String quartet Kickstarter project honors OK-4 tenorPosted on
Composer David Janssen is running an interesting project on Kickstarter. Part of his composition will honor his grandfather, Ken Witen, who sang tenor in the much-belvoed OK-4 quartet.
Our grandfather was a passionate Christian, as well as an excellent performer, comedian and musician. He sang in an internationally famous barbershop quartet called the OK-4. The middle section of the Elegy quotes one of the OK-4’s songs “Swing Down Chariot.” The first stanza has these words: “Swing down sweet chariot horses, stop and let me ride… | I got a home on the other side”. The text alludes to the slow gospel song, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” which itself alludes to the chariots that took Elijah into Heaven as described in 2 Kings. It was a perfect quote that honored my grandfather as a joyful, loving Christian.