Concert Review: Triumphant Quartet, Collingsworth Family (Wooster, OH)

Last night, I had the chance to hear Triumphant Quartet and the Collingsworth Family in Wooster, Ohio. A barbershop quartet called What’s Next opened the concert with two songs, “Swing Down Sweet Chariot” and “No More Sorrow.” One of the members was a cousin of the concert promoter. Their renditions were stellar, and the energetic harmonies on “Swing Down Sweet Chariot” quickly won the audience over.

Triumphant Quartet sang next:

  • Amazed at the Change
  • Everyday (featuring lead singer Clayton Inman)
  • Jesus Built This Church on Love (featuring tenor David Sutton)
  • Do You Know that You Know (featuring baritone Scotty Inman)
  • He Is (featuring Clayton and Scotty)
  • Look For Me (featuring bass Eric Bennett)
  • What a Wonderful Day (featuring David)
  • Goodbye, World, Goodbye (featuring David Sutton on harmonica and pianist Jeff Stice)
  • Sunday Meeting Medley
  • Medley: Climb Ev’ry Mountain / Till the Storm Passes By / You’ll Never Walk Alone (featuring Jeff)

Triumphant sang no less than six songs before saying a word. Their set was more subdued than a normal concert, largely because the promoter actually canceled their part of the booking after hearing them earlier and apparently disliking some of their comedy routines. The promoter and Eric Bennett talked for forty-seven minutes and ended up withdrawing the cancellation. (Eric Bennett told the story from the stage with the promoter standing next to him and actually turned it into quite a funny story.)

One highlight video:

On the other hand, the Collingsworth’s typical style fit the venue and the promoter’s tastes perfectly, and their program was more or less normal for them.

  • Light from Heaven
  • Holy Holy Holy (featuring Courtney) – This acapella rendition went over very well.
  • God is In the Shadows (featuring Courtney)
  • Trumpet / Piano medley – Come into His Presence / Shout to the Lord / Trees of the Field (featuring Phil and Kim) – A malfunction on one of the trumpet’s valves stopped Phil’s first solo within the first few notes. Kim (impressively) switched from accompaniment to melody within less than a measure. After some valve adjustments, Phil was back for the rest of his solo, with a strong finish.
  • More Than Just a Swear Word (featuring Phil and Courtney)
  • My Favorite Things (featuring Olivia) – Olivia apparently had a sore throat but was a trooper and delighted the audience, as usual.
  • Salute to the Troops (piano solo featuring Kim)
  • Lily of the Valley (fiddle duet – Courtney and Brooklyn)
  • He Looked My Fault and Saw My Need (violin duet – Courtney and Brooklyn)
  • Blessed Be the Lamb
  • A Mighty Fortress is Our God / Hallelujah Chorus.

The audience stood at the start of the Hallelujah Chorus, but this song nevertheless received the strongest response of the night, with a prolonged ovation that must have lasted 45-60 seconds. Phil led the audience in a chorus of “Alleluia” before ending the first half.

Triumphant’s second half was rather short:

  • Long Black Train (featuring Eric) – The audience seemed to enjoy this one.
  • Don’t Let the Sandals Fool Ya – Interestingly, in the final choruses, both David Sutton and Eric Bennett chose less taxing alternate notes that didn’t require the particularly high or low ranges.
  • Back to Me (featuring Scotty)
  • Amazing Grace – This featured David Sutton on harmonica and Jeff Stice on piano.

Between Triumphant’s and the Collingsworth’s final sets, Jeff Stice and Kim Collingsworth played two piano duets, “When They Ring The Golden Bells” and “Meeting in the Air.”

When the Collingsworths came back on stage, Phil mentioned that one of Kim’s piano heroes and mentors was in the audience, and they called her up to play “In the Garden.” Then the Collingsworths sang three more songs:

  • I Shall Not Be Moved (featuring Brooklyn) – This is a new song from their upcoming CD. It has a bridge from the familiar hymn, but is a different song by the same name.
  • I Can Trust Jesus (featuring Courtney)
  • May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You

I was somewhat surprised that Kim did neither of her signature songs (“How Great Thou Art” and “It is Well”) in the concert. But though I never get tired of hearing those two songs, it does illustrate an interesting point: They have built their group’s repertoire to the point that they don’t need to include those two songs to have a strong program.


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18 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Sounds like a great concert! Is the song, “I Shall Not Be Moved”, the song the trio Promise recorded a few years back?

  2. Why on earth would a promoter book a group before knowing what sort of program they do? Triumphant has included comedy in their programs from the very beginning.

    I’m glad the promoter changed his mind and honored his original agreement. That would have been a pretty ridiculous reason to dis-invite a group.

