Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once proclaimed, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” Most of us can confirm his observation whenever we hear a stirring symphony or heartfelt hymn. Because of its importance, several students here at Regent University have dedicated themselves to sharing the treasure of music with all of us through Regent First Edition, a student-led a cappella group that has been performing since 2012. A few days ago I had the opportunity to sit down with the president of First Edition, Bethany Philips, and their business manager, Abigail Ferarra. They explained what made their club special and why more students should audition.
Bethany, a senior from Stanardsville, Virginia, pursuing a psychology major, is now beginning her second year as president of First Edition. She has always been interested in singing, going back as far as the first grade. Since she has taken over leadership of First Edition she has focused on making it a fun and close-knit community full of people who love to praise the Lord with the talents God gave them. But it has not been easy. She explained that things were difficult when she first became president in 2020 because the group lost almost 50% of its members due to various issues related to Covid-19. However, with many venues and performance locations opening up again, this semester she hopes that the club can recover and be stronger than ever this year.
Although they exclusively performed online last year by publishing videos on their Instagram page, their plans for the upcoming semester are far more ambitious. Abigail, First Edition’s business manager, said that they are already planning a performance of the national anthem for a Regent Royals home game. They also anticipate resuming performances for Regent’s winter and spring concerts, senior homes, and the campus’ UnChapel. To prepare for these events, they practice twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm. Most exciting of all, they plan to bring back Sing-Offs, competitive a cappella battles between opposing groups. First Edition has not participated in a sing-off in four years, but they are highly anticipated events. In previous competitions, they faced off against ODU’s Monarch-key, VCU’s Ramifications, and CNU’s Take Note.
Last year, Regent First Edition grabbed the attention of many people when they released three excellent songs: You Say, Your Name, and When the Party’s Over. The last of those songs managed to acquire over 600 views on Instagram. You can visit their Instagram and Facebook to hear these beautiful songs and more. The family at Regent First Edition hopes that you will join their club for this semester to help them reach new heights and bring their beautiful music to more people.
For those who are interested, First Edition is hosting auditions from 6 to 8 pm on September 7th, and 8th. They have a particular need for more male voices and beatboxers but encourage anyone and everyone who is interested to audition. If you are interested, simply email Bethany at email@example.com to sign up for a slot either in person or online.