Christmas Music at Halloween

If you are already familiar with us, you know our ideal in the Starlite Chorale is to learn our music well enough that we could dispense with the printed music altogether. This allows us to smile and catch the eyes of our audience, and to draw them in to each song. In this way, we might encourage the attendees to become part of the show, and not to listen only.

This ideal is harder to achieve in reality than in theory. It is partly because there is a shocking amount of hard rehearsal work that goes into competently performing any choral piece. For any choir it is the same; we are talking about hours of rehearsal, and what we hope to get out of it is, perhaps, a 3 1/2 minute miracle of song. To competently deliver a piece, deliver a song, it helps that the time spent will make the beauty of the music seem effortless, a force of nature like the wind and the sun.

One Halloween, when the children were still small and their mother shepherded them around the neighborhood, I stayed home on door duty, duly doling out the candy to children little and big. In my neighborhood there has never been a steady flow of trick-or-treaters, so there was a lot of waiting in between groups. It should come as no surprise that I filled these gaps sitting at the piano, (which is no more than 5 feet from the door) singing music from the upcoming Starlite Chorale Christmas show. I like to imagine that this was very appropriate for Halloween, adding disorienting weirdness as the trick-or-treaters came up to the door. “Why is he singing Christmas music?” they might ask themselves, “Have we come to the house of someone who is not quite right in the head?” (As a choral singer, I must admit the answer is “Yes!”)

For a couple of years now, it has not been feasible for us to stage a Christmas Show. I have not had any Christmas music to sing for a couple of Halloweens running.

This year is different, because I do have a Starlite Chorale Christmas show to look forward to – and so do you! Yes, we are back with our joyful, family Christmas Show, and our multi-talented Starlite Chorale.

You, our audience, will enjoy our mix of the sacred music of Christmas and the happy songs of Yuletide celebration that you remember. In fact, all the things that our audience expects for such a show will be there, including our puppet choir, our audience-participation “The 12 Days of Christmas”, a sing-along, and the literal dancing of “The Lord of the Dance”! We will keep you posted on this blog and otherwise so you know when everything will happen.

Join us for our family celebration of Christmas.

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Christmas is coming, but not without a Starlite show*

* Lord willing and the crick don’t rise!


I remember when I was a child, there were always signs that went up detailing the number of “shopping days before Christmas”. This actually meant something back then because, unlike today, A) the signs didn’t go up till the day after Thanksgiving, and B) in many places there was no Sunday shopping. Oh, yes, and C) you couldn’t just go online, in your underwear, at any hour of the day or night and order pretty much anything, reasonably expecting it to get there pretty much whenever you want. Having enough time to shop was a more precious commodity in the past. Nowadays, it’s enough to know how many days until Christmas. So, I have included a helpful countdown clock at the top of this post.

So we know that Christmas is once again coming. We also know that there will be a Starlite Chorale Christmas show to kick off the season. But as yet, no man knoweth the day or the hour when that show will start.

So friends, keep your eyes occasionally on this blog, and if you are on our email list, keep your eyes on your inbox. (If you would like to put your name on our email list, just click here, and we will do the rest.) We will keep you informed, and hope to see every one of your smiling faces coming in to celebrate with us.

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A thank you from the director to the performers

Our director, Dr. Anthony J Godlefski, sent this message to us performers after our March 7 performance at Roosevelt Care Center.
Dear Starliter,
My heart is filled with music this morning –
your music.

What a powerful, dynamic experience yesterday was.
You sang beautifully.
More than that, you reached out – with your smile, your eyes, your hands,
your listening, and your voice,
to touch those people at Roosevelt.

On that sunshine bright winter’s day,
you took time and strength and talent and energy
and gave it away to those folks.
Folks who could not walk back into the great outdoors as we did.
You brought joy to them.
You paid attention.
You let them know you saw them.
You helped them sing.
And conduct.
And remember.
And smile.
And respond.

Thank you, dear Friend.
You did a truly good thing.
You always do.

For now, just know I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I’m wishing you a great day.

Love and joy,
Tony

As members of the Starlite Chorale, we have learned many things from our director. But the most important thing we have all learned from him is how to say yes:
Is it possible for me to commit all this music to memory?
Yes!
Is it possible for me to lose my fear of looking people in the eye when I sing?
Yes!
Is it possible for me show the emotion of what I am singing on my face?
Yes!
If we in the Starlite Chorale know how to connect with people, or have learned how to reach out with our smiles and our eyes, it is because we continually learn from him. In the Starlite Chorale, we are all about bringing joy through music. We can do that because we have learned from the best.

