Rocky River High School students were given the star treatment recently when High School Nation rolled onto their campus.
High School Nation is a nonprofit traveling music and arts festival that promotes music and art in public schools.
Based in California, High School Nation visits 25 schools in the Southeast each fall, and 25 in the West each spring. Rocky River is the only North Carolina high school on this year’s schedule.
Rocky River’s fine arts chair and theater teacher, Matt Webster, arranged for the group to come to the school when he heard they were looking for a stop in the area.
“I know it made a huge impression on the kids. The students were incredibly well-behaved and so excited that they got to be a part of it,” Webster said.
He said the group took over the Mint Hill campus setting up tents and displays across the grounds to introduce students to opportunities in the arts.
Students went from booth to booth getting makeup applied by Paul Mitchell specialists, playing on drums, experimenting with a sound board in the Pioneer tent, playing new video games on PS4 gaming systems, sampling body art from Michaels, decorating shirts and hats courtesy of Tilly’s, eating Takis chips (the Mexican chip maker was the main sponsor) and experiencing a host of other activities.
Organizers then set up a mobile stage in an overflow parking lot and students were treated to a concert by Drake Bell, formerly of Nickelodean’s Drake & Josh show, and other performers.
Some students won door prizes such as a Pioneer DJ mixing table, a Samsung tablet, a guitar, keyboard and wireless microphones.
“It was an amazing experience for the students in the moment of the concert, but it’s going to be even more amazing afterward. We are slotted to receive a $1,000 gift certificate from the Guitar Center, a drum set, and a number of other giveaways for our school,” Webster said.
“So many times the arts are an afterthought, but this group realizes how important the arts are to all students. It’s wonderful to see how these major corporations are working to enhance the arts education of our kids.”
Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer: email@example.com.