South Plains College in Levelland, TX has announced that Jim Moratto has joined their bluegrass faculty as an Instructor in Commercial Music.
South Plains offers an associate degree in the Commercial Music program, which includes a specialty in bluegrass music. Bluegrass Today’s Brance Gillihan is a 1998 graduate of the program, and other prominent South Plains students include Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters, Kym Warner from The Greencards, Ashley Brown from The Randy Kohrs Band, and the members of Spring Creek.
Moratto has played banjo since he was in his teens, and had a stint as a member of Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys in 1972. After several years working on the bluegrass and country music scene, Jim returned to college and earned a degree in political science in 1989. He has since remained active performing and teaching in Texas on both banjo and guitar.
Associate Professor of Music Joe Carr tells us that Moratto will teach private banjo lessons, lead ensembles and direct the televised student ensemble Picking on the Plains, effectively filling the spot that Alan Munde left when he retired in 2006.
Here is a video of Jim back when he was with Monroe.
He also has a solo CD, Possum On The Half Shell, released in 2005.