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More Students at the Top! — April 30, 2016

Hello Everyone,
It has been a very busy and rewarding year for Robbie Mac's Drum Studio and ROJO Sound. The recording studio was successful in 2015, but the drum and rehearsal studio have been the most exciting to date since we opened ROJO Sound Studio in July 2006. This starts 10 years of making great drummers and great music.

This year Robbie Mac's Drum had eight students between Middle School and High School audition for the Region band in Division 1 and 2. For the first time ever, we have had region auditions in division 1. Six students out of the eight were accepted. Two of our students were invited to audition for All State band. This year Varun Das, 15 years old, a Sophomore at J. P. Stevens High School ranked number 1 overall in All State Orchestra. Joseph Gonzales – 12 years old in the Seventh Grade at Washington Middle School, auditioned and was ranked 7th overall in the Orchestra Band. Brendan Lathrop, a Senior at David Brearley High School made 3rd Chair Orchestra.  Brendan was invited to Audition for the All States Band. Congratulations to all my students who auditioned and were accepted and worked so hard to get this award.

Best regards and keep on drumming,
Robbie 

 

The Renegades — April 16, 2015

On April 16th, 2015 Supergroup The Renegades rehearsed at Rojo Sound in preparation for their gig at NYC’s Cutting Room. The group was comprised of Steve Holly from Paul McCartney’s Wings, Gary Van Scyoc, John Lennon’s bass player and teacher here at the Studio, Dennis Ferante, John Lennon's Engineer and Jimmy Mac from the Denny Lane band. Shannon McDonald World famous Beatle Artist also stopped by. In addition, Dennis Ferante made his last recording on May 24th 2015 at ROJO. The following Saturday we lost a recording legend.

 

Whiplash Anyone? — March 27, 2015

In 1976 the movie industry created a film called Rocky. Film goers and boxers alike were amazed as this underdog defeated the opponent and the odds. It made Sylvester Stallone a household name and the Rocky theme was stuck in everyone's head for weeks. 

Finally, Hollywood has created a movie that dramatizes the struggles of an up and coming drummer, his goal of success and his will to achieve it. Like many have you, I have seen this movie Whiplash, and although I thought it was fantastic and highly entertaining, I found that I was asking myself some serious questions. For one, who is Mr. Fletcher and are his intentions and teaching methods real and is this the the way to turn a beginner into pro? As Dennis Miller once said "I don't want to go off on a rant" but… As a drum teacher, I feel that there is a solid line between developing and intimidating a student. This method might work on a theater screen while one is enjoying a box of over priced popcorn and reclining in a newly refurbished theater seat, but let's face it folks, I didn't feel that this is the way to treat a student or a person for that matter. It is not respectful and not the way to achieve a roster of students who have achieved statewide recognition the way the students of RMDS have excelled. I am proud to be able to feature my students on the showcase page. I'm proud to see them win competitions but mostly I'm proud the see their growth potential realized from the day they walk in the door until now. Robbie Mac's Drum Studio is a school where students are coached to becoming pros through study and practice. Best of all, the only hitting is the stick to the snare… and that’s what it’s all about.

 

A Note from Robbie — February 3, 2015

It has been a Great weekend for Robbie Mac's Drum Studio. On January 29 2015 Varun Das a Freshman at J.P. Stevens High School in Edison NJ was asked to Audition for All-State band after placing 3rd over All in the Region Band Division 2. Varun made the grade and made the All-State Symphonic band. Bendan Lanthrop a Junior at David Brearley High School in Kenilworth NJ was placed in the Percussion Ensemble after auditioned for the High school Region band.

On January 31st 2015 Shruti Tandon from Woodrow Wilson Middle school in Edison NJ and Michael Charlton from Roosevelt Middle School from Westfield NJ, both 8th graders auditioned for the Intermediate Region Band. Shruti placed 2nd overall putting her in the
2nd chair Wind Ensemble. Michael scored 8th overall putting him in the 2nd chair Symphonic band. It has been an incredible year for the students who auditioned. Congratulations to all who went out and made it. 

