ENCORE – STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The ENCORE Music and Arts Celebration has been designed to:
Encourage the development of soloists and groups in music and dramatic arts.
- Provide a goal that will help motivate soloists and groups to work towards becoming their best in their chosen artistic fields.
- Provide opportunity for performance, giving additional motivation for development of skills through participation on both local corps and divisional levels.
- Help soloists, groups and leaders to focus on doing their best to glorify God by developing the talents He has given them and then using their skills to bring a message and a blessing to those who listen.
It is hoped that corps officers and leaders will help the young people in their endeavors to develop their skills by providing them opportunities to share their talents throughout the year at the corps. The ENCORE program is not meant to relate to one or two special weekends. Rather, it is meant to help in the development of the quality of the arts for worship at the corps on a regular basis.
It is further hoped that officers, leaders, parents and other adults involved with young people in ENCORE will keep the goals of the program in proper perspective. Children love to excel and show that they are good at something. Because of this, a climate of friendly competition can motivate them to work towards a goal. It can also provide them with a safe arena in which to learn how to support one another, regardless of the outcome of a contest. Whether a child receives a high score or a low score, they should still see and feel the positive support of those around him or her and receive encouragement from them to continue to work hard to develop their talents and gifts. Disappointment that is enveloped by sincere love, support and encouragement soon disappears. It is mostly when disappointment is surrounded by anger, bitterness and disparaging words, especially by the important adults in the child’s life, which the child will want to focus on failure, place blame or stop trying.
Of course, it is realized that a few children will be at a stage in their lives where the pressure of standing up and performing is too stressful for them. It is vital that intentional discipleship accompany the training of these groups in order to provide guidance through emotional, spiritual and artistic development.
Whether it is against ourselves or another, competition is a part of our lives. Even in Salvation Army groups, not everyone can sit first chair in a section of the band or sing the solo in the songsters or win the Bible Bowl or earn a place in the Divisional Youth Band or Timbrelists. Not everyone can win a trophy at Men’s Camp, become a General’s Guard or be in the Century Club. Although our children cannot escape it, they can learn that their own worth does not ride upon their score in any contest.
Rather, the contest allows them the opportunity to strive to do something well, to work at doing the best they can do and to see those around them showing an interest in their progress. Each person has something that they can develop and give as an offering to the Lord. Let’s encourage participation in every opportunity that provides a way to find and develop the talents the Lord has given. Let’s help our children learn how to be gracious and supportive of each other, learning at an early age the proper response to the use of their own gifts and the gifts of others as taught by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:3 & 4:
“Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast; but be humble toward each other, never thinking you are better than others. And look out for each other’s interests, not just for your own.” (Today’s English Version)
If our children can practice this teaching within the context of ENCORE and other Salvation Army programming and then start to apply it to every area of their lives – at school, at home and when playing with their friends then their lives will be able to touch and make a positive impact on those around them. When ENCORE results are given and score sheets are returned, the children will take their cues from the adults around them. May we not let them down as they try to learn from us.
It should also be noted that ENCORE provides opportunities for other life lessons. Even if a child does not go into an artistic performance profession where they would be required to perform a solo, he or she will almost definitely have to stand before a group and present a paper or make a speech or give a presentation. ENCORE can help in the development of self-assurance and confidence. It can help a child to understand the importance of proper preparation and of presenting themselves in a positive way. Those in groups can learn the importance of a collaborative creative process – that each part of a group can make a contribution to the overall presentation of the whole group.
We are taking part in the development of our future leaders. Too many of our children have too few opportunities to learn these lessons and receive positive reinforcement as they learn. These lessons can help to enhance their gifts and talents through training and performance opportunities.
Who Should Participant in Encore?
We hope that the ENCORE program will help corps growth. Prospective Junior & Senior Soldiers are both allowed and encouraged to participate. However, young people are not to be brought in just for this event. They should be attending the corps on a regular basis and tracked towards becoming a Junior and Senior Soldier.
Special Competition Rules:
If a soloist or group receives first place for two consecutive years in the same level, they must take a year off from participating or compete in a higher level. However, if they were the sole competitor in their category in one of those 2 years, they may still compete in their category.
Standard Junior Soldier uniform is required for all Junior Soldier participants:
- White shirt/blouse with official “S” on the collar (if junior soldier)
- Navy blue skirt/pants
- Navy blue socks (Pantyhose are permitted for older girls)
- Black shoes
- Blue/black ties for boys, optional pins for girls
- Senior soldiers may wear senior soldier uniform in tunic or fatigues. No hats.
- Prospective soldiers may wear the standard junior soldier uniform with the exception of the official “S” which is not permitted until enrollment.
- Timbrelists will be in Junior or Senior soldier uniform.
- Dance Solo and Dance troupes will not be required to wear Junior/Senior uniforms while performing. Instead, groups are expected to look consistent in appearance. Adjudicators will be looking for clothing to be neat, becoming, modest and not distracting. Any make-up should be appropriate to the performance piece and should be well applied.
Drama / Monologues
- Drama troupes will not be required to wear Junior/Senior uniforms while performing. Instead, participants are expected to wear outfits or costumes that are appropriate for the chosen monologue or scene. The adjudicators will be looking for good judgment in this area.
- If applicable, participants are expected to provide their own scene props.