Lee chapel band to release first original album
For the first time in university history, LeeU Worship will release an original project in hopes of reaching many churches across the nation.
Composed of original songs and written for different on-campus occasions, the chapel band's debut album is designed to reach out to students, but maintains its focus on corporate worship.
Senior digital media major, keyboard player and programmer for LeeU Worship Aaron Dick said he felt that this album is special.
“I think the best part about it is that LeeU Worship has always had original songs and have always written our own music," said Dick. "This record is so awesome because we finally get to have a voice, and it's written by Lee students, for Lee students.”
Dick said being a band member while recording the album was a memorable experience in itself.
“Because there is so much diversity in the group as a whole, there are so many different characteristics put all together in the studio. It's really fun to see all of that unfold,” Dick said. “It was a lot of creativity in the studio. We went in there with just songs and worked our tails off. Basically, some of the most creative musical minds at Lee got together in a room for 3 days, and out came this record.”
Brad Moffet, director of music graduate studies, shared the heart and history of the creation of this new album.
“The oldest song was written four years ago for Night of Worship. We’ve been compiling a few songs for special occasions over those four years that students had been writing. Once two or three or four of them were written, I went to the president,” Moffet said. “I told Dr. Conn 18 months ago, ‘I think we might have something going here that might be really good; I have this vision to do this worship project with student original songs.’”
Moffett said that the students have been intently working since that meeting with Dr. Conn to get together and that they now have ten songs for an album designed to bring people together in worship.
“For the most part, the songs are written for corporate worship. I feel like one of the things that makes these songs special is that people can sing them the first time they ever hear them,” Moffett said. “I think that's kind of the uniqueness of these students' songwriting ability. ... This album is intended for people to be able to join in and worship.”
Moffet discussed how the students had the opportunity to take this record outside of Lee and record it out-of-house by allowing a Lee alum to have a hand in the project.
“We recorded it at a studio in Nashville called Cabana Productions, it’s owned and operated by Garth Justice, who is a Lee alum," Moffet said. "He actually engineered and helped produce the album."
Moffett said he sees the potential the album has to draw in new students to the university, especially those with an interest in being involved in music and worship. Moffet also said he wants it to reach people outside of Lee.
“With everything we do, the byproduct is recruiting potential students for Lee. We hope that happens. Then if the Lord touches it and uses it, we hope that congregations and youth groups will sing it everywhere,” Moffett said. “We really hope that other worship leaders and other churches and youth groups will hear the music and want to use it.”
Senior pastoral ministries major David Virgo was responsible for writing two of the songs on the album. Virgo said he agrees that the heart for this album truly goes out for Lee’s students, as well as churches and youth groups.
“It definitely was written by Lee students for Lee students. But I also hope churches are willing to play these songs," Virgo said. "They are within people's grasp, not showy. But to the core of it, [they are] down-to-earth, personal songs.”
Virgo said the album came to life in the studio and the band played a major role in its production.
“It was really cool. It took three days to record ten songs, which is crazy, but it was a lot of fun," Virgo said. "It was cool to see how the band just picked up the songs and contributed by adding different background sounds to the songs.”
An invite-only event will be held on Oct. 5 for important industry individuals to preview the album, in the hopes of getting good press.
The album is to release the following day on all digital outlets.