This is the official flyer

Yes, the official flyer for our upcoming concert in Ocean Grove, New Jersey! Please feel free to print and post wherever you are allowed to post them.

We hope you will put one up on your wall. You don’t want to miss this!

SLC _Some Enchanted Evening_ OG 2012 flier

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“Some Enchanted Evening”
September 23, 2012 at 4:30 PM
Bishop Janes Tabernacle
50 Pitman Ave.
Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Adults $12.; Seniors & Students $10.; Children free
Proceeds benefit the Scholarship Fund of the Rotary Club of Asbury Park.

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September 23, 2012 is going to be “Some Enchanted Evening”

Autumn's enchanted evening -

Autumn’s enchanted evening – (Photo credit: mademoiselle lavender – in loving memory of my mom)

The Starlite Chorale is pleased to announce that we have put together a new show, entitled “Some Enchanted Evening”. It is our first “Great American Songbook” show since 2007! We have been working on this show over the summer, and are looking forward to performing it for the first time near the end of September. We will be singing some of our favorite arrangements of the great popular music of the 20th century such as:

When You’re Smiling,
Alexander’s Ragtime Band,
The Very Thought of You,
Bye, Bye, Blackbird,
Chattanooga Choo Choo!

We will also be performing selections from the 1927 “Show Boat”, the masterpiece by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein that changed the Broadway musical forever; we’ll be singing Cole Porter’s “Easy to Love”; and an arrangement in which Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Some Enchanted Evening” (from “South Pacific”) and “We Kiss in a Shadow” (from “The King and I”) provide a beautiful counterpoint for each other.

We are especially proud to have some new arrangements. We will be performing the Carole King/Jerry Goffin dance hit “The Locomotion”, as well as “Roses Are Red” and “My Melody of Love” by the incomparable Bobby Vinton, all three arranged by our director, the incomparable and inimitable, the Rev. Dr. Anthony J Godlefski!

So set aside the time and date on your calendar – 4:30 PM on September 23, 2012! Wend your way to the picturesque seaside town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey. We will be performing in the unique and historic Bishop Janes Tabernacle, an oval building built in 1877 . It sits right next to the Great Auditorium, which itself is hard to miss! Click this link for directions from The Historical Society of Ocean Grove.

So here it is, in a nutshell:
“Some Enchanted Evening”
September 23, 2012 at 4:30 PM
Bishop Janes Tabernacle
50 Pitman Ave.
Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Adults $12.; Seniors & Students $10.; Children free
Proceeds benefit the Scholarship Fund of the Rotary Club of Asbury Park.


Be there, or be square! Or be there, and be square – we will all fit right in!
 Just be there.

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Print the Color Flyer — Our Christmas 2011 Performances!

This is the color flyer of our upcoming public performances this Christmas season. Print that flyer, you will find that it is a very good-looking color PDF that would look great on the wall of your home or office, as well as being a handy reminder of what a great way our Christmas shows are to start off (or complete) your Christmas season with joyful singing and fun!

Click here to view our Christmas flier:

View and Print “Christmas Treasures” Flier


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,

please to put a penny in the old man’s hat.

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,

if you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!


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Mark Your Calendars, Folks

The Last Lights of Christmas Flicker

Image by JOE MARINARO via Flickr

“Where can I go to hear
the Starlite Chorale
this Christmas season??”

 (click this link for an attractive and printable color flyer in PDF format!)

If you have asked yourself this question, here are dates, places and times of our big Christmas shows this season. We hope you’ll find at least one of them convenient and timely. (I’m not ruling out people going to more than one performance… ;-))

Sunday, November 27th, 2011, Jersey Shore Arts Center
Main St. and Main Ave., Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
4:30 PM

Our big Christmas concert benefiting the Asbury Park Rotary(I know it’s early, but hey, less chance of snow, right?  :-))

Sunday, December 11, 2011, Centenary UMC
200 Hillside Avenue Metuchen, NJ 08840 4:30 PM

Another big performance for our wonderful new hosting Church.

Sunday, January 8, 2012, – St. Matthew’s RC Church, Edison
81 Seymour Ave., Edison, NJ 08817
4:30 PM

This show is on Epiphany, the very last day of the 12 Days Of Christmas! Join us as we bid a fond farewell to Christmas, 2011, and wish our audience a bright, prosperous and blessed New Year.

