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An open book: Note-A-Belles barbershop chorus seeks new members

 Note-A-Belles director Louise Sollecito looks over some sheet music outside her home in the town of Onondaga.

Note-A-Belles director Louise Sollecito looks over some sheet music outside her home in the town of Onondaga. Laura Sabbert

— Town of Onondaga resident Louise Sollecito has directed the Note-A-Belles all-women barbershop chorus for more than 20 years.

“There’s nothing like standing in front of a choir and hearing them sing back at you,” said Sollecito, a mother of five, who before directing the chorus sang with the Spirit of Syracuse. In her time leading the group, which was once associated with Syracuse University Women’s Club, Sollecito has taken them from a humble eight-member chorus to an ensemble of 20-plus.

But now she’s in need of more singers to keep the Note-A-Belles’ sound strong and balanced. The group could use more basses in particular, though female singers of all voice parts are welcome. Current members come from across Syracuse and its surrounding suburbs, including Camillus, East Syracuse and DeWitt. Ages range from 40 to that of Santa Ludwig, who at the age of 92 is still an active member of the chorus.

And you don’t have to audition to sing with the Note-A-Belles.

“We accept most anybody,” Sollecito said. “Hopefully they can sing!”

The Note-A-Belles sing the classics — “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Sleepy Time Gal” and “Unchained Melody,” to name a few.

“Oldies but goodies,” Sollecito said.

They perform at a variety of functions throughout the year, and sing annually at the New York State Fair. Their next public performance will be during the town of Camillus Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the municipal building on West Genesee Street, where the Tom Dooley Choraliers will also perform.

Women interested in singing with the Note-A-Belles can call Sollecito at 468-3328. They rehearse from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays at the St. Paul’s Methodist Church of the Angels, located on Valley Drive in Syracuse. All are welcome to attend.

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