We had the good fortune of connecting with Russ Porter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Russ, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I believe my personal passion for music is what motivates me, compels me and has made my business successful. When I was a boy, I found music to be about the only thing that I was good at and the one thing that brought me inner joy and fulfillment. Growing up is difficult under even the best of circumstances and finding a place where you excel helped me find my identity. It’s been a life-long path that has opened many doors for me personally and professionally. I’m so happy that I can reinvest my love of music into the lives of others who can carry the torch of music to future generations.
What should our readers know about your business?
My dream for creating a music academy began almost 20 years before it became reality. After completing a bachelors and master’s degree in music, the first half of my professional life was serving as head of the music program at various churches in Texas and Louisiana. While serving on staff at these churches, I noticed that with the exception of Wednesdays and Sundays, the church was mostly empty during the afternoon and evening hours. At that time most rooms had pianos in them. My dream was to fill those rooms with teachers who could offer private lessons to members of our congregation and the surrounding community. For various reasons my initial dream wasn’t realized. However, in 2004 my wife and I had the opportunity to become owners of the Rockwall School of Music in Rockwall, TX. We started with about 125 students and over time literally thousands of students have come to our school to receive instruction in piano, guitar, drum, violin, viola, cello, bass and voice. Many of those students have become doctors, attorneys, engineers, public school music teachers, just to name a few.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite things to do is to visit the historic downtown areas in the cities/towns surrounding Dallas. Downtown areas are the perfect blend of the past and present. I would recommend day trips to the historic downtown areas of Rockwall, Wylie, McKinney, Plano and, of course, Dallas. There’s enough to see and do to make day trips to each of these areas. Many of the stores, restaurants, bars, etc. are locally owned by longtime residents of their area and getting to know them is an enriching experience.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My personal shout-out goes to Mr. Don Davis. He was not only the choir director at my school but was also the choir director at my church. Since singing was and continues to be my personal favorite part of the performing arts, I gravitated to him and the leadership he provided to our community. He noticed my love of singing, and supported and encouraged me to use my talent in the choirs he directed. He was such a positive influence in my life and was an individual in whose footsteps I wanted to follow.