Mt. Pleasant group fosters friendships and fun through the power of music

When asked about the reasons why they love being a part of the Mountain Town Family Chorus, members were quick to respond.

“I love the camaraderie with new friends and the amazing harmonies we make when singing together,” member David Martin Stevens says.

“Mountain Town Family Chorus has become a family to me,” member Ashley Jackson says. “I’ve met so many wonderful people and have made lasting friendships. Music has always healed and nurtured my heart but finding this group has helped heal things in me. The laughter and singing helps so, so much.”

So, who is this group bringing friendship and meaning to so many?

“The Mountain Town Family Chorus is a multi-aged, all-voices, community-based singing group that sings four-part a cappella music primarily in the barbershop genre,” explains Joe McDonald, Mountain Town Family Chorus business manager.

“We perform barbershop-style music but don’t look like a barbershop group. No boater hats or striped vests for us,” he adds. “The style has evolved continuously for over a century. Many modern songs can be ‘barbershopped.’ We are not limited to the classics like Sweet Adeline anymore.” 

McDonald says the Mountain Town Family Chorus, or MTFC, currently consists of 16 community members who simply love to sing. Ages range from people in their twenties to those in their sixties. Some have been trained as musicians; others have little or no experience with singing. Instead, the group’s criteria for joining them is much broader.

Courtesy Joe McDonald / Mountain Town Family Chorus
“The group accepts singers with a desire to make friends as well as make music together,” McDonald says. “The culture of the group is one of encouraging each other and supporting each other when we are singing together—and outside the weekly rehearsals when needed. We want to be together, and we hope that others will feel that when they visit us or attend a performance.”

With performances coming up on February 12 and throughout the Spring months, the MTFC is currently accepting new members.

“There are no auditions to join the group,” McDonald adds. “The process of joining the group consists of signing up for a 4- or 5-week series of rehearsals we refer to as Seasons. Any adult is welcome, and anyone ten years old or more can participate with a parent or guardian in attendance.”

“People that enjoy making music with others should take a look at this group,” McDonald concludes. “We are not focused on winning awards but on winning the hearts and minds of fellow residents.”

Courtesy Joe McDonald / Mountain Town Family Chorus
But you don’t just have to take his word for it.

“I have always loved singing but have only done it privately,” Mountain Town Family Chorus member Danielle Schager explains. 

“After finally being convinced to give MTFC a try, I discovered a fun, non-judgmental and safe environment to learn to sing as part of a group,” she adds. “I have met a lot of great people who are not only fun to sing with, but who also give positive feedback and encouragement which makes me feel I really can sing.” 

“That gives me confidence in knowing my voice is capable of helping to create beautiful music,” she concludes. “MTFC has truly become family to me.”

Other Mountain Town Family Chorus members echo Schager’s sentiments. 
“Singing has always brought me happiness,” member Nikki Sedden adds. “The friendships gained through chorus makes it more enjoyable and exciting to come back on Mondays.”

“I’m only in it for the paycheck,” member Kip Cosan jokes. “You know—the smiles, hugs, the goosebumps.”

Mountain Town Family Chorus rehearsals are on Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Learn more by emailing
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Read more articles by Sarah R. Adams-Slominski.

Sarah R. Adams-Slominski is an award-winning multimedia producer and writer with over 20 years of experience. She has also designed and taught multimedia and communication courses for university students, as well as media relations and marketing seminars for clients she coaches across the United States. In 2020, she began work on a doctorate and is now concentrating on dissertation research in educational technology and new literacies while working as a freelance writer, editor, and adjunct college instructor. When she has some downtime, Sarah loves reading, cooking, and swimming—as well as hanging out with friends, family, and her fiancé at home with two giant cats.