17 November 2015

Intermezzo


An Intermezzo is, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “a short musical composition between main divisions of an extended musical work.”  

Seven years ago, I embarked on a journey for which I felt ill equipped.  I had a general idea of what I was capable of, but was unsure how I would fit in to this new role.  That role was being a violinist for Skillet.  
I was familiar with Skillet since the early days when I would go see them perform in a church basement in Memphis.  I had followed their musical career and even voted for them in the Dove awards when Comatose was nominated.  I had little idea that I was soon going to be a part of their team.  Since that first show in Elk Heart, Indiana back in 2008, life has almost felt like fiction.  Being able to perform before thousands across America, Europe, Russia and South America has been a rush like no other.  The stories, that people have shared about how the music has influenced them, helped them, and carried them through their hard times, have been what has made walking out on stage every night worth it.  

A lot of you know that earlier this year my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer.  As a family, we had planned on enjoying a few more months with him in hopes of taking him to places he had never been.  We had planned to make memories that would help soothe our impending grief, when that inevitable time came.  We had no idea that his time would be so short and I was left with a massive hole in my heart because of all the things that I felt I had missed out on.  I was thankful that he did not have to suffer any more than he did.  How this affected me, though, is that it made me realize that I was missing out on making key memories with my own wife and children.  My heart grew heavier and heavier for time with them and that has lead to this decision.  

As of today, I’ll be parting ways with Skillet and taking a hiatus from the touring world.  After twelve years of touring professionally as a violinist, I’ve done and seen more things than I could have ever dreamed.  I've grown not just as a violinist and musician but as a person; trying my hardest to never miss out on any adventure that presented itself.  Any opportunity to do, eat, or see something new, I embraced with open arms and I'm so glad that I did.

I love my Skillet family greatly and will miss them dearly.  John & Korey's passion and spirit, their desire to go against the grain to spread the message of Jesus' hope, will forever inspire my walk with Christ.  To be as bold and unashamed as they are with their love for each other and their love for Jesus is something we all should aspire to.  They have constantly supported my family through every life event with generosity and compassion.  I have been and will forever be a fan of the the great work and art that they create.  To be a part of their legacy is one of my greatest honors and I  am so humbled that they chose to take a chance on me.  

With every tour I've had the opportunity to work with some of the hardest working people in the industry.  In my time with Skillet, I've seen some seemingly impossible situations arise that our crew ran headlong into, and overcame, so that the show could go on.  Their knowledge and tireless hard work combined, enable us to take the stage and give you the best experience.  Without them our jobs would be impossible and their hard work deserves our respect.  

It's impossible to be on tour and not connect with at least one person.  I count it a great joy that I've been able to make so many life long friends and brothers in arms to walk with while on this journey.  They are the ones that help ward off the demons of doubt and fight off the arrows of despair when days feel longer than weeks and weeks feel longer than years.  Even though we will not be side be side physically, I know that I can always count on them to lift me up in prayer wherever they are in the world and they can expect the same from me.   

To all of the incredible and passionate fans, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication, encouragement  and unwavering support.  You, the fans, are the driving force behind any artist.  I hope that the music will continue to move you towards the hope that is found in our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is worthy of all our efforts and praise.  He is the true Hero in this story.

I will always and forever be a violinist and musician, a worshipper and messenger for our Savior, Jesus Christ.  So, for now, this musical piece must enter in to it’s intermezzo, it’s change.   

Habakkuk 3:17-19


20 comments:

Heath Hudspeth said...

I completely respect and understand your decision. You have been an amazing additions to Skillet and will be missed. I look forward to see what God has planned for you next

Heath Hudspeth said...

I respect your decision even though you will be greatly missed. God used you in many ways to enhance Skillet's music. Looking forward to see how God will continue to use you.

Unknown said...

You will be missed brother. I enjoyed our talks at creation and uprise.i will pray for you and your family. You will truly be missed

Brea Reimer said...

You will be missed in the music world, but we will be able to remind ourselves of you when we flip on a Skillet track. Thanks for your contribution to the arts and for spreading God's Love in a way best suited to you.

