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Clef Hangers’ history highlighted in new film

We love the Clef Hangers, and they are truly part of UNC. However, sometimes you just need to drink to "Carolina on my Mind." 

We love the Clef Hangers, and they are truly part of UNC. However, sometimes you just need to drink to "Carolina on my Mind." 

After seeing the Clef Hangers surprise perform at their president’s sister’s wedding, Story House Media was exposed to the group for the first time.

A year later, former Clef Hangers president Channing Mitzell asked the company to create a documentary, eventually called “The Pursuit of Harmony.”

And from there, director John Moon decided the story of the Clefs was something truly unique.

“We met last year when (Mitzell) was in town, and we hashed out his vision for what he wanted to do,” Moon said. “He didn’t want it to be a documentary that would only be attractive or interesting to just the Clef Hangers, so that was one of our main challenges was to make this somewhat interesting for people on the outside.”

Mitzell said the objectivity of the company would help bring in audiences who may not necessarily be connected to the Clefs.

“We put our trust in them to put together the story, knowing fully well that they had no previous knowledge and no UNC connection,” he said. “We thought that was actually going to be a benefit because we wanted it to be pulled from an outsider’s opinion. It can be easy to lose track of one’s objectiveness of a story you are so connected to.”

Moon said in the four days they filmed, they talked to Clef alumni, founders and current members to get the full story of the Clef Hangers’ history.

“We put together a schedule, and for a documentary, there are a lot of things that go on before you get there,” he said. “In essence, you research and figure out what are they about, how long they have been around, who are the main players? Then, we sketched out who are the people we thought could help drive the core of the story.”

The company flew down to Chapel Hill from their headquarters in Carmel, Indiana in the spring during the Clefs’ spring concert.

Current Clef President Chris Burrus said the process was humbling.

“You see these guys who would go to perform at any place they could just to get enough money to go to be able to lay down a little eight-track tape and to just get any sort of way of documentation of their music,” he said. “And now to see that we are able to tour across the country and take trips outside of the country to go perform with stuff that we love.”

Burrus said he hopes the documentary highlights the group’s relationship with the University — and where they came from.

“It allows us to show appreciation to the people who built the Clefs — the people who formed what we have the honor to do now.”


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