Choir marks decade with CD release

By Laura Browne - Special to the News

Photo by: Kenny Hooker (

Ten years ago, the Mountain Valley Voices began.

Made up of a small group of coworkers at Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, the group came together to sing carols at an office Christmas party.

Over the past decade the group has expanded to be an organized choir performing at various locations and events all over the area. To commemorate that anniversary, the group released a CD last week, on Jan. 11.

In 2007 the group was initiated and organized by hospice employees Vladimir Strejeck, chaplain, and Sally Estes, family services director, and headed up by Fonda Younger, bereavement and spiritual support assistant. The idea of the group was to not only bring awareness of the services provided by Mountain Valley Hospice, but to also spread joy and hope to hospice and the community through both gospel and old-time music.

The choir was considered an immediate success by Mountain Valley Hospice due to the demand of their work schedule, the employees in the choir eventually became unable to participate as much as necessary. Unwilling to let this issue serve as a setback for the choir, the group began seeking out community members who were available and willing to participate. The group successfully carried on, gaining several new members united by a love for music and a devotion to serving the community.

The Mountain Valley Voices Choir, now comprised of around 35 volunteers over the age of 60, performs regularly for patients and families in care of hospice. In addition, the group performs at various area nursing homes, churches, assisted living centers, and other locations; the choir has even opened an closed for the Senior Games. Though donations are accepted, each performance is free of charge.

According to Sheila Jones, Mountain Valley Hospice’s director of marketing and public relations, the performances the choir does throughout the community bring in both awareness and donations for the organization. Besides their work in the community, the group’s work within Hospice spreads hope and happiness giving patients and their loved ones a reason to smile even in difficult times.

After nearly a decade of serving hospice and the community, the Mountain Valley Voices are releasing a new CD, entitled Sounds of Home. The CD features songs such as “Oh My, My,” “Sweet Beulah Land,” “Amazing Grace,” and more.

Sounds of Home can be purchased at any Mountain Valley Hospice office or resale shop, on the organization’s website, or on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.

All proceeds from the CD’s sales go to benefit Mountain Valley Hospice. According to Jones, selling the CDs is a way for the group to give back to the community as they are grateful for donations and support they have received.

“Our choir is grateful for the encouragement, and monetary donations they have received over the years from the community. Because of that support, you have helped strengthen the mission of Mountain Valley Hospice and our choir, which is to deliver a comforting ‘voice’ to the patients and families who need it most,” Jones stated.

To learn more about the group and their new album being released, visit Additional questions may be answered by the choir’s leader, Fonda Younger at (336) 789-2922 or at

Photo by: Kenny Hooker ( by: Kenny Hooker (

By Laura Browne

Special to the News

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