Hello, Jacob Kitson

Meet Greater Vision’s new tenor. Actually, we’ve met him before, as the tenor for Tribute quartet, most recently of Harmony Honors fame - the guy who we last saw “prowling about the stage in a half-crouch, wagging his finger at us for emphasis, and generally behaving like a cross between an overheated televangelist and Cat woman.”

I honestly don’t recall if he sang well or not, but that’s been a decreasingly important requirement for his new job for some time now. And the more you think about it, the more logical this kind of pick is for Greater Vision. As they’ve been positioning themselves over the last decade or more, they’re a staple product that relies on familiar, predictable music and Gerald Wolfe. An up-and-coming star (not that there are very many of the tenor variety in sg right now and even fewer who’d fit with GV) would more than likely try to leverage his prominence with Greater Vision for the allure of “something better,” sooner rather than later. And regular personnel churn erodes the “familiarity” brand. Thus, pick someone young and train up a child in the way he will go etc.

I’ve heard Kitson has been a contender for other high-profile jobs, so clearly he’s had the attention of more than just Wolfe for some time now. Here’s hoping they see something in him that we couldn’t see at the Harmony Honors, what with our hands covering our faces, peering out with cringe-squinting eyes through finger slits. Still, the guy deserves the benefit of the doubt (and maybe there’s a decent vocalist beneath all those unbearable histrionics). So while this announcement certainly wouldn’t seem to signal that GV’s slide into predictability will be arrested, this also means there’s s plenty of room to be pleasantly surprised, right? Right?

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  1. SouthernGospelBlog.com » Brian Alvey joins Tribute Quartet on 03 Jun 2008 at 6:07 am

    […] am optimistic that this will work out well for the group, since anyone who can get this kind of recommendation from their former boss must be pretty good: I was in hopes GV would hire Brian Alvey from Indiana. […]


  1. JE Butler wrote:

    Right! Actually - I like Kitson. He interviewed with L5 and I understand had the job before Seaton made arrangements to stay on. The Tribute QT. will move on with someone else as they are a very solid quartet and will make a good home for another up and coming tenor.


  2. Andrew S. wrote:

    I’m really excited to see what’s in store for GV with Kitson. I’m glad to see that Jason is giving him his blessings. I wonder who will take Kitson’s place…

  3. SGFAN65 wrote:

    Disappointing….. Had so hoped that Chris Allman would return. Maybe we’re in for a good surprise with Jacob. Anxious to hear him !

  4. Chris wrote:

    Honestly, Jacob is the hottest thing going. He’s like a young Funderburk, able to sing circles around most tenors. I understand Gerald wanting him in his group (as he is the best), and I definitely understand Jacob’s desire to “move up” as it were to the top of the heap. I do it in a heartbeat. However, I’m disappointed for the sake of Tribute Quartet. They are a group that was heading to A-league status. Crowds really loved them. But with the loss of such a great talent, it will be hard for Casto to find the next big thing. Good luck to GV, and good luck to the boys he left behind.

  5. Russell wrote:

    Reminds me a little of when Jonathan Wilburn was hired for GC. A lot was made of his stage presence and “antics” while singing with his parents and people speculated on the fit. Jon did bring a little of that to the group but he stood flat-footed and sang as as well. I trust gerald to have a pretty good sense of what he wants as far as staging goes.

  6. Richamania wrote:

    Change is one of the only constants in life. As for change in Southern Gospel Music, there are often vacancies created in the process of filling others. I do, also, share the disappointment for Tribute. No doubt this young group was becoming a force to be reckoned with. However, so were the Singing Americans when Danny Funderburk left to join the Cathedrals. I hoave know doubt that Gary Casto, and Tribute will once again stage a great group.
    As for Greater Vision, there are great things on the horizon. Jacob is one of the best, if not the best, young tenors to come along in awhile. I am anxious to see what heights he will soar to with GV. No doubt in my mind, at least, Jacob has big shoes to fill. Though many may criticize Jason, some relentlessly, I dare say there has NEVER been a more loved tenor in Southern Gospel Music. My prayer is that both groups will go on, both stronger than ever.
    #3 I thought that would have been very cool, as well. But, it was not meant to be.

  7. Eric Melton wrote:

    Richamania wrote:

    However, so were the Singing Americans when Danny Funderburk left to join the Cathedrals.

    Rich I totally agree with you. It was a loss to the Singing Americans but keep in mind that after hiring Rick Strickland and then rehiring Mike English with his second go around with the Americans they saw the biggest years they had in 1984 and 1985 with the albums “Live And Alive” and “Black and White”. For the next several years even through many personel changes the Singing Americans seemed to stay constant with a solid quartet sound. From the quartet to the band it is amazing also at the strong talent that once came through that group.

