MCC Alumni Feature: Chloe Kimes, pursuing a life of music and creativity. 

April 7, 2022

MCC Alumni Feature: Chloe Kimes, pursuing a life of music and creativity. 

Spartan News is presented by Mason County Central Schools in partnership with Mason County Press. This special series of Spartan News features alumni of MCC. 

Will perform locally on Friday, April 8.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

  • Mason County Central Class of 2016
  • Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor’s degree in recording industry/commercial songwriting; minor in entrepreneurship. 
  • Current position: Full-time independent artist and musician. 

Chloe Kimes always knew she wanted to be a professional musician, even as a student at Mason County Central. After graduating high school she moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, southeast of Nashville, and enrolled in Middle Tennessee State University where she pursued a degree in songwriting. She has since moved to Nashville. 

“I’m not sure I’d be truly content doing anything else,” Chloe says. “Writing and making music is the way I communicate best with the world around me and I’ve always felt that it’s what I need to be doing. Working to create a sustainable career around a passion and craft is equally thrilling and challenging; the freedom, vulnerability, risk, it constantly pushes me forward.”

Chloe says she loves being an independent musician. “It allows me to be both creative and an entrepreneur. I’ve always felt the need to exercise both sides of my brain and this industry really allows for that, if you have the capability. I also love the collaboration and community of the scene. I’ve spent almost six years in Nashville now, and have met so many incredible artists and musicians along the way. Creating and sharing a musical connection turns any acquaintance into a friend and that is something I cherish.”

Chloe fronts a band under her own name and writes her own music. The band has launched a short spring tour which includes a performance at The Mitten Bar: A Michigan Ideology, 109 W. Ludington Ave., on Friday, April 9 from 9 p.m. until midnight. She’ll be joined by Nashville-based artist, Nathan Kalish & his Derechos as well as Grand rapids-based artist, DL Rossi. 

“There will be sets from each of our bands with my band closing out the night.” 

Chloe says she enjoys performing back in her hometown. 

“Sometimes, coming home means even more than getting to spend time with my family, as there is such a wonderful community of supporters and friends who I love to reunite with at hometown shows and that’s an embrace I’m incredibly grateful for. As for where I might end up later in life, I’m really not sure about that. I’ll be wherever the music is.”

She adds that she will be spending most of the summer on tour and will also be debuting her first full length album. 

Chloe’s music career began her sophomore year when she began performing at local shows. While her musical pursuits were not school-related, she says she received a lot of support from her teachers. 

Likely the most supportive educators in her childhood were her parents, Kevin and Lisa, both teachers; Kevin is the principal of MCC Upper Elementary and Lisa is a teacher consultant specializing in autism support at the West Shore Educational Service District. 

Another big supporter was MCC art teacher Rachel Brock. “Ms. Brock not only encouraged my extra-curricular work in music but also facilitated a path for myself and other MCC students to be involved in the West Michigan Showcase,” Chloe says. “In 2015, she nominated me for the performing arts competition and aided in getting me to the Showcase stage, which is a unique platform for students to compete with any and all performing arts. Winning the Showcase that year was a special moment in my MCC career, not only because I got to perform on behalf of my school where there is otherwise not much opportunity, but also because I was able to represent Mason County Central as a school that supports its performing artists.”

From the time she was a 3-years-old through high school, Chloe was also involved in dance at Letha Fulton School of Dance in Ludington, taught by fellow MCC alumnus Letha (Karboske) Fulton. 

“Both of my two great passions and practices happened to be art forms that don’t really have a home in most school programs,” Chloe says. “That said, I’m a big advocate for art programs that extend support even beyond the traditional school arts i.e. band, choir, and visual art class. High school is such an exploratory time for students figuring out what they are good at and what they want to care about and I strongly believe in the importance of encouraging and supporting students with unique passions and untraditional goals.”

On May 3, voters in the Mason County Central School District are being asked to decide on a $33 million bond proposal that includes much needed infrastructure updates at MCC High School, including the construction of a performing arts center/auditorium.

“The prospect of a new auditorium/performing arts center means so much for the art programs but also for the young artists of Mason County Central,” Chloe says. “Giving MCC students a new stage is giving them a platform for discovery; a symbol of pride embracing the creative minds coming out of Scottville. The addition of an arts center to MCC’s campus would be a statement to all of the students in the school system that their passions and artistic endeavors matter, their talents are valued and their dreams should be followed.”

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