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The MoodSwings: (front) Thea Landesberg and Laura Van Orden; (back) Nicole Alvarez and Susana McDermott (Photo by: Anne-Marie Caruso)
The MoodSwings: (front) Thea Landesberg and Laura Van Orden; (back) Nicole Alvarez and Susana McDermott (Photo by: Anne-Marie Caruso)
Posted: Wednesday April 4, 2012, 3:12 PM
Neighbors: Getting in the Mood
By Ryan Greene - (201) Magazine

Combine four ladies of a certain age with a lifelong love for music of all kinds, and what do you get? That would be The MoodSwings.

No matter what they're singing, from doo-wop and standards to The Beatles and The Eurythmics, these talented women – Thea Landesberg, Nicole Alvarez, Susana McDermott and Laura Van Orden – have spent more than three years fine-tuning their four-part a cappella harmonies and bringing smiles to faces.

"Our name describes both our life stage and our repertoire," says Landesberg, a Ridgewood resident. "In 60 minutes, we can cover just about any musical genre you can think of, so there's usually something for everyone. But we always pick songs and arrangements that we love, and that seems to resonate with our audience."

Landesberg met her fellow singers while singing with local choral groups and invited them to form The MoodSwings in 2009.

"We had no expectations beyond singing non-classical music and having fun at rehearsals," Van Orden, an Allendale resident, says. "But once we started singing out, we understood we had something special."

Now The MoodSwings perform at area parties year-round, and they often sing at area senior centers as a way of giving back to the community.

"We're quite the hit on the senior circuit," McDermott, also of Allendale, says, "especially during the holidays. We always make the rounds, and it's obvious they love the music. But we hope it's also obvious just how much fun it is to make it."

The only trick is finding the time to get together and sing.

"We all have very full professional and family lives," says Alvarez, an attorney and Ramsey resident, "so we fit this in as we can. The music we choose is just challenging enough to keep it interesting, but not too stressful that we can't laugh and have fun while learning it."

Submit your ideas for "Neighbors" to 201editor@bergen.com.

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