Send the Fire (2013)
Duration: approx. 7:30
In 2012 I accepted a request to write a selection of songs by Phil Laeger. The request came from Gordon Ward, Divisional Music Director for the Greater New York Division in the USA Eastern Territory of the SA, and the piece was premiered by the Greater New York Youth Band, of which Gordon is the conductor.
Since 1979 the Division has held an annual Profile Night where a guest SA composer or musician is featured and their contribution to the Salvation Army music world acknowledged. In 2013 it was the turn of Phil Laeger to be the guest and the event was held in New York's Centennial Memorial Temple on Sunday 3rd March. The event coincided with the start of Phil's Have Your Way tour in which he visited a number of venues across the Southern USA.
The three songs included in the selection are A Mighty Fortress, I Surrender and Send the Fire. These were given to me, I didn't chose them, but what great songs they are! Had it been down to me I would almost certainly have picked Phil's setting of the late Commissioner Stanley E. Ditmer's song I'm in His hands. The Commissioner's song was a tremendous gift to the SA in 1956, so much so that it is still widely used today.
Send the Fire p7-8.pdf
Size : 91.311 Kb
Type : pdf
Computer generated track
Send the Fire (clip).mp3
I like Phil's setting of the song very much, and consider it to be an equally precious gift - to the SA of modern times. So although Phil's setting isn't given full treatment in the work, I exercised creative licence and managed to weave the three songs together with strands from I'm in His hands. I guess I got to have my way after all!
One privilege for me in this project has been to arrange music that has been a refreshing wind through SA repertoire, the Kingdom impact of these consecrated songs cannot be underestimated. It's a real thrill to be able to bring them to the brass band genre. The challenge as always is not to replicate the sounds of acoustic guitar, piano etc (the natural home of these songs) but to somehow capture the song's essence and make it work for brass.
The other perhaps more significant privilege is that in getting close to someone else's music, you get to glimpse a little of what God is doing in that person's heart. That's been a special experience for me this past while.
It has been an honour to write the piece which is my tribute to Phil; his obedience to God and the songs he has been inspired to write.
You can catch the Greater New York Youth Band's performance on YouTube here.
Copyright © 2011-2013 Martin Cordner