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February 2013 - Volunteer Spotlight - Trent Cleary

February 2013 - Volunteer Spotlight - Trent Cleary

Trent Cleary, a native of Wilkesboro, is a junior at North Carolina State University where he is studying business administration and supply chain operations. His hobbies include playing basketball and tennis.  He also enjoys weight training.  His newest hobby is cooking, and he’s pretty good at it!


Trent’s first MerleFest experience was when he was only three years old. And he’s enjoyed many MerleFest experiences since then. Yet he admits that he could not wait to be old enough to volunteer.   He volunteers before the festival helping with the setup of the grounds.  During the festival he is a stage crew volunteer and helps with the Midnight Jam. 


February 2013 - Trent Cleary“One of the more exciting things to happen at MerleFest every year is the surprises at Midnight Jam,” says Trent. “It is always fun to see who is going to come out on stage next.”


Trent adds, “I fell in love with bluegrass when I saw Sam Bush when I was pretty young at MerleFest.  The energy that Sam puts into every performance is really what drew me in.” Hearing Sam Bush’s band sparked Trent’s interest in bluegrass and really inspired him to listen to many other artists.  Trent’s favorite place to see the Sam Bush Band is on Saturday night on the Watson Stage.  Trent also states, “It was always a huge pleasure to see Doc Watson perform.  I consider myself very privileged to have seen him play.”


Trent has played the guitar for a couple of years. And he recently purchased a banjo and is teaching himself to play.