Star Search 2016

Having only arrived in the country two days prior, my very first event in the division was Star Search. And what an amazing first event it was. If when you arrived at Star Search, you were greeted by some guy with a funny British accent — that would be me.

The day started with our welcome session, both a welcome to all of the young people who would be taking part throughout the day, and also to Star Lake, which for the first time was hosting the divisional event. Railton Brass and Railton Chorus got us prepared for the day. These two great divisional groups, have been working very hard this year, and this really showed, ably kicking off a day of great music making and performances. The students were then all given their instructions, and Star Search 2016 was underway.

During the day I was able to sit in and assist on the various ensemble performances. It was great to see so many young people, who all looked very smart in their uniforms, put all of their preparation to good use and perform so well. To see the excitement and determination on each of their faces was something truly special, and the music that they performed was exceptional.

On the day we had three Youth Choruses take part, nine YP bands and an incredible sixteen Singing Companies. It must be noted that all of these ensembles take part in their respective corps week by week throughout the year — what a blessing these children are for the Greater New York Division! These children are so key to the development of our churches, and so it is rewarding to be able to see them really shine through this event.

Meanwhile the sound of activity could be heard throughout camp. Timbrels, Percussion Soloists, Guitarists, Brass Players, Vocalists, Pianists, Dance and Drama groups of all shapes and sizes, were taking part in their own heats around Star Lake. Each individual had worked so hard in preparation for Star Search, it was great to see and hear reports of their performances throughout the day. With over six hundred talented young people taking part this year, this was a new record for the Division, and every single young person who took part, should be proud of their accomplishment.

Following on from dinner, we were treated to performances from the Greater New York Youth Band and Youth Chorus as we prepared for the results to come in. Hosted by our Divisional Leaders, Lt. Colonel Guy and Henrietta Klemanski, the awards program was an amazing experience to be part of. The atmosphere created in the packed-out tent was terrific, with great support being given to all those who participated.

Those from our Division who ranked highest in their respective categories, will now be preparing to take part in the Territorial Star Search event, on June 11th in Hershey, Pennsylvania. What a great opportunity to represent our Division at this event. We wish them all the best of luck!

A big thank you must go to all of the parents, corps officers and musical leaders of the Division, who all helped to prepare the kids so well. To all of the Star Lake staff, who worked so well to accommodate the huge turnout to the event, again you have our thanks. To all of the adjudicators, thank you for giving of your time to help promote the talents of our youth.

Of course we must also thank the staff from Divisional Headquarters, who have been keen advocates of this event for many years now. Without their support, we would not be able to run such a fantastic event.

And finally to all of those young people who took part — thank you for inspiring us all.

Corps folks, do congratulate your children on participating in Star Search this year. They have done us all very proud.

So with this year over, I have been able to breathe a little, to try to recover from some jet lag — but now I am most certainly looking forward to Star Search 2017!

Edward Mylechreest