Banjo Boy

Choir performance features unique banjo player


Rocklin High always has talented individuals on campus, talented in many different arts such as ceramics, dancing, and painting, to just name a few. Choir involves a large sum of about 185 students, which makes it one of the larger choices, student wise, in the VAPA program, with many different people of different backgrounds coming together to perform. In this years Winter Choral Concert on December 14th and 15th 2018, one of the performers, junior Ethan Hoffman stood out from the others. Ethan stood out not only because of his voice, but with the added bonus of playing us a unique instrument; the banjo.

Ethan started playing banjo about six months ago when it was gifted to him from his grandfather.

“My grandfather gave it to me for no apparent reason, it was an heirloom from another family that was given to me by him because no one else played banjo where he lived, and I just picked up up and started playing one day”, says Ethan.

“It’s not that different from other stringed instruments, its tuned differently in relation to guitars so you have to make a little adjustment to it, but once you learn it it gets pretty easy”.

Ethan’s performance in the latest choir concert doubled as a solo artist with his banjo, playing “Midnight in Moscow”, and joining his voice together with many others in the Men’s Ensemble.

“I played my banjo mute a little bit so it doesn’t seem too loud because it was designed to combat different horns and trumpets in a jazz ensemble, strumming it a little bit lighter. It’s a pretty resonant instrument so you don’t have to play it too loud, and it’s constructed in a way to maximize sound, but I’m glad I could make it work”, says Ethan.

Ethan Hoffman has provided Rocklin High wit the unique opportunity of experiencing a unique instrument, the banjo, and to experience it in a jazz style is truly a treat given to Rocklin High. With many talented people around the school, students here should look out for more unique opportunities like this.