Editor's Note: "Family Portrait" is a series of reports about exceptional Chattanooga-area families. To suggest a family to be featured, e-mail Features Editor Mark Kennedy at

When the Guyton family gathers in Cleveland, Tenn., the guys say it's like a Bill Gaither Homecoming show.

"Our grandfather plays the stand-up bass, and my grandmother plays piano," Chase Guyton said. "All 60 members of the family gather around and sing gospel."

From this clan has emerged six singing brothers, the sons of Terry and Iris Guyton: Chad, Brandon, Andrew, Dustin, Chase and Jordan Guyton. They range in age from 15 to 34.

The brothers grew up singing in church, but their love of music has diverged into rock, jazz, pop and gospel. The one muscial genre that strikes a chord with all six, though, is barbershop harmony.

"Our mother taught Brandon and me harmony one day in the car when we were just little kids. She taught us a round to 'The Old Oaken Bucket,' " Chad said. "... We didn't know what we were doing; we just thought it was really awesome."

As the family grew with the birth of each son, so did the number of vocal parts.

"When you have five brothers, it's easy to get a group together and make some music, so we would. We'd just stand around and sing," said Chase.

Five of the six brothers passed through the music department at Lee University. Jordan Guyton, 15, is a sophomore at Cleveland High School.

"This is a really unique family," said Danny Murray, director of Lee University's Voices of Lee. Mr. Murray recruited Chad Guyton as a founding member of that a cappella ensemble 15 years ago; a year later Brandon joined them in the group.

"They work so well together even though their personalities are different," Mr. Murray said. "If you met them individually you wouldn't even think they were kin. But when they come together in music, it has real cohesion to it."


Eldest brothers Chad and Brandon were introduced to barbershop while high school students at Bradley Central.

The brothers were asked by a teacher to put together a quartet to sing for in-service. They debuted with "What a Wonderful World."

"The teachers went crazy. We got a standing ovation, and we were hooked!" said Chad. "We sang probably 100 times my senior year. We sang at every banquet and truckstop in Tennessee."

Chad Guyton, 34.

Occupation: Owner of 501 Studios and media coordinator for the Church of God denomination.

Barbershop bio: Founding member of Four Voices, the only quartet to win gold medals at the collegiate level (1996) and international professional level (2000); founding director of he Sound of Tennessee chorus 10 years ago.

Brandon Guyton, 33.

Occupation: Corporate sales for AT&T in St. Louis, Mo.

Barbershop bio: Founding member of Four Voices, currently sings with Crossroads, 2009 World Champion Quartet. Through quartet performances, Chad and Brandon have traveled to 48 states and seven countries.

Andrew Guyton, 31.

Occupation: Employed by Logan's Roadhouse.

Barbershop bio: Sings with the Sound of Tennessee.

Dustin Guyton, 26

Occupation: He and Chase are partners in Canopy, a new music school opening on Chattanooga's North Shore that will teach vocal and instrumental lessons.

Barbershop bio: The family member who played sports in high school, Dustin said it wasn't until Brandon and Chad were chasing the International Gold Medal that he got "caught up in the whole experience" and began singing barbershop. He is a member of Sound of Tennessee and was the 2008 Chattanooga karaoke champion.

Chase Guyton, 24

Occupation: A partner in Canopy, he also teaches voice lessons.

Barbershop bio: "I was 6 or 7 when Chad and Brandon were getting into this; it was one of those 'dragged kicking and screaming' things. But when I actually sang barbershop, I enjoyed the harmony." Chase sings in Sound of Tennessee, is the 2007 Georgia Karaoke Champion and made it to the Top 50 on Season 7 of "American Idol."

Jordan Guyton, 15

Occupation: Sophomore at Cleveland High School.

Barbershop bio: Has sung in the Sound of Tennessee chorus since he was 9 years old. He plays saxophone in Cleveland High School's band.