HBO’s 'True Blood' Features Music Created by Summit Teen

Will Taggert

SUMMIT, NJ - Summit's Will Taggart was part of a songwriting duo whose song "Open The Gates" was featured in HBO’s hit series “True Blood.”

Taggert, 19, and 18-year-old Derrick Schneider of Rockaway, wrote the the song when both were students at School of Rock Chatham. “Open The Gates” was used in the episode “May Be the Last Time,” which aired on Aug. 3.

(Listen to Taggart and Schneider’s song “Open The Gates.”)

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“Our song is an anthemic metal track that Will and I wrote in Will’s basement when we were 14, and both musicians at School of Rock Chatham,” said Schneider, a 2013 graduate of Rockaway High School who enrolled in the School of Rock Chatham after school program for music lessons when he was 13 years old. “We had no idea that six years later, ‘Open The Gates’ would be used in a scene on a major TV show and heard by millions of people around the world, so we’re pretty happy with the way things turned out with it.”

Both Taggart and Schneider were active students at School of Rock Chatham.  Schneider performed in seasonal tribute shows across the tri-state area that celebrated the careers of such bands as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Ronnie James Dio; and Taggart toured the country as a member of the School of Rock AllStars, which is comprised of some of the top School of Rock musicians from across America.  Currently, Schneider is applying to music colleges and Taggart is a sophomore at Syracuse University, majoring in Music Business studies at the Setnor School of Music’s multidisciplinary Bandier Program.

“The School of Rock experience gave me tremendous confidence and also provided me with a great outlet where I was part of a community,” said Taggart, a 2013 graduate of Morristown-Beard School in Morristown.  “The practice regimen that I developed at School of Rock gave me a strong work ethic that helped me to thrive in high school, college, summer jobs, and internships.  I also made friends who I know I’ll stay connected with for the rest of my life, including a personal and professional relationship with Derrick that led to our original music being featured on ‘True Blood’.”


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