This is a new setting for Fanny Crosby's song based on Isaiah 1:18 "Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet". It was written in 2007 in memory of Howard Cox following his "Promotion to Glory". This new version features original music for SAB choir with piano accompaniment, written 34 years after Gerry's first a cappella arrangement of the same song.
My Tribute to Howard Cox (the backstory of this piece)
In 1968, I moved to Chicago with my family and started high school. I was glad that my Uncle Howard and his family lived there too. Together, we became part of the Salvation Army Mont Clare Corps which later became Norridge Citadel. My teenage years were largely shaped by many of the saints at Mont Clare who took an interest in me, and this group included my uncle, Howard Cox. He led the youth band and later became the choir director known as the "songster leader". Howard asked me to play the piano for the songsters and although I was not really qualified, he put his confidence in me. Through this experience, reading new music week after week, my sightreading skills improved, but I also developed a love for the music and lyrics of many of those songs.
In 1973, in my second year at Northwestern University, Howard asked me to make an a cappella arrangement of "Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet" finishing with a chorus of "Take Up Thy Cross and Follow Me". We sang this arrangement often, and when I hear this song today, my mind is flooded with memories of Howard leading the group with passion and reverence. I can still picture all of us in our stand-up tunics (and bonnets), singing these words. And many of those people are in Heaven today. But I will never forget the influence they had on me as a young man at Mont Clare corps.
Besides my own father, who was my closest mentor, I think Howard had the most positive influence on me as a Christian male role model. Howard stood up for his beliefs, he was a faithful husband and father, had a strong work ethic, and most of all he cared for people. To honor Howard's memory, I wrote this new tune to Fanny Crosby's words from Isaiah 1:18. It's an amazing prophecy that my sin will become as white as snow and He will remember them no more. I pray that the words and music of this song will honor Howard's life and also be a blessing to all who sing or hear these words.