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Drake Bell from Nickelodeon’s “Drake and Josh” headlines High School Nation’s 2017 fall tour at Travis High

HSN donates $30k of music studio equipment to promote arts in education

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  • Evan Cole at Travis High School

    By by Gisel Alvarez, Photographer/Videographer

  • Bethany Becker performing at High School Nation

    By by Gisel Alvarez, Photographer/Videographer

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By Brandon Herrmann, Editor in chief

High School Nation, a California-based music touring company, transformed William B. Travis High School’s football practice field, Tuesday, October 31, during its fall 2017 tour, into a mini music festival, and donated $30k worth of music studio equipment to the school.

Dirk Otis, director of campus relations and marketing for HSN, said the organization’s main purpose is to inspire young music artists by assisting music programs in public schools complete with providing studio mixing equipment, a piano from The ONE Music

by Gisel Alvarez, Photographer/Videographer

by Gisel Alvarez, Photographer/Videographer
Evan Cole sings “I Lived” to the Travis audience at High School Nation’s free concert.

Group, drums from DW Drums and music editing software from AVID Technology.

“Conventional jobs in our society are going away, and jobs in the arts are opening up,” he said. “Live concerts, live events are a growing career path.”

The best way for young people to realize that careers in the music industry are not only possible but plausible, he said. Long gone are the days when people could just dream of playing music on a stage and hope to just gain donations or enough money to travel to that stage to play; a starving artist syndrome, he said. In our digital society and with social media, any talented music artist has the opportunity of making a wealthy career out of this art.

Jimmy Cantillon, the founder of HSN, said that great music is an opportunity to strengthen music arts curriculum in schools.

“In our eleventh year, we have grown very close to the schools we’ve worked with that need funding for their music programs,” he said. “We feel our obligation is to keep music alive and offer opportunities to young artists.”

High School Nation originally began as a lunchtime activity in Southern California and has grown into a national tour, visiting more than 20 schools per tour.

“We go beyond the traditional live concert,” Cantillon said. “We expose teen audiences to what we hope will become a love for music for the rest of their lives.”

Despite the rain, Travis High students crowded around the main stage and cheered as Drake Bell, of Nickelodeon’s “Drake and Josh,” a popular show that aired 2004-2007, headlined the festival with some of his new music, and concluded his act with the television series’ theme song, “I Found a Way.”

by Gisel Alvarez, Photographer/Videographer                Bethany Becker performs “I Want Love” October 31 during High School Nation’s 2017 fall tour.

Bell said he is an example of how music inspires young people, and this inspiration is partially the cause of his career success.

“I’ve always been a huge music and music artist fan, and I am still pretty fanatical about it all,” Bell said. “It’s a trip to think that now I can step into those shoes and do the same thing for people.”

Among the opening acts were: Houston native, Kerri Medders, 17, singer, songwriter, actress known for her role as Emma Hayes in the drama, “SEAL Team” that debuted this fall on CBS, St. Louis native, Evan Cole, 17, singer, songwriter, musician and finalist on Fox’s “American Idol,” The Farewell Season 15, Austin native, Bethany Becker, the only country artist in the tour, Beta Play, 2ok and The Christopher Brothers.

Cole said he wants to inspire music in people and his goal is to share his love for the music industry and show teens that their talents can be as real as his.

“I love seeing how music helps teens through teenage emotions,” Cole said. “I hope my music helps teens with their internal battles.”

He said that teen years are the hardest in life and that recently he traded SnapChats with a fan who admitted that his music impacted her life and helped her get through some current struggles.

Members from Travis High’s A/V Production program, The Roundup, The Travis Rebel News and several theatre arts students, spent three hours prior to the festival assisting HSN with festival setup and recreation areas provided by their sponsors.

Guitar Center and DW Drums had kiosks for students to play instruments. Hollister Company passed out free shirts. Takis gave out free merchandise and had a stage where students could dance. The concert also included a ball pit and bean bag area for students to lounge while they listen to music.

 

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About the Writer
Brandon Herrmann, Editor in chief

Age? 17

Grade? 11th

Born? Houston, TX

What do you like about being on the news staff? I enjoy interviewing people and getting answers to questions people have the right to know.

What have you learned being on this newspaper staff? I've learned how to interview, write stories and connect with a group.

What are your future plans? I want to eventually have the opportunity to interview Wiz Khalifa.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies are YouTube, Filming, Writing and Telling stories.

Organization in which you are involved in? Band, Newspaper, Student Council, Baseball, Golf, NHS, A/V Production and ECHS.

 

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Drake Bell from Nickelodeon’s “Drake and Josh” headlines High School Nation’s 2017 fall tour at Travis High