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Experience Level: Purty Good
Forrest has made 11 recent additions to Banjo Hangout
[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]
Occupation: University SysAdmin/Lecturer. Father and Husband. Part-Time Banjo Ho! ;0) Go Heels!
2005 Huber Vintage Series VRB-G
1930s TB-11 Conversion with Robin Smith mahogany neck and no-hole Dannick ring.
1926 Gibson TB-1 conversion with Arthur Hatfield neck and Huber Vintage ring
I'm a big fan of both traditional players such as Earl Scruggs, JD Crowe, Joe Mullins and Ron Stewart and more contemporary players such as Tony Trischka, Bill Evans, Tom Adams, Alan Munde, Ron Block and Bill Keith.
I'm particularly influenced by my first banjo teacher, Joe Snipes. Joe and I still get together every now and then and he is one of my all time banjo heroes for obvious reasons.
I've recently been listening to the first two Longview albums, the first few Bluegrass Album Band albums, Tony Trischka's Terratory album and the Tom Adams and Michael Cleveland live duet album.
Classified Rating: +6
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Visible to: Public
Last Visit 5/20/2013
I've never really thought about how I came to be a musician. It seems as if music has always been a part of my life in one fashion or another and as much as I've attempted to neglect it from time-to-time, I haven't been able to for some reason. I define myself as a musician, perhaps in part because of my educational background, but also because of the fact that I've been able to connect with so many through music. From teaching music, to being a church music director, to jamming and performing, I love each and every opportunity to share music with those around me.
I started as a classical/wind band musician. I began playing trumpet at age 9, progressing to the euphonium at age 13 and adding the trombone at age 15. I won numerous honors as a teen on both the euphonium and trombone and was 1st chair euphonium in the NC All State bands as well as 1st chair in 2 regional bands as well. I also won several honors on trombone, including that of outstanding bass trombonist at statewide jazz band competitions in North Carolina, Virginia and Florida. I had the honor of sitting in with the Count Basie Orchestra and Slide Hampton in honor bands as a result of winning those awards. I went on to earn a Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Music Performance from East Carolina University, with a period of graduate study at Duke University in between.
As a university music student I had the honor to perform all over the US, including a featured spot on the Voice of America radio station (broadcast over the world) as well as premiering new brass ensemble compositions at the International Brass Festival in 1996. I was responsible for arranging and compiling the scores for 12 instruction books in violin, cello and clarinet as well as numerous solo pieces for violin. I also arranged well over 20 pieces for brass ensembles, which were published by the Brasswind Press. I also taught a weekly studio of between 15 and 20 students during this period and several of them went on to careers in music.
After school, I served as the music director for 2 different Methodist churches for nearly 10 years before leaving to concentrate on my growing family. I was involved with the internet and computing as a hobby for many years, before delving into that realm as a graduate student, which led me to my current profession as a systems admin and faculty member. My dad talked me into attending a bluegrass concert ~10 years ago and I fell in love with the banjo. The group was an unknown trio from Switzerland called the Kruger Brothers and I was amazed by Jens' playing. 2 weeks later, I had my first banjo and haven't looked back since.
I found an amazing teacher and have met so many wonderful friends and jamming buddies over the years. I was fortunate enough to have a small group of friends at church that were interested in forming a bluegrass/gospel group, so I found myself in my first bluegrass band after having played the banjo for 6 months. As "Wiregrass' we played all over the central part of NC as well as parts of VA for 5 years. I then played with a group out of Cary, NC named Shenandoah for 2 years. I would love to hear from other banjo fanatics, especially those in the central NC area. I'm always up for talking banjos and bluegrass music as well as jamming, trading licks, etc. We have a weekly jam session Hillsborough, NC, so feel free to drop me an email if you are interested.