The Salvation Army's Greater New York Division Profile Night 33 held at the SA Centennial Memorial Temple in the heart of Manhattan with a 1000 strong audience brought together Paul Lovatt Cooper (the resident composer for the Black Dyke Mills Band) and the Greater New York Youth Band (Gordon Ward) and Chorus (Gavin Whitehouse) with guests The New York Staff Band (Ronald Waiksnoris) in an exciting evening "profiling" some of today's most exciting brass band music.
The evening went into orbit straightaway with a brilliant performance by NYSB opening with "Enter the Galaxies" complete with typical soaring melodies and intricate rhythms that we expect from PLC, followed by prayers and introductions by Divisional CommanderLt. Colonel Guy D. Klemanski who then welcomed the guests and the SA Eastern Territorial Leaders Commissioners Stephen and Judy Hedgren.
Paul responded opening with "Good Evening New York" and thanked the organizers for "this absolute honor" and remarked he couldn't quite believe it was actually happening.
The NYSB then presented "Home of Legends" written to celebrate the legends of famous names connected with the Black Dyke Band but also a reminder of the famous names (Eric Ball, Dean Goffin, Ray Steadman-Allen to name a few) profiled over the last 33 years.
Next we were transported across the oceans as Adam Fyn (NYSB) sensitively played the Baritone Solo "Donegal Bay" with sympathetic accompaniment from the NYSB.
Next Paul stripped for action (the Youth Band admiring his waistcoat) and displayed his percussion skills as he whipped through "Rondo Alla Turka" (with the NYSB managing to keep pace) this brought the audience to its feet for the first of many standing ovations.
The NYSB followed with "Where Eagles Sing" one of Paul's signature pieces, the American audience particularly appreciating the imagery - an energetic performance. Commissioner Hedgren related how he first heard this piece when driving across Oklahoma and played it continuously during the 5hr journey and admitted he was "blown away" by it.
Then it was the Youth Bands turn to impress us playing "Horizons" a grand opening by the cornet section and some fine ensemble playing by the group - PLC watched intently during the performance, cheering at the end.
The Youth Chorus then presented "My Simple Prayer" using the same melody we heard in "Donegal Bay" a sensitive rendition with clear voices singing the words "I know you're there" reminding many in the audience of the purpose for such music.
Tim Ward then gave a flawless and stylish rendition of the horn solo "An Untold Story" receiving personal congratulations from PLC.
Chris Ward then directed the Youth Band through "Darkside of the Moon" with Ron Waiksnoris helping out on soprano! The Youth Band evidently enjoyed playing this with fine solos and menacing basses as they portrayed the desolation and loneliness of the lunar surface but finally brought us home to the warmth of our families and introducing the familiar verses of "Our God Reigns". PLC commented that they "did a great job - it's tough on the chops" and was a fine performance by a youth group considering the work was commissioned for Black Dyke and is a recognized test piece for brass bands.
Paul then introduced "Fire in the Blood" specially commissioned for the ISB120 celebrations and receiving its US premier performance by the NYSB. Paul gave tribute to the SA Star Lake Music Camp and the influence of Peter Graham and Ron Waiksnoris and three SA melodies which had a profound effect on him "Sing Joy to The Lord", "Lord, You Know That we Love You" and "I Love You Lord"
Finally Paul conducted the massed bands and Chorus in "Vitae Aeternum" featuring "God Came In Jesus To Live Among Us", "I Will Praise You" and Ivor Bosanko's "His Provision" the chorus singing from the balcony. A stirring performance by both groups, with a full bodied, but controlled triumphant chord bringing the audience to its feet for their third standing ovation of the evening.
Another successful "Profile Night" with hopefully many more to come. Many thanks are due to all who made the evening possible.
Review by Keith Morton