Jonah Horton


Jonah Horton is the 14 year old* son of Mark and Laura Horton of Wilkesboro, NC.  Jonah began playing mandolin when he was 7 years old.  He developed an interest in the mandolin while attending "Merle Fest" in Wilkesboro, NC, during the spring of 2008.  He asked his parents for a mandolin for Christmas of that same year, and the rest is history!  Jonah began taking mandolin lessons in January 2009 from Wilkes County music teacher, Larry Skipper, and he currently receives mandolin instruction via Skype from Wayne Benson, mandolin player for the group, "Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out."  Jonah also enjoys playing the guitar. Jonah has received several honors for his mandolin talent.  In 2011, he was the first place winner of a local "Wilkes Has Talent" competition.  In 2012, as a first time contestant, Jonah won the Youth Mandolin competition held at the annual Galax Fiddlers' Convention in Galax, VA.  In the spring of 2013, Jonah was the first recipient of the Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society's "Pete Wernick Jam Camp Scholarship."  This year, Jonah was blessed to be selected as a 2014 Wayne C. Henderson Scholarship winner, as well as receive a Youth Scholarship to attend "Mandolin Week" at the Swannanoa Gathering Music Camp held on the campus of Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC.  During his camp week, Jonah was honored to receive instruction from world renown mandolin players, Mike Marshall and Don Stiernberg. Jonah has also been involved with the recording of two special CD projects with other talented youth musicians from across the country.  The projects were: "Generation Bluegrass 2" and "Close Kin:  Our Roots Run Deep."  He has performed on Katy Daley's nationally broadcast radio show (WAMU 88.5) with the other "Close Kin" youth musicians.  Additionally, he auditioned and was selected to be a part of the "Kids on Bluegrass" component of the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Conference held in Raleigh, NC for the past two years.  Most recently, Jonah was inducted into "Tomorrow's Bluegrass Stars" - a group of talented youth who strive to preserve "yesterday's" bluegrass music for "tomorrow."  Some of the musicians/groups Jonah has had the honor and privilege to play with include:  Sierra Hull, The Greencards, Balsam Range, Wayne Henderson and Jeff Little to name a few.  Several musicians have influenced Jonah's mandolin playing:  Chris Thile, Sam Bush, Emory Lester, Mike Marshall, Kym Warner, Sierra Hull, Wayne Benson and Ricky Skaggs. Jonah loves to play at church, community events, festivals, benefit concerts, farmers' markets, anywhere he can!  Above all, Jonah credits the Lord for his musical ability and talent. Be sure to check out several of Jonah's performances on "YouTube" as he has several videos posted there.  His "YouTube" channel is listed in the links on this page.