Nearly five years ago, when Bill Gaither created an all-star version of the Gaither Vocal Band, the returning GVB members were managing solo careers and added the Gaither Vocal Band’s tour dates, video tapings and recordings to their existing schedules. Now, after trying to manage both solo careers and Gaither Vocal Band responsibilities, Mark Lowry and Michael English are ready for a new season of life that is not so demanding.
“When I rejoined the Gaither Vocal Band in 2009, I figured it wouldn’t be a long-term commitment since Bill was over 70 years old,” Mark says, adding, “That was nearly five years ago and Bill’s bucket list is wearing me out! But the Vocal Band is a family. We come and we go, but we never REALLY leave. I could pop up anywhere at any time!”
Mark Lowry will fulfill his Gaither Vocal Band concert commitments through the end of 2013. Michael English has already concluded his last regular Gaither Vocal Band concert as the lead singer, but we look forward to having him join us for Gaither Fest in Myrtle Beach and other future events. We have confirmed Mark Lowry for the 2014 Caribbean Cruise and Family Fest 2014. Besides those two events, if you want to hear the Gaither Vocal Band with Mark Lowry singing baritone, the concerts remaining in 2013 will be your last opportunity! Check www.gaither.com for upcoming tour dates and ticket information. Check Michael’s website, www.michaelenglishmusic.com, for solo concerts in a city near you. And check for Mark Lowry’s solo dates at www.marklowry.com.
Bill Gaither states, “I am grateful that we have had five bonus years with these incredibly talented artists. Thank you, thank you to Michael and Mark. For those of you who have followed the Vocal Band for the past 25 years, you know that I have worked with some of the most talented male vocalists in our field, and I promise you we are not going to let that standard down in this transition. I am sad to see Michael and Mark leaving, yet I am so excited about the new possibilities we are considering. So stay tuned for an exciting voyage in 2014! We will update you when we have made final decisions.”
Please note: The remaining 2013 Gaither Vocal Band concerts are going to be incredible, as they will include Bill Gaither, David Phelps, Wes Hampton, Mark Lowry, and gifted guest artists singing lead throughout November and December. You will not be disappointed.
I am sad to see Mark leave. I love Mark and his voice is the best baritone voice in gospel music. Good Luck to Mark. I LOVE MARK'S VOICE I COULD LISTEN TO HIM ALL DAY LONG... I am not sorry to see Michael English leave. His voice is not up to par with all the other Vocal Band Members and never will be. He has always hit a lot of flat notes. He has never been one of my favorites...But I still wish him Good Luck.
I sense that not all is well either. I saw an interview with Bill recorded probably a few years ago where Michael said he "never wanted to go solo." It doesn't make sense. Of course we don't have the answers but my sadness is taking my mind in all different directions. I will so miss Mark & Michael with the Gaither Vocal band! And God bless Bill Gaither -- he is such a stronghold; always helping new talent and supporting "old" talent -- he is so loyal with no ego -- such a good man. I've been dreading the day when he retires -- he will put the Band together again but if he ever leaves, for me, it would never be the same! And by the way, Adam Crabb was FABULOUS at the Columbia concert ! Again, Bill knows how to pick them!
Please please please Bill Gaither release the new Hymns project as you have already recorded it with Michael and Mark!!!!Thank you!!
I was very disappointed and concerned when I heard that Michael and Mark were leaving the GVB. But after listening to an excerpt with Adam Crabb today, I feel assured that Bill will choose a deserving replacement for Michael. My greatest hope is that David Phelps will continue with the group because I don't think he could be replaced.
I hate to see this change. This has been the best group ever. Michael has always been my favorite since the 1980's and always will be. I just wish he had stayed through the end of the year like Mark. I'm actually going to the GVB concert in Chattanooga tomorrow night and we have not even been told who is going to sing in Michael's spot. Our local paper still showed Michael's picture and listed his name in the Gaither's promo article in today's paper....not cool in my opinion. I expect better from Gaither organization. I know he just left but it has been enough time to get out current info. I'm sure there's folks out there who may not have heard the news and will be greatly disappointed when he is not there. I wish the GVB well, I really do, but I will probably not buy another ticket.
All the best to Mark and Michael. Would love to see Guy Penrod back! Love, love, love David Phelps!!
Sure wish Jason Crabb was available - would be a perfect fit!
Sad to hear they are leaving. Loved listening to this group for a longer time then I thought they might be together. All top notch voices. I am sure you will find others but Mark is one that can not be replacement. His comedy in the group is priceless and he will truly be missed. Wish Guy Penrod would come back. So many wonderful voices out there and I am sure you will find someone great. Just happy the GVB will continue on.
Sad to see Mark and Michael go, but I'm sure they've spent much time in prayer over their decisions. God has always provided before and I'm sure He will again.
I wish Mark and Michael much success as they continue to tell of the Lord in song and perhaps Mark in comedy. I also pray for the GVB to continue on successfully and for any new members that join. I know i always want to pick and choose who they should be, but I shan't do that this time, it's not my place to do so. God is the one who is in control of it all and I will leave it up to Him. He does a good job!
I'm just thankful for the way God has used the GVB to bless the hearts of so many, mine included. Thankful for all the songs Bill and Gloria have written. May God bless them for it.
This last year, I started listening to GVB and started watching old Homecoming Tapes. I have seen many different singers, come and go; and Mr.
Gaither has always seemed to find the right fit, for the time. Mark and Michael will be missed, but there are others Mr. Gaither can bring along for such a time as now.
The news of this makes me physically ill especially losing Michael and to know he is already finished makes it especially hard to take. This has been the very best GVB as far as I am concerned.
I am wondering this as well and my fervent hope it that it will be released as is with this GVB, including Mark and Michael as their "last" project together.
Who will be replacing Michael, if anyone, during the interim period?
God bless Mark and Michael. THANKS THANKS THANKS For
sharing your talents for nearly 5 more years.
Looking forward to the future of Mark, Michael and the Vocal Band.
P.s. What does this move mean for the new album that was being
cut a few months back ?
I'm sure everything is fine with Michael. Sometimes it's just TIME to move on. We love you Michael. God Bless.
Love both Mark & Michael. Wish them only the best. Hoping Bill will consider bringing Russ Taff back! And Ivan Parker!
this is a sad sad day for gvb my heart breaks especially losing Micheal i sense all was not well with himm hope he rethinks and continues with gvb thats his calling we will be praying