Oct. 3, 2013
By Tara Cavanaugh
It’s a music festival with a message: music education is important.
The High School Nation bus tour stopped at Pioneer High School on Oct. 2, delivering opportunities for students to interact with music.
The tour also gave a donation package worth $10,000 to the school’s music department. The donation included high-quality instruments, such as a DW drum kit and a Gibson guitar as well as a credit at a nearby Guitar Center.
Only 20 schools around the country get this opportunity. Tour founder Jimmy Cantillon said he picked Pioneer based on its strong music program.
“This school has a huge music tradition,” Cantillon said. “With its interest in the arts and support of students in music, I thought it was a no-brainer that we should come and show our support so that they continue to bring in more students who are able to pursue musical careers.”
The tour just hit its first year anniversary. It began as a lunchtime program that delivered mini music concerts to schools during lunchtime.
Cantillon is able to provide the donation courtesy of the tour’s numerous sponsors. One sponsor which travels with the tour is the John Lennon Foundation.
Pioneer Band Director David Leach is thrilled with the donation, but also said that “the important thing is what John Lennon stood for and what these folks stand for. They think arts education is critical.”
Leach watched as students enjoyed a performance by an up-and-coming band called Stamps and tried out instruments and equipment set up in booths. All the equipment that students tried out was included in the donation package.
“What I think this tour and its sponsors are doing is trying to figure out ways to tell people: Hey, arts education is not just fluff, this is really integral to what a child’s life is all about.”
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