Frank Vieira finds musical success

Brooke Smith, Sports Editor

Every musician has a unique story of how he or she started singing or playing an instrument.  For Robert Morris University senior, Frank Vieira, it all started when he took a guitar making class his senior

year of high school year.

“That was the major factor in me picking up the guitar and being really driven to do it,” recalled Vieira.

Shortly after beginning to learn how to play the guitar, he started singing.

“I figured there’s no point in just playing the guitar if you can’t sing,” he said. “At first, it sounded awful, but everyone said it sounded great.  It just kind of happened.”

From then on, he’s been singing country music.

“It’s always been country music,” he explained. “I haven’t always liked country music. Since I started playing and singing, that’s all it’s been.”

His first show came a few years later when he performed at the Africa House in Endicott, New York.

“It was to a grand total of six people,” Vieira recalled.  “It was still a great experience and I was grateful for the opportunity to play there.”

Since then, Vieira has moved on to much bigger crowds.  He has played at Binghamton Senators games in front of 3,000 to 4,000 fans.

“I play on the main concourse there so that’s definitely been my biggest crowd, and it’s always an exciting time,” he stated.

While he has played in front of thousands of people, his favorite performance was when he performed at The Rex Theatre on January 15.

“The most fun, attentive crowd was at the Rex Theatre,” said Vieira. “It was for a battle of the bands and that was definitely the best crowd I’ve played in front of.”

He also made note of the fact that if it was not for his friends, he would not be where he is now.

“Without them, I probably wouldn’t be able to do it because as much as I love music, there’s nothing better than having everybody there and being supportive and truly feeling like everyone is there and having a good time is probably the best thing about playing live,” he said. “It’s just a really gratifying feeling to know that people are supporting what you are doing.”

Vieira has also been successful here at RMU, where he started Open Mic Nights.

“We started Open Mic night my sophomore year.  It was something where I met John Locke, he was always talking about music and he knew I played music,” recalled Vieira. “It just kind of got to the point where I badgered him enough that it eventually it got started.  It’s been a good time for everybody since and I’m really grateful that they let me do this.”

“It took a few months to really get anything together, he ended up stopping me in the hallway and we finally decided to put an Open Mic Night on together,” said Locke.  “We just did one small advertisement for it and held it in the food court.  We got maybe thirty people to show up and at the next one we did more advertisements and like sixty people show up.”

Through Open Mic Night, many people at RMU have been able to see what Locke has known about Vieira all along.

“He’s just a good person.  He genuinely cares about people,” said Locke.  “He’s also really humble about his gift and how talented he is.”

Junior Jasmine Tate also agrees with Locke.

“Frank was really supportive of my music and very encouraging,” she said. “He’s really humble with his gifts [playing the guitar and singing.]”

She added that he makes everyone feel comfortable and welcome at Open Mic Nights.

“He makes Open Mic Night feel like a safe place to come and share the songs that I was working on,” said Tate.

With his college career coming to an end, Vieira is now looking forward to his plans once he graduates.

“My musical plans are to, keep recording, keep booking shows, keep having fun, because as long as I’m having fun playing music it’s something that I can do for the rest of my life,” said Vieira.  “I’d love to have the opportunity to play music more often as a job, but I’m just having fun with it and seeing where it takes me, because there’s no better therapy than music and that’s just something that I don’t think I’m ever going to get rid of and it’s just a good feeling.”