081217 music in action3

Joe Eberle/Staff Photographer Lockport, NY - Music in Action instructor, Bob James, left, works with Lockport HS musician students, Kelsey Mitravich and Katie Lynch, both seniors, on ways to create and market a music CD.

Lockport High School students are getting a behind the scenes feel for the music industry.

The school is in its second year with “Music In Action,” a program that introduces students to a different side of the music industry. The program is run by Music Is Art, an organization founded by Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls. The organization promotes music in communities and schools. Music in Action puts students through the business side of music by producing and releasing an album.

A few of the students in this year’s program were also involved in last year's group.

“It was a great experience,” Lockport sophomore Kortney Weiler said.

“It was fun,” Zac Parker, another sophomore, said. “This year, I hope to do more. I was able to persuade some of my friends to join this year.”

The Lockport group will have to get the word out that they’re looking for musicians. The Music In Action group will collect demo songs from Lockport High students and choose their favorites. The chosen songs will then be recorded for a CD album. In May, a special CD release concert will be held at the school.

Demos can be received by performer or band, as long as they are students at Lockport High School.

Participation in Music In Action teaches the students some other things, aside from the music business.

“I think they develop leadership skills, responsibility,” said Tim Willett, a Lockport teacher involved with the program. “And creativity. They’ll work with something tangible.”

Last year, Lockport got off to a late start — the group didn’t meet until February. The students found and recorded a song to be used on a CD that some other schools were working on, as well. The song, “Viking Metal,” was performed by Dan Covey, who is also participating in the program this year.

This year, Lockport is starting on time and hopes to have a promotional campaign for the CD up and running in early January. Demos should be received in early February.

The Lockport group met Wednesday with Music In Action head Bob James. Their goal was to come up with ways of promoting the CD to students. Suggestions ranged from flyers to banners to a commercial for the morning announcements. The students also talked about what interested them the most about Music In Action and music in general.

“Music is such a part of everyone’s life,” said sophomore Kristen Waskosky.

“It gets people involved,” fellow sophomore Kris Ritchie said.

Lockport junior Sara Lavocat said she was thinking of majoring in music management in college. Lavocat said being in Music In Action could give her an idea if the field is right for her.

“And help me make that decision,” Lavocat said.

Throughout the year, students will hear from speakers in the music industry. There also will be a career day workshop and a field trip to Villa Maria College, where there is a four-year degree program in music business.

Music in Action is funded by donations from the Grigg Lewis Foundation, Leadership Niagara and Villa Maria College.

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