Lively concert rallies students for homecoming


Drake Bell sings amongst students and cell phones during his final act of the concert in the parking lot on Sept 22. Photo by Helen Rummel.

In the heat of a blazing September day, musical guests began arriving at the parking lot in preparation for a full-fledged, free concert produced by High School Nation accompanied by lines of students murmuring in anticipation.

Friday marked the second annual Student Choice Day. The flexibility of the day provided time for the concert as well as student learning sessions taught by traveling musicians affiliated with High School Nation.

Along with percussion and music composition sessions, there was a Q&A session open to students. Groups such as Nikki’s Wives and Beta Player or the singer and high school senior Kerri Medders attended. Drake Bell headlined the main concert that took place in the afternoon after students assisted with the setup of the outdoor stage and concert area.

Jimmy Cantillon founded High School Nation, inspired by his brother who performed in a local band while in high school. Cantillon utilized his relationships with high school administrators to push for a program to highlight the importance of music and music education.

“[Music] is important for our self-esteem, for the development of our minds and to understand that life is so much bigger than who we are right now,” Cantillon said.

The experience was free of charge and High School Nation donated a complete recording studio to the music department for student use.

”The studio is our way of saying that we care and we want to give you that voice,” Cantillon said. “So, even though we’re only here for an afternoon we’re going to leave you with these tools, this gift, that allows you to be creative on campus.”

Fishers is the home of successful artists such as Maria Diebolt and Gabe Glover and the administrators of High School Nation hope to give the same opportunity to all students in Fishers.