Last week's 80th anniversary luncheon for the Clintonville Mothersingers was an occasion of laughter, nostalgia and, of course, music.

Last week's 80th anniversary luncheon for the Clintonville Mothersingers was an occasion of laughter, nostalgia and, of course, music.

Most of the latter, though, was provided in the form of clarinet duets by John Blair of Westerville and Gahanna resident Roger Veley. Veley, a former Clintonville resident, recently married Mothersingers member Marilyn Weiner-Veley, who volunteered the services of the clarinet players for the gathering.

Mothersingers groups were formed in the depths of the Great Depression by PTAs across the country to bring not only harmony instruction to elementary schools but also to boost people's spirits.

The Clintonville Mothersingers is one of only a few still around.

Although originally organized at Clinton Elementary School in 1936, the members of the singing group now come from all over central Ohio.

Jean Beauvois, a resident of the Northwest Side, has been accompanying the Mothersingers, who give performances at schools, churches and assisted-living facilities, since 1996. A friend of hers from church said the Mothersingers were looking for an accompanist to replace one who was retiring.

"I said yes, not ever thinking it would turn into something of this length," Beauvois said.

For many of the ladies in the Mothersingers, being in the group provides them the only outlet they have for doing something they love, which is singing, according to the piano player.

Beauvois added she's glad she said yes to the proposal two decades ago.

"It has been so much fun," she said. "These are the most caring ladies. They are so appreciative of my work."

Also on hand for the luncheon at the Clintonville Woman's Club was Marge Bennett of Worthington. She was a member of the Mothersingers for 40 years, but has since given it up.

Still, she was not about to miss celebrating the group's 80th anniversary.

"It was a nice group, so I joined it and loved it," said Bennett, who joked she can no longer recall how she even first learned of the existence of the Mothersingers.

A scattering of husbands attended the luncheon, including Charles Clickenger of the Forest Park neighborhood in the Northland area. His wife, Ila Clickenger, joined the Mothersingers two years ago.

"She enjoys singing and being in the organization," Charles Clickenger said. "I try to get to the concerts when I can."

The group has undergone five name changes since its formation, according to a scrapbook maintain by Shirley Salyers of Clintonville, historian and music librarian. They were:

* Clinton PTA Mothersingers in 1926

* Clinton Mothersingers in 1941

* Clinton-Indian Springs Mothersingers in 1951

* the Mothersingers in 1984

* the Clintonville Mothersingers in 2005.

"Early Mothersingers were in demand for entertainment for many of the PTA meetings, women's club meetings and church services in the whole central Ohio area," according to another scrapbook on the group's past.

The cover of the memory book maintained by Salyers reads:

"May your day be filled with music, may your life be filled with song."