Downhere calls it quits

CAMBRIDGE, ON—Glenn Lavender doesn't know if the popular band downhere will ever record or tour again, but says the group is "hanging up our skates," for the foreseeable future.

Marc Martel and Jason Germain were roommates at Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan when the band formed in 1999. The original group included Jeremy Thiessen, Tyson Manning and Corey Doak.

Lavender joined in 2001 after the departure of Manning and Doak and the group's move to Nashville.

He later moved back home to Cambridge, Ontario, so his wife and fledgling family could rely on family support when he was on the road and recording.

The band recently announced that January 1, 2013 would "mark the end of our travelling ministry for the foreseeable future." The release to fans and supporters emphasized "this is not a band break up. In fact, we are open to playing a select few shows or events in the future."

Lavender, who recently accepted a job as the director of worship arts at Williamsburg Community Chapel in Williamsburg, Virginia, notes there had been a few times when downhere thought about calling it quits, but there was always a sense that God wanted them to continue. But not this time.

"The fathering hand of God that put us together and allowed us to do what we do for the last 10 years seems to be causing us to end," says Lavender. "The timing is now based on our circumstances and what's going on."

Those circumstances, for a band that quickly developed a loyal following and earned 21 GMA Canada Covenant awards, one GMA Dove award and four Juno awards, include growing families and Martel's involvement with the Queen Extravaganza band.

"We're not saying we're breaking up or we're totally done or anything but this season that we've been in needs to change," says Lavender.

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