Streetsboro — Streetsboro High School teacher Jim Boardwine and his students have done it again.
It was announced last week Streetsboro High School won the “We Are All Blood Brothers” video contest, put on by recording artist Ingrid Michaelson, VH1 and the VH1 Save the Music Foundation.
It wasn’t the first time Boardwine and his students have won such a contest.
Last year, Boardwine said he and his classes won a contest organized by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund for a public service announcement relating to child abuse. In that contest, the district won $5,000. His students also were a national finalists in an Einstruction contest worth $30,000.
Boardwine and his students also created “Fangs,” a promotional video for last year’s school play, “Lady Dracula.” That video was professionally produced and brought in members of the community to help with makeup, hair and dancing.
For winning the VH1 contest, the high school gets a free concert by Michaelson at the school and a new Yamaha keyboard, according to Boardwine.
“The biggest prize, I think, is all of us getting to see her and having a national artist and VH1 here at our tiny school,” said Boardwine. “It’s just going to be cool.”
Eighteen students, all members of Boardwine’s songwriting class, were involved in producing the winning video.
“Every kid, in one way or another, was pretty involved,” he said.
The assignment for the contest was to produce a video of students performing Michaelson’s song “We Are All Blood Brothers.”
“We actually spent a good week in class rehearsing and the song our own,” he said.
Junior Maddie Oslejsek, one of the students involved in producing the video, said four or five students helped with production and leading the class through production of the video.
“I know Mr. Boardwine did most of the editing because he had to finalize it,” she said.
Making the deadline for the video turned out to be a challenge, she said, but one which taught the class a valuable lesson.
“Even though we had a really hard time getting everyone on the same page and being of like minds, we learned we can get a really great outcome if we just push through it,” she said.
After rehearsing the song and adding a rap section to it, written by student Zakari Deshotel, Boardwine said students all came up with their own video story boards and shot footage for the video.
“I took some of the better pieces and put them together,” said Boardwine.
Jake Edgerton and Marcus Bowman performed the rap section, along with Zakari, said Boardwine.
Maddie said the video also incorporated a lot of photos taken by senior Marshall White.
She said she’s been a singer for a long time but has learned all she knows about production and recording from Boardwine.
“I do stuff now that a few years ago I could never have imagined myself doing,” she said. “I’ll always have music as part of my life.”
Boardwine said students will also have the chance to perform “We Are All Blood Brothers” with Michaelson when she visits later this school year.
“Our kids will be able to perform ‘Blood Brothers’ with her, and it will be filmed and aired on VH1,” he said. “They’re going to do a site visit in December. The concert will probably be in the spring, depending on the school’s and Ingrid’s schedules.”
Boardwine said Michaelson picked Streetsboro’s video from among the top 10 videos, based on voting.
The Yamaha keyboard, which features weighted keys, can “become whatever instrument you want it to be,” said Boardwine. One player can become a drummer, guitarist and bass player.”
The keyboard will be the second of its type Boardwine has available to his classes.
“In a project like this where they’re cutting audio tracks, we can do a couple things at one time now,” he said.