See you there!


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Meditation on “O magnum mysterium”

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Upon the wind a faint music, high and thin as the mountaintop and the air —
O magnum mysterium (O great mystery)
et admirabile sacramentum (and wondrous sacrament)
we can only follow, as it strengthens and leads us across the miles… Continue reading

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A Note of Thanks or Two

Thank You for using the G.S. Parkway

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The Starlite Chorale has a widely distributed membership, in an array of towns that goes from Emerson, NJ in the north down to Monroe Township, NJ in the south. In a way, we owe our continuing existence to the Garden State Parkway! With such a membership, choice of a rehearsal site is crucial, can’t be too far from highways, and must be wheelchair accessible. Such a place exists at Centenary United Methodist Church in Metuchen, NJ. On behalf of the Starlite Chorale, I would like to thank the pastor of this church, Rev. Anna Thomas, as well as its fine people for inviting us to make it our rehearsal home.

I would also like to thank St. Matthew the Apostle RC Church in Edison for having hosted our rehearsals for the past three years. Needs of the church and the school, however had to take precedence, and they couldn’t continue hosting our rehearsals. But not to worry, we will be there once again performing our traditional Christmas show on Epiphany, January 8, 2012. We are happy that we have a continuing relationship with this kindly and generous church.

And speaking of kindness and generosity, here are more than a few musical notes of thanks, courtesy of Natalie Merchant. It is a video full of happiness and gratitude. They are good things to see, these sometimes elusive blessings.

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We’re baaaaaack!

A Danish Christmas tree illuminated with burni...

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We are preparing our 2011 Christmas show, “Christmas Treasures”, a trove of our favorite music from 15 seasons as The Starlite Chorale. It will be our traditional sort of Christmas show, which is unlike any other you are likely to see!

Our first half is full of the songs that celebrate the birth of Jesus – spirituals like “Mary Had a Baby” and “Oh, What a Wonderful Child”, serious works like Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria” (sung by the Chorale) and “O Holy Night”, sung by Barbara (as it should be!)

Our second half begins with the songs of Yuletide and Winter, like “Deck the Halls” and “Winter Wonderland”. Then we will joined by Central New Jersey’s only nonhuman choir as we sing “Christmas Is Coming”! Vin will sing Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song”, and Sir David will share his heartfelt and moving rendition of “White Christmas”, and later preside over the sing-along portion of our show. And we will invite everyone to join us in singing and dancing that grandest of all carol-dances, “Lord of the Dance”!

Please stay tuned to this blog for updates on our performances coming up this Christmas season. We of the Starlite Chorale have the privilege to anticipate and celebrate Christmas from the middle of September all the way through to the middle of January. We hope that you will come so that We can best wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a blessed, prosperous and happy New Year!

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“Sing We Joyous, All Together!” is the Name of Our Show…

Our first show of the Christmas 2010 season will take place at Neshanic United Methodist Church , which is at 301 Maple Ave, Neshanic Station, NJ 08853 . We will be attending Neshanic’s  Community Christmas Concert on Friday, December 3, 2010 (see below for a full description of the festivities!). It starts at 7:45 p.m. with the lighting of the community tree, followed by our 2010 Christmas show. We will come in rejoicing with “Deck the Halls“, a song that is itself almost as old as an “ancient Yuletide carol”. We will not skimp on the holiday fun, nor on the joy at the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the reason for the season. Come to listen, come to sing along and perhaps, even dance! Join us and the gracious congregation of Neshanic UMC to start your Christmas season in a big way — which is how we do Christmas at the Starlite Chorale!

Third Annual Community Christmas Concert

Friday, December 3, 2010 7:45 p.m.

Lighting of the Community Christmas Tree 7:45 p.m.

Concert at 8:00
Featuring The Starlite Chorale
Directed by Pastor Tony Godlefski

Please take time out of your busy schedule to celebrate with us the blessed Savior’s birth!
Free will offering and canned goods donations to benefit our Sunday school holiday food basket mission

Refreshments following the program

Also please join us for our time-honored traditions:

Sunday, December 5, 7 p.m.: Lessons & Carols at Mount Zion UMC
Friday, December 24, 7:30 p.m.: Christmas Eve at Neshanic UMC
December 24, 10 p.m. Christmas Eve at Mount Zion

For More Info:

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What is the “Inner Beat”?

