Thursday, May 03, 2012

Noteworthy women's chorus to present Pine Mountain Music Festival Benefit Concert series

HOUGHTON -- The women’s chorus Noteworthy will celebrate the music of Broadway legends Stephen Sondheim and his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, in its upcoming concert series, "Bling and Sing with Stephen Sondheim."

As a benefit for the Pine Mountain Music Festival, the Noteworthy women's chorus, known for its a cappella harmonies, will perform "Bling and Sing with Stephen Sondheim" at the Calumet Theatre May 12, the Ontonagon Theater May 18, and the Pine Grove Country Club in Iron Mountain May 19. (Photo courtesy Pine Mountain Music Festival)

Noteworthy will perform the concert of familiar favorites at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the Calumet Theatre. A benefit for the Pine Mountain Music Festival, the program is a prelude to Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, which is on the Festival’s summer schedule.

Noteworthy is also performing the same concert on Friday, May 18, at the Ontonagon Theater and on Saturday, May 19, at the Pine Grove Country Club in Iron Mountain, also at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and are available at the door, or by calling Michigan Tech Ticketing Services, 877-746-3999, or online at

Noteworthy, the only women’s barbershop chorus in the Copper Country, is recognized for its lush tonal quality and intricate, a cappella harmonies. This rich array of show tunes has added new depth to its barbershop repertoire.

To mark the occasion, Noteworthy’s members will be adding "bling" by replacing their standard concert garb with fancy dress, including sequins, rhinestones, satin and sparkles.

"We wanted to reflect some of the excitement of this awesome music," said Noteworthy director Joan Petrelius. "We’re also proud and honored to be singing on behalf of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, which brings absolutely wonderful entertainment to our area."

Sondheim songs on the program include the sassy "Let Me Entertain You" and standards "Everything’s Coming Up Roses" and "Together Wherever We Go," from his 1959 musical Gypsy, and "Send in the Clowns," a poignant lament made famous by folk singer Judy Collins. Pianists Susan Byykkonen and Monica Rovano will provide accompaniment for the haunting "Children Will Listen," from the 1986 musical Into the Woods.

A top lyricist and producer, Hammerstein teamed up with many composers, most famously with Richard Rodgers, with whom he wrote many musicals, including The Sound of Music. He also mentored young Sondheim after the divorce of the boy’s parents in what would be one of the most high-impact apprenticeships in musical theater. Sondheim went on to win an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, a Pulitzer, and the Lawrence Olivier Award.

Noteworthy will sing a selection of songs from The Sound of Music, including "Climb Every Mountain," "Edelweiss" and "The Sound of Music." During the Calumet performance, they will be joined in "Do Re Mi" by several of the members’ grandchildren. Another favorite, "You’ll Never Walk Alone" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, is also on the program.

Marcia Goodrich will perform "I Know Things Now," Little Red Riding Hood’s reflections upon being eaten by the wolf, from Into the Woods. And Bonnie Horn will sing her own adaptation of "Not While I’m Around," the wistful song of a boy wishing to protect his mother figure, from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

Noteworthy was formed in 1996 under the direction of Theresa Goodell, a retired music teacher. Under her care, the eight-member group grew to nearly 30. Petrelius took up the baton in July 2010, after Goodell’s retirement. A retired band and choral teacher, Petrelius quickly embraced the barbershop style, and Noteworthy has continued to thrive under her direction.

No comments: