Noteworthy celebrates 15 years

HANCOK?- Over the years, audiences around the Copper Country have come to know Noteworthy for its signature barbershop style.

Founded in 1998 by Theresa Goodell, the group celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

Current chorus director Joan Petrelius said back in the ’80s, a group of woman had formed a chorus in L’Anse but had later disbanded.

“Some of the women were up here and they would drive to L’Anse and they started the group up here fifteen years ago,” Petrelius said.

Petrelius is coming up on her fourth year as chorus director and said they have been adding a lot more to its routine.

“We’re still evolving as a group,” she said. “We are adding a lot more choreography and costuming and all those kind of fun things that the audience really likes.”

While there is no official theme for the upcoming season, there will be some variety. During their annual Christmas show, which Patrelius said would be more traditional, Father Corbin Eddy will be playing the organ. A famous German Christmas hymn, “Von Himmel Hoch,” will also be performed.

“It’s going to be different for us. We’re going to be singing in German,” she said.

It’s noteworthy to say that the chorus memorizes all the music.

“And then we’re going to be improvising on the song and then (Father Corbin Eddy) will carry it over to the organ piece and demonstrate how the music of that time was improvised on,” she said.

There will also be a sing-along with the audience.

Noteworthy is also currently looking for new members. As of now, the chorus has about 25 members. Patrelius would love to see 40 people in the chorus, noting that most people have to leave the group because of either health reasons or relocating.

“Generally when women join they love it so much and it’s so much fun,” she said. “It’s such a benefit to the community that (the women) generally stay in the group.”

But she thinks that maybe a reason more women don’t come out and try to join is because they may be intimidated.

“I think that maybe people think that (memorizing the songs) is so hard to do and it kind of keeps women away from singing. Really it’s not that hard because we sing these so much that you just kind of memorize it by doing it,” she said.

Noteworthy practices once a week from 6 to 8 p.m. Gloria Dei Lutheran church in Hancock, but sometimes extra rehearsals are added before a concert.

“It’s just such a wonderful experience for women because of the friendships that they create and the two hour (rehearsals) go by just like wildfire,” she said. “We do all kinds of different musical activities with our singing and it’s so good for your soul, spirit and mind.”

A lot of the members are even friends outside the chorus.

Patrelius mentioned that all women are welcome, even if they just want to stop by and see what it’s like.

Marcia Goodrich has been a member of Noteworthy for nearly 10 years. She’s been with the chorus for so long because she loves singing the type of music Noteworthy is known for.

“For somebody who was raised in the chorale tradition, it’s just fun as heck to be able to sing all this popular music,” she said. “It’s really challenging for me which makes it really interesting.”

One of the songs that are more popular that Noteworthy will be singing is “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” which will be performed during its Christmas show.

The chorus has also sung some songs from Steven Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

One unique thing about Noteworthy is how much of a bonding experience singing in a chorus can be, Goodrich said.

“People think of competitive sports as having that kind of team work, but it’s the same thing with singing except without the bruising,” Goodrich said. “You’re involved in making something absolutely fabulous that you can’t do on your own.”

The first rehearsal of this season is September 12 and anyone who is interested is welcome to stop by. Women can also call Joan Patrelius at 906-482-5088.