Gaither Music released this press release today:
2009 brings revolutionary new direction for the Gaither Vocal Band
1/13/09 (Alexandria, Indiana) - With mixed emotions and tremendous optimism about the future, Gaither Music Group announces major personnel changes for the Gaither Vocal Band, including the return of some of the group's best-loved alumni.
After more than 14 years as the Gaither Vocal Band's lead singer, Guy Penrod will now begin a new journey. Bill Gaither is delighted to announce today that Guy is pursuing a new direction as a solo artist. It is a bittersweet transition as Penrod will miss sharing the stage with his comrades and he will be greatly missed.
Bill Gaither states, "I am losing a lead singer, but I am not losing a friend. I am extremely grateful for the incredible contribution he has made to the Gaither Vocal Band's legacy."
Guy Penrod has said in response, "My years with the Gaither Vocal Band have been among the most glorious of my life. Now, though, with the Band continuing in strength and me tackling the new challenge of a solo career, we can all serve our God even more powerfully in the days to come."
As Gaither has stated at various times of transition, "You never replace a group member... you simply find a fresh, new direction." And with that philosophy at heart, Bill Gaither has gone far beyond simply replacing his long-time lead singer.
He has completely recreated the Gaither Vocal Band, now expanding the size of the group from four members to five and bringing back an all-star cast of voices from the Vocal Band's rich legacy of talent.
Effective immediately, the new roster for the five-member Gaither Vocal Band will be: Bill Gaither, David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Michael English and Mark Lowry.
Marshall Hall, who has sung with the group since 2004, will no longer serve as the group's baritone and will be missed dearly by his friends both on and off the stage.
He is a talented singer and producer, as well as an experienced worship leader, who will undoubtedly enjoy a solid future building on the experience gained during his five remarkable years with the Gaither Vocal Band.
The public's overwhelming early response to the upcoming release of The Gaither Vocal Band Reunion DVD, as well as the group's 2009 Grammy nomination, has already begun what could be the group's most unforgettable season yet.
I've only known about this for a few days, so I'm still sorta speechless... if you can believe it. All I know is... this is going to be funnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!