This is a shout out to all the college acapella groups, and, I suppose, all the college clubs that help students gather some culture into their being in the middle of endless studying and insurmountable exams.
The first such group which showed me how acapella music could actually be fun (I did not like barbershop quartets as a child) was a group of young ladies at Brigham Young University. They called themselves Noteworthy Ladies.
Performing covers of their favorite songs from various artists, movies, and other cultures, this nine-member, all-female group won me over immediately with their energy, their talent, and their enthusiasm. This was just a group of girls having fun doing something they love together, and doing it very well, in a very entertaining way. Their concerts were often saturated with good humor, making fun of themselves, and when you can make your audience laugh like we did, I’d say you’re doing good.
I don’t care how talented you are, how skilled you are, if you aren’t interacting with your audience, then your concert is boring me. Making them smile and laugh, on the other hand, makes everything much more entertaining. It’s what makes Lindsey Stirling a truly great performer, and it’s what makes Noteworthy’s concerts enjoyable.
I count myself lucky to have caught a concert by one the earliest generations of Noteworthy, just two or three years after the group was founded. This was the group which won the ICCA in 2007, with these three performances. (and you can see their encore performance(s) here) Succeeding generations have been serious competitors in the ICCA and even performed on NBC’s first season of The Sing-Off, not to mention produced a few music videos.
I can say this: if not for Noteworthy Ladies, that one time I happened to see them performing in public to promote one of their concerts, and then attended that concert… well, I’d have missed out on a number of very good things.
Example: Pentatonix, because I would not have watched The Sing-Off, and I would still be missing out on acapella music in general.
Another example: Amy Whitcomb, whose music I very much enjoy, and who appeared on The Sing-Off twice, as a leading member of both Noteworthy and Delilah.
One good thing leads to another, so I suppose Noteworthy has a particularly fond place in my heart.
My soul and spirit are richer for that encounter, so, Noteworthy, I thank you.
Their website, here.
Their YouTube channel, here.
And a couple of their videos I particularly liked:
I Was Here
Without You & I Will Wait (mashup)
O Holy Night