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Boardman rock orchestra lights up the stage March 22

March 20, 2019
The Town Crier

On Friday (March 22) the Boardman High School Rock Orchestra will perform its 13th annual "Project Mayhem" event. This two-hour rock show combines the talents of the Boardman Orchestra, chart-topping songs performed by the Boardman Choir, and a laser light show put on by Lightwave International of Pittsburgh.

Boardman started this Trans-Siberian-style tradition in 2006, and the musical talent of the district continues to make this an impressive and enjoyable experience only Boardman can deliver. It's been a sold-out performance for the last two years.

"We will have 48 students participating in Project Mayhem this year," said Michelle Prokop, Boardman High School music teacher. "That is about eight more than last year."

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Returning to the Project Mayhem stage again this year is violinist Anna Olivier.

All 48 participants stay after school to practice and prepare for the concert. The group does no rehearsing during normal school hours. They begin the practice session in September with one-and-a-half hour performances each week, then in January they move to two-and-a-half hours each week.

As for the music, much comes from the students themselves.

"The students suggest a lot of tunes and then the directors (Bill Amendol, Joel Monaco, and myself) listen to them and decide if they would be a good fit for the group," Prokop said. "The directors also choose some of the pieces."

Prokop added that Amendol works with Lightwave International of Pittsburgh for the laser show.

She said Boardman has the only music program in the area that offers a rock experience for the students. The nearest similar program is in the Cleveland area.

As for what comes out of the performance and the music program at Boardman besides a great musical experience, many students have gone on to become music teachers themselves and others professional performers.

Project Mayhem is a good representation of the devotion and professionalism the students gain in Boardman's music program. In the past two years the event has seen a sell-out crowd and this year will likely follow suit. Those who didn't make the event or had tickets, the event is still available on BSTN.

"BSTN (Boardman Schools Television Network) records the concert and sells DVD's of the performance each year," Prokop said. "The Project Mayhem concerts are also shown on BSTN."

This year's show will take place at 7 p.m. at the Boardman Performing Arts Center. Tickets to the show are five dollars, and all seating is general admission.



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