Saturday, September 29, 2012
Gaither Officially Announces Matthew Holt As Pianist
Alexandria, IN - The audience at National Quartet Convention received a surprise announcement on Friday night, September 14, when Bill Gaither announced from stage that the new full-time piano player for the Gaither Vocal Band and the Gaither Homecoming Tour is Matthew Holt. Holt, too, was surprised and delighted at the announcement but is well prepared to accept his new role.
Matthew has been playing piano professionally since he was 19, when he was invited to accompany the award-winning family group The Perrys full-time. He remained with the Perrys from 2004 until 2008, receiving multiple nominations for Singing News Fan Awards for Top Musician during those years. Matthew came off the road after he and his wife, Lindsey, had their first child and Matthew went to work as Associate Director of Bethel University's Renaissance program in his hometown of McKenzie, Tennessee. He and the university intend for Matthew to remain on staff at Bethel for as long as possible while he also works with the Gaither Vocal Band and Gaither Homecoming Tour.
First inspired by late piano legend Anthony Burger, Matthew attended a Kingsmen concert at age two that would forever change the course of his life. He watched Anthony play and imitated him starting that very night. His parents bought him a piano the following year and he began taking lessons in grade school until he eventually realized his ultimate goal to play for a gospel group. In October of 2007, Matthew experienced a full-circle moment when he was chosen to play piano at Anthony Burger's induction into the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Thrilled to accept his new role with the Gaither tour, Matthew states, "To be a member of the Gaither Family is a dream come true. I'm humbled and honored to be a part of this established and highly respected musical tradition. Words can't describe how excited I am about this opportunity!"
Bill Gaither is equally thrilled that Matthew has accepted this new role, stating, "The Gaither Vocal Band has been blessed to only have two piano players in our history until now, and both have been tremendous. Now, to be blessed once again with a musician of Matthew Holt's caliber is quite a gift! What a joy it is to welcome this fine young man to the family."
Matthew and Lindsey have two children: a son, Fletcher (4) and a daughter, Ridley (1). The family resides in McKenzie, Tennessee, where Matthew was born and raised.
Press Release from Singing News News, September 27, 2012 http://www.singingnews.com/Southern-Gospel-News/11678486/