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Chris Walston

Saxophone / Clarinet

Chris is a native of North Atlanta, having been born and raised in the East Cobb / East Marietta areas. Both he and his wife Catherine, attended Otis Brumby Elementary School, and East Cobb Middle School, with both graduating from Wheeler High School in the late 1970’s / early 1980’s.

After returning “home” when finished with college They decided to continue living in the East Cobb area, up till seven years ago, when they moved to the Big Canoe community just west of Jasper. They live there with their four “kids”, their four rescue dogs Chewbacca, (American King Shepherd), Chase, (German Shepherd), Beau, (Golden Retriever) , and finally Scout, (Australian Cattle Dog / German Shepherd Mix).

Chris began his life in music at the age of 12 in his 6th grade middle school band. He chose to play the Clarinet, because he loved the sounds and music of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Woody Herman, and Pete Fountain. He was also heavily influenced by the works of Bach, Mozart, and George Gershwin. Church was one of his favorite places to play. In 8th grade Chris began playing Tenor Saxophone. By the time he graduated from Wheeler, Chris had played Tenor, Alto, and Soprano Saxes, as a soloist, earning top chairs and honors in Both the Marching and Jazz Ensemble Bands. On Clarinet, for the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades he remained in one of the top four chairs, of the Wheeler Symphonic Band, and was a guest soloist, with the Wheeler High School Orchestra. He also played Bass Clarinet in the Wheeler Concert Band His Senior Year. He formed and operated his own big band between his 10th and 11th grades. His Band Directors for that time were: Fred Schlosser, Joe Tarentino, Arlene Witte and Jim Gladson. He studied privately on Clarinet with Charles Bradley of the Atlanta Symphony, and Arlene Witte, former Superintendent of Music at the Atlanta Public Schools. He also studied Music Theory with Betty Henley. Chris has also studied music at The Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts.

In 1999 after college, and a successful career in sales and management with Wolf Camera, Chris made the choice to return to music as a full time career. To prepare for this, Chris studied Music Theory, and Saxophone. He refreshed all of his playing and theory skills with some of the best instructors in the area: Ray Durr, Bob Newman, and Sam Skelton. At that time he also took up the trade of repairing band instruments. Since then Chris has enjoyed music as a full time career. He has performed in many venues around the Atlanta Metro area, as well as a being a guest performer with the Cobb Symphony.

From 2008 to 2011 he served as the Jazz instructor with the Joyful Noise Homeschool Band. He has had success as a private instructor since 2000 working with students ranging in age from 8 to adult, and beginner to experienced student. Chris has taught kids with special needs as well as students that qualify for the GMEA All State Band and the Georgia Governors Honors Programs. More than several of his students have gone on to major in music at UGA, Jacksonville State, and FAMU. Some have become band directors themselves.

Of all the work Chris does in music, he loves teaching more than anything else. He takes this role seriously, and knows the importance of working with students to help them play their very best, and have fun playing, because that is what music is all about.
Chris Walston

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