WE ARE AN OFFERING: Soloists of the Pendel Brass and Singers – Past and Present

by Kevin Ashman, Principal Cornet – International Staff Band – 

The mixture of musical styles and instrumentation that this collection delivers with such clear and unashamed purpose at heart will have a lasting impact on listeners. The musicians display their ability as performers while the introductory notes give insight into the musician’s life that few witness—the dedicated (and often lonely) hours of rehearsal, preparation and sometimes heartache that lead to a performance. Brief written testimonies by the performers communicate something of their own spiritual journey.

The warm string and piano accompaniment to Rachael Gulley’s singing of “He’s Always Been Faithful” contrasts the brilliant trumpet of Derek Lance in “Intrada on A Song of Praise.” Margaret Davis sings Ennio Morricone’s melody “Gabriel’s Oboe,” based on the text of Psalm 84.

The creative coupling of Beethoven’s “Pathetique Sonata” with the much-loved “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” features Sarah Duenke on the piano. Andrew Garcia plays on flugelhorn Ivor Bosanko’s setting of the children’s song “When He Cometh.” Margaret Davis turns to Handel’s oratorio Samson for “Let The Bright Seraphim” with string ensemble accompaniment and piccolo trumpet obligato provided by Paul Burgmayer.

Three instrumental pieces follow: Carissa Burgmayer’s warm cello sound as it conveys Alistair Taylor’s melody to the old song “I Need Thee Every Hour;” Vanda Knickerbocker’s expressive rendering of Donna Peterson’s melody “Nothing But Thy Blood;” and Derek Lance’s performance of Terry Camsey’s cornet solo, “Longings.”

“When These Brief Trial Days Are Spent,” played by Ronald Coles, provides an evocative vehicle for the magnificent sounds of the pipe organ. The “Pie Jesu” from Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Requiem is rendered on soprano cornet and flugelhorn by Doug Berry and Derek Lance. Joanna ShawRuss plays on harp a theme and variation solo based on a tune by Haydn, known to Salvationists as “Forward Be Our Watchword.” J. S. Bach joins the list of featured composers with “If Thou Be Near,” performed by David Burgmayer on cornet.

“Jungle Walk,” a quirky, fun marimba item played by Jeff Cain leads into a reflective instrumental offering. Paul Koeple’s Arietta for unaccompanied flute and clarinet, played by Donna Reinhard and Ronda Jackson. Joshua Duenke presents on acoustic guitar “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

The final, title track features the voice of Christine Lee accompanied by a mixed instrumental ensemble. It encapsulates the mindset of all the performers on this disc as they each offer their gifts back to the Lord for him to bless and use for his purposes.

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