2021 Region 6 Woman of Note Awards
Linda Hohertz - Acapella Express
This past year, during the worldwide pandemic and the inability of our chorus to operate normally, Linda has been instrumental in promoting our chorus and craft through social media in order for us and our followers to keep engaged and excited about barbershop singing, Acapella Express and Sweet Adelines. In addition, Linda has been "over the top" enthusiastic about gathering history on our chorus to celebrate our 65th anniversary. She played a very big role in celebrating our anniversary in December and, considering she has been a Sweet Adeline for a fairly short time, she has fully embraced and completely embodies what Sweet Adelines and Acappella Express are all about. Sharing the love of barbershop and the friendships we all experience is what Linda does best and I feel she deserves this award.
Mary Lou Peplinski - Center Point
The Center Point Chorus is pleased to select Mary Lou Peplinski as a 2021 Woman of Note in Region 6. While singing as a Tenor and a member of Sheer Happiness and Sheer Dimension quartets for a long time, Mary has been a leader and chorus planner for over 35 years. She is the creative writer of our plays and shows, an assistant performance manager, always our Social Chair, food planner extraordinaire, and baker for chorus get-togethers and afterglows. She is our current president, who communicates with the members on all matters and keeps us informed about Regional programs as well as International events. Her strong musicality and skill with the pitchpipe and on the piano are important assets when we practice. During the past year of chorus Zoom rehearsals, she has provided continuity and positive focus to keep Center Point on track when we cannot sing together. We honor Mary for her dedication!
Bonnie Plumley - City of Lakes
City of Lakes is so proud to name Bonnie Plumley as our 2021 Woman of Note! Bonnie serves on our board as Director of Membership where her dedicated spirit is a huge asset in supporting our president and other board members. Her strength as a creative thinker has helped make our zoom rehearsals fun including virtual parties, games, and gift exchanges. Her passion for making everyone feel included and valued has helped keep us connected in this difficult time of physical isolation. Although Bonnie is a ‘go getter’ she does not try to ‘do it all’, she spearheaded a Sister Squad team to come up with ideas for fun and engagement that included a ‘keep in touch’ program and attendance incentives (gold ‘engagement’ rings for attending pre-pandemic rehearsals). She also developed a Meet and Greet team organized to welcome guests. Her passion for reaching out led her to organize an informal Fitbit walking challenge to keep members connected. She shares communications as the editor of our chorus newsletter, The Beat Sheet. Bonnie is an all-around gracious, inspiring leader and a real Woman of Note to us!
Shirley Mercier - Fox Valley
Shirley Mercier is once again our Woman of Note. Shirley has been a long-standing member of our chorus and from the day she became an official member of the Fox Valley Chorus, she has been a constant promoter of the chorus everywhere she goes, asking women anywhere and everywhere “do you sing”? She is the “great communicator” to guests who come to visit the chorus, sending them emails, or making that all important phone call encouraging them to come back again next week. Shirley has been membership chair as well as being on the marketing team which is where she shines. During this pandemic year, while we have been meeting remotely, and we have lost our ability to fund raise, Shirley has been tirelessly pursing grants for the chorus, and she has taken on this role solely and with great gusto. During this fiscal year, she has secured 11 grants which totaled $6,100 for our chorus treasury. She remains an enthusiastic and valued member of the Fox Valley Chorus and we are proud to have chosen her as this year’s Woman of Note.
Mary Mitchell - Heart O’ Wisconsin
Heart O' Wisconsin (HOW) has chosen Mary Mitchell as our Woman of Note. Mary sings bass and this year celebrates 15 years with SA. She has served HOW as Travel Coordinator, part of the Leadership Team, Team Manager, part of Choreography Team, part of the Fundraising Team, and the Costume Chair. Over the past year 2020-2021 Mary has quietly filled in when our Team Leader experienced family health troubles. We are very happy to say she is our WOMAN of NOTE!
Marla Johnson - Lake Country
Marla Johnson is everybody’s friend. Her big personality, kindness and genuine interest in every chorus member has made her the best person to be our Membership Chair, which she has been for several years. She has gone above and beyond what she needed to do by expanding our outreach to a number of communities to keep our membership growing and together even in these challenging times. She also serves on our Board of Directors, has chaired several major fundraising events, and is a member of our Music Team. Her wonderful communication skills and devotion to Sweet Adelines make her an asset our chorus cannot live without and the perfect person to be our 2021 Woman of Note.
