Parma High Choir Collaborates and Rocks With Band "Drenalin"
The experience was exhilarating for students and quite humbling for Parma High choir teacher Jared Plasterer as his class collaborated with a rock band based in Macedonia, Ohio known as Drenalin.
Founder and lead singer of Drenalin, Dan Gutschmidt, is a former student of Plasterer when he taught at Brooklyn High School. Gutschmidt reached out to Plasterer to discuss the possibilities of joining forces for a recording of a song. “I said I would love that,” Plasterer said. “I then asked, are you sure you don’t want to use your alma mater or use the high school choir that’s closet to you, which is Nordonia? Dan said no and that he’d really like to work with us.”
“What made me interested in collaborating with Mr. P and his choir started when I was his teaching assistant during seventh period back in my high school days,” Gutschmidt said. “He would let me play/record on his keyboard and play the piano in the auditorium all the time during that period. Then he would let me accompany the choir during our concerts. That's where I got hooked as a performer. And when writing the song I felt it needed a choir to be featured to give it that 'sparkle' ... and he was the first person that came to mind.”
Gutschmidt wrote the choral verses, sent them to Plasterer, and for two weeks Plasterer and his students perfected the chorus lines.
Recently, the Parma choir finished the recording session with Drenalin. Gutschmidt paid for the class to be driven down to his home in Macedonia, where he transformed his basement into a recording studio.
“It’s really cool to me that Plasterer is really good at what he does. It was an opportunity to show that you can go places with music and that it’s not just a high school choir. We’re getting a good education. We’re in a really good choir, we’re doing things and learning and we can go places if we decide to,” Jackie Mendoza-Ballard, a senior in the choir class said.
Drenalin won an Emmy Award for their musical work for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff commercial for the Chicago Blackhawks. “It was deeply meaningful that a previous student felt strongly enough that they wanted to reach out to me. But it’s not about me, it’s about the kids and their experience.”
Parma High is holding their spring concert on June 1 at 7 p.m. At the conclusion of the concert, Drenalin and the choir will perform the collaborated song Live On.