BT students keep themselves busy during school with their multitude of classes and use their many talents afterwards to excel in their extracurricular activities. Sports and theater typically dominate the types of activities students are involved in, however a segment of people are familiar with a truly exclusive extracurricular: Rock band.
Music is a part of everyday life that reveals a person’s interests, personality, and emotions. It is a central element of pop culture that is like a universal language to keep people globally connected. BT juniors Dominic Valenti and Derrick Stephen are uniquely involved in this interconnectedness of the music world through performing hardcore rock music live on stage.
From writing music, recording albums, and touring, they stay busy trying to improve the distinct sound and style of their band, Valenti. ¨We are always trying out different writing styles, and as we connect, we become more in tune together,¨ said Derrick. ¨By just connecting with our bandmates, like when we’re on tour, we really get to know each other and it helps us find a common sound.¨
Valenti focuses their music on hard rock, similar to what was popular during the 1980’s with groups such as Aerosmith, Van Halen, and Led Zeppelin. They tour around local venues in Atlanta, such as the Masquerade, and they have gained a small amount of followers who appreciate their music. ¨My favorite memory from being a part of my band is the time we played our first concert,¨ said Dominic. ¨It was my first time being on stage so it was very nerve-racking I had a wonderful time playing music with some of my best friends, while having the support and energy from my friends and family in the audience.¨
Having a role in a band is not only a unique hobby, but it also creates special opportunities for the band members. They are able to have firsthand experience of a professional music setting by working in a recording studio with a music producer. By having a professional mentor, the band Valenti can collaborate in order to improve their band chemistry and prepare for upcoming concerts.
“Working with our music producer, Andrew Hill, has been an amazing experience. He has done all of the recording for my band and he has a lot of knowledge about music and audio recording,¨ said Derrick. ¨I have learned so much information from him about how to improve our style and have always enjoyed working in his studio.”
Valenti is more than just an extracurricular for Dominic and Derrick. They have formed strong bonds between their fellow bandmates and mentors who have helped them experience the thrill of performing on stage under the blazing lights and ecstatic fans. Being part of Valenti holds many opportunities for its members in the future regarding career paths. ¨Our immediate future plans for the band are coming up with more music, playing more shows, and growing our fan base,¨ said Dominic. ¨However, creating music is something that I definitely have a passion for and if I have the chance to make it into a career, I’m going to follow it.¨