Molly Reinemann - Minnesota Valley
Our Minnesota Valley Chorus 2021 Woman of Note is Molly Reinemann. Molly became a member of our chorus in July 2019. To say she “hit the ground running” (and of course singing) would be an understatement. From the start, she has had unending enthusiasm for music in general and learning the barbershop style.
Early on, Molly undertook a project for our chorus that had long been discussed but which had never quite gotten off the ground: that of logging and organizing our music library. She worked tirelessly and saw the project through to completion. Then when there was a need for another chorus member to be part of our rehearsal physical warm-up team, Molly volunteered with her usual enthusiasm. And again, when we needed someone to be the costumed bear in our circus-themed 2019 Fall show, she volunteered. It was her stage debut as an "actor". And, although it was outside her comfort zone, she was a wonderful “circus bear”.
Finally, in the role of Secretary on our chorus Management Team, her weekly Chorus rehearsal recaps are always timely and thorough. And they are often laced with humor and commentary that helps us to maintain a stronger personal connectedness to one another in these times when face-to-face interactions are not possible. Molly is a true blessing, and we are proud to have her represent us as Minnesota Valley Chorus 2021 Woman of Note.
Connie Christensen - Prairie Rose
Connie Christensen is a 20-year member of Prairie Rose Chorus. She has distinguished herself in many areas of service. She has been a member of the board and served as Membership Chair and Bylaws Chair. She has written many of the scripts we used for shows also designing and producing programs for our shows. In addition, she is working toward SAI Arranger Certification. Connie is a dependable resource person for continuity in our chorus leadership. “Ask Connie” is a well-used phrase when we have questions about almost everything. Connie took a leave of absence for a time when she had a health struggle but returned with renewed determination to be a Forever Prairie Rose. We treasure Connie for the beautiful human being she is and as a distinguished and valuable member of our chorus.
Marion Zwiefelhofer - Red Cedar Sounds
Marion is an active member of our chorus, who will volunteer for any needed task. She oversees our summer Brat sales and schedules and organizes everyone and everything for those sales. She is a fabulous lead singer and helps with costumes. Most of all she is a good friend.
Mary Ulrich - RiverCity Harmony
Mary Ulrich is a woman of notes! Joining the newly formed RiverCity Harmony chorus over 40 years ago, Mary started an amazing vocal journey filled with harmony. She sang in several quartets in the early years, creating the Interchangeables with three others in 1988.
Mary learned multiple parts in many songs over the years. Starting in the tenor role, she lilted the highest notes in the beautiful harmony we love. For a time, she sang tenor in her quartet, while singing bass in the chorus! She now sings bass in both groups. Mary has been heard to comment, “I’m my own quartet!” and she has indeed sung all parts as needed.
Not only does Mary sing, but Mary is our pitch pipe person when we can get together; we look forward to that day! She has served in many other behind the scenes roles too. Mary loves the music and the movement. She IS Sweet Adelines!
We are honored to offer our tribute to Mary Ulrich, RiverCity Harmony Woman of Note.
Byrdi Naasz - River Rhapsody
Byrdi has a positive personality and pitches in wherever help is needed. She is always ready to sing and always has a smile on her face. She is will open up her house for get togethers.
Mary Ann Hofer - Sound Cascade
Mary Ann Hofer has been a faithful and inspiring chorus member prior to the charter of Sound Cascade Chorus (Sioux Falls Chorus). The chorus was chartered 47 years ago. She was invited to chorus by a friend and became enamored with the harmony, camaraderie and performance Sound Cascade offered. Mary Ann is a Lifetime Sweet Adeline member. A highlight for her was being part of the chorus when they won 3rd and 4th place in Region VI Competitions. One of the biggest challenges and occasional lowlight was the mastery of the makeup required for competition. Mary Ann has served as President, Vice- President, section leader and as a highly skilled fundraiser. Performances were enhanced by her ability to perform solo or in quartets, octets, and full chorus. The Sally Award recognized her unique contributions to Sound Cascade. Her primary vocal contribution was lead voice, but she has sung tenor as well. Her musical talents have also been showcased as a marimba player. Playing the prelude prior to shows or accompanying the occasional song such as “Blue Hawaii” added a unique flavor to the shows. The Sound Cascade Chorus is proud to recognize Mary Ann Hofer as the 2021 Woman of Note.
