By Rick Rouan
The orchestra has been preparing for the winter concert since October.
BOARDMAN — Mahoning Valley concertgoers don’t need to find tickets to professional orchestras to hear holiday tunes played by a full complement of brass, woodwinds, percussion and strings.
In fact, they need look no further than Boardman High School’s Performing Arts Center, where a 190-student orchestra will perform its winter concert at 7 p.m. today.
Tickets cost $3 for adults, $1 for students and senior citizens. Preschoolers get in free.
“We try to play material that professional orchestras would tackle. We try to get a mix that everyone can enjoy,” said Kevin Ngo, a senior who plays violin.
The orchestra has been preparing for the winter concert since the end of its fall concert in October, said Frank Dispenza, the orchestra director.
“We’ve just been working really hard for the past two months on a really difficult repertoire of music,” said Anthony Borzi, a senior cellist and president of the orchestra.
“It’s just really exciting for the whole orchestra to get together for the concert,” he said.
Dispenza said the concert will feature a variety of classical and popular music, including music from the movie “Polar Express.”
“In all of our concerts, we try to pick the most popular songs people recognize,” Ngo said.
“In this one, it’s more special because we try to offer our tribute to the winter season and all the holidays around Christmas and stuff.”
Borzi said that no schools in neighboring communities have an orchestra, which includes stringed instruments with the band’s brass, woodwind and percussion sections.
Because of that, Borzi said that the community turns out in full force to hear the orchestra’s music.
“The performing arts center is usually pretty full,” Dispenza said.
The reputation of the Boardman music program precedes it, Borzi said.
“The community has really backed up the orchestra and the whole music department because we have such a great tradition of excellence,” he said.
Borzi said that those attending could expect “some really great playing on some really difficult music as well as some holiday favorites.”