Forest Aten has served as 2nd and bass clarinetist for the Dallas Opera since 1988. He performed with the Dallas Opera from 1978 to 1988, in their shorter spring season. Forest has performed with the Lyric Opera, Dallas, principal clarinet of the Richardson Symphony from 1980-1988, Dallas Ballet orchestra from 1978-1988, was a founding player in Texas Winds, performed many years with the Dallas Wind Symphony, nine seasons with Music in the Mountains, Durango and has been an artist/coach with Kammermusik Workshops, Santa Fe, for the past eleven seasons. As a freelance musician, Forest has performed with the San Antonio Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Ft. Worth Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Plano Symphony, East Texas Symphony, Wichita Falls Symphony and with many per-service contract orchestras and chamber music ensembles. Forest has recorded with the Dallas Symphony, the Dallas Wind Symphony and for many commercial recording studio jobs.
He has served in interim positions on the faculties of Southern Methodist University, St. Mary's University and Texas A&M, Commerce campus. In a very focused effort in music education, Forest supported a very active private clarinet studio from 1973 until 2011 in Richardson, Texas. His studio produced over 200 secondary school All-State musicians in Texas.
Forest attended North Texas University studying clarinet performance with Dr. Lee Gibson. He continued his education at UTD in music education, all levels. He did his graduate work at SMU studying with Steven Girko while also serving on the faculty.
In 2012 Forest established a new non-profit music initiative in Richardson, Texas, Richardson Opus 2 (RO2). The initial focus for Richardson Opus 2, will involve music education, community music activities and a professional chamber music series.