  3. Wish I knew the promoters name….so I would know who to never sing for or buy a ticket from. Seriously….it’s ok to laugh. Some people need to lighten up. I have no idea what the “bit” was but I know there would be nothing wrong with it.

    Amazing

  4. That just blows my mind… the promoter thing!!! Eric Bennent is a Class act and I am glad they got it worked out!!!! But wow God Made laughter and gave us a sense of humor… Great review Daniel, Triumphant is probably the best quartet on the road today… And the Collingsworths are just wonderful!!!

  5. It’s a shame that the promoter limited Triumphant’s performance, but I’m sure they did a wonderful job. I’ve seen them many, many times and I’m very puzzled at what the promoter could’ve possibly objected to, but I guess there are different strokes for different folks.

    I would’ve loved to have heard those duets with Jeff and Kim. Maybe they’ll play them at the Parade of Pianos in Shipshewana in October!

  6. The promoter was an older gentleman (he recently celebrated his 47th anniversary) and of conservative tastes. He is an honorable man whom I respect, and if I’d known mentioning that would stir strong enough emotions that people wanted to boycott him, I wouldn’t have mentioned that bit.

  7. Really 47 is not that old…I have to agree with the others that it seems strange. I too would be interested in know what he thought was going to be a problem.

  8. 47th wedding anniversary … he’s probably mid to late 80s.

  9. Daniel….let me say this carefully…..I’m sure he is honorable as a whole and I respect anyone who is married 47 years! I am glad he sponsors Gospel Concerts. It is not a good thing (trying not to use the work dishonorable) to cancel a contract over a joke you don’t like.

    Of course….he DID do the honorable thing by honoring the contract in the end.

    My 2 cents……add a buck and you can buy a coffee…..someplaces!

    It would have been better overall probably to not have had Eric talk about it in the concert. It probably made a lot of people wonder a lot of things!!!! Maybe they had to mention it because word got out about the cannning of TQ?

  10. I think it was less a specific joke and more overall tone / feel of presentation. Triumphant Quartet is a very entertaining group—and I for one like that 🙂 —but the promoter prefers less entertaining more ministry-focused groups.

    Of course, I’m not saying the two are mutually exclusive! But some groups are more entertaining than others, and I doubt any of us would dispute that.

  11. Okay, get your veggies ready to chunk at me, but I LOVE the song the old white flag, it has such a great message for our world today…but the way Triumphant does it in their “humorous” style with the mocking facial expressions of the other group members during the song and the “king tut shuffle” or whatever it is called, to me took the power out of what is a great message. I am the first to say humor is NEEDED in a concert to loosen people up but I think where and how it is used needs wisdom and sometimes too much humor in the wrong places…..well, in this situation just kinda grieved my spirit a tad… Toss away! 🙂

  12. I have a lot of fun listening (and waving) to The Old White Flag, but I can see where you’re coming from DJPhil. Sorry, you won’t get any tomatoes thrown from me!

    Daniel, I enjoyed the video! I guess you figured out your new camera.

  13. And just think “Old White Flag” just may win song of the year at the fan awards. Triumphant Qt has to be one of the best groups at using entertainment/ministry equally. If TQ wasn’t ministry minded enough maybe the promoter can have EHSS the next time…….LOL!!

  14. Yes, I did figure out how to use the camera. 🙂

  15. (Oh—and I don’t know for sure, but I think they may have done Terrible Time Down There at the first concert. Some people don’t care for the song itself.)

  16. Ironically, “Terrible Time Down There” is one song they sing that really gets the message across to a sinner.

    That’s not entertainment – that’s the Gospel. If a promoter has a problem with too much entertainment I completely understand, but if he simply doesn’t want the Gospel spelled out too clearly, well…

    All-in-all, your recollection of Eric’s handling of the situation demonstrated his professionalism as an artist. The real, true professionals can take a testy promoter and still iron everything out. No need to blow up about it or cause a stink. Congrats to Eric, he’s a role model.

  17. Many probably don’t like “Terrible Time Down There” because they believe it takes a very grave subject and treats it rather “flippantly” musically. Not sure if that’s the very best word to describe what I mean, but I know some people who feel that way about it. The gong at the beginning, the rollicking piano, the exaggerated tone in which it is sung, etc. Some perceive it to have a joking feel, and of a truth it is a parody of “Wonderful Time Up There”. I don’t mind it myself, but I think that’s the kind of thing Daniel’s referring to.

  18. Brian – I don’t mind it either. In fact, I enjoy the song and the presentation. At the same time, I can see how it would concern a stylistically conservative elderly gentleman.