While Gerald Gently Plays the Piano
With this Greater Vision tenor bidness at the moment, it’s not unlike that portion of the altar call at church on Sunday morning when the invitation is extended and intensified, and everybody waits to see who will peel out of the pew and head down front “while the pianah gently plays.” So while we wait, a few thoughts on the situation.
1. Evidently, Jacob Kitson is ministry minded. I mean, honestly. Even as pious press releases go in southern gospel, this one was a doozy. Or as one reader put it in a recent comment:
I think one of the biggest challenges facing groups is finding folks close enough to God but not so close that He (God) is always leading them in different directions. I wonder if some groups pray that when they get a good working member if the Lord would just leave them alone for a few years……. God sure has a way of messing up a good sounding group sometimes….. I just wonder sometimes why God can’t be content leaving folks together for a while longer…. Why is God always changing His mind?… Makes one wonder….
2. If you’re still struggling to decipher the extraordinarily pietistic press release accompanying this announcement, you should probably just bookmark David Bruce Murray’s insightful post from a while back over at musicscribe and read it now and for that matter, anytime you have to read a press release about a Godly personnel change. I have no xray vision into these matters, and it may well be that Kitson’s departure is exactly what it appears to be: he wants to go evangelize the yoots of America. And Greater Vision deserves props for dealing with the departure as its own event and not doing one of those “Paw Paw Patch Singers Announce Exciting New Changes,” which tries to bury the lede of the old guy’s leaving by trumpeting the new guy’s’ arrival. But still … after about the third or fourth sentence of this Kitson thing, I just sorta gave up. Whether it’s intentional or not, press releases that try this hard to tell you just how everything about this unexpected and not entirely logical move is happening in the smack dab center of God’s guidance and will … well, it tends to leave the impression that either the intended audience is being condescended to, or somebody’s protesting too much. What’s so wrong with saying: “Singing gospel music on the road wasn’t for me and I’m going to go do something else that more closely reflects what I believe is right for me”? Thank your old boss and move along. Just please, don’t mistake quitting or getting fired as one last chance at an encore performance via press release.
3. Maybe it’s that personnel changes have become pretty common, but I don’t get the sense anyone is terribly surprised/upset by this. At which point, the only Jacob Kitson story I have comes to mind: At NQC the year Kitson joined the group, I was standing in a circle of folks in the Exhibition Hall and here comes GV’s new tenor, literally charging into the middle of our circle to introduce himself to everyone individually, energetically assess the degree of everyone’s happiness with our NQC experience (in fact for a moment I actually wondered if part of joining the group of an NQC owner meant you had to do ambassadorial work for the convention in your free time), and wish us all a wonderful day with a 250-watt high-beam smile and cowboy boots on the whole time. I’m not suggesting this experience gives me any special insight into him or his departure, but that encounter crystallized the distinct impression he made on and off stage of being extraordinarily - perhaps unsustainably - high-geared.
4. Remember this?
A friend of mine in the industry passed this along to me with the note, “those were the days.” Sure ‘nough.Email this Post