Profile Night 35 – March 2, 2014
“Profile Night” has been one of the staple events hosted by The Salvation Army Greater New York Division for the past 35 years. Each year, a composer is chosen and their music and witness celebrated. In the event’s long history, guests for Profile Night have included Eric Ball, Peter Graham, Kevin Norbury, Dean Goffin, Kenneth Downie, Leonard Ballantine and many more. This year we were privileged to have Captain Martin Cordner as the Profile Night Guest. Gordon Ward, the Divisional Music Director for the Greater New York Division shared: “The last few Profile Nights have all been very unique from General John Larsson to Paul Lovatt Cooper to Phil Laeger and this one also had unique features. Captain Martin Cordner has written some very exciting music recently that relates to a varied audience and the music performed at Profile 35 exemplified this.” Each year this event can take on a different look and can involve different groups or soloists. This year featured the New York Staff Band, the Greater New York Youth Band & Chorus and Aaron VanderWeele (euphonium) as a guest soloist.
Captain Cordner’s own words express his feelings about being chosen as this year’s highlighted composer: “It was an exceptional honour to be invited to the Greater New York Division’s annual Profile Night. In truth, the thought of being invited to join such a long line of distinguished SA musicians was both a thrilling and terrifying prospect, but when the invitation came I had a sense of peace that my participation was right and that the evening would be a unique opportunity for people to be inspired to ‘fan into flame’ the gift God has given them, and for God to be glorified.”
The evening started off with the New York Staff Band playing “Light-Bringer” led by the illustrious NYSB Bandmaster, Ronald Waiksnoris. This march was written for the East Midlands Division Music School in the UK and was an exciting way to begin the evening. An enthusiastic welcome was given to Captain Cordner by all of those in attendance at the Centennial Memorial Temple in New York City.
One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of Captain Cordner’s Eternity Trilogy. The first piece in this trilogy, “Escape Velocity” was presented by the New York Staff Band. This high energy piece was very well received by the audience. The Greater New York Youth Band gave a fine performance of “Fusion” and the NYSB completed the Trilogy with “Skydance.” This final piece was written for the Birmingham Citadel Band’s 120th Anniversary and has been a welcome addition to the New York Staff Band repertoire.
Euphonium soloist, Aaron Vanderweele featured three items on the evening and was in top form. Aaron performed “Fearless”, “Mid All the Traffic” and “The Follower.” He had this to say about his experience: “It was a personal thrill to join the New York Staff Band again under Ron and to finally meet Martin Cordner. This was a night of wonderful music and I was privileged to have another cherished memory with the NYSB.”
Although Martin is not well known for his vocal music, the Greater New York Youth Chorus presented two items under the leadership of Gavin Whitehouse. Both of the items sang were written for the commissioning of the composer’s own “Crossbearers” Training College session. “Gift of Life” and “Cross Examined” were co-written with Captain William Dolling and the GNY Youth Chorus sang beautifully.
The performance that brought the house down was “Jubilo, Jubilo” by the Greater New York Youth Band. This high energy piece clearly captured the attention of all and the crowd responded accordingly. Jonathan Quatela (trumpet) and Martin Rosamilia (flugel) were featured on this item with solos and gave us a great “battle.” Congratulations to Bandmaster Gordon Ward and the Greater New York Youth Band for a fun performance.
The Greater New York Youth Band and the New York Staff Band joined together for the final two items of the program. “Adventurers,” which was premiered this summer at Star Lake Music Camp, was an excellent end to the evening and presented a wonderful opportunity to play under the baton of Captain Martin Cordner. “Adventurers” is a well-written piece that has great audience appeal. The middle section of this piece features “By His Hand,” a song written by former New York Staff Band member, Major Thomas Mack.
Cordner writes about the evening and the entire weekend: “Highlights for me included having my wife Leanne with me for the trip of a lifetime; conducting the united bands one of my latest works ‘The Adventurers’ as the finale to the program; and the opportunity to visit Hempstead Citadel and White Plains corps either side of Profile Night. These two opportunities helped me ground the tremendous yet dreamlike experience of Profile Night in real Salvation Army situations… My sincere thanks goes to the superb musicians who participated on the night, to