Ernie Haase & Signature Sound is a Southern Gospel vocal quartet founded in 2002 by Ernie Haase, former Cathedral Quartet tenor, and Garry Jones, former Gold City pianist. In 2012, it consists of Doug Anderson (baritone), Devin McGlamery (lead), Paul Harkey (bass) and Ernie Haase (tenor). While Ernie Haase and Doug Anderson have been with the group from the start, the lineup of the band has changed a few times. The band has released 23 albums and 9 DVDs, which feature many other Christian artists as well.
The Cathedral Quartet announced their farewell tour in 1999. Lead singer Glen Payne died on October 15, 1999 before the end of the tour. Upon request of Glen Payne, the remaining members finished the tour with pianist Roger Bennett performing Payne's vocals. Following the tour Bennett and baritone Scott Fowler formed Legacy Five while Ernie Haase continued his solo career.
After a time former Cathedrals bass George Younce and the legendary Jake Hess along with Bill Gaither formed The Old Friends Quartet with Ernie Haase, Wesley Pritchard, and Garry Jones. The Old Friends Quartet disbanded after about two years on the road, as Hess and Younce's ill health prevented them from doing much traveling. Haase, along with Jones, still had a love for quartet singing and wished to create a quartet that was 21st Century in image and attitude, but traditional in sound, emulating the great Southern Gospel groups of the 20th Century, including the legendary Statesmen Quartet, the Stamps Quartet, the Blackwood Brothers and of course, the Cathedral Quartet. Haase and Jones gathered three other men (lead singer Shane Dunlap, baritone Doug Anderson, and bass singer Tim Duncan) with similar love and respect for Gospel music, and the Signature Sound Quartet was born. They recorded three albums, "Stand by Me" released in April 2002 followed by "Building a Bridge" in 2003 and they release their first live concert "Live In Indiana" recorded live at Reardon Auditorium in Anderson, Indiana, February 21, 2003.
Later Shane Dunlap left Signature Sound to start a solo career after release of their third album "Glory to His Name" in 2003, Wesley Pritchard fill-in Dunlap's position while the group searched for a full-time lead. Jones and Haase dissolved their business relationship after the first year and Roy Webb was chosen as pianist. Later, they found Ryan Seaton and hired him as the new lead singer. Haase's father-in-law George Younce became co-owner of the quartet and was instrumental in getting the group an affiliation with the Gaither Music Group. They release their fourth album "The Ground is Level" followed by "Great Love" in 2004. From the group's inception their name was heard everywhere, and when audiences saw the fun and energy that the group gave at their concerts, they responded enthusiastically, rocketing the Signature Sound Quartet to instant stardom. With the fame came some controversy, as some Gospel music lovers objected to the "outlandish" look of the group, which included short ties and oddly-colored suits. Still later, the group began styling their hair in "modern" stand-up spiked style, which further added to their controversy. The fan reaction, however, was far more positive than negative, and trade magazines began referring to them as "the next Statesmen", implying that the mold-breaking style they created brought to mind the similarly outside-the-box thinking of the classic group.
Changing name and Gaither Homecoming Years:
In 2004, the group changed its name to Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, reportedly in order to avoid confusion with other similarly titled regional groups. They released the self-titled album "Ernie Haase and Signature Sound" in October 2005. They signed with the Gaither Music Group and became regular performers with the Gaither Homecoming tours and videos. In May 2007, pianist Roy Webb came off the road to be with his dad, who was dying of cancer. On May 29, 2007, it was announced that Webb had resigned from the group. Later, it was announced that Gordon Mote would be the group's piano player during their Get Away Jordan summer tour supporting their album Get Away, Jordan released in January 2007. Like-minded legendary singer/producer Bill Gaither eventually began scheduling a second series of concerts with only Signature Sound and the Gaither Vocal Band appearing together. Due in part to the popularity of these concerts, the two groups decided to record a single album together, appropriately titled "Together", which debuted in October 2007. On the DVD, it was hinted that future collaborations between Signature Sound and the Vocal Band were upcoming. Producer and songwriter Wayne Haun has served as their pianist since their 2008 Summer tour. The group's next project was entitled, "Dream On." This was released in late October 2008 and was filmed in Chicago, at the Navy Pier Ballroom. In October 2009 a new Christmas album, the group's second such album, was released entitled "Every light that shines at Christmas." The group won two GMA Dove Awards in 2008 (both for "Get Away, Jordan") at the 39th GMA Dove Awards, and one in 2009 for their song "Reason Enough" at the 40th GMA Dove Awards.
The Cathedrals Tributes:
In September 2009, following a three year hiatus from the National Quartet Convention, southern gospel's premier annual event, Haase and Signature Sound returned to the NQC main stage along with the rest of the Gaither Homecoming performers. The group was greeted with great fanfare and adulation by the thousands in attendance. Many longtime Cathedral Quartet fans however were greatly disappointed when Haase failed to appear with former Cathedrals members Scott Fowler, Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell and Danny Funderburk for a NQC special showcase presentation called "The Cathedrals Remembered", a tribute concert at the convention in which the former Cathedral members joined forces to sing many old Cathedral songs and to honor George Younce and Glen Payne. Haase had other engagements over the weekend and had to leave NQC early, prior to the taping. In January 2009, Ernie Haase announced a Cathedrals tribute tour was next on the quartet's agenda and the group started touring with a live band that included Wayne Haun on the piano, David Griffith on the bass, Kelly Vaughan on electric guitar and Zak Shumate on the drums. On December 28, 2009, Ernie announced that Ryan Seaton was leaving the quartet to pursue other interests and that former Karen Peck and New River lead/tenor Devin McGlamery would be joining as the new lead singer and they released A Tribute to the Cathedral Quartet in October 2010.
On January 18, 2011, it was announced that bass singer Tim Duncan had left, and Ian Owens had joined the group as the new bass singer for the group. The group released a new project called "Here We Are Again" in February 2012. In October 2012, Ian Owens announced his resignation and later joined Soul'd Out Quartet, and Paul Harkey joined as the new bass singer. In April 2015, Doug Anderson announced in a video with Haase that he will be stepping down from his position in Signature Sound to pursue a full-time solo career. Anderson had been with the group as its baritone singer since its inception in 2002, a total of 13 years.
Members (past and present):
Garry Jones (2002-2003),
Roy Webb (2003-2007),
Gordon Mote (2007),
Wayne Haun (2008-present)* also serves as a vocalist/producer/arranger,
David Griffith (2009-present),
Greg Ritchie (2009),
Zak Shumate (2010-Present),
Kelly Vaughn (2010-2012),
Garry Jones (2002-2003),
George Younce (2003-2005), also served as a guest singer,
Lisa Haase (2005-present)* Ernie Haase's wife and George Younce's daughter.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license