MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: SUE RECCHIA, 56
Sue Recchia moved to Florida 17 years ago without a friend in the entire state.
And after just one afternoon, she had more than she could ever hope for.
When Recchia told her parents that she and her husband were leaving Rochester, N.Y., to be closer to them in Greenacers, her father cut out a newspaper ad about a women’s chorus called Women of Note.
Recchia had grown up loving to sing—in the high school choir and later taking voice lessons just so she could sing better in the privacy of own home. It was a hobby she never imagined could connect her so completely with 40 women she had never met.
“I walked in on that first night and I went from not knowing anyone in Florida to having an instant circle of friends,” she said. “It literally changed my life.”
Recchia, 56, is now a voice teacher and one of the leaders of Women of Note (www.womenofnote.com), a Wellington-based community chorus that brings together women of all skill levels — from the shower singers to trained vocalists — to practice weekly, put on shows, compete in events and even score paid gigs. She is the bass section leader and one of the chorus’ longest-standing members.
“You don’t have to be even good enough to sing karaoke,” she said. “If you like to sing and can carry a tune, we’ll teach you to sing better.”
As part of the chorus, she has competed against other top choruses across the state and nationally. Their group was named back-to-back regional champions in 2006 and 2007, and again in 2009. They have medaled in the Sweet Adelines International competition in each of the past eight years.
Recchia, married to Steve Recchia for 30 years and the office manager for a law office, has sung in competitions, as part of a paid barbershop quartet, and to Alzheimer’s patients who came alive with her song—a memory that still gives her goosebumps.
“When all those voices come together, it’s a glorious sound,” she said.
What do you like about singing with this group, the Women of Note?
All of a sudden, you’re surrounded by people who enjoy something you enjoy. Everybody is really interested in the benefit of one another…. You know how there can be some cattiness between women? I know that’s sexist to say, but there’s none of that.
This has become a major part of your life?
I leave from work, I sing with the girls and then we go to dinner. The chorus is my social life. I always feel better at the end … I’m very much more of an extrovert since I joined the chorus.”
What are the range of talents?
“We have women who have never sung in a chorus and that’s fine. We’ll teach you to sing — it’s what we do.”
What’s one fact we don’t know about you?
“I’ll be married 31 years next month. Steve and I were high school sweethearts and it’s been 39 years since our first date.”