Emma Kate Forster
- Mando, Fiddle, Vocals
Emma Forster, a Radio, TV and Film major at ETSU, splits her time on stage with Blue Horizon as their mandolin player and MC. Emma found her way to the stage in musicals at age nine, and soon after begin doing extra work in films and TV shows until she switched over to focusing on music in high school. Combined with a love for rock that was fueled by an Aerosmith song at age 12, Emma tends to lean towards progressive bluegrass, referencing the Steeldrivers and Steep Canyon Rangers as her two favorite bands. Today, she plays rock violin for Christian band Damaskus Road whenever she’s back in her hometown of Lebanon, PA and plans to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
- The Five
Working on antique cars and going to car shows in his hometown of Leicester, North Carolina are just a few pastimes of Blue Horizon’s banjo player, Joshua Hodges. Majoring in Surveying and Mapping at ETSU, Josh credits Jim Mills and the band Kentucky Thunder as his biggest inspirations in his ten years of playing banjo. Josh relies heavily on his Christian faith, and hopes that his path in life is led to having his own band, or working as a surveyor. (No complaints on his part if he’d be able to do both!)
- Guitar, Vocals
Brandy Blackwell’s powerful voice demands attention and rightfully so – her inspirations growing up in Lyman, South Carolina were the likes of Patty Loveless, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. Brandy started her musical journey at age 11 by the influence of grandfather in teaching her how to play guitar. It wasn’t too long before she was introduced to jams, and music became the first priority in this southern girl’s life. Though music is her first love, Brandy was recently accepted into ETSU’s Nursing program and plans to move to Nashville after graduating to pursue her days as a nurse and musician at night!
- Fiddle, Vocals
It didn’t take Blue Horizon’s fiddle player long to make a mark in the bluegrass world – at age 15 Jessica Zelinsky played with Charlie Daniels and also won the Virginia State Fiddle Championship! These days, she is a rising junior at ETSU majoring in bluegrass, and teaches fiddle lessons – a career that she hopes to pursue once she graduates. Her pride and joy are her two dogs, a Westie and Dachshund that she loves spending time with whenever she’s back in her home state of Virginia. Besides fiddle, Jessica plays mandolin and guitar, citing Kenny Baker as her inspiration for the 13 years that she has been playing music.
- Bass Player/Road Manager
Paul Leech, better known as “Tall Paul” amongst the TN and NC music scene is Blue Horizon’s bass player and road manager. Beginning his music studies at West Virginia University in classical bass, it didn’t take long for him to discover bluegrass and move to Asheville to form the critically acclaimed band “Country Farm.” After their successful five year run, Tall Paul now splits his time between a zydeco band, Bayou Diesel, and his lecturer position in Country Music at ETSU. He coaches six bands, teaches a theory course, and gives private instruction in guitar, mandolin and bass.