News

Chosen and Pneuma Release EP of Original Work

by Office of Marketing | Nov 25, 2014
You Are Holy EP Cover
University of Valley Forge (UVF) music ministry teams Chosen and Pneuma undertook one of the most challenging and rewarding tasks in music: writing, recording and producing an album of original music. This year, Chosen and Pneuma, guided by Lee Bilotta, assistant professor and Department of Digital Media Communications chair, recorded an EP album titled “You Are Holy.” This is the first recorded EP of original material in the history of the ministry teams, which began recording in 1999. 
 
Previously, the teams recorded other musicians’ worship songs — old and new, popular and unknown — to create cover albums but the idea of creating original material was always there. However, tight scheduling and the time constraints of an academic schedule made it challenging for students to commit time in the studio. “Each year, the unique characteristics and giftings of each team member would bring a unique sound,” Bilotta said, “That’s what we were trying to accomplish and capture and provide — a tool for people to worship with.”
 
“You Are Holy” is Bilotta’s 16th album project since his arrival to UVF in 1998. This year, with an exceptionally creative and entrepreneurial group of student musicians, engineers and producers, Bilotta cleared the way to record original songs. The members of Chosen and Pneuma were ecstatic about the opportunity. Bilotta rearranged the practice and recording schedules to provide the teams with more experience playing together and to create their unique sound. In response, the teams committed their time and creativity to write and compose their best work possible. “The students were passionate about doing it,” Bilotta said. “They had the gifts, material and passion to follow through with an arduous process.”
 
The songwriting process began with the team members submitting personal writings. Next, Bilotta invited accomplished songwriter and worship leader Dan Macaulay to coach the students in songwriting. Junior Kaitlyn Faraghan was one of the main songwriters. She was excited to share songs about “experiences of our time at UVF and what is happening in our community,” she said in a phone interview. Chosen and Pneuma debuted their original songs during their 2014 summer tour in the Northeast. They visited many churches and youth camps where they led worship and spent time with youth. The songs were well received at the camps, and the ministry teams heard campers singing their songs after worship. The teams also performed their original songs the first week of the semester at UVF during chapel.
 
The EP is comprised of five original tracks: “Awake,” “Be Exalted,” “Great God,” “Sanctified,” and the title song, “You Are Holy.” The contain messages about salvation, freedom from sin and praising God. The 22-minute-long track list is a step forward for the ministry and the team members who gained first-hand experience in creating their own material. 
 
This EP release is only the beginning for Chosen and Pneuma’s original material. “So far, it has been an extremely successful project. It has been inspiring for everyone involved, and it is a project we are very proud of,” Bilotta said. In spring 2015, Chosen and Pneuma will return to the studio and complete the “You Are Holy” album for future release. 
 
“You Are Holy” is available for preview and purchase on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.