Chelle Terry said...

Amen. Your walk has blessed all of our paths, Brother. Enjoy the next chapter God has on your journey. He has given us memories and recordings of your ministry as a violinist amongst many amazing gifted artists that He chose to put alongside of you. God keep on blessing our beloved Brother and his beautiful family. Thank you for having us all touch one another in one way or another as we grow in You and give You all the glory!

Felicia Berry said...

Bless you Jonathan. You are amazing and what an amazing opportunity for you to just be home and enjoy your wife and precious girls. I wish you the best of luck and will lift your family up as you embark on this new journey. Thank you for always being kind when I saw you at shows or on random flights. You are a gem and blessing to all those around you. Many blessings friend!!

-Felicia Berry

leslien said...

Well done Jonathan. From the days of Todd Agnew the hand of God has rested on you. Your music is an inspiration, a testimony to our Jesus ... the likes of which I've rarely seen. He is not done with you yet. But, welcome into your season of rest. See the path He takes you on as he renews you, refreshes, comforts, and sets your feet on a new direction. God bless you and your family.

Unknown said...

Its been a pleasure Mr. Chu. Looking forward to seeing you for the last time tonight.

Unknown said...

Love ya Brother! All good things may the Father send your way.

Marla Taviano said...

So excited to see what God has in store for you and your three beautiful girls. Much love to you all!

Gabe Taviano said...

You're awesome.

Anonymous said...

It's sucks that you'll be leaving but change is inevitable, and God needs you for higher things.

Unknown said...

Thank you for all these years!! There's nothing else to say then that you are totally amazing and will be missed!! I'm so glad I got to see you perform last year, it's with no doubt one of the best days of my life. You're an inspiration in your passion for Christ. And I know God will keep leading you, he has the most amazing plan for you. Thank you once again, you'll always be a part of Skillet for me, I will miss you! Love you, take care and God bless you Jonathan!

Janice Ball said...

I was always amazed at the talent God had given you even as a young teenager at Leawood. I knew then that you would use your talents for Him and you did. I also know that God will honor your decision to spend more time with your family. Brad and I loved your Dad and we were pained to hear of his passing. Brad also lost his dad in May and knows exactly what you are dealing with. You have our prayers as you embark on your new adventure. Janice and Brad Ball.

Forrest said...

Jonathan,

Shari and I will miss you on the K Love Cruise. Any son, husband, father, (musing future NICU nurse) would choose as you have, given your circumstances. God speaks through your strings, stage or not. Be happy. Hold tightly. You know where to find us, should you care to play for a lucky preemie or two.

Incidentally, K Love Criuses make for fantastic family vacations. (Cameo?)

Best wishes,
Forrest

randy botts said...

You will truly be missed Chu! Thanks for your awesome service to us all!

Christopher Hopper said...

You and I first played together in 2001 at Joshua Revolution. I remember being struck with your absolute humility in the midst of outrageous talent. You reminded me so much of Jesus in that way. So kind, and yet such a force. I'm excited for the new chapters in your life, and know you're gaining ground as you connect more deeply with your family. Well done, Jonathan. Much love from the Hopper tribe.

Marjorie Shull said...

You will definitely be missed. We understand and stand with you in your decision. You will be in our prayers.

Kevin Oliver said...

You will be missed on tour my friend! We just saw you guys in Sacramento at Winter Jam. My daughter has been playing violin for 2 years and after standing in awe at your percormance she has not missed a day of practice and study. We were always amazed listening to you play, but live was something spectacular. Thank you for the entertainment and using your talents to reach the lost for Christ. Thank you for being an example to our youth that family matters, thank you for following your heart. You will be blessed for it. These days go fast. I am a youth director and seeing kids come and go you realize how much we can miss if we are not there directly in the lives of our kids. Good luck and enjoy every moment!!!!!

Unknown said...

I'm so thankful for the times we've been able to talk, and as a father and husband I'm excited that you'll have more time with your family. Thank you for the music, but thank you even more for the example is service with excellence to Jesus.