One of the original members of the California Symphony, Forrest enjoys being the only tuba player on stage at concerts most of the time, and he’s friendlier than you might think—especially if you have a really bad dad joke to share.

Name:Forrest Byram
Joined California Symphony:Back when it was still New Contra Costa Symphony. Year unknown.
Hometown:Chicago, IL
College:Northwestern U

Sporting Hero: #1 Ernie Banks. #2 Ernie Banks. #3 Who else? Ernie Banks

Your Sporting Alter Ego or Lookalike: Megan Rapinoe

Favorite Sporting Memory: Watching the television back stage at Davies Hall when the Cubs won the World Series.

Your Sports Teams: Anybody but Ohio State.

Favorite California Symphony concert or memory: Hearing Sarah Chang when she was still a child.

Most Looking Forward to Playing in 23/24: I think the Strauss. I played it when I was a student for a morning performance. I was, how shall I say, a bit the worse for wear from the previous evening with my friends. It’s such a lovely piece, I’m looking forward to enjoying it more fully.

Favorite Hype Music: Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.

What is one line you might say to hype up your section before the big concert?

I actually leave people alone before performances. Everyone has a personal way of preparing mentally, and I try to stay out of the way. They can always get me ready by telling me a really stupid dad joke.

What’s the coolest thing about your instrument? 

The best thing about my instrument is that, as Principal Tuba, I am usually the only one. I have a great deal of flexibility about how I want to play, although I am always just one part of the whole. Also, although it may sound somewhat antisocial, since I am seated in the far corner, conductors hardly ever feel the need to talk to me.

Do you have a message for our fans? 

Please feel free to speak to me. I’m not as antisocial as I pretend to be.

Forrest is one of the original California Symphony professional musicians who has been playing with us for more than three decades—from childhood, obviously… Support the team and music education programs that uplift and inspire our community with a year-end donation and help us reach the goal of raising $50,000 by December 31. Checks (including from Donor-Advised Funds), credit card payments, gifts of appreciated stock, and IRA distributions are all accepted. Donate now or call the office at 925.280.2490 to make your gift. Bad dad jokes also welcomed. Thank you!


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