Noteworthy to perform new songs arranged by group members

All female A Cappella ensemble BYU Noteworthy sings in de Jong Hall Nov 12, 2015.
All female A Capella ensemble BYU Noteworthy sings in de Jong Hall Nov 12, 2015. (Mark Philbrick/BYU)

BYU’s nine-member female A Capella group Noteworthy will perform in de Jong Concert Hall Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015.

The show will premiere songs never before performed in public, according to artistic director and Vocal Point alumnus Keith Evans. He said using only their voices allows the ensemble to cover a wide range of genres. Their repertoire includes pop, Latino, classical instrumental, R&B and spiritual.

The group performed arrangements by Vocal Point and Noteworthy alumni last year; it was Noteworthy’s first year as an official BYU ensemble and eight of the nine singers were new. This year’s songs and choreography were all arranged by Evans and current Noteworthy members.

Allyssa Jex, an English major and mezzo-soprano vocalist, said the group had much to learn last year about A Capella music and how to perform a good show with confidence.

“We wanted to prove ourselves to the school and make them proud to have us as some of their representatives,” Jex said. “I feel like by the final show of last year we proved to the school and to ourselves that BYU Noteworthy can accomplish great things.”

Jex said the group has not backtracked since the end of last year. It has received more publicity, allowing them opportunity to inspire as many as they can.

Noteworthy’s YouTube video “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” had four million views in three weeks, despite having less than 34 thousand subscribers.

The group performed “America the Beautiful” on the Today Show Monday morning, Nov. 9, 2015, with forecaster Al Roker at the Four Corners Monument. They will compete next year in the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella, which Noteworthy won back in 2007.

Noteworthy members shared how rewarding it is for them to participate in the ensemble. Jessica Johnson, a graphic design major, said she loves seeing how happy the music makes people. She said her best memories in Noteworthy are of people approaching her after a show, expressing their gratitude for the musical message shared and how it brightened their day.

“Music is something that I really cherish,” Johnson said.  “I’ve always wanted to share it with others because of the way it has helped me in my life.”

She knew about Noteworthy before her mission, but did not join until after she returned. She said being in Noteworthy helped her adjust to post-mission life.

“Though it’s not quite the same as a mission, Noteworthy has given me another way to share the love of God with people,” Johnson said. “I owe a lot to Noteworthy, actually. I met my husband because he came to a Noteworthy concert last year.”

Noteworthy’s vocal percussionist, Sarah Cunha, said she knew how to beatbox in high school and always enjoyed singing and performing, but was nervous to audition. She decided last year to try out for the ensemble.

“I just wanted to see if I could even do it and now here I am and it’s the best,” Cunha said. “I’m so glad I got over my fear long enough to audition because being in Noteworthy has been so awesome and rewarding.”

Participating in an A Capella group also has its challenges. Evans said each member has her own part, so performing is not like in a choir where a singer can rely on a neighbor singing the same notes.

“If you sing a wrong note, everyone can hear it,” Evans said. “You don’t have a band to cover your mistakes.”

Cunha said it is a huge time commitment. All the members are BYU students, but Cunha also works at Cyber Security Research Lab as a system administrator and researcher. She said discipline and communication help her maintain balance.

Evans said BYU Noteworthy singers do not just provide good music; they provide good female role models, which he said is hard to find these days.

“I’m grateful to members of the group for how they live,” Evans said. “They’re not just good performers, but they’re good people.”

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