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Christmas show on Sunday, December 15, at 4:30 PM

36514_10151219969803381_734584728_nProudly presented by the Rotary Club of Asbury Park

Every year for the past 25 years, the Starlite Chorale has performed a concert benefiting the Rotary Club’s Scholarship Fund, which helps high school students in and around Asbury Park. This year, rather than having the Christmas show at the Jersey Shore Arts Center, the Rotary club is holding it for a second year at West Grove United Methodist Church in Neptune, NJ.

Local high school students who need a hand will benefit from the money we raise here. Please come to our show, and share with us a “Christmas From the Heart”. All the pertinent facts are below.

Sunday, December 15
4:30 PM

West Grove United Methodist Church
102 Walnut Street, Neptune, NJ 07753
(Corner of Rt. 33 – Across from “The Cone Zone”)

Adults: $15, Seniors: $12, and free admission for the children!
For more information, call 732-272-8443

SLC Christmas 2013 Flier – AP Rotary

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Thanks and Thanksgiving From Our Director

Before the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday, Starlite performed at McAuley Hall, which is a nursing home in Watchung, NJ. Most of the residents are elderly nuns of the order called Sisters of Mercy. After the show, our director sent the following to us, the performers:

“Thursday, November 28th, 2013
To the musicians of the Starlite Chorale
From Tony Godlefski

Dear Starliter,

The chapel rang with song that night.

Those walls, richly steeped in devout prayer and spiritual song, would vibrate with spiritual energy. That space, the spiritual home of persons deeply devoted to a life focused on God, would be a place of heart lifting rejoicing that night.

Outside it was very dark. There was cold, and wind, and rain. But within, there was light.

And so, the Sisters encouraged us, and we sang for them – and for the Lord. Oh, how you sang! What amazing sounds – full, rich, sonorous, then quiet, blended, sensitive, sparkling, devout, fun, heartfelt, joyous, gracious – all wrapped together like a Christmas present to people whom we do not know well, but whose lifetime mission we salute and admire.

How they looked forward to hearing you! Their words of thanks were so gracious and kind. And when they assured us with their warm and steady smile of their prayers for us, well, down in our hearts, we know we’ve been prayed for deeply and well.

The puppets brought smiles to their faces and sparkle to their eyes. And when we joined hands and sang “Auld Lang Syne”, a sacred energy went from one to another as the Great Bell of Joy rang its note, its deepest sound ringing in our hearts, drawing all of us together as one.

Thank you for Tuesday night, November 26th, 2013 at McAuley Hall. You sang a wonderful concert, my Friend.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. To each and every one connected with our Starlite Chorale – I give thanks to God for you.

Love and joy to you –
Your friend,

Tony”

I’ve previously described the Starlite Chorale as being all about joy,  but we could not have given so much joy to our audiences without you, our emcee, our conductor, and our director.

Writing on behalf of the performers, we thank you for your work in making us all about joy.

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Christmas show on Sunday, December 8, at 4:30 PM

mumc fotoThat’s the date we will be performing “Christmas from the Heart” at Montgomery United Methodist Church in Belle Mead, New Jersey. This is the home church of our director and three of our members, and is also, acoustically, a great place to sing. The sanctuary is bright and spacious, and will be decorated with wreaths, a tall Christmas tree, and a banner or two. (The photo of the Starlite Chorale above and at the top of this page was taken at MUMC in front of the sanctuary.) All the pertinent facts can be found below:

Sunday, December 8
4:30 PM
Montgomery United Methodist Church
117 Sunset Rd.
Belle Mead, NJ 08502
908-874-3273
Adults: $15, Seniors: $12, and free admission for the children!

Click the link below to see and print the flyer for this performance. It has the same information, but prettier, printable, portable, and postable!

SLC Christmas 2013 Flier – MUMC

We hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

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Christmas From the Heart – Christmas, 2013

We would like to invite you to a bit of a homecoming show at Osceola Presbyterian Church in Clark, NJ, Friday, December 13, 2013!

Photograph of two musical/change-ringing handb...

For many years, the Starlite Chorale rehearsed and performed at this friendly church. It’s been a couple of years since we sang there, so we are looking forward to performing there again on Friday, December 13. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and as always, free admission for children!

Come to our show, where the sound of handbells will be ringing through the air. You will hear carols and spirtuals, Carol of the Bells, “Silent Night”, and have a chance to be part of “The 12 Days of Christmas”. There’s a bit of puppet silliness, and even a sing-along!  It’s a family Christmas celebration of music and joy.

