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Singing Stars
October 9-11, 2015
Report by Gavin Whitehouse

Over the weekend of Friday, October 9 through Sunday, October 11, thirty-eight young people joined The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territorial Songsters (ETS) at Star Lake Lodge for the inaugural Singing Stars weekend. The aim of the weekend, hosted by ETS, was to encourage singing among young people, aged 13-21, in the Eastern Territory. The Pendel Division was represented by four delegates from the Carlisle, Lancaster and Pottstown Corps.

The special guest for the weekend was Marjory Watson a Salvationist from Scotland, who led the delegates in a number of vocal technique classes. Marjory has worked in music theatre in the UK and has vast experience teaching singers in this genre. As well as benefiting from her teaching, the delegates were also privileged to hear Marjory give a one-hour recital on Saturday night, where she presented a mix of songs from music theatre and Salvation Army literature.

Devotional times for the weekend were led by Lt. Colonels Kenneth and Cheryl Maynor, who presented thoughts on the topic “Overcoming.” Each of the delegates was paired with a partner from ETS for a wonderful time of sharing and prayer.

The delegates rehearsed a wide range of choral literature from various sources. Salvation Army composers were well-represented with O Boundless Salvation, arr. Dean Goffin; Eyes of Love, arr. Kenneth Downie; and If … Then, composed by Captain Leonard Ballantine. Other pieces included The Gift to be Simple, arr. Kings Singer’s Bob Chilcott; and Eatnemen Vuelie, a song that was featured in the movie Frozen, paired with the hymn Fairest Lord Jesus. Dorothy Gates arranged the song If I Can Dream (originally recorded by Elvis) for the weekend, for which one of the Singing Stars, Ryan Mikolinis (Kingston, NY), sang a duet with Marjory Watson.

The most challenging work of the weekend was a new song, Love’s Call by Andrew Blyth. The delegates worked hard to present this eight-minute work with very little rehearsal time. The weekend’s finale festival was held at The Salvation Army Montclair, NJ Corps. The program featured all the songs that Singing Stars had rehearsed over the previous two days, as well as two solo segments from Marjory Watson. The program and the first Singing Stars weekend was brought to a close with the delegates and ETS encircling the congregation as they sang the blessing Peace Be With You.

Pendel Delegates - 2015 Singing Stars
Benjamin Clarke - Pottstown
Christian Clarke - Pottstown
Marissa Riley - Carlisle
Ian Wettlaufer - Lancaster Citadel