River Rhapsody chapter of Sweet Adelines still singing after 45 years

Published: Nov. 3, 2019 at 6:07 PM CST
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There are dozens of studies that prove the health benefits of music. Researchers have found that music improves your memory, reduces stress, eases anxiety, helps you sleep better and just plain makes you happy. But there’s one group of women in Bismarck who don’t need a scientific study to tell them how good music can make you feel. They have the proof every Monday night.

Mondays are always a ‘good day’ for these women. Every Monday you’ll find them singing their hearts out. They are the River Rhapsody chapter of Sweet Adelines International.

“We sing acapella, with no accompaniment. We memorize everything. We do choreography we get to wear sequins,” explained Bonnie Stromme, River Rhapsody member. “It’s just so much fun.”

So much fun, that 75-year-old Bonnie Stromme has made time for Sweet Adelines since the group started in 1974.

“I was hooked for life,” she said.

Stromme was a charter member. She took a few years off but couldn’t stay away from the music and the fellowship.

“Some of these ladies I’ve known since way back in 1974,” said Stromme.

In 1974, the group’s newest member wasn’t even born.

“I’m 26,” laughed Kaitlyn Wolbeck, member of River Rhapsody. “Usually when I tell people I’m part of the Sweet Adelines they ask me if I’m old enough!”

Wolbeck joined this group about a year ago. The song “Hallelujah” got her hooked.

“We sang the song ‘Halleluiah’ and that was the first time I had full body chills. I knew I had to keep doing this,” said Wolbeck. “I kept coming, noticed the benefits. I was happier, I had the camaraderie of the ladies, and they care about me and want me to do really well.”

That is music to Director Glenna Berdahl’s ears. She’s been singing with the Sweet Adelines for 36 years.

“It’s something that gets in your blood,” said Berdahl.

Berdahl has been directing this group since 2014.

“I just want them to be the best that they can be and want them to love it as much as I do. I think if you’re in something for 30 years you must love it,” she said.

The River Rhapsody Sweet Adelines Chorus is always looking for more members. If you're interested, they rehearse every Monday evening, and on November 4th, they'll begin rehearsals for their Christmas concert.

Rehearsal begins at 6:30 p.m. at the iHeart radio station in Bismarck. You can get more information on their Facebook page or call 701-409-0059.