In my bio, I mentioned being the director of the "New Horizons Bluegrass Band" in Spokane, Washington. In that we have 20 players, it's really an orchestra, comprised of beginning to late-intermediate level banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro and bass players.
The band is part of a nation-wide program called "New Horizons", originally designed folks over 55 who either played an instrument earlier in life, or who always wanted to learn but somehow never got around to it. To my knowledge, we're the only Bluegrass band in the program. The main focus is on helping musicians with little or no experience playing with other musicians before an audience, and along the way, they learn more about theory and mechanics.
With all that in mind, I have a question. Are there other similar groups or programs out there, and if so, would you be interested in sharing teaching methods, arrangements, ideas, etc?
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Playing Since: 1958
Experience Level: Expert/Professional
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Played banjo, guitar and mandolin in various bluegrass, country, rock, pop, and jazz groups since 1962. Currently on "performance sabbatical", having ended a 7-year stint with the "Riders of the Rockin' B" in 2005. We performed traditional western (Sons of the Pioneers, etc), Texas swing, and Bluegrass. Monthly columnist for Banjo Newsletter from 1979 to 1995, currently an occasional contributor; 3 - 4 times a year. Regular columnist for Flat Picking Guitar Magazine since 1999. Taught banjo since 1962: private, class, and workshops. Currently teaching banjo and guitar at North Idaho College (since 2000), and currently director of the "New Horizons Bluegrass Band" (since 2003) in Spokane, WA at Holy Names Music School on the Mukagowa Campus. The "band" is essentially an orchestra, in that we have 20 members consisting of banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle, bass players, and great vocalists, ranging from beginning to late intermediate levels. We play a wide range of material and put on a couple of concerts a year, with the main emphasis being to help folks become comfortable playing with other musicians in front of audiences. Full bio is available at http://www.lewalt.com/about.html
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