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Mountain Faith Band pays a visit to Black Mountain Primary

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

A gym filled with excited kids, from kindergartners to third-graders, got a special musical treat on a Friday. 

The Sylva-based Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band put on a performance for the students at Black Mountain Primary on Sept. 14. 

The band is perhaps best known for its 2015 success on the 10th season of the NBC show "America's Got Talent." The Mountain Faith Band advanced to the semifinal round in the season they appeared on the show. 

During their performance at Black Mountain Primary on Sept. 14, Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band encouraged children to write their stories in journals.

Their nonprofit program "I Write My Story," takes them into schools where they play bluegrass tunes and talk to students about the importance of creative writing. The event at Black Mountain Primary opened with a clip recounting their season on the network television show, which the band followed up with a live performance of OneRepublic's "Counting Stars," a rendition that earned four "yes" votes from the judges on the show that season. 

As the students cheered loudly at the end of the song, the band showed a picture of a river and asked the kids what things could be found in that body of water. After fielding a few answers from the crowd, the band performed a song that was incorporated lyrics about floating down a river. 

Summer McMahan of Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band, chats with a student at Black Mountain Primary before performing for at the school.

The kids were to receive journals following the program, which lead singer Summer McMahan encouraged them to use to write about their feelings. 

"One day I was writing," she told the children. "And I felt like this."

As the word "blue" appeared in large letters on the projector screen, the Mountain Faith Band began to play a song about feeling sad. 

The children also learned about literary terms like onomatopoeia when McMahan asked them to help sing a song about pirates. 

Students at Black Mountain Primary clap following a song by Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band on Sept. 14.

"Onomatopoeia is a word used to imitates a sound," she told the crowded gym full of students, who were encouraged to chime in with specific words during the song. "So I'm going to need you guys to help us out on this song."

The Mountain Faith Band formed in 2000 and has recorded four studio albums. In 2015 they performed in Qatar for over 3,000 members of the military. In 2016 they shared the stage with acts like Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels and Loretta Lynn. 

Their 2016 album, "That Which Matters," debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Americana-Roots Charts.