Mountain Community Chorus

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Laura Stooksbury, Director

Prior to taking over directing duties in 2012, Laura Stooksbury was the Assistant Director of MCC beginning in 1999.  She recently retired from her position as an adjunct voice instructor at Young Harris College. 

Laura earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia and a Master of Music Education degree from Wichita State University. She was a public school music teacher for 24 years in Illinois, Virginia, and Georgia. She was also a music specialist for three years at the Georgia Retardation Center in Chamblee, Ga. 

Ms. Stooksbury has been a soloist with the Tara Choral Guild in Jonesboro, Ga. and also with the Windgate Singers in Peachtree City, Ga.  Laura is an active member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singers) and ACDA (American Choral Directors Association).  Currently she is a choir member and soloist at Hayesville First United Methodist Church in Hayesville, NC.

Jeffrey Bauman, Assistant Director

Jeff is the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Young Harris College. He directs the College Choir and Chamber Choir, teaches applied voice and conducting, and serves as co-coordinator for the Musical Theater Program. Mr. Bauman has served ACDA at the state level and is the former chair of the national choral advisory council for NAfME for whom he served on the planning committees for the 2015 and 2016 national conventions.

Mr. Bauman holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Education and Music Performance from Spring Arbor University and Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting Performance and Vocal Performance from Bowling Green State University. He is frequently asked to serve as a choral adjudicator and clinician, working with school music programs and directing honor choirs throughout the state.

Under Mr. Bauman’s direction, choirs from Young Harris have performed at GMEA and ACDA conventions and made successful European tours in recent years, including a week spent in residence at the Hochschule for Music and Theater in Munich, Germany.

A former NATS winner, Mr. Bauman has performed leading roles in Opera and Musical Theater with Opera South Carolina, Atlanta Lyric Theater, Toledo Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, and Opera Lenawee. In addition to his YHC responsibilities, Mr. Bauman is the Director of Music at the First United Methodist Church of Union County. 

William Fox, Director Emeritus

Bill was born one of seven children in Ranger, NC. Later his parents relocated the family to Blairsville, GA, where he graduated from Union County High School. While a high school student, he heard the Young Harris College Choir perform a Christmas concert at the high school He decided then that he would "have to sing in this choir."

Fox attended Young Harris College from 1948-1950. At the end of his freshman year at YHC, then, President Walter Downs,  sent the young Fox to the John C. Campbell Folk School to learn "folk dancing" so that he could teach it at YHC his sophomore year. Graduating from YHC, Fox attended Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern) in Statesboro, GA, and in 1952 earned a B.S. in Music Education. In 1962, he earned his Master's Degree in Music Education. Other graduate work was completed at Indiana University, Florida State, University of Georgia, Eastman School of Music, and the Dalcroze School of Music, NYC.

At Young Harris College, Fox taught and served as the chair of the Fine Arts Department.  He was head of the music department for 40 years.  During his tenure, YHC was the first junior college in Georgia to offer an Associate of Fine Arts degree.  While at YHC, he taught studio voice, choral ensemble, music history, music appreciation, art appreciation, ear training and music theory.  Coinciding with his teaching, he served 55 years as the Director of Music at Sharp Memorial United Methodist College at Young Harris, Georgia. 

In the early 70's, Fox sang with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus under the direction of Donald Neuen and Master Robert Shaw.  In 1977, Fox began to sing with MCC and in 1985 took over direction of the group.  He continued in the role as director of this fine singing group until Laura Stooksbury took over in 2012.

Suzanne West, Accompanist

Suzanne has studied piano and organ at Mars Hill College and Young Harris College. She is currently the staff accompanist at Young Harris College. Additionally she serves as Minister of Music at First United Methodist Church in Murphy where she directs numerous choirs and performing groups. She also leads the community hand bell group, the Valley River Ringers.

Mary Ann Fox, Assistant Accompanist

Mary Ann received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Indiana University.  Further post-Master's study was done at Indiana University, University of Georgia, Florida State University, Eastman School of Music, the Dalcroze School of Music (Eurhythmics) and various piano master classes.