We continue our profiles of finalists in Morristown Onstage 2019:
By Marion Filler
When John, Paul, George and Ringo landed at J.F.K on Feb. 7, 1964, the Daily Mirror headline proclaimed:
5000 SCREAM ‘WELCOME’ TO THE BEATLES
Engulfed in the pandemonium, a veteran airport employee told the paper: “I see it but I don’t believe it.” A policeman said the “world has gone mad.” Beatlemania had arrived, and 55 years later, The Projections hope to keep it going strong.
These four Frelinghuysen Middle School 8th graders– whose grandparents probably were teenagers when the Fab Four invaded America — will perform the classic A Hard Day’s Night as finalists in Morristown Onstage on Feb. 27, 2019.
Guitarist Max Bellamente, drummer Michael Kupetz, vocalist Eddie Rencarge, and bass guitarist Nick Schachter are the Projections.
“We originally had a list of ideas to play, but we narrowed it down to A Hard Day’s Night. It is an upbeat song, and all of us are able to have an important part in it,” says Kupetz.
“Some of us are Beatles fans, and I am actually a huge Beatles fan and know every song.”
Bellamente and Kupetz started the band. Each credits the other with the name, but they both agree on what it means.
“We want to project ourselves on the audience,” says Kupetz. Both were interested in music and played in each other’s homes. Kupetz takes drum and keyboard lessons at the School of Rock.
They convinced Schachter to join the group and play bass. “Then we needed a singer and we knew Eddie had a great voice, so we asked him to join as well,” Kupetz said.
More than 50 acts auditioned for this 12th edition of Morristown Onstage, which aims to top last year’s record of $143,000 raised for programs in the Morris School District.
Organized by the Morris Educational Foundation, the competition is open to amateur performers who live, work or study in Morristown, Morris Township or Morris Plains, and to graduates of Morristown High School.
Winning acts in the youth and adult divisions each will take home $1,000, and the crowd will vote by text message for its favorite to claim a $500 prize. Another $250 will go to the most promising entertainer.
Unlike the Beatles, who had many gigs under their belts when they conquered the U.S., the Projections will be playing before their first audience.
“We were all pretty surprised when we found out we were finalists,” says Kupetz. They are looking forward to the experience.
“If we win, we will split the prize four ways and probably use it for the betterment of the band,” says Bellamente.
This foursome may attend different high schools in the fall, but they plan to remain Fab.
“We are still going to stick together for as long as possible and want to perform as long as we can,” Bellamente says.
Fifteen top amateur acts from Greater Morristown will compete for cash and glory in the 12th annual Morristown Onstage, on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. Tickets: $29-$79. Proceeds benefit the Morris Educational Foundation. Call 973-539-8008.