Carol Morgan - Sounds of Superior
Sounds of Superior Chorus is happy to present Carol Morgan as our Woman of Note. She is a passionate member of Sweet Adelines and a highly active member of our bass section.
Carol has served in many capacities over her years in the chorus. This year she has served as president and has worked tirelessly to find creative ways to keep the chorus together, interested and engaged. She maintains a supportive relationship with our director and the music team. She is always connected to the Regional and International websites, and keeps the chorus informed. She keeps in contact with former members and is there with a personal call or note as the need arises.
She has arranged Zoom coaching, found grants to help offset costs of Zoom.
Carol has been instrumental in helping us to keep connected via Zoom rehearsals (she is the Zoom master). She has embraced this new technology and assists members with the inevitable frustration of technical problems. She is always available to offer her expertise and talent with accuracy and total dedication.
Every week, for the last year she has been there to unite and support the chorus members as Zoom host for Monday night rehearsals and more recently hosting mid-week coffee and a chat. Our Zoom rehearsals are very well attended and smoothly run in large part due to her willingness to lead and learn.
She always puts the chorus first in this year of the pandemic and her leadership and dedication are truly valued by all.
Lori Harms - Spirit of Harmony
Lori Harms is our chorus Membership Coordinator has been a valuable asset this past year during the pandemic and prior years and coming up with new and clever ideas to keep our members engaged and connected. She has created Calling Trees that enlist members to call all chorus member over a three-month period. She has done special mailing, greetings, highlighting member birthday and chorus anniversaries. She has clever ways to emphasis each voice section with fun questions and postings on our Members Only Facebook page. She finds and creates clever word find puzzles, Bingo cards that relate to our chorus and just for fun activities. Many activities have resulted in members knowing each other as they have not known in the past, information that is not typically shared standing on the risers. She is a kind and caring person with an incredibly positive attitude and liked by all chorus members. Her creativity has been enjoyed by all members. She is definitely our chorus's Woman of Note for 2021!
Terri Calvert - Twin Cities Show
2020 was a challenging year for our chorus. Many women stepped up to encourage and support the Twin Cities Show Chorus, but there is one who stood head and shoulders above the rest for her tireless dedication and work behind the scenes. She almost single handedly got our new website up and running, trained chorus members in navigating it and a team in uploading documents and information to it. The entire chorus is benefitting from the hours she spent on our website development and training. This woman also learned video editing and soundtrack editing just so our chorus could send out a virtual Christmas card. After writing the script, she encouraged everyone to send her soundtracks of the song we had chosen, she edited and compiled those, so it sounded like we were all singing together. Then she led a group on-line rehearsal where we all recited the lines of a poem in turn (that took many takes). Her willingness to learn new skills to benefit our chorus shows her self-sacrificing attitude and giving spirit. She continues to serve as the Finance Chair on our chorus board and keep accurate, understandable records of our chorus finances. She is also an active member of the RMT. She gives many hours each month to both the support of our chorus and Region 6. We are so glad she is our sister in song and are nominating Terri Calvert for the Woman of Note award.
Anita Whalen - Twin Forks
Anita Whalen was chosen as a dedicated member of the Twin Forks Chorus. She was always at rehearsals and was always willing to take on any task asked of her. Her gentle and quiet spirit was so appreciated by all her fellow chorus members.
Brandon Galbraith - Valee de Croix
Our director, Brandon Galbraith, is Vallee de Croix's choice for this year's “Person of Note”. Brandon had long ago embodied the spirit of Sweet Adelines; having come from Barbershop choruses where he directed, sang, quarteted, and led choral sections.
His background in Music Education and a willingness to learn Sweet Adelines music built a foundation that allowed him to quickly shift gears when the Covid pandemic hit. He quickly adapted to new ways to teach.
Via Zoom, we have kept up with our weekly practices. We start with warm-ups which is our normal rhythm. We learn tags regularly. We have free one on one voice lessons. Brandon was able to draw from existing footage of chorus competitions; whereby, we critiqued them as if we were the judges. He observes our singing to verify we breathe in the right place, show the right emotion, not strain our voice, or misalign our bodies.