Mozart, about 1780. Detail of Mozart family po...
Image via Wikipedia

by Anthony Godlefski

13 October 2010

Mozart once said that “the space between the notes is as important as the notes themselves.”

I once thought that he was referring to rests as “the space between notes.”

I now believe that he was referring to what I like to call “the inner beat” — the duration of the note itself, thus the space between the inception of one note and the next.

In brief, the inner beat refers to the idea that, in measured music (as opposed to chant and related styles), every beat is actually composed of an infinite number of  “inner beats”, subdivisions of the overall beat, micro-pulsations within the larger beat, which gives true rhythmic vitality to the music.

Salve Regina in cantus planus & gregorian notation
Image via Wikipedia

On our first piano lesson, we are taught that “the quarter note gets one beat.”  Clump.  Thump. One.  But how long exactly is that one beat?  In practical terms, the inner beat concept says that it is four 16th-notes long, or two eighth-notes at the very least.a quarter-note is not just, “ONE”.  It is, “One-and” or “One-ee-and-uh”.

This is an extraordinarily important concept.  The awareness of it makes the difference between an ordinary performance and an attractive performance, rhythmically speaking.  It applies to singing as well as percussion as well as string playing as well as the piano and organ.  The awareness of the inner beat makes the difference between a rushed performance and a stately performance, and consequently, between an anxious musical experience and a relaxed and engaging one.

For years, my choral group had been making recordings of our performances  I would sit in the studio of the recording engineer after our recording session or performance, and puzzle frequently-occurring musical problem.  In lively pieces especially, there was something wrong with many of our musical performances, (that is, ultimately, with my conducting).  It wasn’t so much the sound of the voices, or the dynamics, or intonation;it was something else that I could not put my finger on.  All I knew was that as I listened to the performance,I felt increasingly anxious.  There was something about the music that was making me nervous.

I recall that as a very young conductor, I was very concerned with making the music “exciting” — that generally translated as “too fast”.  I also probably experienced a big adrenaline rush when performance time came as well, and that pumped tempos up even further.

Sure, music needs to be exciting.  It needs not to “drag”.  What I did not realize at the time was that the solution to both music that was anxiously fast and draggingly slow was the application of the inner beat.  It would cure them both.

I remember how frustrated and dissatisfied I was.  The answer was to come from a member of our group.  We were rehearsing music for Christmas.  The particular piece was “Carol of the Bells“. It was rushing, rushing, rushing.  “Hark how the bells, sweet silverbellsallseemtosaythrowcaresaway…”.  I would fuss and complained to the singers who were rushing, but I could not fix it.  Then a soprano in our group, Barbara ewick, said, “why not sing, Har-rk how the be-lls, swe-et sil-ver be-lls, al-l seem to sa-y, thro-ow cares a-wa-y.” Cleared it right up.

Later, I had the tremendously good fortune of studying with the great Robert Shaw.  He was a strong proponent of the idea that the biggest problem most choirs have is rhythm (how true in my case).  Those of us who studied with him are well aware of his unrelenting use of the counting system, that is, before ever dealing with the text of a choral piece, we would sing all the nodes with, “One-ee-and-uh, Two-ee-and-uh…” etc.  the music had to be precisely right rhythmically and pitch wise before we ever sang a word.

And to think how many choirs just “plow through” pieces, words and notes the first time through.

I now use a modification of the Shaw system, a pulsating neutral syllable like “Dee” for clear intonation plus the awareness of the inner beat.  (As helpful as Shaw’s method is, most choirs find it cumbersome and often confusing.  This distracts their concentration from the key issue, which is listening to the effect of the inner rhythmic pulsations).

Listening to a lively piece by a great symphony orchestra is a good way to appreciate the awareness of the inner beat.  Great conductors and great orchestras are intensely aware of this, and it is transparently clear in their playing.

The awareness of the inner beat has transformed every aspect of my musical life, from organ playing to piano playing and certainly choral conducting.

(It should be noted that there are certain styles of music which are not so dependent on the inner beat awareness.  Gregorian chant especially, and soulful spirituals deal with the stretching and compressing of the length of notes in a very intuitive way. )

The inner beat concept brings both briskness and calmness to fast passages,  and irresistible attractiveness to slow passages.  May the concept be a blessing to your musical life.

© A. J. Godlefski 2010 October 13.

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