|R. J. Smith|
R.J. began studying violin at the age of 9 after 3 years of asking her parents for lessons.RJ Smith is a classically trained violinist as well as an outstanding fiddle player. She began studying violin at the age of 9, and at 16, joined a top high-school orchestra program at a local private school. During her 2 years there, she served as the principal 2nd violinist and a 1st violin section player. R.J. also served as the concertmaster of another local youth orchestra and played percussion in a youth concert band. She began studying classical piano and voice during this time as well. After graduation, R.J. enrolled in college in South Carolina. There, she majored in Spanish, but continued her violin studies through all 4 years with a minor in music. Along with her violin studies, she studied piano, percussion, theory, music history and orchestration. R.J. also performed with the University orchestra and was also selected for and performed with the first South Carolina All-State Collegiate Orchestra. After college graduation, R.J. spent 3 years riding colts as an apprentice horse trainer. This brought her to Texas, where she heard western swing and the music of Bob Wills for the first time. In May of 2006, she left ranch work to focus on her first love, music, and began studying fiddle, with a focus on western swing and jazz. In 2007, she began studying fiddle with Bobby Flores at the Bulverde Academy of Music. She joined Bobby Flores' Yellow Rose Band in July of 2007, and began instructing at Bulverde Academy of Music. In addition to performing regularly, she is a recording studio technician, and has recently played on several albums.