DERRY — Justin Spencer’s visit to Derry was a hit in more ways than one.
The founder and drummer behind the “junk band” Recycled Percussion made a few stops in Derry March 17 to speak to middle school students about his anti-bullying initiative Legacy X.
Spencer drummed his way through several school assemblies at Gilbert H. Hood and West Running Brook middle schools
The Goffstown native’s road to percussion success wasn’t always easy, but it was filled with family, friends, and a lot of respect for himself and others.
“I used to play drums every day, when I was 6 or 7, started making tickets and tried to sell them to family members to come down in the basement to hear my concerts,” Spencer said.
His percussion band started small, performing in community venues and talent shows. The band was a regular summer fixture on the MacGregor Park stage in Derry for many years.
Recycled Percussion now enjoys success at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas following a third-place finish in the nationally televised “America’s Got Talent” in 2009.
Getting there was a lot of hard work and included a lot of sacrifice, but Spencer said he never gave up his dreams or his quest to be a good friend and be kind to others.
That was the message he brought to Derry students.
“We all know it doesn’t feel good to hear someone say something bad about you,” he said.
Spencer’s Legacy X anti-bullying campaign culminated this past weekend with a huge, red X created in the desert near Las Vegas. Earlier this year, Derry students participated in the project by creating personal, bright red paper X designs to use in the final project, along with other submissions from students all over the world.
Derry School Board member Jen Lague supports the project and said she got involved after hearing about Spencer’s program from a friend.