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‘What a night!’

Captain Martin Cordner highlights Profile 35

“I’m absolutely privileged and honored to be part of a long line of these events,” said Captain Martin Cordner, this year’s featured guest of the Greater New York (GNY) Division’s Profile Night concert series. Since 1979, Profile Night has been an annual event where the work of one composer or songwriter is celebrated. Realizing the expectation of such a task, Cordner said, “I’m also terrified as well, to be perfectly honest with you!”

Cordner, who had set his personal expectations high, said, “And for all the people in the audience this evening, I hope they’ll not just hear music, but that their hair will stand up on the back of their necks, or something, and that there will be some kind of engagement; some kind of movement, and that they will be encouraged in someway.”

Captains Martin and Leanne Cordner have two sons. Since becoming officers in 2002, the Cordners have served in corps appointments in England, Scotland, and in Northern Ireland. Currently based in Norfolk, they serve as support officers in the Anglia Division.

Since 1987, Martin has been writing music. In 1989, he came to the Salvation Army’s International Headquarters as an employee. That move brought him under the influence of some of the Army’s leading musicians. To date, he has more than 50 published works for brass band.

The evening began with a march presented by the New York Staff Band (NYSB, Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris), entitled “Light–Bringer.”

Major James W. Betts, general secretary, welcomed everyone and led an opening prayer. Envoy Kenneth Burton, O.F., led the congregational song “I Know Not Why God’s Wondrous Grace.”

The NYSB then performed “Escape Velocity,” the first part of the evening’s musical trilogy, which describes humanity’s struggle against the “pull” of a fallen world as it tries to escape from turmoil into the tranquility of God.

During the evening, Aaron VanderWeele performed three euphonium solos. His first was “Fearless,” accompanied by the NYSB; then “Mid All the Traffic,” accompanied by the GNY Youth Band (YB);  and finally “The Follower,” accompanied by the NYSB.

The GNY Youth Chorus (YC, Song Leader Gavin Whitehouse), ministered with “Gift of Life.” Co–written with Captain William Dolling, this high–energy piece celebrates Christ.

The NYSB then performed “Sweetest Name,” an energetic swing number, which included two songs, “Oh, How I Love the Savior’s Name” and “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest Name I Know.”

During Cordner’s devotional message, he cheerfully alluded to his days as an adolescent when he began making his own compositions, which he courageously shared with his youth band. “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,” he said. “For God gave us a spirit—not of fear—but of power and love” (2 Timothy 2).

Then the GNY YB (Christopher Ward) played “Fusion,” part 2 of the trilogy, which focuses on the celebration that arises when a believer arrives in heaven.

The youth chorus ministered with “Cross–Examined.” The youth band (B/M Gordon Ward) then rendered “¡Jubilo Jubilo!” (“Rejoice, Rejoice!”).

The final chapter of the Eternity Trilogy began with the NYSB’s performance of “Skydance.” A vibrant finale to the night included performances by the massed band with “Ohne Sorgen,” Josef Strauss’s light concert work for orchestra and an arresting rendition of “The Adventurers.” Written for the Hempstead Citadel Band, it brought to mind such action film composers as John Williams and the Army’s own Bruce Broughton.

In appreciation for his contribution to the Profile Night series, Cordner received a beautiful commemorative plaque from Lt. Colonel Guy Klemanski, divisional commander. The audience responded with a standing ovation.

Fans at home saw the concert via live stream on the Internet.

Responses via Twitter and Facebook were electric.

“Blessed by the ministry of the New York Staff Band and the Youth Band and Chorus. Thank you for sharing your gift with us,” wrote Joel Lyle.

Following the concert, Cordner stopped by the Café Beane for a cup of coffee and to check his Twitter and Facebook accounts. “Thanks for all your Profile 35 messages,” he tweeted. “Will reply soon. For now, though, time for New York coffee! God bless you all!”

by Warren L. Maye

 

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