God’s presence in the beautiful picturesque back-drop of Star Lake Camp.

We enjoyed a fabulous time with special guests, Majors Martin & Leanne Cordner (corps officers in Cambridge, England), and Marjory Watson (Lecturer in Singing for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland & Songster Leader in Kircaldy, Scotland).  Martin led the Star Lake Band to high acclaim and even wrote some new music for the occasion.  “Wake up the Saint”, was written especially for the Star Lake Band and the Grande Finale Festival, and proved to be a tour de force.  Leanne proved herself to be a formidable bible scholar and teacher during the week.

Marjory Watson trained the Star Lake Chorus and led them on a journey of sound production and style.  Unrivaled in her approach, she produced a Star Lake Chorus with a full, natural sound.  One of the most special moments of the chorus was their rendition of, “The Reason We Sing” (Cam Floria).

Highlights of the week for me included: the Staff Kids (so cute!), Boston Brass, Mountain Creek Water Park, Soloist Night, the Preview Festival, Hilltop Trombone section, Worship Night and Alumni Day.  What a pleasure and an honor to share with the many alumni who support the musical youth of the Eastern Territory.  What a fantastic heritage!

In the Grande Finale Festival two gracious gentlemen of the Alumni were inducted into the Star Lake Hall of Fame, Major Thomas Mack and Bandmaster Derek Smith.  Over the years both of these gentlemen were integral in creating and maintaining the high standard of musicianship our territory currently enjoys.  This small token of appreciation was delivered with love and a well-deserved standing ovation for the impeccable service of these men to their Lord and master.

The students and all their leaders worked tirelessly during the week to present their offerings to the Lord.  With three Majors (Brass, Voice & Timbrel), 5 bands, 5 choruses and no less than 17 electives, sometimes it felt like it was hard to catch your breath between classes, but God in his great mercy took all of our work, our music, our worship and multiplied it, pouring out His blessings on all who attended the Grande Finale Festival.

I believe God honored the students and staff of Star Lake Music Camp 2017 by revealing His presence, and by waking up the Saint within each of us.  Glory to God!  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for Star Lake Music Camp 2018 . . .

SLMC 2017 pictures.

SLMC2017 Grand Finale Concert video.

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