One of two all-female A cappella groups at BYU, Noteworthy, successfully runs by the means of volunteer performers and leaders.
This year the group will celebrate its upcoming ten-year anniversary, will release a new music video and is preparing to compete for an international A cappella competition.
Tatiana Quinn, a law student and former Noteworthy performer, is now voluntarily directing the group of nine students.
“This year I am directing the group; it’s a struggle because I’m a first-year law student, but I am learning to balance it for the most part,” Quinn said.
As a former member of Noteworthy, Quinn uses her performance experiences from the group to be an effective director.
“Every year there is a new director, so there are new adjustments made,” Quinn said. “Everyone adjusts well, and the girls have big jobs and a lot of responsibilities to make this group successful.”
Cassie Gonzalez is an elementary education major and returning member of Noteworthy this year. She mentioned that each year the group chooses a new theme to focus on with their music.
“With each of our songs we have a story we want to tell; this year our focus is on relationships. It is open for interpretation, but we want to focus on our relationships with God,” Gonzalez said.
Noteworthy was recently invited back to participate in the International Collegiate A cappella competition this coming spring.
“We are all so excited to do it; we shortly will find out which state the competition is in, and we’ll go from there,” Quinn said.
In 2007, Noteworthy took first place at the competition, and the group placed at the quarterfinals two years ago. The competition demands travel and heavy time commitments from the members involved.
“We normally have three rehearsals each week, but when we get ready for competition we will have four or five,” Gonzalez said. “We are taking a hymn with us this year, ‘Abide with Me, ‘Tis Eventide,’ to carry our theme with us.”
Sara Phelps, a former Noteworthy member, recalled her experiences as a performer.
“You make a lot of sacrifices; putting in the time alone can be tough. We don’t get school credit for it, and we aren’t paid to perform,” Phelps said.
But to Phelps, the sacrifice is worth it.
“Everything you go through, and all the opportunities you have to perform, really touches peoples lives. We performed a lot at retirement homes, and seeing their smiles and how it brightened their day made it all worth it,” Phelps said. “The feeling you have when you leave those places is amazing.”
Gonzales has a similar feeling when sharing her reasons why she performs.
“The main mission of Noteworthy is missionary work and spreading the gospel; we sing a bunch of pop songs, but we always sing a hymn each time we perform to invite the Spirit,” Gonzalez said.
Looking back on her favorite performances, Gonzalez mentioned that they are always the most memorable when the Spirit is present.
“Our choreography and lyrics are clean, and we make sure they are not suggestive in any way,” Gonzalez added.
The group is currently preparing for its winter concert at Timpview High School on Dec. 7, where the members will release their fourth CD. Around these times, the rehearsals get busier.
“We all put in 100 percent,” Gonzalez said. “Outside of rehearsal time we individually memorize our music and choreography so when we practice we can be completely focused.”
According to Phelps, this group completely depends on each other to make it work.
“In the end, we are all making it work together; not just one person does everything, and we all contribute a ton,” Quinn said. “A big part of Noteworthy is the sisterhood we share between the group.”
Noteworthy also released its newest music video for Christmas on Dec. 2, and the group is preparing to release more next semester.
“It is all so rewarding,” Phelps said.
Phelps believes that is the reason why the group has been so successful the past ten years and why girls continue to audition and put forth their efforts.
In January, the group will celebrate ten years of success, and it looks forward to many more.