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About Us

Mary Beth Shumate, Music Director

Mary Beth Shumate is in her second season as conductor of the Hendersonville Chorale. She served as choral director for twenty-five years at Brevard High School. Her choruses performed in Carnegie Hall Europe, and Washington, DC, as well as at numerous venues throughout North Carolina and the Southeast. Shumate directed and produced twenty-three Broadway musicals and Madrigal Dinners while at BHS.

She is a National Board Certified teacher and was the 1998 Transylvania County Teacher of the Year. She was awarded the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year by the High School Choral Section of the North Carolina Music Educators Association.

Shumate has directed the Brevard Community Chorus for large works with orchestra at the Brevard Music Center, and she has also prepared children’s choruses to perform in operas. She has been an adjunct professor for the music department at Brevard College. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Brevard Philharmonic. She received the bachelor of music dedication from Abilene Christian University in Texas and the master of music education from the University of South Florida.

Michael Stephen Brannon, Accompanist

Michael Brannon

Beginning a career at the age of eight may seem strange, but that is just what Mr. Brannon did. He started piano at the age of seven, took his first organ lesson at the age of eight, played in church the following Sunday and has never stopped.

He was the Organist for Northbrook Baptist Church of Spartanburg, SC before assuming the position of Organist for Valley Falls First Baptist Church. At the age of nineteen he became the Choir Director and Organist for Second Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg. He also taught piano and organ at Converse College in the Pre-College Department of Music and was the Accompanist for the Converse Chorale. He was a member of the Spartanburg Symphony Chorus, The Music Club of Spartanburg and a member and former Dean of the Spartanburg Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

In 1994 he assumed the position of Director of Music and Organist for Grace Lutheran Church of Hendersonville where he developed and oversaw a music program of over a dozen choirs and ensembles and taught private piano and organ. He was a faculty member of Brevard College and was the Conductor of the Hendersonville Chorale. He moved to Key West after nine years at Grace Lutheran and served First Congregational Church and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church as the Director of Music and Organist and Key West United Methodist Church as Organist.

Currently, he is the Director of Music for First United Methodist Church of Hendersonville, the Accompanist for The Hendersonville Chorale and the Hendersonville Symphony Children’s Choir, and the Musician for Agudas Israel Congregation. He teaches private piano and organ lessons. He is a member of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, a former Dean of the Western North Carolina Chapter and a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Choristers Guild and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship. He attended Converse College where his teachers were Ms. Beverly Barrs and Dr. John R. Turnbull.

Board of Directors

The Hendersonville Chorale elects a board of directors each year to manage the business aspects of the organization.


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