East TN teen finds success playing Dobro guitar

Published: Jul. 24, 2017 at 11:34 PM EDT
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Thirteen-year-old Duncan Stitt is a healthy teen, but is living with a condition known as Alopecia. The disease makes a person lose their hair and sometimes it never grows back.

Stitt has spent almost all his life bald and has dealt with people staring at him in public. His parents said it's something he has not let bother him and instead, lets his personality shine.

"He would say to us, 'I know and can tell when people stare at me out in public,' he didn't like that, and we just try to put his mind at ease," said Duncan's dad Kipper Sitt.

Duncan plays the Dobro resonator guitar with his family band, Grassically Trained. He's only been playing the resonator guitar for two years, but says he hopes his playing will inspire others to go after their dreams no matter what hardships they may face.

"Being able to stand up front and be proud of it - it makes feel like I'm doing the right thing. Looks is not what defines a person, your heart is and that's the most important thing," said Duncan.

Duncan recently was awarded the 2016 ResoSummit scholarship, which provides free tuition for a promising dobro player under the age of 18, and donations from a group of generous donors also provides assistance to other registrants who may need some financial assistance to attend the ResoSummit instructional camp in Nashville.

Duncan said he has been greatly helped by two-time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year, Phil Leadbetter. He said he hopes everyone will pursue their dreams no matter what they look like.