First off, Bill Gaither has announced that Guy Penrod has departed the group to pursue a solo
ministry career.* If you have spent any time reading comments about Penrod’s hiatus from the group, you’ll know that many of us saw a departure coming. Thankfully, it is not from singing completely. I for one am excited to hear future efforts from Guy. I’ll also say that I appreciate the fact of his longevity with the group: 14 years is quite a remarkable feat nowadays. I wish Guy well in this new endeavor.
Secondly comes perhaps one of the biggest announcements in GVB history: the group has expanded from four to five members, with a great lineup of voices. Returning to the group are three of its most popular alumni as well. The new lineup is: David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Michael English, Mark Lowry, and Bill Gaither.
When I read the press release, I literally said “WHOA!” out loud. I’m very excited for this new group. It is absolutely great to see the three alumni returning. I wonder how Phelps and Hampton will handle the tenor part. Perhaps Bill has plans for two different tenor parts to give the group a very full-sounding upper range. For sure, the GVB’s next project will be one of the most anticipated release or 2009 or 2010.
I do wonder what Marshall Hall’s future plans are. His departure is very shocking to me, actually. He was one of the finest vocalists to come through the group. The press release did not mention very much about his departure, so I’m hoping another will be sent out announcing what he will be doing.
* – DBM points out that Penrod’s future plans consist of doing a family friendly Country music album. Therefore, it is more of a solo career instead of a ministry.