Our history

In the Beginning

On the crisp autumn evening of October 5, 1995, at a table in the Rustic Mill Diner in Cranford, NJ, Tony Godlefski and a small group of talented, dedicated friends decided to establish a new singing group.We didn’t even have the name yet, but knew we wanted to establish a new group with the ideal of bringing bright, lively music to its audiences. Some of the folks around that table had sung together with Tony for about 17 years at the time. A major part of its reason for being would be to sing for people who could not get out to hear live performances: people in nursing homes, senior residences and hospitals. We wanted to do this with a small, skilled, dedicated ensemble, operating in a family atmosphere. The Starlite Chorale was born.

With help from the wonderful people at Osceola Presbyterian Church (which Tony served as Music Director and Organist, Jan. 1971-June 1977) we established a musical home and began our search for a name. “Starlite” seemed just right – we wanted to bring music that was elegant, bright, optimistic, and “reaching for the stars”. We were inspired by a line from a Gershwin classic:

I’ve got starlight,
I’ve got sweet dreams,
I’ve got my gal,
Who could ask for anything more?

The alternate spelling makes us, well, just a little unique.

More than 20 years have passed since then. In that time, Starlite has become a musical family. We have sung in churches, each summer at Ocean Grove’s Tabernacle, “First Night” New Year’s Eve concerts in Somerville, Montclair, East Orange, and Nyack, NY, and outdoor shows before Fourth of July fireworks. We were proud to sing the songs of America outdoors along the candlelit main street of Linden, NJ, in the aftermath of the 9/11 crisis. We have also sung in hospital rooms, rehabilitation facilities, around outdoor bonfires, as well as in many diners and in a circle in their adjacent parking lots. Numerous hilarious stories have developed around Starlite diner adventures.

Starlite is proud to host the Sparklers, our children’s and youth choir, and to now have a fine set of Malmark hand-bells to enhance our Christmas show. We sing two show formats per year, (Christmas and a “Great American Songbook” style Spring show) with a total of about 15 performances each year. We sing public concerts with faithful and growing audiences, benefit concerts which raise funds for charitable organizations, and good will concerts for senior centers and medical facilities.

The Starlite Chorale is truly a musical family. That family includes
our faithful audiences.

We are pleased indeed to welcome you to the
circle of the Starlite musical family.