English teacher Reilly moonlights as master DJ

By By Meghna Balakumar Staff Writer Justine Stayman Staff Resources Manager

A mild-mannered teacher by day and a master of the turntables by night, CHS freshman English teacher Matthew Reilly defies any assumptions about the supposedly banal life of teacher, with his part time gig as a DJ.

“I started DJ-ing house parties when I was in college, way before anything was on the computer,” Reilly said. “Once you start playing parties, people start asking [you to DJ for them], so I went from DJ-ing house parties for free to DJ-ing for money.”

After having been encouraged by college friends to make DJ-ing a more frequent part of his life, Reilly went on to purchase his own records and equipment. He now hosts gigs at bars, clubs and weddings.

“It just kept getting bigger and bigger,” Reilly said. “I probably have more than 10 or 12 thousand records.”

Past aliases for his alter-ego have included but are not limited to: DJ MPR, DJ Pigpen, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and the classic, DJ Salinger.

Although creating mixes, mashups and throwing down tracks can be quite enjoyable, one wonders how DJ-ing can fit in with a career as a school teacher.

“Being a DJ fits in with all these other things,” Reilly said. “I can use records in class and have Romeo and Juliet all on vinyl.”

Not only is Reilly involved in music through his career as a DJ, but he also performed with senior Nikki Fraser at this year’s Churchill’s Got Talent show.

Using skills picked up from his affinity for hip-hop, the English teacher rapped the verses to “Run This Town” while Fraser sang a powerful solo.

Reilly also performed at a cancer research benefit concert on Feb. 17 at CHS.

When asking for advice on how to make a house party succeed, Reilly is an unlikely but knowledgable source.
“My number one rule is music that will make people dance,” Reilly said.“If you put on some James Brown and a disco ball, you can do anything.”

Probably to the disappointment of many hopefuls, according to Reilly, DJ-ing a student’s event is a bit more of a “grey area.” However he would be glad to oblige post graduation.

“I’ve always DJ’d and done something else,” Reilly said. “ Dj-ing is awesome and fun and teaching takes a higher level of thought and energy, but I like them both.”