Contact: Tere Gygax-Kane, Green Fields Senior Masterworks advisor, at 520 297-2288 or Green Fields senior Philip Heilman at 520 401-6256.
Heilman’s Senior High School Project – Present a Benefit Music Festival
Okay. So it’s not a novel idea to hold a music festival to benefit a cause.
But it is a pretty unusual undertaking for a high-school senior.
Meet Philip Heilman – a student at Green Fields Country Day School in northwest Tucson, a bass player, huge fan of live music and wannabe concert promoter.
For his senior project he organized Breast Fest – a breast cancer awareness music festival featuring six local bands – on Thursday, March 31 at the Rialto Theatre, 218 E. Congress. The event is a benefit for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The bands – all volunteering their time –are:
Ø Manic After Hours, four of Heilman’s closest friends from Catalina Foothills High School who recently won second place in the annual Battle of the Bands.
Ø The Bare Electric, three Green Fields alumni who play “really cool psychedelic-esk rock,” Heilman said.
Ø Logan Greene & the Bricks. “I went to one of their shows at Skrappy’s and instantly became a hug fan of their poppy folk-rock songs.”
Ø The Hounds. “I have always been a big fan of blues and reggae and when I came across them I loved how they mixed the two together as well as incorporating hip hop.”
Ø The Ghost of 505. “A friend in another band put me in contact with this catchy rock band.”
Ø Mostly Bears, highly recommended by a friend. “I looked them up and listened to their entire CD multiple times and knew that I wanted to have them be the headlining band.”
Tickets are $10 by contacting Heilman at email@example.com or $11 if purchased online or at the Rialto. Doors open at 6 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m. There also is a silent auction. This one-night festival is the culmination of Heilman’s Senior Masterworks project at Green Fields, Southern Arizona’s oldest independent day school.
Every Green Fields senior has the opportunity to undertake a year-long independent inquiry, pursuing a personal passion beyond the classroom by conducting research, finding a mentor in the community, then communicating the results of the experience with a performance, video or other interactive presentation. It’s like preparing a mini-thesis. Heilman’s passion is music.
Green Fields is known for exploratory study outside the classroom. The idea for the benefit concert came to Heilman while participating in a Green Fields spring Interim trip last year when he traveled with other students to New Orleans to help in ongoing reconstruction following Hurricane Katrina.
He found his community mentor in Adam Richman, an entrepreneurial University of Arizona junior who helped organize the local n9ne fest last fall. Heilman read an article about Richman and made contact. “He’s been helping me ever since. We broke down the order of how to do things, from securing a date and location to getting the bands in the lineup, to getting fliers made, advertising and buying a domain website for the event which is www.breastfesttucson.com,” he said.
“Breast cancer has always been very personal to me because people in my family, as well as friends and friends’ families, have suffered from it,” Heilman said. “I chose the National Breast Cancer Foundation because they use their funds to provide free mammograms for women who do not have the money to pay for them. I feel as though if I can raise money for this charity, women’s lives will be potentially saved by early detection.”
Heilman attended middle school at Green Fields, then attended Catalina Foothills High School his freshman year. He returned to Green Fields his sophomore year. In addition to music, he’s into sports. “In my high school years, I’ve played football, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, track and field. This year he also was volleyball manager for the girl’s varsity team and is student body vice president. His on-campus masterworks advisor is Green Fields teacher Kimberly King, student council advisor.
He plans to study business in college, possibly at the University of San Diego or Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. After that, “I would love to either own a concert venue or be a concert promoter. All the work I have put into my masterwork project has been really fun and interesting, I have become very passionate about event planning.”
Last year, Heilman played bass in the Jurassic Parking Lot band, which placed third in the Battle of the Bands. “We had to break up this year because two of the members left for college.” So now he jams on occasion.
“Depending on where I go to college – and how successful this first event is – I would very much like to make this an annual event,” he said.
“The goal of masterworks is for students to pursue this personal passion,” said Tere Gygax-Kane, Green Fields teacher and Senior Masterworks advisor. “It starts in the center with them, widens out to the on-campus advisor, then to an off-campus mentor. What I love is how Phillip is widening the circle even farther, taking this event to a community level. It’s big and grand in that way,” she said.
Founded in 1933, Green Fields began as a boarding school for boys and evolved into the only independent school in Southern Arizona that offers a continuity of classes from kindergarten through 12th grade. The curriculum includes core classes in English, social studies, science and math, foreign languages and fine arts, plus athletics, publications and technology. In a typical year, 100 percent of the graduating class continues to four-year colleges or universities. For more information on Green Fields, call 297-2288 or visit www.greenfields.org.
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