Brandon researches educational materials including new songs to sing and finds videos or worksheets to help teach vocal techniques that might be new to us. He teaches some of the same concepts differently so everyone might be able to understand. Brandon records tags and songs for all parts. He videos himself directing us along with live directing.
Brandon's diligence to having a weekly set of goals continues. We socialize after practice to keep our membership strong.
April Horne - Zumbro Valley
We give this honor to April for many, many reasons. For almost a year now she has been our Zoom manager. She literally has kept us together and has done her best to keep our zoom time from being boring. She is our computer techie. For about the last ten years April put together a Southeast Minnesota A Cappella Festival. Many of our schools in Rochester and many from the surrounding areas were a part of it. April had many choral groups come in and perform and attend workshops with the choirs. Some of the groups included Cantus, Six Appeal, Great Northern Union Barbershop chorus and many more. This was in support of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. April was also a part of coordinating a Summer of Harmony program to get young girls interested in singing barbershop harmony. The girls came to six rehearsals and learned three songs. At the end they performed these songs at a performance of the chorus.
April sings baritone in chorus, but also sings tenor in a quartet named The Lady Slippers within our chorus. They have gone to the High Schools to share the beautiful harmony of barbershop singing.
April loves music and especially a cappella which in her words is why she does so much to support the music we love. She is a lot of fun and always positive. Zumbro Valley loves April and says “THANK YOU” from the bottom of our hearts.
2020 Region 6 Woman of Note Awards
Audra Freeman - Acapella Express
Acapella Express is proud to announce our 2020 Woman of Note award recipient. Audra ‘s first experience with Sweet Adeline’s began 20 years ago by noticing a button on a member’s jacket stating “Loves to Sing”. She asked what it meant, and how to become involved, and the rest is history! She attended her first rehersal and fell in love with the barbershop style of singing and the opportunity it gives to women all over the world to come together in a sisterhood of harmony. She is also celebrating her 20 year membership this year, with an award that is well deserved!
Audra has dedicated so much time and effort in making our chorus, and the Sweet Adeline’s experience, a success in our community. Her leadership has branched out in so many ways and we are thankful for her efforts. In the past Audra has served as President, Vice President, competition and events coordinator, as well as past RMT Finance Coordinator and volunteering with the Regional convention committee. She currently is our Treasurer, Music Team leader, choreographer, media specialist, organizer of performances, shows, events and competition coordinator, as well as Bass section leader. Although the list could go on, we are very thankful for the many things that we are priviledged to experience with her every week! Thank you for your dedication Audra! We are grateful for your membership and dedication!
Dawn Mews - Center Point
The Center Point Chorus wishes to nominate Dawn Mews as a 2020 Woman of Note in Region 6. While singing as a Lead and a member of our Silver Belles quartet, Dawn has been our chorus treasurer for ten years. She is giving of her time, always willing to help, meticulous, and competent. In her warm, unassuming way, she is such an important part of the framework of our chorus life. Like most treasurers, she handles chorus dues, deposits, bill payments, and budgets. But she is also the one in charge of financial records for all chorus shows and cash boxes for fund raising activities. As the officer responsible for chorus reporting and communication with Sweet Adelines International, she advises our Board patiently and thoughtfully on the sometimes difficult financial decisions that must be made due to our small size. Her quiet devotion to keeping Center Point Chorus afloat enables us in our mission to sing and perform four-part harmony, barbershop style. Thank you, Dawn!
Anne Stickler - City of Lakes
Anne interacts with all of our guests and new members, she makes them feel welcomed and guides them through voice testing and the audition process. She does it all with care, kindness and humility. She conducts well thought out vocal warm-ups for us with expertise, enthusiasm and encouragement. Anne is an example of dedication and service to COL and to Region 6 as a member of the Faculty. For all of those reasons Anne is a deserving Woman of Note Award winner.
Brenda Krueger - Fox Valley
Brenda Krueger started her Sweet Adeline affiliation with Cedar Harmony Chorus, region 22, in 1994, then relocated and joined the Fox Valley Chorus where she has been a vital member for the past 14 years. She serves on the music team, and has been baritone section leader for many years, mentoring not only current and new members, but guests as well. She has been our long standing events coordinator, and works tirelessly planning and implementing numerous events throughout the year.
