Tenor Season

In the last month or so, quite a few Southern Gospel Quartets have sent out the alert that they’re looking for a tenor.

  • The Blackwood Quartet was the first to start looking (after Royce Taylor left), and they got John Rulapaugh from the Palmetto State Quartet.
  • To replace Rulapaugh, the Palmetto State Quartet came up with Wesley Smith from the King’s IV. (Incidentally, I just noticed that King’s IV, which Wesley had led before joining the Palmetto State Quartet, has decided to disband.)
  • Three groups are presently looking. As I mentioned yesterday, the Blackwood Gospel Quartet is presently looking for a tenor after Derrick Boyd left. They have Paul Lancaster filling in, so they can afford to take their time.
  • Southern Sound is also looking for a tenor. When Jeremy Calloway announced his departure last month, some thought that he might be bound for the Palmetto State Quartet. But a few weeks ago, it was announced that he was staying. Now it appears Southern Sound is looking again. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link appears to be down, and has been removed.]
  • After I hit the “publish” button last night, I realized that I’d forgotten to mention the new Tribute Quartet, which is also looking for a tenor.

And then we have the tenors that are arguably available right now:

  • Derrick Boyd, most recently with the Blackwood Gospel Quartet, is looking for a position.
  • Jeremy Calloway is presumably looking, unless he is already headed for another group.
  • Marshall Pugh isn’t officially looking, but he may let the Monument Quartet name go dormant if the right group comes calling.
  • Robbie Hiner just left his position leading Song Garden Music Group to “pursue other interests.”

And it’s always fun to ponder who might fit well in the various positions:

  • The Tribute Quartet may well have landed Jeremy Calloway, but if not I’d love to see Robbie Hiner go back on the road with the group. He personally has some name ID and would give the group a boost.
  • If (a big if) Marshall Pugh is willing to consider a tenor job with another group, he might end up with the Blackwood Gospel Quartet.
  • But, on the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see both the Blackwood Gospel Quartet and Southern Sound bring new names onto the Southern Gospel scene.

Southern Gospel is a fascinating field to write about, but sometimes it can be tiring just trying to keep up!


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8 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Whew!!! That is a lot of change. Keep us posted.

  2. Oh, I’ll keep you posted. That’s what bloggers are for! We keep posting, and posting, and posting…

  3. I would be surprised if Robbie Hiner went back on the road. I talked to him for a while once when I went to see the OTGH Qt. and he made mention of him coming off the road eventually and from I could pick up on, he didn’t seem to like the road life.

  4. Tenors are the toughest part to fill in a quartet. And sometimes when you do find a talented tenor, the most demanding music requires the person to hit the most unnaturally high notes – think ‘Looking for a City’. Do that several nights a week, and you are likely to get nodules or polyps, sidelining the entire quartet. Tenors may have the reputation of being prima donnas, but they are worth their weight in gold…

  5. Actually….Jeremy Callaway, after struggling with a decision on what to do, finally decided to stay with Southern Sound for good early last month. He had originally decided to leave, then to stay, then that he could only remain till after NQC, and then finally decided to remain with the group. It’s all been kind of confusing, but it’s great to see Jeremy back with the group.

  6. Actually, in a post I did a few days ago (http://www.southerngospeljournal.com/archives/67) I referred to the fact that the situation has changed yet again, and Ben Harris posted on October 5 that they “still are having open auditions for a replacement tenor.”

  7. Tribute picked a tenor it seems.

  8. All right–who is it?