Project Rock & Project Rap 2009

Xenia is the host city once more for this year’s Project Rock band playoffs at The Cavern, the all-ages music venue in the basement of Express Yourself Coffeehouse & Art Gallery downtown. And a new contest has joined Project Rock in it’s third year: Project Rap will offer three rounds of head to head competition for the Hip-Hop and Rap audience Project Rock and Project Rap are vehicles for young musicians in the Dayton/Xenia area to perform in front of live audiences, to develop creative and original new music, and to learn the difficult challenges and great rewards that surround live music. The first Project Rock show is slated for January 16 and will continue weekends through early June. The schedule of bands for both competitions is available online at

Friends, relatives, and fans alike enjoy the festive atmosphere on weekend evenings from January through early June as the bands compete for weekly bragging rights. As the first few bands are eliminated, the true musical and organizational skills of these young musicians begins to become apparent. Almost anyone can get the family and friends to come out to hear them play once or twice, but it takes real talent and enthusiasm, as well as some marketing savvy, to keep their audiences enthusiastic and growing.

In order to test the abilities of the bands, different challenges are presented at each level of the competition. For instance, in the second round each band must perform a classic rock (or rap) song in their own style and for the final show, each of the top bands or rappers must write and perform a totally new song which has never been performed in public before. Project Rock and Project Rap strive to be more than mere popularity contests, so a full panel of judges reviews each performance for professionalism, musicianship, audience interaction and originality and awards points accordingly. In the end, Project Rock has turned several green young bands into seasoned professionals by the end of the series.

The 2007 Project Rock winners were local Xenia indie rockers, Psylis, and the 2008 winner was Lebanon’s heavy metal rockers, Last Dead Hour. A top prize of $500 in cash and enough studio time to record three complete songs made the competition fierce and interesting in previous years. Sponsorships are still available for businesses interested in reaching the key 15-30 year old demographic. This year, Black Disco Ball Studio is a major sponsor and will offer studio time to the Project Rock finalists. Local Rap management company Hidden Talent Records is the major sponsor of Project Rap and is seeking contestants and sponsors for the first year’s competition which begins in February. The Cavern is located at 78 E. Main St. in downtown Xenia. For more information about either competition or to make sponsorship offers, contact Alan King at (937) 372-7446, email: or visit or

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