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November 30, 2009

BYU heads to NBC

Salt Lake Tribune (UT):

Although Utahns have had much success in televised reality shows, it is still noteworthy when people from the relatively small Beehive State land on a prominent network reality series. Especially if you're Noteworthy.

Noteworthy, an award-winning a cappella group of nine Brigham Young University students, will compete in a four-night NBC reality show next month that will reward the winner with a record contract and $100,000.

"There was a long, intense process of auditions,process of auditions," said Courtney Jensen, 22, co-director of Noteworthy who also specializes as the group's beat-boxer. The nine women heard about the competition in a cappella blogs last summer, she said, and decided to audition in Los Angeles in September. "One of our top priorities is to share a positive side of not only BYU but the Church," said Jensen, a native of Sacramento, Calif.

Noteworthy, which is a member of the university's a cappella club but not directly affiliated with BYU, has been around for nine years, with different lineups each year as seniors graduate and freshmen join.

The members of Noteworthy are Jensen; Amber Catherall, 23; Amy Whitcomb, 21; Cassie Crabb, 20; Katie Jensen, 19; Kelsey Raps, 19; Laina Walker, 18, Lizzy Early, 19; and Siri Alemany, 22.

Jensen said the group has an advantage in that it is an all-female group with outstanding soloists as well as the unique beat-boxing element, which adds percussion sounds to the mix. "Some people think that because we don't have the low range [like men], we can't compete," Jensen said. "We just have to be more creative."

Whitcomb, originally from Orlando, said the group might have an edge because they are not only "young and hip" but wholesome; the group's signature song is "How Great Thou Art." "Teenage girls see us as role models and teenage boys want to date us," she said.

Besides the chance to win a recording contract and cash prize, there is another benefit to being in the competition, Jensen added. "Every girl my age knows who Nick Lachey is," she said with a laugh.

Posted by acapnews at November 30, 2009 11:31 PM

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