Multi-award-winning group, Poet Voices, is proud to announce the addition of tenor vocalist, Jeff Snyder. Jeff is the Director of Worship at Valley Forge Freewill Baptist Church in Elizabethton, TN. He and his wife, Melissa, have three children.Poet Voices is set to release their debut recording on the Stowtown Records label in early summer 2024.
We are honored to catch up with Jeff Snyder as he shares with us this new phrase in his ministry.
Q: Jeff, thank you for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on joining Poet Voices. In joining, will you continue to be the worship director at your church? If you are, how are you going to balance the two ministries?
Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. It's always an honor to talk to you! Also, thank you for the congratulations! I'm super excited about joining Poet Voices! Yes, I will continue to lead worship at Valley Forge. I'm so excited about this! To be able to sing in one of gospel music's premiere quartets, and also be able to be at my home church on a regular basis is such a blessing!
One of the reasons I considered the position with Poet Voices was due to their selective touring schedule. The gospel music landscape has changed a lot since I traveled with The Greenes over a decade ago. It was not uncommon for us to do 200 dates in a year. I see so many positive changes in the industry. One of those changes is many artists are gravitating to a more limited schedule due to family obligations, other ministry opportunities, and just the overall toll that a rigid touring schedule can have on a group. When Poet Voices goes out, which will typically be one weekend each month, we plan to make as big of an impact as possible. So to answer your question about balance, I will lead worship at Valley Forge three weeks out of each month, and be on the road with Poet Voices the other week.
Q: Why did you decide to join Poet Voices?
The biggest reason was I felt like it was God's will for this season of my life. My wife, Melissa, and I really made it a matter of prayer. I decided a long time ago that I was going to do God's will for my life. With life, there are always seasons, and I understand that sometimes seasons come and go. I really thought that I would never travel in a top tier group like this again. I'm so thankful that God has given me an opportunity to do this again.
One of the cool things is that my kids are excited about me joining Poet Voices. They have only heard stories about their Dad's singing career. Now they have a front row seat to see it all happen for themselves. Our two boys, Ezra and Jonah, couldn't wait to come hear us in my first concert so they could wear their suits. It's so much fun to watch them happy about it. My 3 year old daughter, Ruby, can sing along to a lot of the songs that we do. It's a fun time in our lives! Another reason I decided to join was that I just love their music. I have been a fan of Phil Cross and his song writing since I was a teenager. I was also privileged to sing many of Phil's songs when I was with The Greenes. Songs like "Miracle In Me", "Glorious City Of God", "Hold On", and "One Holy Lamb". Phil truly is a living legend in my book, and it is a thrill for me to get to travel with him and the guys.
Q: What do you think you will bring to the group?
Musically, I hope to bring a strong tenor vocal to the group. I have never been a soft singer so I think our sound will be powerful. I love to lock in good harmony. Anybody that knows me well will tell you that I love to sing harmony. The great thing about Poet Voices is that Phil, Donny, and KC are all top shelf singers. I can't wait for the gospel music fanbase to hear this new sound.
Q: I believe you guys have just signed with StowTown Records. How did that come about?
The StowTown Record deal was already in the works when I was first contacted about the position, so I don't know exactly how it all came about. I do know that it played a role in affirming my decision to come onboard with Poet Voices. I have a lot of respect for the label. Landon Beene is like family to me. He is one of the hardest working people in gospel music. He has such a deep love for the heritage of this music, coupled with a very personal mission to make sure it succeeds for generations to come. Ernie Haase and Wayne Haun are heroes of mine as well. When I found out that StowTown was involved in the future of the group, it helped me know that Poet Voices was in great hands.
Q: Who are some of the guest artists, producers, and songwriters for your new album?
Our producers are Wayne Haun and Trey Ivey. These guys are the best of the best. I can't tell you how excited I am about their involvement. Our main songwriters for the record are, of course, Phil Cross and our baritone, Donny Henderson. These guys are writing some amazing songs. The album will also have a few remakes of some Poet Voices classics. I can't go into much detail about this, but let me just say, it's going to have something for everyone. Whether you're a new fan of this music, or someone who remembers the origins of Poet Voices, there's something for you on this album.
Q: Can you give your friends a preview of the new music that is coming in 2024?
Well I know it will be true to the Poet Voices brand of primarily doing songs written by guys in the group. Over the years most of our songs were written by Phil, but now Donny is also doing lots of writing and that will be reflected on this project. We have also included a couple of songs by some other writers as well. We really believe this will be the most powerful collection of songs that Poet Voices has ever presented.
Q: As you begin this new phase in your career, what are some things your fans can pray for you and the group?
One thing I love about these guys is that I have confidence in them. It has made this decision to come back to gospel music much easier. There's no greater feeling than when you stand on a stage or platform with ministry partners that live what they sing about. My prayer and the prayer that I would want fans of Poet Voices to pray would be that we all stay faithful to the call that God has placed on our lives, and that we would continue to live what we sing about. I pray that we would encourage the believer to keep the faith. Most of all, I want to win souls for God's Kingdom. That's what it's all about.