This summer, we are taking some time to catch up with former students from the Rock On! band camp. “Rock On Workshop in the Berkshires is a summer rock music workshop for students and young adults. Our mission is to provide a platform for aspiring musicians to work with professionals in a supportive environment that promotes creativity, collaboration and performance.” We caught up with Brendon Vincent, a bassist from the camp.
Brendon Vincent graduated from college last year and is currently working as a process engineer!
Here are some of the questions we asked him as well as his responses.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What have you been up to?
So I graduated from UMass Amherst May 2015 and was hired to work for a plastics company in Rhode Island shortly after. I’ve been working on a couple personal music projects here and there but mostly as hobbies. I’m slowly trying to put together a solid recording studio but that’s definitely going to be longer term project.
What instrument(s) do you play?
Mostly upright and electric bass.
What years did you attend Rock On?
Oh jeez, uhh I think 2005-2013.
What were your roles at Rock On?
From 2005-2008ish I attended as a camper/student. Afterwards I acted as an intern/staff member. I assisted in the bass master class mostly lead by Jeff Link and would fill in for bands without bassists, which turns out to be a lot more than you’d expect.
Are you currently in a band and/or working on any projects?
I have a couple hip hop/instrumental projects. I’m shooting to get down the basics of home recording and production so I can put together a place where friends can come to work on and record their music without having to worry about spending boatloads of cash.
What parts of camp did you enjoy the most?
LUNCH. Just kidding, honestly it was a fantastic experience to be surrounded by musicians of all ages and technical levels working together in groups; seeing young musicians in a band setting for the first time is awesome.
Did you gain any new skills from attending Rock On?
I would say that without Rock On, my ability to work within a group of musicians and my listening skills would not have developed as well. Either that or when the time later came when these skills were necessary, picking them up would have been much more difficult.
What did you learn from your experience at Rock On?
Rock On was really cool for me because I went from a kid who could barely play bass to a person who had begun to follow it as a potential career path. One of the things I enjoyed most about my residency as a counselor was that I was able to work directly with students who were all very eager to learn. I even got to teach the bass masterclass a couple of times which was insanely fun. And even though I didn’t end up following through all the way to the end as a professional working musician, music has become an extremely important aspect of my life.
What would advice would you give to any new students at Rock On?
The biggest thing is to have an open mind. I remember a lot of bands missing out on playing time due to conflict between music choices. Compromise is a large part of working within any kind of group. Once an atmosphere like that is established, you’d be surprised how much fun you can have playing music you don’t necessarily enjoy listening to. There’s always a learning experience somewhere!