Brenda initiated an annual pie social a few years ago, which has proved to be a very successful fundraiser for the chorus. As part of this event, one again this year, Brenda baked all the pies for the pie raffle herself! She has sung with 5 quartets over the past 26 years, and is currently the baritone in Sweet Addiction quartet. It's hard to narrow down what Brenda has given to the chorus in just this past year, because she just never stops!
Jeanetter Braastad - Lake Country
Jeanette Braastad has always been a woman of note. That is how she lives her life, a life of harmony and caring. She goes out of her way to make sure others can enjoy our music. Her generosity, her dedication to practicing her music, promoting our craft and devotion to making life-long friends everywhere she goes makes her truly the face of Sweet Adelines.
No matter how her day is going, she always presents herself ready, willing, and happy to do whatever is asked of her and that which she can physically do. She is loved and respected by all. Lake Country Chorus is proud to present her as our 2020 Woman of Note.
Melissa Sailor - Minnesota Valley
Minnesota Valley’s 2020 Woman of Note is Melissa Sailor. Melissa has been a member of our chorus since 2018, and during that time she has had a positive, enthusiastic impact on our group. She brings energy and commitment to everything she does, and her positivity has an impact on everyone. She has helped our group to think of new ways to interact with our community and spread the word about our hobby.
Melissa has taken charge of our social media presence. She is consistent in posting items about our group, and also about the greater Sweet Adelines organization and singing in general, increasing our visibility in the community. Melissa is our bass section leader, a job she accepted very early in her Sweet Adelines journey. She leads her section with kindness and encouragement. She was instrumental in organizing a new fundraising opportunity for our group, which also created an opportunity for us to perform for a new audience. We appreciate Melissa’s positive presence, her musicianship, and her quiet calm leadership in our group.
Marlene Herman - RiverCity Harmony
Marlene Herman was selected to be honored as a region 6 woman of note for River City Harmony chorus. she has been an active member of Sweet Adelines Incorporated since 1979.
Marlene has served as assistant director, treasurer, music librarian, costume and visual coordinator and riser mover. She also stepped up to direct the chorus many times whenever a director was needed.
Marlene encouraged members to attend regional events and sang tenor and in a quartet for over 10 years. Most notably when the chorus was struggling, she was the spark that kept us singing barbershop Harmony. Our chorus thanks Marlene for her enthusiasm and hard work.
Sandy Asheim - River Rhapsody
I am nominating Sandy Asheim as Woman of Note For River Rhapsody Chorus. Sandy has been an upstanding member of this chorus for many years. Besides singing baritone, she has served on the board as secretary and wrote detailed notes to keep the board informed. Most recently she is serving on the costume team and works very closely with the other members and the director. She has been serving as the MC for our performances and with a few team members, works to write the scripts. Sandy has donated time and money to printing calling cards for our chorus, and posters for some of our shows. Sandy's husband has been a great support in all that she does for and with the chorus, which has included moving the risers. I feel Sandy fits the description for this award and would like to see her receive it so the region can see we are very proud of her contributions.
Dawn Webb - Sound Cascade
Sound Cascade’s Woman of Note for 2010 is Dawn Webb. Dawn is a long time member of Sound Cascade, and she currently sings tenor. She is always working to improve our chorus musically and encouraging other chorus members. Dawn’s introduction to Sweet Adelines came in 1970 when a friend invited her to Sister City Chorus in Montevideo, MN. She immediately knew that this style of music was for her and she joined that group singing as a baritone. Her director there was Bob Reed (his daughter Marcia Starnes was also a member.) Dawn eventually transferred to the Sioux Falls Chorus (which had chartered three months earlier) and continued singing baritone. Dawn’s first experience in a quartet was singing tenor with Karen Christian, Suzi Dickey, and Doreen Rollag as the Sioux Edition quartet. This quartet sang together for 25 years with a 5th place showing at one competition. Dawn took a few years away from Sweet Adelines. When she returned to the chorus (now Sound Cascade,) she joined another quartet called One More Time. This quartet included Martha Donaldson (later Karen Christian joined as the bass,) Lori Sternborg, and Doreen Rollag.
