Who's Who at The Rhapsody Project?
Founder . Instructor
Ben is an internationally touring multi-instrumentalist and composer, local entrepreneur, and community activist. In 2011, he founded Community Arts Create, a small, arts and community development organization that uses creativity as a stimulus for inter-generational, inter-cultural social engagement. In 2013, he co-founded The Hillman City Collaboratory, an incubator for social change in South Seattle. Trained as a classical violinist since age 5, Ben began exploring the world of fiddling while working towards his degree in performance from Whitman College. He added vocals, mandolin, guitar and rattling bones to his repertoire as he travelled the country studying roots music in his duo with Joe Seamons. He continues to perform on violin with various Seattle ensembles, playing bluegrass, old time, jazz, classical, and world folk. Born abroad and fortunate to have travelled extensively as a kid, Ben brings a world music curiosity to his teaching and playing.
Co-Director . Founder
Joe Seamons is a musician and teacher who co-founded the Rhapsody Project with Ben Hunter in 2013. Through exploring his local heritage of Pacific Northwest folk music and lore, and the troubled history of prejudice therein, Joe's work as a songster and teacher fused with his commitment to agitate for social justice. A descendant of the Aurora Colony in Oregon, Joe continues to explore the ways in which his personal heritage connects him to the legacy of that region. In shedding light on the songs and stories that have been preserved, as well as those that have been forgotten or suppressed, Joe works with his partners in the Rhapsody Project to harness the power of roots music to create empathy and equity. When he's not performing with Ben Hunter, Joe plays with his Portland-based band Timberbound.
Co-Director . Instructor
Christina is a talented vocalist and teacher who was raised in Chimacum, Washington. Her work with the Rhapsody Project allows her to further her mission to help people find their voice in an environment that is positive, safe, and fun past the point of silliness. Her early work volunteering with Rhapsody programs lead to a position teaching in multiple Seattle schools with Seattle Jazz Ed. After helping guide Rhapsody's pilot program mentoring scholarship students at regional festivals, she created curriculum for a new Rhapsody program serving students grades K - 2. The pilot of this program launched in spring of 2018 at Queen Anne Elementary School.
Instructor . Administrator
Cameron Armstrong is a guitarist, composer and educator who's passion for music has taken him around the world and back. Armstrong is an integral member of multiple Seattle based groups including Modern Bygones, Honeysuckle Rye, and Sebastian and the Deep Blue— and performs regularly throughout the United States and Europe.
As an educator, Cameron has taught at his private music studio as well as in other settings for many years. He currently teaches regularly at Washington Middle School, The Evergreen School, The Westside School, Half Note Music School, and the Wintergrass Festival among others. As a member of the Rhapsody team, Armstrong plays a key role as an educator and a coordinator of the various and Rhapsody programs.
Forrest was raised in a musical family in the Seattle area and has been playing bass in bands since he was a young kid. He plays in various styles, and loves learning the nuances that define different genres of music. Forrest studied music at Colorado College, where he primarily focused on composition, ethnomusicology, and music education. He also spent a year studying bass performance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Forrest has spent his time since graduating touring regionally and nationally with multiple bands, and has continued to educate through private lessons and in formal school settings. His favorite part of the Rhapsody Project is seeing kids make strong emotional connections with songs that were written many decades ago.