- Teaches students:
- Ages 8 to 80
- Teaching since:
- August 1996
Growing up in the foothills region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Brian played music alongside his cousin Andy and his grandfather Paul Birchfield, better known as “Grampsy.” With Brian on fiddle, Andy on mandolin, and Grampsy on guitar, people knew to call "The Mountain Musicians" if they were in need of some good ole time toe-tappin’ music. Brian developed these musical roots deep in the Appalachian soil and now shares his talents with audiences on some of the most impressive stages a musician could hope to play.
Brian grew up in Marion, North Carolina. Under the guidance of Grampsy, Brian competed at fiddlers conventions throughout the Southeast. He first won the top title in a competition while participating in a contest in Mooresville, North Carolina and went on to earn additional titles of public recognition, including the Fiddler of the Festival at Union Grove and later the three-time Georgia Mountain Fiddle King in Hiawassee.
While Brian gained many well-deserved accolades for his fiddle playing, his musical skills are quite diverse. His training in the Suzuki Violin Method proved to be helpful while performing in the symphony at the Governor's School of North Carolina in 1997. Brian’s improvisational techniques were required when he became the first player of a stringed instrument in the East Carolina University Jazz Ensemble A. In addition to the violin, Brian plays mandolin and acoustic guitar, abilities he demonstrates regularly while on tour.
Brian's continued focus on musical growth throughout his high school and college years led him to a professional music career that started at Dollywood. Spending several years in Pigeon Forge, Brian performed at popular shows such as Country Tonite Theatre and Ole Smokey Hoedown. He also began recording at well-known Big Mama's recording studio, a contribution he continues to make through his own home studio to this day. Big Mama's has been the studio where for over nine years Brian has recorded Chartbuster Karaoke parts. While recording for Chartbuster, the leader in karaoke offerings, Brian has demonstrated further evidence of his ability to play a diverse set of musical genres.
A move to Nashville in 2004 offered new opportunities and within months he was touring with Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Billy Dean. The Wrangler Tour with Billy Dean and Craig Morgan gave Brian the chance to perform at fairs and festivals across the country, including a memorable experience in Alaska. This tour also allowed Brian to play his fiddle for audiences of the Grand Ole Opry and share the stage in a duel of fiddles with icon and legend Charlie Daniels.
In 2008, Brian embraced a chance to tour with fellow North Carolinian Matt Stillwell. Brian and Matt took part in the Academy of Country Music Awards and opened for major acts such as Darius Rucker and Alan Jackson. The 2010 year marked the opportunity for Brian to begin touring with country music superstar Travis Tritt. Two years later in 2012 another life-long dream came true when Brian was asked to do some fly-on entertaining work for Carnival Cruise Lines. During his time off the road you may catch Brian on board a ship headed towards the Caymen Islands, Bahamas, or Cozumel Mexico.
The experiences and dedication which have led to, make Brian one of the most helpful and knowledgeable persons able to guide students on their music journey.
*** Lesson Details ***
I enjoy students who share a passion for learning. Students should be excited and focused on their goals but yet still have fun at the same time. Basic beginning lessons start with a core emphasis on the scales and predominant keys which the instrument is called upon. Ear training and learning basic improvisation is also covered. Discussing with each student their desired direction is critical to provide the appropriate curriculum. My utmost goal in lesson details is to provide each student their maximum enjoyment but yet maintain accomplishment on a regular basis.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room w/ recording equipment, violin, stands, guitars, and seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment ***
They are responsible for instrument and necessary tools for learning. That's it.
*** Specialties ***
Suzuki violin. All fiddle styles. All genres- from bluegrass to jazz, and in between.