How To Properly Change Group Personnel

Roughly three weeks ago, Wes Burke wrote about Group Change Philosophy 101. In his post, he outlined two paths a group can take when deciding who to hire as the next singer: singer-centric and music-centric. Burke made the point that he felt Ernie Haase hiring Devin McGlamery was a music-centered move, meaning that he was hired as the best fit for the group dynamics rather than being the most talented singer available.

I agreed with Wes then, and I agree with him now even more after watching an interview Ernie Haase and the other Signature Sound guys did with Ken Grady of Gospel Music Today during the National Quartet Convention. For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is the interview footage:

A lot of different topics are covered in the interview, but I really enjoyed when Ernie was explaining what he was looking for when he was putting the group together.

  1. Have a walk with the Lord.
  2. They want to be in SG music, and not trying to get to another kind of music
  3. Treating people kindly off-stage.
  4. Ability to sing.

As Ernie says in the interview, “that’s hard to find.” But it certainly gives us insight into how he operates his group. Ernie gets a lot of criticism for straying away from SG music, so I find it interesting that a love for this music is one of his own main criteria when assembling the members of the group.

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3 thoughts on “How To Properly Change Group Personnel

  1. This is a great “pattern” to follow for anybody trying to put together a quartet. You can really see how each guy has met all those requirements over the years.

    Of course Ryan wasn’t mentioned in this interview (probably a tacit agreement among the guys that it’s water under the bridge now), but I think Ryan was qualified on all counts too. I understand that “these things happen,” and I’m certainly not angry at anybody–I still respect all parties involved in the process. I just feel a little twinge of regret at the loss of a good voice…

    • Honestly, I have a few questions about Ryan, particularly the part about loving SG music. It was pretty obvious when he was with the group, and maybe even more as a soloist, that he loves the blues-y feel. I actually wonder if Ryan was wanting to go more in that direction, so thats why the split happened.

      Sorry, just speculation on my part. I love Ryan, but I could definitely tell towards the end of his time with EHSS that something might’ve been happening behind the scenes that we didn’t know about as fans.

    • Maybe, maybe not. Do you have Stand By Me Live?

      I agree that there were probably some things going on that the fans didn’t know about, but I’m not sure it was musically related. Anyway, I’m glad Ryan has got something going now.

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