Music is Cher-ann’s calling
When Cher-ann Brangman picks up her saxophone to perform, something incredible happens: any nervousness disappears and she’s filled with a great sense of purpose.
“Playing gospel music has given me a bold confidence that I’ve never experienced with secular music. When I pick up a horn I transcend. I just give in to God and allow the gifting to take over.”
She will take the stage today for Uplift Bermuda, a two-day celebration that began yesterday.
Organisers Pastor Russell Tomlinson and Cindy Trimm-Tomlinson will give words of encouragement during the free event; local gospel artists will perform.
Easter is an exciting time of year for her family, the 41-year-old said.
Not only does it offer a chance to take part in Bermuda traditions like flying kites and eating hot cross buns, it holds a lot of spiritual significance.
“To me, Easter represents something very revered and holy, when Jesus gave His life for us, so how could we not pause and give thanks?” she said.
Ms Brangman encouraged people of all ages to join her at Uplift Bermuda.
She hopes they leave with a renewed belief in their God-given mandate/assignment.
“When I look back on my life I know that music has always been my calling,” she said. “I first realised that God had given me this talent at age 7.
“I began on the flute at my mother’s request, but convinced my teacher that I was more suited for the drums.
“A few years later at age 11, I found what would eventually become my true love.
“Under the instruction of Vernon ‘Ghandi’ Burgess I began on the saxophone. The following year it really hit me that this talent was truly a gift from God.”
For her first solo performance, music teacher John Woolridge asked her to play Centre of My Joy.
While practising she felt a focus she had never known — from then onwards she was “hooked”.
She began playing her horn every Sunday at church.
In her teens, she signed up with the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band and the National Youth Jazz Ensemble.
She later played in her university’s marching band and Jazz band.
“I’m a true ‘band geek’,” she said.
Ms Brangman has also played at various church and private events around Bermuda. Throughout her ministry career, people have always called her ‘an anointed player’.
“She didn’t know what that meant as a child, but as an adult can see how God is using her through this platform for His glory.
“I’ve heard numerous people say my music has ministered to their soul,” the musician said. “My family always pass on messages from people who stop them to ask when I’m playing next.
“I had this one lady who takes every opportunity to encourage me and let me know how I’ve impacted her through my ministry.
“I’ve even had people stop me when I’m out shopping at stores. They tell me they love to see my name on an event flyer because they know if they come to hear me they will be blessed.
“I didn’t think I had that kind of effect or impact on people, but just this past Sunday, a lady said her mind was soothed by my playing.
“I believe this is really why I’m here on this Earth. I want people to see God and know that He is there to comfort and provide peace.”
As the music she plays is instrumental, it’s left to her audience to interpret the meaning behind the notes themselves.
Ms Brangman describes it as “the only language that everyone can understand”.
“It’s up to the listener to reflect on what God may be telling them through the music or to give them a free space to hear from Him,” she said. “With instrumentals, you don’t have to worry about getting the words wrong.
“You can free your mind and let God take you where you need to go in that moment. That’s why I say I never step on stage in my own strength.
“Whatever comes out of my horn is from Him. Sometimes I’m even surprised by what happens when I get on stage.”
• Uplift Bermuda continues at 10am today with family-friendly fun and activities on the TN Tatem Middle School field, Middle Road, Warwick