Introducing David Chernack – HVBA President-Elect

The scrivener of this introduction has interviewed many greats over the years, but how often do you get to interview a president elect? True, it’s not Mr. Biden, nor a senator nor a president elect of a major corporation—but it is our own David Chernack, who has agreed (and has been elected) to serve as the HVBA president, a most lofty office with great responsibility and power. Actually, I’m not sure about the power, but certainly it carries responsibilities.

David grew up in Hyde Park. David’s musical career began at a young age, playing the viola at 8 years, during his younger years played in his school orchestra. He also had some formal music training. Over his high school and college days he picked up various instruments, including violin/fiddle and mandolin. His music experience until college was with the Stringendo string orchestra program, and with the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers, which was the traditional music side of that organization. He is now a multi-instrumental player, his musical interests include everything from classical to other more “modern” music.

He has always been greatly interested in music. He was introduced to bluegrass by one of his father’s CDs, a Dolly Parton disc “The Grass is Blue”, still a favorite of his. On a local note, he recalls being greatly impressed with local musicians Frank Kara and Steve Arkin, he met them when they accompanied the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers on a performance of Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen,” which turned him on to traditional bluegrass and inspired him to pick up the mandolin. He has been a member of the HVBA for two years, and participated in various HVBA activities. In his other non-bluegrass life he is an avid bird watcher, and has education and experience in environmental activities. He has an interest in automobiles (such a good, red-blooded American boy) and hopes his earnings as President of the HVBA will help him purchase a hot rod to drive his fiddle and mandolin around in (wishful thinking, David!)

His plans for his presidency include increasing the jamming in and around our area, to make HVBA jams more frequent and accessible to all levels of musicianship. He is a supporter of continuing our concert series, and expanding the musical tastes of the membership to include classical but also more progressive/modern approaches to bluegrass. He hopes to continue working with the HVBA member bands, and encouraging them to perform in and around the Hudson valley.

And he most importantly wants to keep the fun in music, playing bluegrass, in jamming, and in performances we can all attend and enjoy.

Ed Schaffer

Ed Schaffer started his meteoric career playing the violin at the age of 5, picked up a few other instruments thereafter, but later in life found his true love, the mandolin. Despite having a day job, his avocation of playing first classical, then high school band and chorus, then folk, then rock and eventually bluegrass music, is first in his heart.

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