Big Week at RiverCity! 🎸🎤🎹🤘🏻

rockfest 2

RockFest 2 @ Capitol Saturday, July 8th, 3:00 pm - FREE!

We continue our FREE end of Spring season show this year at the Oregon State Capitol's Wilson Park (flag area on west side of the Capitol). All of our bands perform the songs they have been working on for this past season: Young Rockers, Legends-Green Day, Rockers-1970s, Royals, and our Adult program the Renegades. Enjoy the sun, shade, park, beautiful Capitol grounds, Food Truck (Island Girl's Lunchbox) and rock and roll! More Info Here! 

orange amp rivercity rockstar academy

Summer Programs & Private Lessons

Our Summer Session begins Monday, July 10th with a new season of our Adult Program and then Tuesday, July 11th we start our Summer Mix-Tape Mini Session for 8 weeks. This program is for students ages 10-18 of all abilities for guitar, drums, bass, piano/keys, and/or vocals. Summer also is a good time to start or continue with private lessons. We provide lessons for all ages and abilities for guitar, bass, drums, piano, vocals, and ukulele. Sign up for a FREE TRIAL LESSON or book the entire Summer. Enrolled students receive special pricing for continuing private lessons. Lessons are available Mondays, Tuesday,s Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays! 

Fall Season Programs Announced

We begin our Fall Season Saturday, September 9th with our Legends of Rock Program which will focus on the Monsters of Rock: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, & Led Zeppelin for ages 10-18. Our Young Rockers program for beginners ages 8-14 begins on Monday, September 11th. Our performance band the Royals, will have auditions for advanced musicians ages 14-20 on September 11th. The Adult Program for Ages 21+ called Renegades for beginner through advanced musician begins later that Monday evening September 11th. The Rockers program ages 12-18 will focus on Bands from the United Kingdom from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s through today on Tuesday, September 12th. All of the programs are 12-weeks in length and include a final season show in December. We are also happy to announce that Pop Rocks will be back due to popular demand for ages 5-7. This 6-week program will be offered on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (9/14 - 10/19) and also on Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (9/16 - 10/21). As always, private & group lessons are available for guitar, drums, bass, piano, vocals, and ukulele. Legends of Rock, Young Rockers, and Rockers include a weekly 30-minute private lesson in addition to band rehearsal in the cost of tuition. Pop Rocks, Renegades, & Royals programs do not include a weekly private lesson in the cost of tuition but we offer this at a substantial discount. For all of our programs, we provide discounts for families, payment in full, and referrals for our programs. Keep rocking Salem!

Sign Up Now for Summer Mix-Tape Workshop!

summer mix tape

Hanging out in town this summer and looking for something fun to do? How about learning and playing cool songs and then putting on a show for your family and friends? Join our Summer Mix-Tape Session starting Tuesday, July 11th through August 29th with a show on Thursday, August 31st! Each weekly rehearsal will begin at 5:30 p.m. and go to 8:30 p.m. Open to students ages 10-18 of all musical skills (beginners, intermediates, & advanced) guitar, drums, bass, piano, and vocals. If you ever wanted to try out the RiverCity experience, this is the perfect opportunity. Students and teachers will develop a playlist. Enrolled students will be able to also sign up for weekly private lessons at a very special rate. Tuition for this program is only $250 for the session. No additional discounts apply. Enroll Here

Summer Rock Camp 2017 Highlights

Last night our Summer Rock Campers completed the camp week with a show at Shotski's Pizza. It was a great week of music and fun. The students learned how to play rock songs ranging from AC/DC. The Kinks, Green Day, Weezer, The Rolling Stones, and also wrote and composed three original rock songs. The campers learned how to record their original songs and you can listen here. In addition to all of this they created a music video, created custom t-shirts, buttons, and concert posters. 

RiverCity RockFest 2

rivercity rockfest 2017

Free Concert

All Ages - 5 Bands - Food Truck at the Beautiful Oregon State Capitol's Wilson Park

The season ending show featuring all of the RiverCity Rock Star Academy program bands including the Renegades, Young Rockers, Rockers, Legends of Rock - Green Day, and Royals will be performing a FREE, ALL AGES and OUTSIDE show at Wilson Park next to the State Capitol Building! Concert starts at 3:00pm so bring your chairs or blankets and enjoy the music!

