Old Rochester Regional High School and the entire Tri-Town region was shaken to its core last summer when one of the school's most talented performers passed away in his sleep on August 18, 2020.

Nolan Gibbons had enjoyed early success in what can be the brutally competitive business of music. The 15-year-old had already appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show as a member of the band Acapop! KIDS, a junior version of the very popular Pentatonix music group.

Since he was a local student, we were even lucky enough to have Nolan come in one morning and join us here at Fun 107 in January of 2020. He told us about what it was like to appear on The Kelly Clarkson Show and how he was managing school and performing.

Then, just a few months later, tragedy struck the Gibbons family.

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The pandemic made it difficult for Nolan's school to immediately respond to his death. This month, however, Nolan's fellow classmates at ORR have held a memorial service for him, and dedicated the chorus room to honor his contributions to the school. A plaque to commemorate him highlights Nolan's motto, "Everybody likes to be themselves." A Spotify Code on the plaque allows observers to listen to Nolan's music.

NolanFest will start up at 4 p.m. on July 11 at Silvershell Beach in Marion. Nolan's father Warren describes it as "a memorial and a celebration with Nolan's friends performing music and sharing stories remembering him." There will be food trucks at the event, which will wrap up at 10 p.m. with the release of lanterns.

People interested in performing can sign up here.

Volunteers can offer their time by signing up here.

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