FAIRFIELD — “Music brings people together,” said Jimmy Cantillon on Thursday as nearly the entire student population of Fairfield High School mingled for the High School Nation Tour at Schaefer Stadium.
The High School Nation Tour is a traveling musical festival meant to bring awareness about the continuing need for arts and music in high school.
“My goal is to provide this event to schools with them not paying one cent,” Cantillon said.
Students interacted with several arts-related booths. One booth allowed students to create their own tie-dye T-shirt, while another let students paint on a white canvas with their fingers. The music center booth drew a crowd as students were allowed to handle guitars and play drum sets. Students could even receive information about two performing arts schools, Relativity and Amda.
By far, the main attraction was the performance of three musical bands: Stamps, Shinobi Ninja and Blush. A group of 100 students stayed in front of the stage while the groups performed.
“We are very diverse musically. Stamps is pop-rock; Shinobi Ninja is a blend of rock, hip-hop, metal and reggae; and Blush is a group of five Asian women from five different Asian countries,” Cantillon said.
“We are not 100 percent rock or 100 percent hip-hop, we are just a little different,” Edara Johnson, one of the vocalists for Shinobi Ninja, told the crowd.
Angela Ross, a senior at Fairfield High who will attend Sonoma State in the fall, said Shinobi Ninja was her favorite part of the day.
“Their sound is just nuts,” Ross said.
Ross was part of a group of students who helped set up the event and passed out cameras to students so they could record the concert and gain practical experience with journalism.
Sophomore Ross Ackerman also helped set up the event and said his favorite part of the tour was the music center and “jamming out with friends.”
For Cyrina Steward, a senior set to attend Humboldt State University in the fall, the tour provided students more than music and entertainment.
“As a spectator, I am happy with it because it boosts school spirit,” Steward said.
Steward also said that the High School Tour is something positive for Fairfield High.
“We need more positive things,” Steward said. ”This is not a bad school.”
“The tour is making significant contributions to our arts and music departments,” said Shari Patterson, a staff member at Fairfield High.
Patterson submitted the application to bring the High School Nation Tour to Fairfield High after the program performed during homecoming last fall.
“They are pushing education of the arts,” Patterson said.
Cantillon said he would consider bringing the tour back to Fairfield High.
“I would like to see neighboring schools come out and enjoy the event, maybe make it districtwide,” he said.
Reach John Glidden at 427-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter/glid24.