Bands featured include Rush, Kiss, The Cars, ZZ Top, Green Day, Journey, Pixies, Chuck Berry, The Ramones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Black Sabbath, The Commodores, The Kinks, Dead Kennedys, and The Beatles, just to name a few.

Please welcome our newest music teacher Kaylee Bonatakis!

Kaylee Bonatakis is a versatile percussionist, currently residing in Salem, Oregon where she freelances as both an educator and performer. Passionate about youth empowerment through music, she worked for Music Across Oregon, an Americorps outreach program that provides underserved rural communities with quality music education. As a performer, she specializes in chamber music and has a fondness for promoting and expanding the contemporary percussion literature. She currently plays with Salem-based bands The Center Mass String Quartet and MARC & the Horsejerks. Kaylee holds an M.A. in percussion performance from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a B.M. from the University of Central Florida.

Kaylee is available for private lessons in drums and percussion.

 

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - DEAN HOLMAN

DEAN HOLMAN
Sophomore (Fall 2017) at South Salem High School
RiverCity Rockers
Drums
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in January 2017

When did you start playing music and why?
When I was 3 years old I had a drum kit, but I just messed around on it and didn’t play it much. At age 7 I started violin because I was enthralled by the idea of playing an instrument. I remember there being a negotiation of what instrument I’d play, and my family and I decided violin. Then I started playing drums again when I was 11, and when it was time to decide between the two, I chose percussion and drumming. It was a good decision because I never really got into violin, it was more of a chore. But drumming was something I could have fun with.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?
‘Wipe Out’ by The Ventures, because I like the creative nature of it. I got to play a lot of drum solos in the song, and there’s more flexibility in what I’m playing than with other songs.

What do you like about RiverCity?
I like being able to play with different groups of people and learning to adapt to their styles, as well as the equipment I’m playing with. I also like how it helps me challenge myself with different songs I wouldn’t otherwise play, which is really helping improve my drumming ability.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
Rolling Stones, The Dickies, and the Circle Jerks.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?
Filmmaking (writing, directing, and videography), hanging out with friends, skateboarding, and school.

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - SOLLY BAEZ

SOLOMON 'SOLLY' BAEZ!!!
2017 Graduate of South Salem High School
RiverCity Royals and previously Rockers
Bass, Guitar, and Vocals
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in February 2015

When did you start playing music and why?
I began playing music around four years ago. I started playing because my cousin Sean-Michael and our buddy Rio had started a band and were hounding me about becoming their bass player. Up until that point I'd never played anything other than piano, so I went to a few jam sessions with them and began my illustrious bass career ;-)

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?
Definitely ‘Paranoid Android’ by Radiohead.

What do you like about RiverCity?
The environment of RC is supremely constructive due to the quality of Alex and the other instructor's guidance, and of course, the friends I've made at RC are friends I'll have for life. Karen and Mark, who started RC, have made RC a family for me!

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
Mac Demarco, Porches, The Smiths, Travis Bretzer, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert, and Twin Peaks, to name a few.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?
I'm a nerdy boy, I love gaming, anime, and computers. I actually really enjoy studying as well, whether it be sciences or art, and kinda have an exercise addiction.

Please welcome Topher Rodriguez to the RiverCity music teacher team!

CHRISTOPHER ‘TOPHER’ RODRIGUEZ

Since he was a young teenager, Topher has been as passionate for music as anyone could be. Beginning his musical journey as a jazz bassist, he soon branched off into many genres of music from Latino to Heavy Metal to Indie and even to Punk Rock. In high school Topher managed to work in multiple bands, as well as work for summer music tours.

After high school, he took up guitar building and toured as a musician. Topher also toured as a pro-level tech with bands such as Cheap Trick and Seether. With a sharp eye and ear, Topher has set a high bar for himself. With many years of experience in live show performance, music theory, technique, and a strong emphasis on personal learning, he works hard to give as much back to the community as he can with the gifts he has crafted. Being skilled at multiple instruments Topher blazes a trail of sound for future generations.

Topher is available for private lessons in guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. 

