Noblesville’s Cassidy Henson said she didn’t know what she was getting into when she signed up to perform live entertainment at the Noblesville Farmers Market.
But that didn’t stop her.
“I saw it as an opportunity to try out a new form of getting my voice and my abilities out there while entertaining people,” said the Noblesville High School junior, who is among a dozen live entertainers who will perform this farmers market season at Federal Hill Commons in Noblesville.
With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic likely behind us, the farmers market has been getting back to normal, including its regular live entertainment.
“I love music and I miss performing as much as any person does, so I’m super excited and grateful for this opportunity,” said the 16-year-old, who has sung in school show choirs and performed in live summer youth musicals at The Belfry Theatre in Noblesville.
Henson has been playing guitar for about a year. “I’m pretty much all self taught, and I learned over quarantine,” she said.
So what gives her the courage to perform live in front of the farmers market visitors?
“I’ve never done anything like this before, live that is. I used to stream on an audio/podcast app called Spoon, where I played ukelele originally and that compelled me to learn guitar,” Henson said. “It gave me reasons to learn new songs and expand my abilities. I did talent shows whenever they happened, and I grew my (Spoon) account to the now 3.5k followers I have.”
She said, “Though it was decently easy for me to find songs to perform -- as I know a decent amount already -- I’ve explored more since signing up for this.”
Henson, who will perform Oct. 2 at the farmers market, is not the only student who is performing during this farmers market season.
Gloria Merrell -- a 2020 graduate of Hamilton Heights High School and a sophomore this fall at Ball State University studying theater and entrepreneurship -- plays piano, ukulele and saxophone. But for the farmers market, she will be having fun playing her ukulele and singing some of her original music this morning at the farmer market. She performs 8 a.m. to noon today at Federal Hill Commons.
Composing and singing music is a hobby of Merrell. She has performed her music at the Logan Street Sanctuary Young Songwriter Series, the recent Noblesville Peony Festival, Caravan Classes, and at several shows by The Improbable Fiction Theater Co. She was a Nickel Plate arts Emerging Artist of the Year Nominee in 2019.
Folks around here might know Merrell as the actress who played Mrs. Potts in the Hamilton Heights production of “Beauty and the Beast” in 2018 at HHHS. She has also performed in more than 21 different theatrical productions, including Stone Soup and The Belfry Theatre, both in Noblesville, and The Cat in Carmel, and has co-directed productions at HHHS.
One of the reasons that I enjoy visiting the Noblesville Farmers Market is for all of the awesome live entertainment. I like to sit and listen and watch.
So, who else is performing this summer season at the farmers market, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon?
Noblesville musician Steve Newby plays jazz on July 17 and 21. (He played The Nesst in Noblesville on June 27.)
Jumping for Joy performs July 24, Aug. 14 and Sept. 18, featuring Mik The Music Man children’s music. Emily Hideg, 18, Fishers, performs jazz music with her dad, Mik Hideg, and his friends, Jim Faux and Tony Martin. Emily and her dad actually have two different bands, Sweet Tunes and Jump and Hop, and write their own music. “We play everywhere, but mostly in daycares for kids (Jump and Hop band) and old-folk homes or retirement centers (to bring a little energy in,” she said.
She has been home-schooled since kindergarten. Musically? “I taught myself how to sing, I taught myself how to play the drums. I taught myself how to play ukulele. I taught myself kalimba. I’m teaching myself the ocarina and guitar, and I’m teaching myself cajon. “I’ve taught myself all. I’ve never taken a lesson.:
Cricket Creek Players, a group of amateur musicians who perform bluegrass, gospel, folk, country and popular music selections, will entertain on Aug. 7.
Andy Schomburg will perform July 31, Aug. 28 and Sept. 4.
Jim Faux performs on Sept. 11.
Blue River Wailers will perform Sept. 25 and features Eric Fjellman of Noblesville on electric guitar and Jeff Keyt on bass guitar in the six-member band.
Cassidy Henson (featured above) will sing and play guitar Oct. 2.
Reason and Rhyme will perform Oct. 9.
Mike Ramos of Noblesville performed in May, and Braeden Handy performed some Saturdays in June.
Daniel Hicks, 25, was found playing keyboards with his younger brother, Ben Hicks, on stand-up bass, also in May at the farmers market.
“We play a blend of jazz, blues, soul. It’s black American music, created by African Americans. We are just simple practitioners to learn and experience it,” Daniel Hicks said. He started playing piano as a youngster, with lessons at the age of about 8 or 10 years old. “Then I got to the age where I thought the guitar was cooler. I took guitar lessons for a little bit.” He played guitar in a couple of bands during high school. “But I found my way back to the piano near the end of high school. That’s when I kind of became infatuated with jazz, and I started studying that.” He studied classical piano in college, “which really helped my technique and my appreciation for classical music and being a technical person as opposed to just playing whatever.”
So, you find a little of all kinds of talent at the farmers market. So check it out.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.