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Omega Sonship Band
As the Jesus People Movement swept across America a new life changing, God centered Gospel was being birthed into the hearts of many youth. This Holy Spirit led movement brought with it a true desire for each individual to know and grow in the God of the Bible, to worship His majesty and unselfishly share a down-to-earth love of God to others.
During the 1970’s came new ways and venues to share the Gospel. Bible studies, Jesus rallies, coffeehouses and tracts became a new part of the culture. Long hair, blue jeans and folk-rock become the normal of the day. It was a time of sharing the Good News whenever and wherever a door opened, and not placing any emphasis on monetary gain.
As the country was positively affected by the Jesus People Movement, the Youngstown-Warren Ohio area also saw its share of singers and bands emerging to share the Gospel through song.
In 1975, Omega Sonship Band was formed and quickly found a small, but loyal following locally from their home Bible Study --- The Door, pastored by Cindy Cirelli in Austingown. The group’s folk-rock style became a favorite throughout northeast-Ohio and western-Pennsylvania playing every opportunity from Jesus rallies to coffeehouses.
The group’s popularity was not just their ability to share good music and songs in a concert setting, but a more important desire to leave their audiences with so much more, a life-changing message. Just in the meaning of their name Omega Sonship (Children of God in the last days), their song lyrics (mostly penned by Joe Thomas) were Biblically based with deep meaning, prompting the listener to ponder the meaning of each song and search out a deeper relationship with God.
Omega Sonship was not only a pioneer as a music ministry, but they were also one of the first groups to travel with their own full concert sound system and a professional light show (Mirazh Lighting owned by Dennis Strock) enhancing the delivery of their message.
In 1980, the band released their first album Earthrider (Jeree Records) regionally. The 8-song LP received a very receptive audience, while receiving limited airplay.
Two years later, the group recorded their first nationally distributed LP, The Sword and the Oil (Living Song Records) The album received positive reviews from as far away as Australia, Zambia, Africa, and Barcelona Spain. DJs began to play songs like “Pretty Words” and upbeat rock-drama “Martyr” by placing them in regular rotation.
In 1984, long-time members, Tony Mladenoff (bass), John Mancino (keyboards) and Ken Sausman (drums) decided to pursue other interests allowing founding members and the backbone of the band Joe and Donna Thomas to re-group. Changes included moving Donna to bass guitar and adding new members John Bain (keyboards) and Joe Malvasia (drums).
The all-new Omega Sonship Band recorded their third album Incisions (Morada Records) in 1986. The 10-song LP included powerful rock and roll, as well as chilling ballads. Their record company was later bought out by Quicksilver Records, who took over the distribution of the album.
Although the band did pump out some good rock and roll, the group’s fourth project offered the listener a solid acoustic praise oriented collection. The kickoff release of this project celebrated Omega Sonship’s 12th Anniversary concert, which also featured the opening act of Michael Tait and dc Talk.
Through Omega’s history, they had the opportunity to share the stage with notable artists such as Phil Keaggy, Tim Miner, Paul Clark, and Joe English.
They saw audience venues grow from coffeehouses to concert halls and festivals. The band has been featured in hour-long vides taped for Viacom Systems and performed at the Ohio State Fair. Omega Sonship Band has logged many miles ministering throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indian, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ontario and British Columbia Canada.
Their records have received positive reviews in such publications in England’s Straight Magazine and New Christian Music, and America’s, Message Magazine, Cornerstone Magazine, CCM Magazine, Manna Underground Press, The Activist¸ and The Speed of Sound.
After all the years , all the work, there is only one thing that matters. Many lives were changed and now live for Him, not because of the band or what they did, but because God allowed them to be used in the furthing of His Gospel.
Ankrom, Bob. "Omega Sonship Band Info." Message to the author. 23 July 2014. E-mail.