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - ANZIA RAQUENROLL DEROBERTIS

ANZIA RAQUENROLL DEROBERTIS!!!
7th Grader Homeschooled
RiverCity Rockers, previously in Young Rockers
Drums and Vocals
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in September 2015

When did you start playing music and why?
I started playing a few years ago. I’ve always wanted to play the drums and being part of RiverCity Rock Star Academy made it possible and easier to learn.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?
My favorite songs so far are ‘Surrender’ by Cheap Trick or ‘Black River Killer’ by Blitzen Trapper.

What do you like about RiverCity?
Everything!

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
Umm too many to pick from.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?
Drawing, playing with my dogs, listening to music, and hanging out with my family and friends.

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - JAKE LINGO

JAKE LINGO!!! 
8th Grader at K12 Online School
 RiverCity Legends of Rock and Rockers, previously in Young Rockers
 Drums, Guitar and Bass
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in April 2016


When did you start playing music and why? 
I was 6-years-old when I started banging on coffee cans for drums. I had always liked music, especially Faith No More, Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity? 
That would have to be ‘Stinkfest’ by Tool and ‘Monkey Wrench’ by the Foo Fighters.

What do you like about RiverCity? 
Everything! The people and the surroundings. It is the best place in Salem, for sure. I get to go to RiverCity to play music and hang out with friends. What’s better than that?

What are your favorite bands/artists right now? 
I really like Alice In Chains, Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot, Pantera, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Anthrax, and Iron Maiden, just to name a few.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity? 
I like to skate, watch TV, play games, and practice on my drums and guitar.

RiverCity in full force for Make Music Salem!

Mark you calendars for a day to remember as the RiverCity Rock Star academy will be performing through out the day along with over 100 other bands during Make Music Day Salem's 2nd annual event on Wednesday June 21st! It is going to be an epic day of music! 

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - TYLER SLACK

TYLER SLACK!!! 
 Freshman at West Salem High School 
RiverCity Rockers and previously Legends of Rock
 Guitar
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in September 2016

When did you start playing music and why?
I started playing around age 9, because my dad played guitar and sang in a band and I thought it was cool.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity? 
My favorite so far would have to be ‘In Bloom’ by Nirvana.

What do you like about RiverCity? 
Learning how to play in a band setting and performing live on stage for family and friends.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now? 
John Denver, Metallica, Tedeschi / Trucks Band, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Pink Floyd, Queen, and Jimi Hendrix.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity? 
I enjoy playing acoustic guitar for my friends and family when we're hanging out. It doesn't matter where.

Join us for our Mid-term show June 3rd!

Come check out our Teen, Adult & Advanced Performance Programs perform short sets of some great music at RiverCity Rock Star Academy's Mid-Term Show starting at 6:30pm on Saturday, June 3rd at Shotski's Pizza! FREE and all ages!

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - KARTER DAVENPORT

KARTER DAVENPORT!!!
8th Grader at Leslie Middle School
RiverCity Legends of Rock and Rockers
Guitar and Vocals
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in September 2016

When did you start playing music and why?

I started playing music because my dad made me join RiverCity Rock Star Academy and once I was in I got hooked. Just kidding about the ‘my dad made me join’ part - I started playing in 2012 when the video game Rocksmith came out. I learned how to play instruments, but wasn’t really into it until I joined RCRSA.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?

That’s a hard one. I think ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles was my most challenging song I’ve performed, but I think either ‘Eight Days A Week’ by The Beatles and ‘Cannon’ by The White Stripes takes the cake on this one.

What do you like about RiverCity?

Everybody there has a lot of personality and there are a lot of characters. And everybody is very supportive and optimistic for every song you play. I really feel as if this is the perfect outlet for me and others.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?

Are you serious? I would always say iTunes. The punk and rock and roll categories.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity?

That’s hard to answer, but I do watch some YouTube, play songs that I am working on and look at tabs on stuff.

Join Rock Star Summer Camp Today!

Rock Star Camp is a week long summer camp for beginner, intermediate and advanced musicians ages 6-17. Camp Rocker students will explore music in a comfortable, non-intimidating and expressive social atmosphere, centered around rock music. This is a great way for students to explore what instrument they might like to further pursue in the future. Summer Camp is scheduled for Monday June 26th through Friday June 30th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On the evening of Friday June 30th the campers will perform their original songs as well as the cover rock songs they learned during the week.

