When the Federal Hill Commons opened in 2017, it introduced an entire new world for NHS senior Lois Wielinski. The park hosts farmers markets, concerts, and other fun activities for the whole family. During the farmers markets, musicians are given the opportunity to perform on stage. Wielinski is a singer and guitarist, Federal Hill Commons is just one of her many performance venues. Wielinski has been singing since she was very young but didn’t begin experimenting with instruments until she was in the 6th grade. She began playing the violin, but shortly after being introduced to musicians like the Beatles and the Grateful Dead, she decided to learn how to master the guitar as well.
“In 7th grade I got my first guitar,” said Wielinski. “It was a terrible $100 Jasmine and it sounded kinda gross, but I loved it.” said Wielinski.
Over time, she taught herself how to play the ukulele and piano. Now she’s learning mandolin and bass. Wielinski didn’t start showing off her musical abilities until she was a sophomore when she first auditioned at Federal Hill Commons. After her first performance, she went on the lookout for more venues. She did a couple open mic nights at Barley Island and Guitar Center, but continued to play at the farmers market where she’ll be making another appearance on October 12th.
This year, Wielinski is taking an innovations class and is in the process of creating a music festival called Square One Arts and Music with her partner, junior Parker Fitzgerald.
“What inspired me to work on this project was that I saw an opportunity to help artists and musicians get a name for themselves out there,” said Fitzgerald.
All proceeds will go towards Noblesville schools arts and music programs. The pair is using Warped Tour, a rock music festival, as inspiration.
“At Warped Tour, they had so many musicians and stages, and I wanted my festival to be like that, so more musicians could perform and have opportunities and connect their art with the community,” said Wielinski.
Their Innovations class teacher, Joshua Cecil, has mentored the duo and helped them explore their ambitions. Cecil has taken notice of Lois’s quick progress throughout her project.
“Lois is highly self motivated which is sometimes difficult to find. She’s got a really good idea and I think she’s going to pull it off,” said Cecil.
Her partner, Fitzgerald, aspires to be an art teacher, and participating in the festival planning is training him to work with different types of artists.
“Working with Lois is very interesting and fun. She has this dedication not a whole lot of people have. She is very passionate about music and helping people,” said Fitzgerald.
So far the two have a tentative date for the show of April 26, 2020, and the festival will be open all day. Auditions for a spot in the festival are open now and will close at the end of December.
“I know that as I learned music I found songs that just made me feel so much, and I absolutely love that part of music,” said Wielinski, “It’s amazing to know that what you write or perform can touch people in ways you’d never imagined.”