Get to know a Royal!

Spencer Hughes.png

It's “Get To Know A Royal” Day!

Spencer Hughes
Age 18
Royal since September 2016
Guitar, Vocals and Drums

How is the Royals program different than other programs at RiverCity? 
The Royals are a tight knit group that works at a level of musicianship and proficiency you would see in a professional group. It gives you a chance to master your instrument by putting you in concert situations quite frequently, rather than the other programs which typically have two performances in a 3-month period. Compared to our Royals group which have performed at 12 community shows just since the beginning of June. Also, the bandmates in the Royals are all friends and we know each other and how we work together very well.

You’ve been with RiverCity (as a Rocker and Royal) since the music school started. How has your music playing, view of music and/or performing as a musician changed or progressed? 
At the very beginning, I was this nervous kid that was alright at the guitar, nothing special but I could learn my songs just fine. As the years have gone by, my playing has improved immensely and so has my confidence on stage. With no less than two to three concerts every month (sometimes more), the nerves of performing are essentially gone. Sure, if there's a song on the set list I'm not completely ready on, I'll tense up but if I'm ready for a show, I'm comfortable on stage.

What’s your favorite thing about being in the Royals? 
My favorite thing about the Royals is how talented the rest of the group is. I don't have to worry about if the others learned their songs or not, because they're on top of it 100% of the time.

What’s your favorite song you've ever performed at RiverCity? 
‘Master of Puppets’ by Metallica, only because I called out my Metallica hater friend at the concert when we played it and then proceeded to shred through it. It was fantastic.

What advice would you give to a first-time musician? 
Don't stop practicing. If you want to get better at your instrument, you have to practice as much as you can. You don't need lessons to get better, but only if you can practice good habits on your own (although one-on-one lessons are a very good thing also). Put your mind to it and try your hardest, and you'll see the results.

What plans do you have after finishing with the Royals?
Starting in September, I'm moving to Portland to attend Portland State University as a Music Education major and a member of the PSU Chamber Choir. I'm also currently working on a hard rock instrumental album called "Six Feet Over" (which I just finished recording) and it should be available to the public in a few weeks.

The Royals performance group is an audition-only program for advanced students ages 14-20. The Royals represent RiverCity at numerous community and private events throughout the year. The group is directed by Jarred Venti, bass teacher and music director at RiverCity Rock Star Academy, and musician with several local bands, including Sleep Millennium. Next open audition for the Royals for guitar, bass, drums, keys and vocals will be Monday, September 10th. Contact RiverCity Rock Star Academy for more information or questions about the Royals or the upcoming open audition.