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Alumni Spotlight: Jason Narducy, '85

Alumni Tuesday, 27 Jun 2023

This week, we’re taking a moment to introduce you to another accomplished Roycemore alum, Jason Narducy, 8th Grade Class of ‘85.

Jason’s creative spirit was nurtured in his time at Roycemore, which he attended from preschool through 8th grade, and flourished in his career as a musician, both with his solo work as Split Single and in his work touring with Bob Mould, Sunny Day Real Estate, Superchunk and more. He’s an accomplished musician and composer and even returned to the Roycemore stage for this year’s auction, performing with current students. 

His journey as a musician began by reimagining classic rock songs on a Mickey Mouse drumset but quickly progressed to writing original music on mandolin, electric, and acoustic guitar. As a 5th-grader at Roycemore, he founded the band Verboten with Roycemore freshman Tracy Bradford. The two initially connected over their interest in hardcore music, but found common ground in much more. The band’s success came from the heart of its members and the family feeling that grew between them. This success was evident to iconic musician Dave Grohl, Tracy’s cousin, who saw the band perform at the Cubby Bear and later cited them as his inspiration for deciding to pursue music. Pre-pandemic, the story of Verboten found a new form in a musical produced at Chicago’s Chopin Theatre. Jason is continuing to develop the musical, which combines music genres and focuses on the inner lives of both the kids and parents involved with the band. 

At Roycemore, Jason found a place where he felt safe, and that feeling of safety allowed him to stretch himself to do things he was scared of. His confidence grew due to the smaller class sizes and the support he received from his teachers, who encouraged him to follow a variety of passions. He was a star basketball player, and credits Mr. Linkhart and Mr. White as teachers who pushed him beyond his comfort zone. Roycemore’s longtime commitment to innovation was also instrumental in helping Jason get comfortable with performance. When Jason was in 3rd grade in the late 1970s, his teacher Jeffery Giles had a video camera and videocassette recorder, and students got to record their own news segments, skits, and videos every week. Like many Roycemore students, Jason found a place where his passions were supported, not shut down, and he carried that passion into his career.

Jason’s story at Roycemore parallels his advice for our current students; he wants them to know that it’s okay to be afraid of things, but they shouldn’t let that fear stop them from doing it. Whether that means young artists recording themselves performing songs they aren’t sure are their best in order to document their growth or participating in a new activity even if they’re not sure they’ll be the best on the court, field, or stage, he believes that the right balance between discomfort and safety allows creativity to flourish. Music is a vehicle for so many different kinds of expression, and the Roycemore community is grateful to have Jason’s talent in its midst!

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