Monday, May 20, 2013

Noteworthy women's chorus offers lively barbershop harmonies, humor, fun at benefit concert

By Michele Bourdieu

During their May 16, 2013, benefit concert, "Vintage, Vibrant and Vivacious," at Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton, the Noteworthy women's chorus has fun with their rendition of "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl," featuring Marcia Goodrich (with "head cheese" and Sisu shirt) as "Cowgirl" Hilma Maki, played by Marcia Goodrich, with her "cow," Susan Kreivi, in a musical skit choreographed by Karina Jousma. At left is Noteworthy Director Joan Petrelius. See video below. (Photos and videos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- From "Vintage" tunes like "Second Hand Rose" and "It's a Pity to Say Goodnight," to "Vibrant and Vivacious" favorites like "Ride the Chariot" and "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl," Noteworthy, the volunteer women's a cappella chorus, entertained a full-house audience at Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Houghton on May 16.

Noteworthy is known for singing a cappella, in a barbershop style, and wearing creative hats and costumes to put the audience in the mood for their songs. Here they show off their "vintage" hats and outfits for the song, "Second Hand Rose."

This lively group of women who love to sing, specializing in barbershop harmonies, perform concerts to share their love of singing and to benefit local nonprofits. A free-will offering is usually requested but not obligatory. Their spring and Christmas holiday concerts have raised thousands of dollars for organizations such as Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Copper Country Humane Society and Pine Mountain Music Festival.

Noteworthy women's chorus sings the "vintage" tune, "Second Hand Rose" during their May 16, 2013, concert, "Vintage, Vibrant and Vivacious," in Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, Houghton, Mich., to benefit the Angel Mission in Calumet, Mich., and scholarship recipients for a summer music program sponsored by the church. (Video clips by Keweenaw Now)*

The success of Noteworthy's performances can be largely attributed to the talent and contagious enthusiasm of their director, Joan Petrelius.

Noteworthy Director Joan Petrelius, pictured here wearing her own "vintage" hat, often directs the chorus in gestures as well as harmonies.

Petrelius announced during the concert that the group welcomes new members. Any women who enjoy singing and are interested in joining the chorus can contact her at 482-5088 or speak to any of the chorus members for more information.

Noteworthy women's chorus begins the second part of their May 16, 2013, concert with a lively version of "In the Mood."

During Noteworthy concerts, individual members of the chorus may introduce a song with a story, often humorous, and establish a rapport with the audience to put them in the mood for the music.

Noteworthy women's chorus sings "Ride the Chariot," an energetic version of the spiritual, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," during their May 16, 2013, benefit concert in

The mood of this concert was light rather than serious; and Noteworthy's director and the chorus members evidenced a healthy sense of humor in adapting an old cowboy song, "Ragtime Cowboy Joe," to their own "feminist" version, "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl" -- giving her a local Finnish-sounding name, "Hilma Maki," portrayed by Marcia Goodrich, with her "cow," Susan Kreivi in a skit choreographed by Karina Jousma.

Noteworthy women's chorus has fun offering a women's version of an old cowboy song, "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl." In addition, they localize the song to Houghton and Keweenaw counties, with a Finnish-American "cowgirl" -- Hilma Maki.

Noteworthy concluded the "Vibrant and Vivacious" second part of their concert applying their barbershop harmonies to "One Fine Day." After receiving a standing ovation, the chorus invited their other members and the audience to join them in singing the hymn, "God Be with You 'Til We Meet Again" as their finale.**

Other members of the Noteworthy chorus, including one with her new baby, join, along with the audience, in singing, "God Be with You 'Til We Meet Again." **

This concert was a benefit for the Angel Mission in Calumet and for scholarship recipients for Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church summer music program.

During the concert, volunteers from the Angel Mission spoke about their work. The Angel Mission, at 112 Fifth St. in Calumet, is a free store offering donated clothing, housewares, food, toys, books and other items free of charge -- a community resource for families who need assistance with food and other items, no questions asked.***

Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church provides scholarships to its summer music program to ensure that no one who wants to participate is turned away due to lack of funding.

* Click here for a video of Noteworthy singing another vintage song, "It's a Pity to Say Goodnight."

** Click here for the video of Noteworthy's concluding song and finale.

*** The Angel Mission welcomes donations of cash as well as used items. All clothing offered is clean and must be current styles. Their policy is "If we would not wear it, then it is not hung out."

Housewares must be in working order and dishes not chipped or cracked. Furnishings and linens must be clean and useful. Toys must be clean and in working order. Books, magazines and DVD/VCR movies are also welcome. The movies can be checked out for a week, free of charge. The Food Pantry is available once a month for families, no questions asked. The amount of food depends on availability and family size.

The Angel Mission also sponsors various holiday programs, a back-to-school backpack drive and an Emergency Assistance Program. For more information call 906-934-3602 or 906-370-9240.

CORRECTION: In our original story we incorrectly identified Karina Jousma as portraying the "cow" in "Wild and Wooly Ragtime Cowgirl." We have made the correction, noting the cow is played by Susan Kreivi in this musical skit choreographed by Karina Jousma. Thanks to Marcia Goodrich for calling our attention to the correction.

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