RiverCity Rock Academy End of Season Shows - December 1st & 2nd

End of Season shows

Check out our end of season shows! So much great music from our fantastic performance programs and something for everyone from pop, punk, metal, indie, funk, classic rock, and everything in between. Friday, December 1st our Royals, Young Rockers, Legends of Rock (AC/DC, Black Sabbath, & Led Zeppelin), and Renegades (adult program) play. Saturday, December 2nd our Rockers (UK bands), Metal Mania (performs a short set), and Royals play. Both shows start at 7:00 p.m. All Ages! Kids & Teens FREE! - Adults only $5!  Shows are downtown Salem at the Premiere Academy of Performing Arts 241 State Street. 

TEACHER OF THE WEEK - KAYLEE BONATAKIS!!!

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RiverCity Rock Star Teacher
Percussion, Drums and Guitar

When did you start playing music and what was/is your influence for playing music? 
I’ve been playing music since elementary school, but I settled on percussion as my primary instrument when I entered the 6th grade. I have older sisters who were in the high school band when I was in elementary school and as a family we’d go to the high school football games to watch my sisters in the marching band. My favorite thing was the drum line. I remember fantasizing about being on the drum line when I was a young child and I worked really hard until I finally was part of it.

What is/are your favorite song(s) you’ve help direct at RiverCity?
My favorite songs I’ve helped direct at RiverCity so far have been ‘Maps’ by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and ‘Black Math’ by The White Stripes.

What do you like about RiverCity?
I love that RiverCity feels like a big musical family. As someone who is relatively new to Salem, RiverCity has given me a community where I feel like I belong, and am able to do the things I love most, play and teach music.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now? 
Right now I’m really into the bands Sylvan Esso and The Slits.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? 
The advice I would give to aspiring musicians is to practice your butts off! Listen to your favorite songs and try to figure out how to play them by ear. Don’t let what is too hard right now discourage your music making. Be nice to other musicians (and people), work hard at what you do, and be reliable.

What’s something unique or funny about you? 
This is a little embarrassing, but when I was in the 4th grade I was OBSESSED with the boy band Hanson. I was in love with the drummer, Zac Hanson. I was convinced we were going to get married. Anyways, my decision to play drums may have been a bit influenced by Zac Hanson.

What things do you do when you’re not at RiverCity? 
When I’m not at RiverCity I can be found cooking, running, hiking, making art, playing with cats, playing in Salem and Portland bands (MARC & the HorsejerksMr. Frederick's product production co.Center Mass String Quartet, and Clawfoot Slumber), exploring Salem, practicing an assortment of percussion instruments in my basement, practicing guitar, going to see live music, and teaching private percussion lessons to high school students.

Kaylee is available for drum, percussion or guitar lessons. Contact RiverCity to schedule your free trial lesson and tour.

Scenes from our Midterm show!

We were honored to play our midterm show on Saturday, November 4th at the Space Concert Club! It was a jam packed show and our students played hard and our fans helped us rock the house down. Please enjoy some pictures of the night and don't forget that we have many more shows coming soon! 

 

Halloween practice!

Our students had a great time practicing in costume yesterday! 

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - JAMEE MCDANIEL!!!

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6th Grader at Judson Middle School 
Legends of Rock and previously Young Rockers
Drums and Vocals
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in January 2017

When did you start playing music and why? 
I started playing music when I joined RCRSA, because I really wanted to learn how to be a great drummer.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity? 
‘Basket Case’ by Green Day.

What do you like about RiverCity? 
RCRSA is very fun to be a part of.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now? 
Green Day, Eminem and Macklemore.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity? 
I like to play Xbox, mod Nerd guns, ride my bike, and hang out with friends and family.

 

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - JAMIE SLOAN!!!

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RiverCity Renegades
Drums

When did you start playing music? 
I began playing violin at age 8 and didn’t take up the drums until age 45 – which means it’s never too late to start learning an instrument! My influence is music itself - I can't live without it!

Tell us about your musically journey? 
I’ve been a DJ since age 18 and attained a degree in Audio Engineering, but drums have commanded me to get serious about truly learning an instrument.

What is your favorite song you've played at RiverCity? 
Playing Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’ next to RiverCity dream-maker, Mark Green.

What are your favorite bands or artists right now? 
Mother Mother, The Black Angels and The Pack A.D.