Click here to learn more and sign up today. 

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - CHARLIE PRINCE

CHARLIE PRINCE!!!

RiverCity Renegades (21+) 
 Bass, Keys and Violin
 Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in January 2017

When did you start playing music and what was/is your influence for playing music? 
I started taking piano lessons at around age 10 because my parents wanted all of us kids to at least try music.

Tell us about your musical journey.
Within a couple years I was also playing violin and singing in the church choir. I couldn't tell you why out of all the instruments available I picked violin, but I played in every orchestra I could - junior high, high school and college, a community youth orchestra, chamber orchestra, and several musical pits. I was also in just about every choir I could manage in high school, including a show choir and Madrigals. And heaven help me, I went on to get a degree in composition...along with a degree in computer science, 'cause as much as I would have loved to be the next John Williams, well, I just wasn't.

After school, I fell into community theater, both on stage and in the pit, and wrote incidental music for several plays. But when my wife and I got into roller derby several years ago, music fell by the wayside. I started getting back into producing music (largely EDM-like stuff) recently. My mother asked if I was doing any performing, and I had to say I wasn't. That made me realize I wanted to pick that back up, but I wanted to try something completely new. Pretty much the only style of music I hadn't ever tried was rock, so I figured I'd try the bass. (It was either that or drums, and I figured drums was way too equipment-intensive).

What is your favorite song you've played at RiverCity?
That's got to be ‘Any Way You Want It’ by Journey - the bass part is a lot of fun.

What are your favorite bands or artists right now?
I've got Clean Bandit, the Hamilton soundtrack, and Taylor Swift on heavy rotation in my playlists. (Yes, Taylor Swift. I will not be shamed.) ;-)

What is your ‘day job’ (besides a Rock Star at RiverCity)?
I’m a Software Engineer, working for Palo Alto Software in Eugene.

ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK - AMY SNYDER!

AMY SNYDER!!!
8th Grader at Straub Middle School - Official 
RiverCity Rockers
Guitar, Bass, Keys, Trumpet and Vocals
Started at RiverCity Rock Star Academy in September 2015

When did you start playing music and why?
I think I've been singing for as long as I remember and I started playing an instrument in kindergarten. I had seen my older sister taking piano lessons and wanted to take lessons also. In 4th grade I played cello, but then quit in 5th grade to play in band because in elementary school we were only allowed to do orchestra or band, but not both. I then started playing trumpet and guitar. I had decided to quit piano, since I got a different teacher and not really liking the new teacher. Currently, I still play trumpet and guitar and can play bass, a bit of piano, and I can also sing.

What is your favorite song you've ever played at RiverCity?
My favorite songs I have ever played at RiverCity so far were probably 'American Idiot' by Green Day on vocals, ‘Proud Mary’ by Tina Turner on trumpet and ‘A Pillar of Salt’ by The Thermals on guitar.

What do you like about RiverCity?
I like the variety of music. I've found quite a few of my favorite bands from the songs that we've performed.

What are your favorite bands/artists right now?
My favorite bands right now are probably Radiohead, The Front Bottoms and Typhoon.

What things do you like to do when you’re not at RiverCity? 
When I'm not at RiverCity, I'm usually practicing my jazz band music or concert band music. I like to draw quite a bit, but a lot of my free time is spent focusing on music and I love it!

Announcing our Summer-Mix Tape Mini Session

summer mix tape

Hanging out in town this summer and looking for something fun to do? How about learning and playing cool songs and then putting on a show for your family and friends? Join our Summer Mix-Tape Session starting Tuesday, July 11th through August 29th with a show on Thursday, August 31st! Each weekly rehearsal will begin at 5:30 p.m. and go to 8:30 p.m. Open to students ages 10-18 of all musical skills (beginners, intermediates, & advanced) guitar, drums, bass, piano, and vocals. If you ever wanted to try out the RiverCity experience, this is the perfect opportunity. Students and teachers will develop a playlist. Enrolled students will be able to also sign up for weekly private lessons at a very special rate. Tuition for this program is only $250 for the session. No additional discounts apply. Enroll Here