Posts in Free Trial Lesson
Welcome Ronan Baker Our Newest Music Teacher!
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Ronan Baker is a new instructor at RiverCity Rock Star Academy specializing in vocal performance, piano, guitar, and flair.

Recently, this musical troubadour has been making his way playing guitar and singing with multiple groups such as Sleep Millennium, Light Treason, Business Socks and formerly Allies From Nowhere, The Minute Hand Ballet, and Jackson Blair. 

Throughout the years Ronan has taken on quite a few different roles. Anywhere from band leader, to studio session player, a tribute performer with Heroes and Rebels: A Tribute to David Bowie to even roles as The Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance and Feuilly in Les Miserables.

In 2010, after he graduated Cum Laude from Western Oregon University with a BA of Music with an emphasis in audio engineering and film scoring Ronan worked as a server for one year and saved enough money to start his own private recording studio. In December 2011 Humannequin Studios was opened and Ronan immediately set to work producing records for dozens of different artists  ranging from Jared Mees & The Grown Children, to the Western Oregon Singers, and even his own recording projects.

Ronan expanded his production company from simply studio recording to include live sound reinforcement in 2015 as he became partners with Nick Wixom and All That Sound.

His musical journey started during his teen years when Ronan’s father taught him how to play the viola and piano and it got to the point when it was not going well. There are tantrums, tears, and wailing... And eventually Ronan announced that he was going to teach himself how to play guitar and learn how to play music that he actually liked. “This is it! I am going off on my own and I am going to be a rock star!”

And at the ripe age of 14, Ronan got his first guitar, a silver Ibanez RG-220B Series Mik Floyd Rose Licensed 24 Fret Locking Nut Shredder. Later on he would prefer the sounds of thinline Fender Telecasters and the boutique grit from pedals by PettyJohn and Electroharmonix but this silver fox of an axe marked the beginning of a long musical journey.  

At age 18, Ronan sat in front of a classroom of 8th graders with a black acoustic guitar cradled in his lap ready to teach. He started with a D chord, the basis for the fingerpicking part to the song that a student wanted to learn by Creed.

And thus Ronan started down the winding road as a music instructor. A long thoroughfare that would eventually lead right to the doors of RiverCity Rock Star Academy and the amazing workers and students there. He knows there is much more on the horizon and he can’t wait to discover what he can find right alongside you.

Music is fun! Except when it is hard work... Then it is fun again! – Ronan

Ronan is available for private lessons in vocal performance, piano/keys, guitar, and bass (and flair). Schedule your free trial lesson and tour of RiverCity today.

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Please Welcome Juliene Soltwisch Our Newest Music Teacher!
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An Illinois native, Juliene Soltwisch (pronounced SALT-WITCH) is our new Violin and Guitar instructor at RiverCity Rock Star Academy.  She has been playing violin since the age of 5 years old and has toured extensively with the Chicago Concert violin group in China, England, and France in the early 2000's and has performed in coveted recital halls such as the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois before the age of 16. 

At age 18 Juliene received a full-ride to Western Illinois University, to study violin performance and music theory.  She studied with Romanian Violin Competition prizewinner Dr. Julieta Mihai, who has won numerous other competitions, including the Concerto Competition of the Summer Festival Orchestra in Urbana-Champaign, Il and has sat as concertmaster for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra for 11 years.  In 2014, she shared the stage with Mark Wood, (Tran Siberian Orchestra Concertmaster), in leading the Orchestra in "Bohemian Rasphody". In the summer of 2008, Juliene was invited for a German tour with the school of music to perform the Opera "A Midsummer Nights Dream".  A few years later Juliene also acquired her degree in Music Therapy and is now a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) practicing in Salem, Oregon.  She has studied extensively in working with adults with various mental and physical disabilities and has completed a 6-month internship at Oregon State Hospital.  

A metal enthusiast, Juliene enjoys playing her Jackson Rhodes electric guitar (affectionately called "Ms. Jackson") and hosts her metal radio show DARK MATTER Thursday nights on 100.7 KMUZ.

Juliene is available for private lessons in violin and guitar. Contact RiverCity for free trial lesson and tour.

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Juliene Soltwisch guitar and violin teacher
Welcome Wil Bakula to Team RiverCity!
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Please welcome our other new teacher, Wil Bakula!!

Wil has played classical piano for around 14 years and has studied Jazz at Willamette University for four of those years. His areas of strength and skill lie in playing and composing funk and neo-soul music. Wil also has three years experience working on advanced recording and production techniques in a professional recording studio. In the past two years, he has composed, produced, and released five solo EPs in the genre of electronic music, but most of his time and passion goes towards working with his pop-fusion band Chromatic Colors. In the past, Wil has also played keys for the Rich McCloud band, drums for Baked Goods, and produced an experimental rap album for local rapper MidGame.

He expects to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Music and Philosophy from Willamette University this May. Wil is available for keys /piano lessons

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Welcome Monica Pomares to Team RiverCIty
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Please welcome our newest music teacher, Monica Pomares!!

Monica Pomares is a Cuban-American singer, born and raised in Miami, Florida. She has had the privilege of attending the prestigious New World School of the Arts (NWSA) High School and College for music.  Monica was a part of the non-profit 'Voices United', where she contributed her talents to create their 1997 musical 'Rea Life'.

From 2001-2005 she sang with the Florida Grand Opera and also had the opportunity to do a high school tour in South Florida, in efforts to educate youth about opera. Over the years since, Monica has made several TV appearances, performing on televised competition shows, such as  WPLG Channel 10's 'Gimme the Mic' (2004) and AmericaTeve's 'Minuto de Fama' (2014). Monica has experience not only opera, but also rock, gospel, pop, choir, and musical theater.

Recently moving back to Salem, she plans to re-immerse herself in the local music scene and hopes to share her many years of performance knowledge, in various styles, with anyone willing to learn. 

Monica is available for (any style) voice lessons.
Contact RiverCity to schedule your free trial lesson and tour.

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Welcome Travis Forencich to Team RiverCIty
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Please welcome our newest music teacher TRAVIS FORENCICH

Travis has been playing guitar since age 9, inspired by his original favorites: Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Joining with the Portland School of Rock in 2007, he developed much of his skills there, through work with instructors and rehearsing with fellow students. His musical interests have broadened from just blues and rock to also include playing and listening to jazz, metal, alternative, soul, and funk. Through his time growing as a guitarist, he has also picked up various skills on bass, drums, vocals, and keys. Full Bio Here 

Free Trial Lesson!

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