The Town of Mount Pleasant music and art community now has an orchestra to call its own. Formerly known as the SouthCoast Symphony, the newly renamed Mount Pleasant Symphony is forging a strong cultural identity with the community it serves.

The name change was discussed at the recent Town’s Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee meeting. Through the concerted funding efforts of ATAC and the town’s continued commitment to promoting artistic and cultural expressions, Mount Pleasant Symphony provides unique musical experience for local patrons.

Highly gifted, un-auditioned musicians volunteer their talents to challenging programming and selections. “Keeping it free and fabulous east of the Cooper,” the Mount Pleasant Symphony and Maestro Ron Mendola invite music lovers to a Southern Christmas from 4-5 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Christ Church, Mount Pleasant.

The evening will include caroling with the symphony and a special surprise guest reading "The Night Before Christmas," accompanied by the orchestra. Gospel star Aisha will sing new Christmas classics written by Maestro Mendola.

Mendola holds a master’s degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Buffalo. A professor at Georgia Tech in Atlanta from 1979 until his retirement in 2010, Mendola was Director of the Jazz Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra Programs and taught Music History and Jazz History on campus and in Europe for Georgia Tech’s Oxford Program. Throughout, Mendola also maintained a professional career as a trumpet player, performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony and with commercial groups and artists from across the spectrum of popular music, including Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Melissa Manchester, The Who, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Natalie Cole.

Mendola toured with artists as diverse as Tom Jones, Henry Mancini, Burt Bacharach and Johnny Mathis and conducted for a number of major label recording artists. He also serves as musical producer, composer/ arranger, conductor, video and live stage producer and creative consultant for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. At the College of Charleston, Mendola teaches “Intro to the Music Industry” with Mark Bryan of Hootie and The Blowfish. Mendola has directed the SouthCoast Symphony Orchestra since the fall of 2014.