What is your ‘day job’ (besides a Rock Star at RiverCity)? 
I’m an Account Manager and Horticulturist. I also play drums in an all-girl punk band, Hot Sheets, host a radio show called DJ Sloan - The Delicious Dish on KMUZ 88.5 FM , and have written a book, ‘On The Road To Find Out’. 
#gratefulnewbie

Gutar/Bass Tech Time Workshop! Sign-ups end Friday, Oct. 20th.

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There's still time to sign up for our Guitar/Bass tech workshop! Learn about basic care and upkeep to help your gear sound better and last longer! Sign-ups end Friday, October 20th! #rockacademy #rocksalem #salemoregon #salemor #supportlocalmusic #musiclife #rockschool #music #salemisawesome

TEACHER OF THE WEEK - REBECCA MCDADE!!!

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RiverCity Rock Star Academy Teacher
Guitar, Vocals and Keys/Piano


When did you start playing music and what was/is your influence for playing music? 
I have been doing musical theatre and singing in choirs since I was five years old. When I was seven, I began taking piano lessons and once my dad taught me the A, D, and G chords, I taught myself how to play the guitar. We moved around from country to country quite a bit when I was wee, so playing music and meeting other people my age who did the same thing was how I became acclimated to a new place.

What is/are your favorite song(s) that you've helped direct at RiverCity?
'Black River Killer’ by Blitzen Trapper and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen.

What do you like about RiverCity?
I love that RiverCity is run for Salemites by Salemites. The focus on community music growth, connection, and development is really lovely. Having a place to find dedicated, similarly music-minded individuals who you can connect with, is truly lovely.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
Gregory Alan Isakov and Josh Ritter. Any folk music.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? 
To keep at it. No great musician was made overnight. You can have the most potential in the world, but unless you work at it and really give it time and energy, that’s all you’re going to have. Watching yourself grow as a musician is one of the most fulfilling things that you can go through in my opinion. Keep at it.

What’s something unique or funny about you? 
I hold inside my mind an absurd number of incredibly irrelevant facts, at least one-third of which are in regards to Scotland (my great home nation).

What things do you do when you’re not at RiverCity? 
I’ve recently started working as a music teacher at Little Friends Montessori School downtown. I frequently perform my original folksy tunes under my own name, as well as play in an ambient-indie band called Tied to a Grizzly. I’m an avid journaler and doodler, I have an established collection of succulents, and I am known to name everything I am fond of.
Rebecca is available for voice, (acoustic and electric) guitar or keys/piano lessons. Contact RiverCity to schedule your free trial lesson and tour.

Sign Up for Metal Mania!

Join our upcoming Metal Mania class! http://www.rcrockstaracademy.com/metal-mania

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - JACK STEWART!!!

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RiverCity Renegades
Guitar, Bass and Vocals

When did you start playing music? Tell us about your musically journey. 
I was influenced by my Uncle Sandy to play the trombone and started playing in the 3rd grade and continued through high school. I conned my mother into buying me a cheap Sears bass guitar and amp when I was about 15 and I’ve been playing bass off and on since. No lessons, I play by ear.

What is your favorite song you've played at RiverCity? 
Favorite song I've played at the Academy is probably ‘Tend My Garden’ by The James Gang. It is a great show opening song.

What are your favorite bands or artists right now? 
Old school bands: anything with Joe Walsh, ELP, Cream, Jeff Beck, Yes, Asia, etc.

What is your ‘day job’ (besides a Rock Star at RiverCity)? 
I am 27 months into what was only supposed to be a 3-month contract working for NuScale Power.

Tom Petty's Last Rolling Stone Interview

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Tom Petty's Last Rolling Stone Interview

In his only sit-down interview on his final tour, he talked loving the Heartbreakers, hating "Zombie Zoo" and why he was having so much fun onstage. Read the full interview here. 

Guitar & Bass Tech Workshop

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Guitar/Bass Tech Time with Topher & Todd
Sunday, October 29th, 1-3pm
Open to all ages

During Guitar/Bass Tech Time Workshop, students will learn and perform basic care and maintenance for their guitar/bass including:
🎸Cleaning (how to, how often and what supplies to use)
🎸Restringing (how to, how often and sting options)
🎸Guitar/bass issues or damage (how to recognize, what can be done by the student and when to take it to a repair shop)
Workshop Fee
🤘🏻Currently enrolled students in a program – FREE + cost of supplies (supply costs listed on attached registration form) 
🤘🏻Others - $10 + cost of supplies (supply costs listed on attached registration form)
Register for the Guitar/Bass Tech Time Workshop. To guarantee supplies will be received in time, registration must be made no later than Friday, October 20th. Space is limited!

