Teens’ Band Wins $5,000 for School Music Program

Five Ohio teens will compete in Germany after winning $5,000 in a US competition

The band's name means "danger" in Spanish.

The farthest the Ohio musicians usually travel to play their music is the nine-mile trek from Gahanna to Columbus. But last month, they flew from to Anaheim to perform at Downtown Disney. In April, they'll make another long trip, this time to Germany.

They are the winners of SchoolJam USA, a battle-of-the-bands-style competition for teenagers run by the National Association of Music Merchants.

Peligro, pronounced "pelegro" by the band, was one of 10 finalists in the teen band battle in Downtown Disney on Jan. 15, taking home the prize of $5,000 for the music program in Gahanna-Lincoln High School, said Elizabeth Lazcase, a representative of GolnHarris marketing. There were originally 150 other bands vying for a spot in the finals of the competition to award money to the winning band's school district.

As the victors, Peligro will also compete in Germany's SchoolJam competition, which the American version is modeled after, Lazcase said.

According to band members, they model themselves after '80s classic rock artists, pulling mostly from Aerosmith, AC/DC and Guns n Roses, said 15-year-old Dominic Frissora, the band's lead singer.

But all five band members were born in the '90s.

They play original rock songs like "Hollywood Red" and " My Satisfaction," available on their MySpace page, and mix up their performances with covers ranging from the Beatles' "Come Together" to Led Zeppelin's "Hold on Love."

Four of the five musicians attend Gahanna-Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio, part of a school district that recently lost $6 million in funding for athletics and arts because its levy failed.

"Music's really important to us and we know it's really important to the people at our school," Frissora said. "Every bit helps."

The teens started the band about two years ago, and added Frissora after hearing him sing with another band at a local battle of the bands. They got the name by seeing "peligro" in a fuse box in the basement of their practice space and liked the idea, changing the pronunciation slightly because "it sounds better as pelegro," Frissora said.

Guitarist Chandler Eggleston, meanwhile, is the only band member who does not attend Gahanna-Lincoln High. In fact, Eggleston doesn't belong to any school district.

Eggleston, 18, is enrolled in the Ohio Virtual Academy, an online school that allows him to do school work two to three hours a day and devote the rest of his time to focus on music, he said.

He was as enthusiastic as the rest to raise money for Gahanna's music education program, though, since his goal to attend college for music before starting a career.

But the only plan for now is to travel to Germany, make more contacts, meet more bands, and check off another continent that's heard their music.

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