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Robertson Hall, which houses the law school of Regent University Virginia Beach.
Gary Spell
Director of the Institute of Music & Worship

Gary Spell


Gary Spell began his performing career as a pianist, serving as a pit musician for dozens of professional shows. After serving in multiple production positions, such as conductor, musical director, and director, he became the founding producing artistic director of Dominion Theatre, where he served for nine full seasons.

During his tenure with Dominion Theatre, Spell began writing commissioned musicals for the city of Virginia Beach as part of their Historical Programming series at the oceanfront. Subsequently, he has written and produced a dozen shows for the city. Some of the shows include The Witch of PungoThe Wreck of the Dictator, 1619: When Destinies Collide, and Ella: The Life and Music of Ella Fitzgerald, which was later expanded into a full-length musical that has been produced all over the country. Gary is currently working on Contraband, the sequel to 1619: When Destinies Collide” which is slated to open in July 2023.

As a composer, orchestrator, and arranger, Spell has many published works. In 2015, he became the founding director of the Regent University Singers, a professional acapella vocal ensemble for which he is the exclusive arranger.

In 2000, Spell left full-time production work to follow a call into ministry as a worship pastor. In the last 20 years, he served three different churches until 2021, when he and his wife, Jennifer, founded Tapestry Church in Virginia Beach. Tapestry is a church committed to life-on-life discipleship, the greatest passion of Spell’s life.

Spell’s commitment to excellence in the arts and his passion for ministry created great commonality and a lifelong ministry partnership with Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Regent’s founder, chancellor and CEO. After asking Spell to start the Regent University Singers, they began an extended dialogue about establishing the university as a world leader in music and worship. This dialogue has culminated in the founding of the Regent Institute of Music & Worship.

Spell lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Judah and Josiah.