    No doubt that it is a loss to Gary, however he is a good friend and a I feel confident that he will be in much prayer about the decision on who to hire for their next tenor. At present I personally think Tribute is one of the best quartets in Gospel Music and it is not just because Bass Singer Dennis Dugger is from my hometown.

  8. Ben Harris wrote:

    I was in hopes GV would hire Brian Alvey from Indiana. He would have been a great fit, plus he plays piano, guitar, steel, bass and drums in studio quality. He would have been a great addition to GV.

  9. thom wrote:

    well, congratulations to Gerald and Rodney, and condolences to Gary and Josh. Tribute’s loss is Greater Vision’s gain.

    Jacob is a great vocalist and should make a nice addition to GV. As others have alluded to, I’m sure Gerald will coach him in the stage presence he expects. But, I don’t think that kid can keep all that enthusiasm bottled up for very long without popping a cork! He’s very energetic and expressive and I bet Gerald will capitalize on that to bring some new life to GV’s rigid formal look.

    Can’t wait to see them again with Jacob on board.

    Wonder who Tribute will get to replace him? Dusty, who was with Crystal River, would be great.

  10. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #1: Don’t you mean Seamans, as in Frank Seamans?

    And for all of those wondering what Jacob sounds like, head over to www.tributequartet.com
    Their latest single, which feature Jacob on the verses, plays on the main page.

  11. Oldtimer wrote:

    Kitson is just exactly what GV needed. Waldroup was a great guy and an adequate singer, but as Gerald and Rodney begin to get some years behid them, they will need more than adequate on the tenor side to carry the load. Waldroup did his job well - but the job description has changed. Waldroup’s retirement provided GV the chance to bring on a guy whose vocals and excitability can take some of the pressure off Gerald and allow him to slide into the role of beloved veteran ( see George and Glen with the hiring of Danny Funderburke as an example of what I mean.) Best of luck in your pursuits, Jason. Welcome to the big league Jacob. And Congratulations on hitting a home run with this one GV!!

  12. Aaron Swain wrote:

    #9: Dusty is already with Soul’d Out Quartet.

  13. Grigs wrote:

    Last I heard Chris Allman was pastoring, songwriting, doing BGVs in the studio and had zero interest in hitting the road again.

    It would have been cool to hear him with Greater Vision again or anybody else for that matter.

  14. Molly wrote:

    #4 I honnostly think that Tribute is blessed either way, they have a GREAT music and I personally think Gary Casto, Josh Singletary & Dennis Dugger will go on to be a very noticed and well known group to southern gospel music. #9 I dont see where it’s tributes loss this happens quite often in southern gospel music to my understanding and groups just pick up where they left off…. I mean Jacob has a wonderful voice but the group was never just good because of Jacob GOD blessed all four of them with wonderful voices and I know the LORD will continue to bless them, and in GOD’s time another tenor will be found thats all there is to it. I personally think the three of them alone are wonderful. So no I do not think its Tributes loss, but there gain in the future to come. & I also know the LORD has big things in store for Jacob with his new group Greater Vision…. My congrats to both groups.

  15. thom wrote:

    to “molly” - you don’t understand what I was saying - anytime a group loses one of it’s key members it is a “loss.” TO say that it’s not a loss is to say “they didn’t need him anyway.” Sure, it’s a loss - they will go on and be fine, but it’s still a loss to them until they find someone else to fill that part. I;m sure Gary will hire someone great and carry on with the success they are having. Gary has a great ear and will discover another great talent, just like he found Jacob.

  16. Jim E. Davis wrote:

    Congrats to Jacob! We enjoyed a great concert in January here on the west coast with Tribute and I thought Jacob was an exceptional tenor. He’s also very personable which is a key ingredient for his new position. I’ll be anxious to hear GV’s new sound.

    Tribute will be fine because it has solid leadership.

  17. Haley wrote:

    Tribute will go on &&& do great but this is a loss to them but everything will be ok.
    Gary will find someone as he did when he found jacob and goodluck to geater vision also thy have a sweet awesome tenor singer.i will miss seeing and spending time with jacob and i am sure tribute will to but goodluck to both groups and jacob.!

  18. Pastor Greg Locke wrote:

    I have the wonderful honor of being Jacob’s Pastor. He is one of the finest Christian men that I know. His passion for Christ is outstanding and there is no doubt that God has greatly gifted him to sing. Go get ‘em “Jake.” The entire Global Vision Baptist family is behind you.

  19. William wrote:

    So, where is Jacob now?

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