Goodbye, Matthew Holt
Insiderman says the Perrys pianist is leaving. Or rather, has already left.
A little digging confirms this is indeed the case and the Ps are auditioning replacements. From what I can tell, they parted on good terms. Holt is, evidently, returning to some sort of something in education near his home.
If all the details aren’t entirely correct or precise, I’d only say, you get what you pay for when blogs become the primary source of new news about this sort of thing.
And it’s not like I’m jumping the gun here or anything. He’s gone. Update: his last date with them is Saturday. And it sure doesn’t look like the Perrys have an plans on releasing anything about Holt’s departure per se. My guess is we won’t hear anything from them officially until a replacement is on board, but even if that’s wrong (and it turns it was, obviously), the more important point is that they didn’t get ahead of the news themselves.
In this, the Ps are following what appears to be a trend in sg “media relations”: groups increasingly are treating personnel changes as non-existent news until or unless a replacement is found, at which point the replaced is mentioned in a short paragraph near the bottom of the release whose primary point is the announcement of the replacement.
I confess don’t really get this. All the time people like Holt are on stage with a group, we’re told over and over again how they’re one of the greatest, maybe even the greatest [fill in the blank] in gospel music, show ‘em you love ‘em, let’s hear it for … this guy who doesn’t even rate his own boilerplate press release when he leaves the group after years of, in this case, impeccable keyboard work, a graceful presence on stage, and tasteful bearing off stage.
Leave it to sg to meet the information age … and stare back in stubborn silence. Sigh.
Later: I’ve updated for corrections above. The Perrys put out a press release late yesterday that’s here. The interns wanted me to declare a tactical victory for browbeating a response out of them, but then the interns work in the basement and dwell in darkness, so they don’t know how to take the high road. Plus, they’re probably wrong anyway. The point is, the Perrys did the right thing. If silence about personnel changes is the new trend, I hope this is the new untrend.
But my larger point still stands: groups in southern gospel (and I’m talking about top-tier, nationally touring groups here) have more to gain than lose by getting out in front of personnel changes (sing it with me now … too many sunsets lie behind the mountain, too many rivers my feet have walked through...) There may be cases where you can be out with the old at the same time as you’re in with the new, and when that’s possible, great. Do that by all means (it worked nicely for Greater Vision when Jason
Waldrup Waldrop Walrus Waldroup left). But if you don’t have your act together, or circumstances simply don’t allow, and you can’t say hello and goodbye simultaneously, then you should do the right thing (see Perrys, above) and take the five minutes required to pen a civil press release (sincerity optional, depending on the context surrounding the departure) notifying the close-knit, small world of southern gospel of the news that’s going to get around anyway, or - as in this case - already had.