Camden Hosts Salvation Army ‘Star Search’ Annual Competition for Talented Kids at Kroc

Apr 30, 2022 | by Tony Gallotto

CAMDEN, NJ – Hundreds of talented New Jersey youngsters and teens will compete today in the Salvation Army’s annual “Star Search” at the Kroc Corps Community Center.

Young performers – who participate throughout the year in the Salvation Army NJ Corps Music & Creative Arts programs – are competing throughout the day in music solos, dance, drama, band and small musical group performances.

“Most people don’t realize The Salvation Army is the Number 1 provider of free or reduced cost music and creative arts instruction for students of all ages outside of public schools,” said its music director Nathan Power, who oversees more than a dozen Corps music and creative arts programs.

“Now, after months of practice and perseverance, the most talented young artists in the state will compete in The Salvation Army’s signature youth event: ‘Star Search’,” Power said.

The younger performers, who range from grade school to high school students, are coming to Camden from Asbury Park, Elizabeth, Englewood, Flemington, Passaic, Kearny, Newark, Montclair, Orange, Trenton, and Red Bank, along with their dedicated Salvation Army instructors and coaches.

The Salvation Army NJ Corps Music & Creative Arts program started in the 1990s to encourage an appreciation for music, drama and the arts among young people.

The annual competition highlights young performers' talents in a wide range of areas: brass solos, guitar solos, vocal solos, monologues, dance solos, drum set solos, piano solos, youth band, youth chorus and drama troupe.

Winners in each category today will compete on Saturday, June 11th against other regional Salvation Army Corps winners in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down many student programs throughout the Garden State. But, the Salvation Army continued to offer in-person and Zoom instruction to provide music, socialization and in many cases, a meal or snack for children who might otherwise experience hunger, according to Major James Betts, the Salvation Army’s divisional commander.

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