Monday, November 30, 2015
Gospel singer anchors ‘Redwood’ in Bartlett and expects to tower over the competition
William Ross Jr. has a penchant for music – all genres. He sings gospel – tenor, baritone and bass – and entreats his audience to worship the Lord and serve Him gladly. In church, his voice resonates throughout the sanctuary at Greater Community Temple Church of God in Christ. And resonates in the community, where he sings with various choral groups sending up praises to the Lord for his continual blessings.
Ross is also a businessman. On Nov. 21, he was aglow and counting his blessings when Redwood Music Group, a concept he finally brought to fruition since childhood, opened its doors to aspiring singers, songwriters or musicians seeking to improve his/her vocals, musicianship or business affairs.
“I had a passion and wanted to help. I wanted to give excitement to the music industry. And as time passed I’m now able to go into…and invest in a music company,” said Ross, Redwood’s CEO and president.
Ross named the music group after the sky-scrapping Redwood tree, a species native to the forests in California. “It’s very strong and deep,” he said. “And I just want Redwood Music Group to be just that – as a strong company, tall and rising above the rest of its kind. And also just to have a deep legacy.”
Located at 5154 Stage Rd., Suite 101, in the Primacy Oaks business district in the Bartlett community, Redwood offers vocal and instrumental development, branding and management to help artists “reach for perfection.”
The company’s philosophy is “making musical dreams a reality” – which means any artist, skilled or unskilled, can apply or call in for an interview to become a Redwood partner, said Ross, or a part of the group.
The coaches or consultants on staff at Redwood are contract professionals with a degree in their field. They are prepared to teach individuals five and up. “They are very versed in their music capabilities,” Ross said.
• Inho Yang will teach classical piano and other genres of music.
• Ben Salter, a Shelby County Schools band teacher, will teach students how to play the clarinet and saxophone and other instruments as well.
• Kenya Nichols, a vocal trainer, will also teach piano, particularly to the very young students.
• Tamara Hart Louis, a vocal trainer as well, will teach beginning piano.
Other coaches and trainers will be added to the roster as well, said Ross, who has two musically gifted siblings. His brother, Tony Ross, is a recording artist. And his sister, Dominique Ross, is a vocalist. Their mother, Elnora Ross, also sings; and their father, the Rev. William Ross Sr., is an avid supporter and pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Somerville, Tenn.
“I want Redwood to become a household name,” said Ross. “I learned from some of the best to watch the industry and I’m trying to make the right steps, do the right thing, to make sure Redwood is a company of integrity and also known for its professionalism. We actually help and not just talk.”
Ross also envisions Redwood as the catalyst to help students in public schools yearning for a more music-and-art-based curriculum, particularly when the often-wielded budget axe is used to cut away music and art programs from public schools.
“Hopefully, Redwood will be able to partner with the local school system,” said Ross. “We definitely would want to contract with them to bring music into those schools that don’t have music.”
Unlike Stax Music Academy – which “inspires young people and enhances their academic, cognitive, performance, and leadership skills…with an intense focus on the rich legacy and tradition of Stax Records” – Ross said Redwood is a one-stop shop, a boutique, designed to leverage success in the music industry.
“I look up to Stax,” he said. “We would actually like to think that Redwood is going to customize the training for those that may not be as talented to get into Stax, but they can come here and we’ll actually nurture them.
“I know they’re doing similar things like Redwood, but this has been a dream from childhood up. Stax is definitely a great facility, a great organization, and they have some of the most popular, famous, individuals there at Stax.”
Fame just may be the final outcome of Ross’ efforts to position Redwood in the forefront of the music industry. If it happens, he hopes to heap much of it on the artists who walk through the doors and leave with a professional makeover.
“We are starting today with the legacy of Redwood,” said Ross, showing friends and supporters at the “open house” the journey the music group is about to embark on.
For more information about Redwood Music Group, visit www.redwoodmusicgroup.com or call Janice Hall, the executive administrator, at (901) 379-8120.