Wake up the Spirit! Some may think that this was a call to the spirit of the late Erik Leidzén that roams Star Lake Camp. However, this arresting command was the theme for Star Lake Musicamp 2017, heralding a new chapter in the Star Lake story, under the capable direction of Territorial Music Secretary Derek Lance. This year’s camp was held 12 – 20 August 2017. The staff met the day before the camp opened to pray over the students and the hallowed camp grounds. Anticipation of God’s leading was high.
God blessed the camp in many ways, beginning with a record-breaking enrollment, with 200 students and 65 staff. There were so many students that a fifth band had to be created, Bloomingdale Brass, under the leadership of Edward Mylechreest.
New to Musicamp this year were several new elective classes, including Electronic Music (Aaron Harris) and Introduction to Song Writing (Doug Berry). Also new this year was “Sealed Orders”, a period of quiet reflection after devotions. Devotions included worship, led by Unbound, the Word (brought by Matt Hodgson), small groups, and then sealed orders. Corporate worship and a time for personal reflection each day became something that all looked forward to; it was easy to see and sense God’s presence in the beautiful, picturesque backdrop of Star Lake Camp.
Special guests this year were Majors Martin and Leanne Corder, currently serving as corps officers at Cambridge Citdel (London, England), and Marjory Watson, Lecturer in Singing for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Songster Leader at Kirkaldy, Scotland. Leanne Cordner was a formidable Bible teacher and leader throughout the week. Martin Cordner led the Star Lake Band to high acclaim. An accomplished composer, he also wrote some new music for the camp. Wake up the Saint, written especially for the Star Lake Band and the Grande Finale Festival, proved to be a tour de force.
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 choir with a full, natural sound. One of the most special moments from the chorus was their rendition of The Reason We Sing (Cam Floria). Other highlight moments during the week included the Staff Kids, Boston Brass, a visit to Mountain Creek Water Park, Soloist Night, the Preview Festival, Hilltop trombone section, Worship Night, and Alumni Day.
During 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 enjoyed by the USA Eastern Territory. 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 leaders all worked tirelessly during the week to present their offerings to the Lord. With three majors (brass, voice, and timbrels), five bands, five choruses, and no less than 17 electives, it sometimes felt difficult to catch one’s breath, but God in His great mercy took all of the work, music, and worship, and multiplied it, pouring out His blessings on all who attended the Grande Finale Festival.
Video of the Grande Finale Concert on YouTube:
USA Eastern Territory Music Department web site, original report by Dorothy Gates