Born in 1958 in Casper, Wyoming, bass player John Stovall studied piano while in grade school and high school, and began playing the double bass while in high school. Stovall began his college studies in 1978 with Stuart Sankey at University of Texas, and then transferred to New England Conservatory to study with Boston Symphony Orchestra assistant principal bass Lawrence Wolfe. He received his bachelor's degree in double bass performance from New England Conservatory in 1983. Following a year as a freelance performer in the Boston area, Stovall played with the Houston and New Orleans symphonies and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra before joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 1988‑89 season. A Tanglewood Music Center Fellow during the summers of 1981 and 1982, he has also participated in the Grand Teton and Aspen music festivals and the Congress of Strings in Seattle, Washington.