Forrests Music

Forrests Music is a wind instrument sales and repair shop situated in Berkeley, California, within walking distance of the University of California. The store has been a Berkeley institution since the late 1940’s. In its current configuration, a total of six people make up the staff: co-owners Cynthia Behnke Hanson and Audrey Jackson; store manager Celia Bryan; consultant, double reed technician, product development and IT associate John Goebel; woodwind and brass technician and product supplier Marilyn Day; part time sales and order fulfillment associate Phil Freihofner.

Cynthia is a bassoonist with a BM in Bassoon Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and one year of graduate study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is an active bassoonist/contra-bassoonist in the SF Bay Area, performing frequently with local symphonies, opera and ballet companies, pit orchestras, municipal bands and chamber ensembles.

Audrey has an MM in Clarinet Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a BS from Brooklyn College. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist playing flute, clarinet and saxophone, Audrey developed a passion for double reeds over her tenure at Forrests, starting to learn bassoon in 1993 and recently starting to learn oboe. When not at the store, she can be found in orchestra pits throughout the Bay Area, and occasionally beyond.

Our long-time manager Celia (since 1980) has a BM in Oboe Performance from Stanford and an MM from San Francisco State University.

John, from Madison Wisconsin, was already a highly regarded woodwind technician when he was lured to northern California by Peter Klatt, a past owner of Forrests.

Marilyn has been the woodwind and brass technician for Forrests since 1981. She studied with Bill Sheik and John Goebel.
John and Marilyn were the owners of Forrests for almost twenty years.

Phil has a BA in Music from UC Berkeley. A valued member of the Forrests team, he is an oboist, composer, software developer, and has a keen interest in the physics of music. You can find some of his compositions, double reed arrangements, and his co-invention with John, the Blend Guide Mandrel, at Forrests!

History Dutch and Kathryn Forrest
Dutch & Kathryn Forrest
Forrests Music was established as a repair shop on Kittredge Street in downtown Berkeley CA in 1944 by Dutch and Kathryn Forrest. After Mr. Forrest passed away in the early 1950’s, Kathryn continued operation of the business, with the support and encouragement of her friend Ben Meltzer who taught woodwinds for many years at the store.

After moving to larger quarters on Shattuck Avenue, she hired Bill Shiek, a highly regarded woodwind technician, whose clients included the oboists and bassoonists of the major orchestras in the San Francisco Bay Area. To better serve this clientele, Forrests began to carry oboes, bassoons, and their accessories.

Peter and Joanie Klatt
Peter & Joanie Klatt
During the mid 1970’s, Kathryn decided to retire and sold the business to Peter and Joan Klatt who expanded the business via the double reed specialty market. Friends Ray and Ellie Dusté, prominent oboists in the Bay Area, helped the Klatts place an emphasis on the highest quality products and services.

In 1986 the Klatts purchased the building we currently reside in at 1849 University Ave. In 1999, they sold the business to the repair technicians John Goebel and Marilyn Day.

Now a new chapter has begun with long time employees Cynthia Hanson and Audrey Jackson transitioning to the ownership team.

We look forward to continuing to provide you with excellent service, products and instruments for many years to come!

Forrests Music – Your Go To Quality Double Reed Specialists!