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My Campus Celebrity: Christa Schonthaler

The Campus Celebrity for this week is full-time student and upcoming starlet Christa Schonthaler. Christa is the sole female member of the 8-person pop group The Romantic Era. The Romantic Era is a local group known for their fun, invigorating sound that is described as “a blend of Fun’s pep and melodic drive, Drake-flavored hip-hop, Calvin Harris styled electronic liftoff and Kimball’s expressive vocals.” The band started out in 2010 with Connor and Ben. The two were in jazz band together at McDowell High School. Many members of the band went to high school together, and continued school together at Gannon University. The band consists of strong friendships that share a passion for performing and musical talent. The band, which started out in Erie, now travels all around as they constantly are playing shows. Just last weekend they played at College Fest at Fenway Park! With the band’s success continuing to grow as they get closer and closer to their dream, it’s no wonder that Christa is Behrend’s Campus Celeb!


Age: 21

Hometown: Erie

Major: Communications

Relationship Status: In A Relationship

When did you start taking an interest in music?“I mean, since the time I could talk, my dad has recordings of me singing. I really started breaking out into music at the beginning of high school. That’s when I got my first guitar, and I taught myself how to play. I started in chorus and stuff like that. I realized it was just something I really, really loved to do.”

How did you end up with The Romantic Era?“I have some cover videos up on YouTube and Facebook, and they just happened to see them. One of the members had messaged me on Facebook and just said, ‘Hey! I’m in The Romantic Era. We’ve listened to some of your videos. We think you’re really dope. You should come jam with us, see if we can fit you on a track somewhere.’  It just ended up working out. Here we are two years later, still all grinding together.”

What is a typical week like being a member of band and a full-time college student?“Madness. Being in the band is like having a full time job in itself. On top of being a full-time college student, working a part time job, and putting all my extra spare time in the band, it can be pretty hectic to have any type of social life. But when you love what you do as much as we do, it doesn’t really feel like work. We’re recording in the studio almost every night, we’re writing in our free time, we have gigs every weekend, just stuff like that. Whether it’s traveling or local, it’s very time consuming, but it’s very fun at the same time.”

What did you expect when you first joined the band? Did you expect to be where you are now?“Definitely not. At first, it was just like ‘Hey, come jam’, so I thought we might record a song and I might be featured on a track. I never expected to be in the band. It was an all guy group so I wasn’t expecting to be fully inducted into it, but I think a girl with a guy gives it a good edge. I’ve gotten a lot out of it so it’s been really great.”

Who are your musical inspirations?“I’m obsessed with Hayley Williams. I think she’s a bad ass. I love the big, powerful voices like Jessie J, Demi. I love Ariana. I love Hayley’s edginess. I just really love those powerhouses. Those voices are very inspirational to me.”

What is your favorite song to play?“We do our own original music. Out of our singles, my favorite is probably “Forever.” That one is really fun to play live. We jam out. Those are all on YouTube and iTunes. You can check all of our singles out there.”

Where is your favorite place to play?“Fenway was awesome just because of the venue. We’ve played at Basement Transmissions. That was a really fun show. We’ve played here at Behrend. My very first show was actually here. It was out on the soccer field for Stand Up. We played at Relay For Life here. Those were all really fun venues. It was cool to get to play for my classmates and the people here at Behrend.”

What has been the best experience so far?“I don’t know. There’s a lot. I guess it’s just getting to travel places, Fenway and places like that, and being able to share the stage with artists. We opened up for Bubba Sparks, and some other people. It really just has been the entire experience, getting to perform in front of people and do what we love. I get to do what I love with people that I love. That has probably been the best thing for me.”

What do you expect in the future for The Romantic Era?“Hopefully, we’re gonna’ take off. This is what we love. This is what we all want to do for the rest of our lives. This isn’t just a hobby for us. We’re hoping to start touring, and potentially move to a place with more opportunity for us. That could be LA, New York, something like that. We’re definitely looking to do big things in the future, maybe, hopefully hit a billboard. We just want to get that single, or that record that’s gonna do it for us.”

This or That: Musicians

Katy Perry or Taylor Swift?“Katy Perry.”

One Direction or Backstreet Boys?“That’s so hard. I’m in love with Harry Styles, but Backstreet Boys are classic. I’ll say One Direction.”

Britney Spears or Christina Aguliera?“Christina. She’s my girl.”

Beyonce or Lady Gaga?“Beyonce. Queen B!”

Ed Sheeran or John Mayer?“Ed Sheeran.”

Hunter Hayes or Sam Hunt?“Sam Hunt.”

Echosmith or 5 Seconds of Summer?“Echosmith, definitely.”

Iggy Azalea or Nicki Minaj?“Nicki.”

The Weeknd or Wiz Khalifa?“I was just listening to the Weeknd. I’ll go with the Weeknd. I was listening to ‘The Hills.'”

Fall Out Boy or Imagine Dragons?Fall Out Boy


Hello there! I’m Cassie, a small town girl with a gyspy soul. I’m a Marketing major with a Communications minor at Penn State Behrend. I’m actively involved with Alpha Sigma Tau, THON, Delta Sigma Pi, and Student Government Association. Oh, and I have a slight obsession for Taylor Swift and a strong love for Cheez-Its and mozzarella sticks. You can also call me the future Mrs. DiCaprio.
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