Dawn has served as secretary and president of our board, section leader, and served on the costume and choreography committees. Dawn sees singing barbershop as a lifestyle, not just a hobby. She has great memories of competitions, music schools, coaching, weekly rehearsals, and the many good friends that she has made over 50 years of singing with Sweet Adelines. When Dawn is not singing, she likes to spend time with her husband Walt, her two daughters and her grandchildren. She also enjoys water exercise classes and spending time at the lake. We are proud and happy to have her as our 2020 Woman of Note.
Linda Bruneau - Sounds of Superior
Linda serves as our Music Librarian, is on the Music Team and Visual Team. She does a wonderful job developing and leading our physical warm ups at rehearsal. She spends hours working out our choreography, watches other chorus videos, learns from our coaches, and makes videos for chorus members so they can learn the choreography. She spends extra time at home and elsewhere with those that need extra help. She has the moves and shares her expertise with grace and understanding.
Linda is a very hardworking member of our chorus and quietly goes about her work. She is a competent Music Librarian, ensuring that members and guests have the proper music, and also is responsible for downloading music onto the chorus website. Her quiet, professional and capable manner is a real asset to us in many ways. She is conscientious in all that she does from her baritone singing, to her choreography, to her presence on the Music Team and her positive attitude to everything. Music is her specialty and she does all things well.
She also volunteers her husband and herself to take on extra things for our events including moving our risers when needed. She is always willing to help!
A very talented and valuable member of the Sounds of Superior Chorus - worth to be called "Woman of Note".
Pat Young - Spirit of Harmony
We are pleased to submit Pat Young as our Woman of Note selection for 2020. She has been a member of Spirit of Harmony Chorus since 1981, making 39 years of dedication with Sweet Adelines. She currently sings baritone but sang tenor with High Spirits quartet and baritone with Stateline Celebration quartet.
She is a member of our music team and assists with vocal warmups, where she shares her knowledge from her degree in Music Therapy. She has played the organ in her church for over 40 years and has been honored by her church congregation. She has served on the chorus Board of Directors as VP/Membership. She currently blows the pitch for the chorus, a very important support for our director. Although she is a quiet member, her dedication to the chorus is noted and it's a rare occurrence for her to miss a rehearsal.
Susan Krisnik - Twin Cities Show
Susan Krisnik is a star performer at Twin Cities Show Chorus. Always willing to lend a hand, Susan is our go-to gal for choreography design and teaching. She does our weekly physical warm-up sessions teaching the chorus moves we use in the choreography plan for our songs. Susan is always fun and positive in all she does. Besides singing tenor, she also helps with fundraising projects like the annual spring flower sale and the wine bottle auction at our annual spaghetti dinner. She has been a past Board of Directors member and chorus president. She gets all this done in addition to being on the Regional Management Team and Faculty. Susan is a great contributor to Twin Cities Show Chorus and the Region 6. We are lucky to have her as a member of Twin Cities Show Chorus.
Glory Fladland - Twin Forks
Glory Fladland is worthy to be the Woman of Note from the Twin Forks Chorus. Her smile and dedication to be singing bass in the chorus is evident at each practice and performance.
Glory has been a member for 10 years and served as an outstanding Membership chair on the Team. Always looking for ways to bring in new people.
She has a real desire to have our chorus grow and wants to give others the opportunity to feel the joy of singing and sharing with others her love of Barbershop- music.
Audrey Szymansky - Vallee de Croix
Vallee de Croix’s 2020 Women of Note is Audrey Szymansky, she has been secretary for VdC many years, she steps working on the hot sheet for even longer. She always puts a bit of humor in her writings keeping us on our toes. She has been great partner with our new members, has helped out with keeping in touch with our community. She also enjoys being in an octet. She has quietly volunteered doing projects that very few people what to tackle, or will help out when she is needed, she will smile the whole time doing it.
Jill Wellik - Zumbro Valley
Jill is a member similar to the oil that makes the engine run smoothly. She coordinates our music, does our PR for performances, and keeps our web site up to date. Jill has been our treasurer for many years, and keeps us in tow with spending of our monies. She has been a part of applying for grants, and putting the money to good use. Jill is just one of those members who we appreciate more than we let her know. Jill is an awesome member!
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