After Sheila and Warren Gibbons unexpectedly lost their son, Nolan, in 2020, they wanted to keep his spirit alive in a way that Nolan would have wanted. For the past three years, Sheila and Warren have not only kept Nolan’s spirit alive, but they have established a unique Memorial Fund that gives back to the music community that Nolan enjoyed so much.

For the first time ever, The Nolan Gibbons Memorial Fund awarded twelve teens from across the country scholarships and grants to help support their performance goals and to help make a career in music a reality.

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Remembering Nolan Gibbons

Nolan Gibbons was a gifted musical artist and a rising sophomore at Old Rochester Regional High School. He began singing at age 9 and won New England’s Got Talent at just 12 years old. In 2018, Nolan was cast as the main vocal percussionist of Acapop! KIDS, a national all-kids a cappella group formed by the founders and members of the Grammy Award-winning group, Pentatonix.

Nolan was working on an album of original songs he had been writing, recording, and producing, but at the age of fifteen, the world lost a one-of-a-kind star due to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood.

Nolan’s parents continue to navigate through grief and sadness, but through their pain, they never faltered in their desire to spread Nolan’s message: Everybody Likes to Be Themselves.

The Nolan Gibbons Memorial Fund

The Nolan Gibbons Memorial Fund (NGMF) seeks to empower and support performing artists through grants and scholarships in support of their creative pursuits and passions.

When Nolan was alive, he believed that his goal of becoming a musician wasn't just a pipe dream. It was an achievable goal, and now this Memorial Fund aids other musicians with their goals.

“It used to be a world of getting picked, getting signed, and getting a record deal, but that’s no longer the way it works,” said Warren Gibbons. “The artist has all the power, which is the good news and bad news, and we wanted to provide funding in a practical way that can help aspiring artists fulfill that dream, be it through equipment, lessons, or something else.”

This Year’s Recipients

Mellissa Mulligan is a vocal coach, music career consultant, and the owner and founder of the online music academy Music Career Mastermind, a program of which Nolan was a member. Her vision of helping young, contemporary artists form a road map to success lines up perfectly with the mission behind the NGMF. She decided to donate two accelerator programs, each worth $8,000.

18-year-old Kerry Driscoll was the recipient of the Music Theatre Accelerator and 17-year-old Jorge R Carrillo was the recipient of the Music Career Accelerator.

The General Arts Grant, funded directly by the efforts of NGMF, awarded the following ten young adults with the means to assist with their mission of becoming artists with a plan.

18-year-old Emma Bowman from Virginia, 17-year-old Joe Connelly from Pennsylvania, 15-year-old Katelyn Craig from Massachusetts, 16-year-old Oliver Dunn from Massachusetts, 16-year-old Molly Dupre from Massachusetts, 17-year-old Anthony Fix from Rhode Island, 19-year-old Emmilee Jordan from Rhode Island, 17-year-old Riley Miller from Massachusetts, 20-year-old Liliana Moreno-Cornejo from Massachusetts, and 17-year-old Grace Steigerwald from Florida.

“This (memorial fund) has helped us in our healing,” said Sheila Gibbons. “We keep our son front and center in our lives always, other people are getting to know him that may have never met him…It’s incredibly healing and such a gift to us.”

Moving Forward

The Gibbons's look forward to helping young musicians find success in whatever area they choose, and will continue to share Nolan's music and his kind mantra that being yourself is worth it.

If you are looking to support the Nolan Gibbons Memorial Foundation, their next event takes place on April 8th at Ciro's Tavern in Woonsocket where "The Trailer Park Girls" will entertain the crowd during a fun Drag Brunch.

Also, The 3rd annual Nolan Fest, an afternoon and evening of food, fun, music, and local art will take place at Silver Shell Beach in Marion on July 15th.

For more information on the memorial fund and its events, go to

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