Regent University Presents First Edition
By Brett Wilson | May 7, 2013
SOE student, Jack Vitaliz, leads First Edition.
"Nothing brings people together like music does," said School of Education (SOE) student Jack Vitaliz, founder and music director of Regent University's premier a cappella group.
First Edition—initiated by Vitaliz at the start of the spring 2013 semester—opened a new platform for musical talent found among the students on campus. Its name, First Edition, stems from Vitaliz's pursuits as a song-arranger, and also the fact that this is Regent's first singing group of its kind.
"We will always be, essentially, pioneers in how we arrange and how we sing our music," said Vitaliz.
The a cappella group, while using only their voices to create the audible-illusion of instrument and percussion sounds, is connected and blended by their shared passion of vocalization. But, while Vitaliz is quick to attribute music as the thread that holds the diverse body of student-singers together, he also recognizes there is a much deeper commonality from which First Edition finds its purpose.
"God has put His hand on this project," said Vitaliz. "Our love for music and our love for Christ will concurrently do incredible things."
During its inaugural season, First Edition has unveiled tremendous vocal talent and organization. The musical group consists of a mix of 16 undergraduate and graduate students who take their vocation seriously, finding time outside of studies and social activities to practice with each other for three hours a week.
"The people in this a cappella group are incredibly talented and hard-working," said Vitaliz. "The combination of that and God putting his hand on this ministry is what has made this group grow."
On Saturday, April 21, First Edition hosted its first-ever a cappella invitational concert, a tradition Vitaliz hopes will continue to gain momentum each semester. The performance featured First Edition, as well as a cappella groups from Christopher Newport University and James Madison University. According to Vitaliz, the end-of-the-year concert was not solely for audiences to enjoy a cappella music, but an invitation for Regent students to create a cappella groups of their own.
"It's kind of bizarre how just 16 people who have never experienced any kind of a cappella training—most of them haven't even been in a choir—could practice for three hours a week and still somehow manage to pull this off," said Vitaliz.
Since its first rehearsals as a full-fledged group, First Edition has blended together, not only musically, but spiritually. This is something First Edition member and College of Arts & Sciences student Eileen Losinio has noticed since she began singing with the group four months ago.
"We're all different majors, but we all come together and bond over music," said Losinio. "We treat each other like a family; everyone is always encouraging and uplifting to one another."
Both Losinio and Vitaliz share a level of commitment to the Christian community they have at Regent. Though the songs they sing are not all primarily Christian songs, in order to relate well to all audiences, they perform and practice with one very important purpose in mind.
"Whenever we have rehearsals, we always just remind ourselves that everything we do is for God, and we sing for Him," said Losinio. "He blessed us with these talents so that we could bless others, and also glorify His name."
Learn more about the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Education.
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations
Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888
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