TEACHER OF THE WEEK - CONNOR SOEJOTO!!!

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RiverCity Rock Star Academy Teacher
Vocals, Keys/Piano and Ukulele

When did you start playing music and what was/is your influence for playing music? 
I started playing violin when I was four and began piano around the same time. I didn’t start singing until I hit high school, when I found out I had a natural inclination for opera and classical voice. Music is the only thing that has ever really made sense to me. It feels natural to make music, like it’s what my whole life was supposed to be about.

I’m fortunate enough to have a plethora of students both in my private studio and at RiverCity where I get to interact with a variety of different backgrounds. I feel like I get to be an influential figure in my students’ lives and help propel them and empower them to being the best human they can be.

What is/are your favorite song(s) you've help direct at RiverCity?
“Proud Mary” by Tina Turner, “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse, and “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John.

What do you like about RiverCity?
I like that we aren’t afraid to challenge the students and help them to realize their fullest potential. All of the teachers are amazing and supportive of each other and the students. We know how to work together to draw out each of the students’ strengths and show them how amazing they can be.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
Explosions in the Sky, Typhoon, Robert Glasper, Kishi Bashi, Beirut.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Always make music. Don’t worry about how “good” it sounds or what anyone says about it - just make music. The only way to get better is to try, make mistakes, learn, and then grow. Listen to everything, including yourself.

What’s something unique or funny about you? 
I drink waaaaaaay too much coffee.

What things do you do when you’re not at RiverCity?
I’m a Voice Teacher at South Salem High School; Music Director at various theaters in the area; Director of Worship Arts at Salem First Presbyterian Church (Chancel Choir Director, Winter Street Worship Band Vocalist/Pianist/Rhythm Ukulele); and I like to build computers.

Connor is available for voice, keys/piano or ukulele lessons. Contact RiverCity to schedule your free trial lesson and tour.

Pop Rocks Music Class for Ages 5-7: Enroll Now for Only $120!

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The Pop Rocks Program is geared towards young, aspiring and beginning music students ages 5 to 7. During the 6-week program. Pop Rocks focuses on the foundations of music such as rhythm, sound, basic music theory of notation, tempo, pitch, dynamics, timbre, song structure, and developing listening skills. Students explore a variety of accessible instruments, as well as vocal activities with an emphasis on active, participatory, dancing, and movement exercises. Students can continue the Pop Rocks Program multiple sessions and will be prepared for more formal music education. Sign up before October 15th and SAVE 20%! Pop Rocks Class is on Thursday's 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Starting October 26th. Enrolled students can also take private guitar, bass, drum, piano or vocal lessons for a significant discount. 

Follow RiverCity Rock Star Academy On Spotify!

Check us out on Spotify (rivercityrock), so you can listen to all of the songs we are working on, our teacher's bands, and what we are all listening to RiverCity. Follow us, and we will follow you back. Students will find all current setlists for the season so they can listen and practice their songs.  https://open.spotify.com/user/rivercityrock

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - JOHN WATSON!!!

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8th Grader at Parrish Middle School 
RiverCity Legends of Rock and Rockers Mix-Tape
Drums and Bass
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy July 2016

When did you start playing music and why? 
I sort of started when I got my drum set when I was in 3rd grade, but I did not start playing consistently until I was in 6th grade.

What is your favorite song you’ve ever played at RiverCity? 
My favorite song I have played at RiverCity would be ‘Hitching a Ride’ by Green Day.

What do you like about RiverCity? 
I really enjoy RiverCity because of the great community and the teachers. I also feel that I have been able to progress a lot faster at RiverCity then I had at school. And of course the great music.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now? 
A few of my favorite bands right now are Foo Fighters, Green Day, Blink-182, The Beatles and Black Sabbath.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity? 
Outside of RiverCity, I participate in Cross Country and in two band groups at school – jazz band and advanced band. I also like to cook and I’m in an engineering program.