The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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John Berry: Putting smiles on faces through music

Wellness+Teacher+and+Science+Department+Head+John+Berry+DJs+for+the++Class+of+2026s+semi-formal+dance.+%0A%E2%80%9CWhat+I+love+the+most+about+DJing+is+when+the+crowd+is+full+of+joy+and+everyones+having+fun%2C+dancing+and+there+are+no+bad+attitudes%2C%E2%80%9D+Berry+said.+%E2%80%9CIts+just+pure+joy+on+the+dance+floor.+I+love+creating+and+facilitating+those+moments.%E2%80%9D
Credit: WSPN Staff
Wellness Teacher and Science Department Head John Berry DJs for the Class of 2026’s semi-formal dance. “What I love the most about DJing is when the crowd is full of joy and everyone’s having fun, dancing and there are no bad attitudes,” Berry said. “It’s just pure joy on the dance floor. I love creating and facilitating those moments.”

Bright lights flash across the floor as different colors fly across the walls, alternating synchronously with a pulsing, rhythmic beat. At the front of the room, a man leans over a complex contraption of wires, discs and switches, smoothly changing the beat to match the mood of the people dancing. Upon closer examination, you may recognize this mysterious DJ as Wellness Teacher John Berry.

Berry’s interest in DJing sparked when he was a kid. Ever since he was little, Berry had always loved music. Berry’s DJ career started when a student of his introduced Berry to a music place in Cambridge that peaked his interest in music compilation.

“So I started DJing in 2016,” Berry said. “I took DJ classes at this place called Maven in Cambridge. I started there because a student I was talking to told me [that] he took classes at Maven, and it was right down the street from where I lived at the time. I took a couple of courses at Maven and from there I just started DJing on my own.”

Berry says that DJing can help with other aspects of his life, such as teaching and socializing.

“I also think that [DJing] plays to a lot of my strengths like teaching, working with crowds, being on a microphone and [interacting] with people,” Berry said.

Berry appreciates how the music he mixes while DJing brings joy to people.

“What I love the most about DJing is when the crowd is full of joy and everyone’s having fun, dancing and there are no bad attitudes,” Berry said. “It’s just pure joy on the dance floor. I love creating and facilitating those moments.”

However, as fun as DJing can be, there can be awkward moments, and Berry has dealt with his fair share of uncomfortable experiences while taking song requests at events.

“[Awkward situations are] usually around requests,” Berry said. “Sometimes when people make a request, it might not be an appropriate time to play it because the song may not reflect the mood of the audience. I’m not going to honor [the request] right then and there, so sometimes people get upset with that.”

While there are hidden complexities to picking the right song, DJing has a method to its madness. Berry explains that DJing involves certain awareness and knowledge.

“What people don’t understand about requests is, as the DJ, I am using the music and picking songs that crowds are reacting to, and I’m mixing songs based off of the beats per minute of a song,” Berry said. “Usually, I look for similar beats per minute in songs to connect and create [the anticipation of a beat drop.]. ”

Right now, Berry DJs around six to 10 events a year. He’ll perform for weddings, school dances and parties.

“I’ll DJ one or two weddings a year, four school dances and a few private parties,” Berry said. “I do work with other DJs who throw me gigs here and there, because sometimes they get overbooked and if they need someone, they’ll call me up.”

Another event that Berry likes to DJ is the annual sophomore semi-formal dance at WHS.

“I love DJing in the sophomore semi because I teach all of the sophomores there throughout the year,” Berry said. “The sophomore semi is the sophomore’s first dance, especially in high school. It’s just all fun. Everyone is there to have a good time and there’s no real drama.”

Berry says that DJing has given him an outlet to overcome fears and challenges in his life, such as anxiety or stress.

“While I’m driving [to a gig], I’m always thinking in my head, ‘why am I doing this?’” Berry said. “I’m anxious about my wires failing and nobody liking the music. I run through all of these negative thoughts, but I always leave the gig so happy. Despite my anxiety, I DJ because of that feeling of joy and being a part of something great.”

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About the Contributor
Jeffery Zhang, Copy Editor
Jeffery Zhang, Class of 2026, is a second year reporter for WSPN. Jeffery plays soccer and tennis for WHS. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. Contact: [email protected]
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