Students film music video downtown, highlighting #DaytonStrong

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Centerville High School students are singing their hearts out in their new music video they began shooting in downtown Dayton. 

Centerville’s National Championship winning a cappella group has been a major success for the high school. They won the national competition in 2016 as well as being three-time national runner-up at the ICHSA championships in New York City.

The singing group gained notoriety by being the first-ever high school a cappella group to release a CD of all-original songs written by its members, and Forte has, to date, recorded seven albums. They have already recorded an eighth they plan to release in February of next year. 

Each year, the school organizes multiple music video shoots surrounding songs done by the group. The school brings in a professional video-making team from Los Angeles to oversee the production as well as film and edit the videos. 

Earlier this year, they posted one onto social media, seen below: 

The current video is a cover of the Shawn Mendes track “Youth.” 

The video is being filmed in downtown Dayton. Students, the crew, teachers, and parents gathered behind Second Street Market to film the students along the Dayton Strong paintings. 

Students and teachers said the reason they were filming the video downtown was to highlight the idea of Dayton Strong and incorporate it into the imagery. Students said they knew it had been a hard year for the city and they hoped they could bring something positive out of it.

“We wanted to reach out our hearts to the city,” said member Leah Mani. “We’ve gone through a lot in the past year.”

In the exclusive below, Forte members discuss shooting the video:

“You can’t take my youth away,” is a main refrain within the song. Students said it connected with them because of their desire to hold on to their youth and find joy even in dark times. 

“We love the city and want to promote it in any positive light we can,” said Choir Director Ben Spalding.

Spalding said they do the videos because it helps students be creative and gain some experience around sets. Many of the students in the group aspire to pursue the arts. They enjoy the opportunity to be around the cameras and learn from the filming.

The videos also help the group reach a wider audience. 

Earlier this year, the group posted this video:

“This is a great way for them to see behind the scenes,” said Spalding, “to see how you would do these things. They put all the music together and see all the things they need to do as an artist if they choose that path.”

“We’re really excited,” said Mitchell Goecke, a baritone in the group. Goecke plans on pursuing a future in theater and said these experiences are invaluable. 

The video does not have an official release date but members believed it would be available near their next album release in February.

More performance dates and information can be found at their website.

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