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GMS student’s band releases debut album


Ruin Illusion performs at GMS


He may just be 13 years old, but GMS eighth-grader John Kuhn/Johnnie Ruin is a veteran musician whose album came out Sept. 20.


Johnnie is a member of Ruin Illusion, which is described as “an instrumental progressive rock/fusion jazz rock band” that plays music that the group hopes will one day be used in films.

Friday morning, Greenville Middle School students were treated to a private concert at two separate assemblies. Here is a 1-minute video clip.


Johnnie says music has been a source of joy and expression for him from a very young age.


"I started Suzuki Strings when I was in second grade," he said. "They are so great at what they do. They are so organized. Music really helps me stay focused. It smooths out my mind and calms me down."


John hasn't put the violin down since he started all those years ago in GISD’s Suzuki Strings program. Soon, his father Jerry Kuhn/Jerry Ruin, the band's guitarist, started including Johnnie in practice sessions, and his role grew from there.


“We’re so appreciative to GISD and the Suzuki Strings program for the excellence in music instruction that John has received from such a young age,” Jerry said.


Other band members include Travis Hairgrove/Tino and Adam Gammons. George Belew is the sound engineer. Travis-Sixth Grade Center music teacher Layne Russell joined the group on stage, playing keyboard and percussion.


The album is entitled Madator, and it is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Weezer and other mp3 formats through CDBaby.


In gratitude for Greenville ISD’s commitment to the arts, 25 percent of the proceeds of the first week’s sales will be donated to GISD’s Fine Arts Department.


Fine Arts Director Joel Weisberg opened the show with an overview of the fine arts offerings in GISD and an introduction of the emcee Friendlee, a beloved Greenville media personality.


“What better way to illustrate the life-changing power of the arts than to see a musician performing live?” Weisberg said. “We’re incredibly proud of John, and we thank Ruin Illusion for treating our GMS students to a concert."


Congratulations to Johnnie and Ruin Illusion, for your debut album, and thank you for sharing your talents with our GMS students!