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Click here to read the
latest article about Gary &
Rob at Rojo Studios
by Anthony Birritteri
beforeyougo

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Gary Van Scyoc now teaching guitar and bass at Rojo Studios.

We're pleased to announce that Gary Van Scyoc will be teaching guitar and bass lessons at Robbie Mac's Drum Studio. Gary has been teaching and performing for over 40 years. His performance and recording credits include John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, Neil Sedaka, Keith Moon and Paul Simon.

He is featured in John Lennon's "Live in N.Y.C." Gary also appears in the feature film 'Imagine", and the documentaries "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" and "John Lennon the New York Years". Chuck Berry's "Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll".

As a singer/songwriter Gary has also recorded with his own groups, the Dynatones on Hanna Barbera records, Pig Iron on Columbia records and Elephants Memory on Apple records.

Gary received his B.A. in Music from The City University of New York in 1990. He also studied privately with Ed Lord (Glenn Miller Orchestra), Gerald Jemmott (Aretha Franklin) and Richard Davis (Miles Davis).

As an educator, Gary wrote the bass curriculum for The Sam Ash Music Institute as well as being a member of the faculty he served as one of the Directors.

In 1996 he started Bass Styles Inc. a contemporary school for bass studies where students may receive private instruction in reading, theory, ear training and recording techniques. His latest projects include recording with Steve Gadd and Jim Keltner.

 

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June 5th 2010 had to be one of the best days of my life. I held my first ever Drum Recital and Drum Clinic for my students and for the community. This was something that I wanted to do for a long time. My teacher and mentor Dom Famularo planted a seed in my head to do this for Robbie Mac's Drum Studio and for ROJO Sound Studio and most of all to acknowledge my students and their families for making my teaching studio so successful.

To start the day the J.P. Stevens Drum Line started the show. They marched in and commenced the show with precision and presence. The students performed their music with skill and accuracy. Several students of mine also preformed drum solos from Rock to Jazz. Greg Giannascoli, our first guest artist made his way to the stage. He performed some beautiful music on his custom made 5 octave Yamaha Marimba. Jeff Queen demonstrated some of his teaching techniques and his mastery on the marching snare drums. Bobby Sanabria closed the show with the history of the Clave. Bobbie’s passion for the Afro-Cuban rhythms made for a well informed clinic. I was deeply honored that all 3 artist came out to make this day as special for me as the people that were there to witness this.

I also have to thank all of our sponsors. Kratt Pitch Pipe Company for the food and drink. All the Major Drum and Cymbal companies for all the great give aways. Sabian Cymbals in particular gave away 2 16" crash cymbals. LP Percussion donated fantastic LP products. Zildjian donated sticks, hats and shirts. Remo Drum Heads donated drum heads and the famous Puddy Pads.

I want to thank all who attended this great day!  

 

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testimonials  
"I had a blast doing both a master class and clinic for Robbie Mac's drum studio!  It was a privilege to teach some lessons to Robbie's students and all I can say is that he has them all pointed in the right direction for sure!  It was also a pleasure to watch as these and many more students played in their first annual recital day, and again, Robbie is doing the right thing getting his students out there, playing in front of people.  That's what is is all about! Thanks to Robbie and his staff for putting on a great day not only for his studio,  but for the community as well, Cheers!"
— Jeff Queen
jeff
bobbi "I was honored to be part of Rob McNamara's first drum event. It was well put together with a nice variety of artists that displayed a variety of styles. The best part of it was that the audience was inter-generational, and not everyone was a drum-head! Thus Rob is helping to foster a greater understanding for what we do in the general public in a big, big way. I foresee it being an annual event that will continue to grow. Thanks Rob for asking me to be a part of it's historic birth."   
— Bobby Sanabria 
"I had the pleasure of being a part of the Day of Percussion hosted by Robbie Mac's Drum Studio this past Saturday. It was a wonderful and professionally run event from top to bottom.  I also got to hear some of Robbie's students and they sounded great on not just drum set but also on percussion and mallets; real quality." 
— Greg Giannascoli
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