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Star Lake Musicamp

79 years and still going strong

To people attending the Final Festival for Star Lake Musicamp 2014, it was clear that the SLMC tradition is alive and well, even in its 79th year.

A community of 250 people, including delegates from Canada, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Spain, Argentina, Germany, and Austraila, as well as from the U.S.A. Eastern Territory, found a place where their musical expressions were accepted and offered to the glory of God.

The guests were Jane and John Lam, both music educators in the London, Ontario, area. Soldiers of the London Citadel Corps, they provide music leadership—John to the band and Jane to the songsters. John is the Canadian Staff Band bandmaster.

John worked with the Star Lake Band for the week, preparing such challenging pieces as “Christ Hymn” by Robert Redhead, “Symphony of Thanksgiving” by Dean Goffin, “Christ the Lord” and “Abundance,” both by Marcus Venables, and “Dance of the Tumblers” by Rimsky–Korsakov ( arr. Heaton).

Jane led the Star Lake Chorus and shaped some beautiful performances of “Distant Land” by John Rutter, “Everywhere” by Andrew Maycock, and “O Sifuni Mungu” by David Maddux.

Students were able to learn from their leadership expertise as well as their personal testimonies.

We also were privileged to have Phil Laeger as part of the faculty this year, and he presented an evening of music as our Sunday night program.

Each morning, before any major class began, Phil led the entire camp in our corporate worship time. This time together also included a solo and testimony each day by a faculty member and devotional thought by the Lams. 1 Timothy 1:5 provided the guidance for worship together: “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

As the Word of God was brought by Commissioner Swanson on the final Sunday morning, God spoke to the campers and faculty alike with the truth that God loves us and His love can be made complete in our lives.

Our time of learning and performance was mixed with some fun. This year featured a trip to Citi Field for a New York Mets game and a barbeque and sports night. Friendships were solidified during this time together, and we thank Majors Tom and Laurie Lyle for their tireless work each year on behalf of our young people.

This year, Star Lake Musicamp was able to incorporate some groundbreaking changes, thanks to efforts by the Music Department and Communications Department of the Eastern Territory. The SLMC14 App for smart phones was introduced as the primary source of information. Rather than fight against the reality that most young people carry and use (at all times) smart phones, SLMC made the most of this by allowing kids to access all Star Lake schedules and important reminders with their phones.

Star Lake Musicamp aims to tie expanding the musical knowledge and experience of students with a deepening—and for some, a beginning—of their relationship with Jesus Christ. The pastoral leadership of Majors Laurie and Tom Lyle, B/M Ron Waiksnoris, Jane and John Lam, Phil Laeger and the counselors and faculty members who poured out love on the students all week helped to provide a safe, enriching place where decisions could be made.

We thank God for 79 years of Star Lake Musicamp…and counting.

by Lorena Lance

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