2014-03-08 / The Bullhorn

A true lover of music

By Hannah Lunsford

River Ellis River Ellis Roxboro Community School (RCS) 11th-grade student River Ellis recently performed at the RCS Variety Show where she sang her first original song.

Ellis has been involved with music since she was six years old.

“When I was six, my dad got me my first guitar and ever since then I have been involved with music,” said Ellis. “As time went on, I became more and more captivated by the beautiful sound of the four simple chords.”

She continued, “My dad and grandaddy both inspired me with my music and taught me to never become too full of myself and to always play for fun.”

Two years ago, Ellis lost her grandfather to cancer and later, her Aunt Debbie. She said that losing two of her most treasured family members hurt her, but also motivated her to grow in music like never before.

“I hope more than anything that they are both looking down on me and they are proud,” she said. “I may have lost two amazing people, but I gained two guardian angels that I will one day see again.”

Ellis sang her first original song in this year’s RCS Variety Show. She said that it took a lot for her to perform such a personal song but it expressed how she felt.

“I’ve never been one to be open with people, but my songs allow me to do that,” she said.

“The reason I decided to share my song with others this year is because I hope that my songs will reach out to others. The strongest message that I want to bring forth to people is that no matter what, they’re not alone,” Ellis continued.

Ellis said she finds it amazing how the lyrics of a song can describe exactly how she’s feeling at times and how a simple beat can affect her mood.

“Each day I continue to become more enthralled by music; it never gets old to me,” said Ellis.

Music has always been a part of Ellis’ family. She said that whenever her family gets together, music is always involved.

“Not only have I been fortunate enough to be blessed with a wonderful family that supports me, but with great friends who are just as much my family,” she said.

Ellis said that her favorite musician would be her dad.

“There are so many bands that I could list that I love and why I love them, but my dad’s music would be what I love most,” said Ellis.

“There is nothing that I love more than watching my dad sing a song. He is never too boastful and his humbleness honestly overwhelms me at times. No matter how many voices I hear in the world, my dad will always be my favorite musician.”

Ellis is in a band with two of her friends, Matt Huff and Jamie Andrews.

“When Jamie and Matt showed up at my house to pick me up for practice one day, I realized they weren’t kidding about starting a band,” she said.

At first the band only practiced by doing covers of different songs, but they later evolved to singing songs that Ellis and Huff wrote.

Ellis said, “Both Jamie and Matt have impacted my music because they have encouraged me to have faith in myself rather than be shy and timid. They are two of the most talented people that I have ever met, yet they are extremely modest and have hearts of gold.”

She continued, “Something that started out as a simple band led to a friendship that can never be replaced.”

Ellis said that she plans on continuing music after high school.

“I want to create songs that give people hope even when they’re in their darkest moments because music did that for me,” she said.

“The day that I become more concerned with the compliments that people give me and the ‘fame’ of it all rather than the simple enjoyment of music itself will be the day that I have lost myself completely.”

One thing Ellis said she would always remember would be what her grandma told her: “Don’t ever let anyone force you to do anything you don’t want to. Work at your own pace and do what makes you happy.”

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