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News from 2014-2015

Posted: October 7, 2014

Hornets, Eagles Rock Out During High School Nation

The national tour stopped at Highland and Eldorado this week to promote performing arts careers.

Highland and Eldorado were among just a handful of schools across the nation treated to a lunchtime concert followed by a hands-on career fair with a focus on jobs in performing, digital, and fine arts.

High School Nation stopped in Albuquerque this week with a goal of providing opportunities for teens to express themselves through the arts. The tour also donated $10,000 to each school in the form of equipment and gift cards to support their fine arts programs. 

The afternoon activities at Highland on Monday and Eldorado Tuesday were a big hit among students and staff alike.

“Music inspires people,” said Highland sophomore Ana Sanchez. “It’s exciting and once in a lifetime to have this at our school.”

Concert highlighter Drake Bell missed his plane and his performance at Highland on Monday, but showed up on Tuesday for an intimate lunchtime concert before heading over to Eldorado to perform.

During the school concerts -- which also featured Jacob Latimore, Dakota Bradley, Nikos, Bean and Leroy Sanchez -- students had the opportunity to explore sponsor booths and learn about different aspects of the performing arts industry.

At the Sony Media Zone, kids learned to use professional gear like camcorders and a live content producer. They also learned about filming and green screens, tie-dye and screen printing and styling.

But it wasn’t the painting and tie dying that had the kids most engaged -- it was being able to pick up the instruments for themselves and have their own concert. In addition to the guitars and drum sets for individuals to practice on, students also were able to collaborate on a five-piece band -- keyboard, drums, base, guitar and microphone -- in a virtual recording studio.

Robert Ocha of High School Nation Tours said the virtual recording studio shows students how to play different cords and songs and allows them to work together to create music.

“It may be their one opportunity to get face-to face with well-known artists and get to interact with these instruments," said Highland Activities Director Justin Landis, adding that Highland was chosen as one of the schools on the tour because of its diversity.

Eldorado Principal Martin Sandoval said Eldorado was chosen to participate in the tour because so many of its students are involved in fine and performing arts.

Some of those students at both schools got to take part in an in-depth discussion with the artists and crews prior to the concert. Landis said those discussions really helped the student’s relate to them and see their own potential.

“They all went to public school, and one of them have grandiose stories of making it,” Landis said. “It was about overcoming the obstacles.”

“It really motivates you to want to do something for yourself,” Arlin Castanea, sophomore, said of the panel discussions with the artist. “We’re really stoked to have them here.”

Sandoval said the Eldorado students also got a lot out of being able to ask the artists about the performing and business sides of their careers. "They asked great questions about what the artists had to do to be successful in their professions."

“Some of these kids are passionate about specific things,” Landis said, “and it’s our job to give them opportunities to see things and explore what they may be interested it.”