Sponsored by Don & Diane Cooley
Forrest Byram was born and raised near Chicago. He began playing tuba at the age of eight as part of a public school music program. He says that were it not for a public school music program he would not be a musician today. Mr. Byram is a graduate of Northwestern University where he studied with Arnold Jacobs, the renowned tubist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He continued his education as a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra (the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony). During those two years, he performed on many occasions with the Chicago Symphony. He then accepted an appointment as principal tuba with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Forrest is currently principal tuba with the Monterey Symphony as well as several other orchestras. These include the Modesto Symphony, the California Symphony and the Santa Cruz Symphony. He has played in films and commercials, and can be heard from time to time with the San Francisco Symphony, or in the pit with the San Francisco Ballet or San Francisco Opera.
One of his greatest joys is playing for students throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties in the Monterey Symphony’s “in-school” program which brings live educational performances to hundreds of schools (and thousands of students) each year. As host to the Monterey Symphony Youth Concerts, he engages the student audience to actively participate in the music being performed by the symphony. For fifteen years, Mr. Byram served on the Monterey County Symphony Association’s board of directors as the musician’s representative and joined the music director search committee. In both instances, he was elected to these positions by his colleagues in the orchestra. In 2001, when he informed the players that he wanted them to select others to serve as their representative on the Association board, then President Walter J. McCarthy recommended Mr. Byram to serve a three-year term on the board of directors in his own right in recognition of his valued input and years of service which was unanimously approved.