Please click on the following link in order to see and print our poster with all the important information on it. We hope to see you there!

SLC Christmas 2013 Flier – Osceola

 

 

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And so it begins…Again!

The Starlite chorale Christmas season began in earnest this past Tuesday, when we did our first performance of the 2013 Christmas show, “Christmas from the Heart”. It being our first show of the season, we were still ironing out a few kinks – such as “what’s next?”, and “where do we stand for the song?” At times you could’ve heard a pin drop as we singers all stood, unsure of what we were doing next. You could say we were working out our staging with fear and trembling.

We performed it in the chapel at McAuley Hall, which is a nursing home in Watchung, NJ. I believe that most of the residents are elderly nuns of the order called the Sisters of Mercy. The chapel is simple and beautiful, and the acoustics are just perfect. And of course, the audience knows all the words to the songs! As we shake their hands and speak to them after the show, they make sure we all understand that they are happy to have us there. And we are happy to be there. The blessings go from them to us and from us to them.

We often say that our show is a great way for everyone to start (or end !) the Christmas season. But for us, our first show of the season, when we can see how the holiday music works its joyful magic, is a great way for us to begin our season.

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Thank You, Friendly Diners!

After each performance by The Starlite Chorale, we can usually be found at a nearby diner/restaurant enjoying the fellowship of a meal together.

The Starlite chorale sitting around a long dinner table

The Starlite Chorale about to enjoy dinner at the Blue Swan Diner

This past weekend, we did a show on Saturday and Sunday, so we wound up at a different one of “our” diners each evening. So what makes a diner a place that The Starlite Chorale will return to over and over again?

Not just any diner will do. First of all, the place must be wheelchair accessible. After that, it must be open late on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays,, when we perform most of our shows. And by “open late”, we mean a place that would be perfectly okay with a group of 20 people coming for a late dinner at 8:00 PM Sunday night. In other words, a place with very good management and really, top-notch servers. Good food is important, as well.

But most importantly, it must be a place where people will enjoy hearing us sing after dinner. If a place is like that, they can expect to see us over and over again. Diners are often like that. They don’t take themselves so seriously at a diner as they do at a “fine restaurant”, where decorum forbids groups of people singing because it might annoy the other diners.

So this past weekend, since we were performing in Neptune on Saturday, we headed up Route 35 to the Blue Swan Diner, Oakhurst; then, after Sunday’s show near Princeton, we went north on Route 206 to the Star Diner in Hillsborough  are just the most recent examples of places we like to eat at.

Places like (in no particular order) the Fontainebleau Diner in Piscataway, the Rustic Mill in Cranford, the Menlo Park Diner in Edison, and the Scotchwood Diner in Watchung.

If you happen to be hungry and near any of these fine places, we would be happy if you went there to eat. This is just a small way that we in the Starlite Chorale could say “Thank you!” to these places that were so welcoming.

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Starlite Chorale Christmas Season Shows 2012 – 2013

The Starlite Chorale is pleased to announce all of its public performances of a new show for the 2012 Christmas season, featuring:

Christmas Carols – Carol of the Bells
Silent Night – The Twelve Days of Christmas –
Puppet Song – and Much More!
All Join Hands and Sing Along!

and entitled:

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas!”

It will be a full evening of Christmas joy and Yuletide celebration, lasting approximately 2 hours. We have singers! We have bellringers! We have puppets! Tickets for adults cost $12 at the door; tickets for students/seniors $10. Entry for children is always free. And each place is wheelchair accessible!

Please feel free to hear us at any of these friendly places.
(Click here for a flyer with every performance listed)

Friday, November 30
7:30 PM
(Click here for flyer for this show)

Tree-lighting ceremony followed by our Christmas show.
Neshanic UMC,    301 Maple Ave., Neshanic Station, NJ 08853

Saturday, December 8
1:30 PM
(Click here for flyer to this show)
101 W. Sylvania Ave., Neptune, NJ 07753

Sunday, December 9    Montgomery UMC
4:30 PM
(Click here for flyer for this show)
117 Sunset Rd., Montgomery, NJ 08502

Saturday, December 15    Calvary-Roseville UMC
6:30 PM

400 Main St., East Orange, NJ 07018

Sunday, December 16    Centenary UMC
4:30 PM
(Click here for flyer for this show)
200 Hillside Ave., Metuchen, NJ 08840

Sunday, January 6    St. Matthew the Apostle RCC
4:30 PM

81 Seymour Ave., Edison, NJ 08817

This is the 12th day of Christmas – Epiphany – if you want just one more dose of Christmas cheer after the new year, this show is the place for you!

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