Donna McClary-Derrick, a Christian Folk singer/songwriter, has a passion for music that flows through her veins and adds joy to the rhythm of life around her. This passion, which she has only begun to tap, has been generously poured out upon her family, friends, church and community.
Donna, a multi-instrumentalist, began playing drums as a teenager and evolved into other elements of hand percussion. Her “toy” collection quickly grew as she tried and excelled in each new endeavor. Donna’s most recent accomplishment and instrument of choice is a dulciborn. She also plays the hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer and the bowed psaltery.
Donna began writing music in June of 2015, as she was inspired by her oldest daughter, Carlee who was approaching her high school graduation. She felt compelled to express the many emotions that she was feeling about this milestone in her daughter’s life. She not only wrote, but played and sang through tears to deliver this precious offering of love titled ‘Keep God in Sight.’ People are instantly drawn to Donna’s soft angelic voice, and some are moved to tears as they listen to her heartfelt lyrics that are drawn from life experiences. “Her songs are like whispered messages from above given to her to inspire, teach, and encourage others,” is what one friend says of Donna’s music.
The songwriting has continued to flow for Donna, as she has written and recorded three other inspirational songs, ‘God Let Your Light Shine Down’, ‘A Mother’s Love’, and ‘Sweet Livia’. She continues to write music, and she will be heading back to the studio to record another song very soon. All five of Donna’s songs will be included on her very first EP that will be released in late November 2016. Donna enjoys singing at the 5pm Lifeteen Mass at her parish St. Mary’s Help of Christians Church in Aiken, SC, as well as the 9:45 Contemporary Service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, also in Aiken. In addition, Donna also belongs to the musical group ‘The Soul Sistas,’ consisting of Marie Walton and Beverly Hamrick. The trio performs a variety of tunes from female icons such as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Carly Simon, Carole King, as well as a few of their church favorites. Donna has recently joined the band Least of These, where she plays percussion and sings. The band consists of Stacy Key (vocals), Frankie Goldman (acoustic guitar and vocals), and Brittany Hutto (keyboard and vocals). Least of These performs regularly at churches and events in the CSRA. Donna also enjoys collaborating with National Hammered Dulcimer Champion Joshua Messick at his Aiken concerts by adding some auxiliary percussion, as well as helping promote the concert. Donna resides in Beech Island, SC with her husband (Mike) and their two daughters (Carlee and Tina).