BHS orchestra set to rock with Project Mayhem concert

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Neighbors | Submitted.The Boardman orchestra's Project Mayhem rock 'n' roll orchestra features a light show and lasers from Pittsburgh production company Lightwave International. Pictured, the orchestra jammed during last year's Project Mayhem show.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Boardman ochestra will combine their traditional sound with electric instruments for their annual Project Mayhem rock production on March 23 in the Boardman Performing Arts Center.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Project Mayhem orchestra features a mix of traditional string instruments and electric rock 'n' roll instruments, along with electric version of the string instruments. Pictured are Justin Olsen and Maizie Reese with their electric cellos at band practice.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Project Mayhem orchestra practices each Wednesday starting in September. In January, they began practicing for two hours. Pictured, the band practiced Justin Beiber's "Love Yourself" on March 7.


Neighbors | Zack Shively.Michele Prokop, Bill Amendol and Joel Monaco direct the Project Mayhem orchestra. They play songs from a range of years and genres, such as 1976's "Carry on Wayward Son" by classic rock band Kansas and 2018's "Havana" by pop singer Camila Cabello. Pictured, the band practiced Coheed and Cambria's progressive rock song "Welcome Home" from 2005 on March 7.


The Boardman High School orchestra will combine their traditional string sounds with electric rock ‘n’ roll for the Project Mayhem concert at 7 p.m. on March 23 in the Boardman Performing Arts Center.

Bill Amendol, one of the group’s three directors, modelled the show after rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra in terms of the structure of the orchestra. The group has a traditional string section, electric sting instruments and rock instruments in the rhythm section, including electric guitar, electric bass and a drum set.

Project Mayhem began in 2007 as an electric orchestra presentation with a small light show and mostly instrumental performances. Since then, they have added more singers and a laser show by Lightwave International, a professional production company in Pittsburgh.

“We try to cover the spectrum of our audience,” said Amendol, “we have people from ages 8-70 who see the show.”

They match the musical diversity of the attendees by practicing a mix of older and newer songs, such as Janis Joplin’s “Bobby McGee“ from 1971 to Camila Cabello’s “Havana,”released this year. While they primarily play rock songs, they include other genres, such as Charlie Daniel’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia“ and Justin Beiber’s “Love Yourself.”

“It’s something I looked forward to since middle school,“ said senior Annabelle Adkins, “it’s a combination of my favorite music with my favorite hobby.“ Adkins plays the electric violin for the concert and has enjoyed practicing “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down and “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Amendol considers Project Mayhem to be the cross section of the high school’s music program, as they receive some students from the band and choir who do not participate in the orchestra.

“I enjoy seeing the emotion on people’s faces and making enjoyment for them,” said senior Reese Maslen, who plays guitar for the group. He looks forward to playing “One” by Metallica and “Everlong” by Foo Fighters because Metallica was the first band he really enjoyed and he has recently felt that way about Foo Fighters in the last couple years.

As with the orchestra and symphonic groups, Michele Prokop, Amendol and Joel Monaco direct the Project Mayhem orchestra. They create their own arrangements and musical charts for the songs. The group has practiced weekly since September and began doubling the length of each session since January in preparation for the show.

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