2017 Participating Groups
| Bella Nova|
Bella Nova is not your granddaddy's barbershop! With a diverse repertoire, a culture that celebrates the sisterhood of a cappella, and a goal to welcome women with varying musical experiences to its ranks, Bella Nova barreled onto the international barbershop scene with a 5th place finish at its first contest in 2015. This multi-generational group hails from throughout the greater Washington, D.C., region and weaves together traditional barbershop harmonies with contemporary charts to deliver the Bella Nova sound.
Members: Kristina Adams, Erin Cassidy-Whong, Tricia Pentz, Cat Lander, Allyn Powell, Morgan Lewellen, Kate Wright, Rachael Storey
New York City's Jazz R&B group, Feedback is a collection of professional musicians who have been seen and heard by millions around the world - both live and via broadcast. Turning artists like Usher and Beyonce on their head, the group pushes the boundaries of both jazz and R&B. With unique arrangements, tight harmonies, and world class vocals, Feedback has wowed audiences across the country. Feedback is thrilled to be returning to Harmony Sweeps!
Members: Mike Gullo, Doug Larsen, Garrett Philbin, Sam Nulton, Mark Martin
Lustre is thrilled to return to the Mid-Atlantic Regional to represent the Barbershop style. In 11 years together, they’ve sung everywhere! From street corners to penthouse suites, corporate events to Camden Yards, they’ve been there. But the Birchmere is always a favorite venue. In fact, this is their fourth appearance at the Harmony Sweepstakes Festival, and their first since placing second in the 2013 National Finals. Lustre is proud to be the Sweet Adelines International 2017 3rd Place International Quartet. If you see them out and about, ask for a song! Their motto is “Have pitch pipe, will travel!”
Members: Kate Morrical, Lori Crouter, Lori Dreyer, Jenny Harris
| Mutual Agreement|
In the fall of 1993, six young men formed and a capella sextet called Mutual Agreement, which means "A Covenant with God." Their intention is to spread the Word of God through song, bringing hope, strength and encouragement to all who will listen.
Each member brings his own individual gifts, talents and creativity to the group. The group uses the human voice as the chief instrument of their performance. Each member mutually agrees that their music ministry will not be kept confined within the traditional walls of the church, their mission field consists of ministering to the sick and shut-in, incarcerated youth and adults, hospitals, evangelistic meetings and wherever there is a need to provide encouragement through song.
Members: Mark Allen, Gerald Best, Lester Black, James Davis, Donald Jackson, Davis Simons
VOCALITY is an a cappella quartet with a wide ranging repertoire from 60's and 70's classic rock tunes to gospel to musical theater to barbershop. They are an animated ensemble who love singing together and entertaining audiences with a passion for igniting the spark of music in young people everywhere.
VOCALITY formed in January, 2007 and was immediately recognized as an entertaining quartet with flawless harmonies and exciting delivery. They were crowned District Champions in the Land 'O Lakes district of the Barbershop Harmony Society and quickly rose to the elite ranks of the Top 20 in the International Barbershop Quartet contest. Their debut recording was honored with two Contemporary A Cappella Recording nominations by the Contemporary A Cappella Society: Best Barbershop Album and Best Barbershop Song. In fall of 2011 VOCALITY released their second recording, Alleluia, which features gospel music.
Members: Jay Althof, Tony Blackwood, Tom Matchinsky, David Boyd
With Special Guests
|Potomac Fever is a 14-member tight harmony, a cappella ensemble that is a select outreach ensemble of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC. Potomac Fever keeps a busy schedule with over 40 outreach performances a year as well as performances in the Gay Men’s Chorus season concerts. In addition to high profile performances for the Obama Administration, the XIX International AIDS Conference and the Capital Pride Festival, GMCW lifts its collective voice at a variety of events in support of organizations including Human Rights Campaign, Whitman-Walker Clinic, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, the National Institute of Health, PFLAG and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. In May 2016 they took an historic tour to Ukraine at the invitation of the State Department to promote LGBTQ equality.|
||Jonathan Minkoff |
Jonathan Minkoff is the Founder and Executive Producer for the Public Charity, SingStrong (SingStrong.org) and its International A cappella Festivals in NY, DC and Chicago. He performs world-wide and on TV with the award-winning a cappella quartet, Blue Jupiter. Minkoff holds a Bachelors in Music Ed. from Northwestern U., a certificate in voice study from the Boston U. Tanglewood Institute, and a JD from Boston U. School of Law. Minkoff won the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes 1st place and audience favorite and the Chicago & National Sweeps' "Best Original Composition" and "Best Arrangement Awards", shared a "WAMMY" nomination for "Best Album", a CARA nomination for "Best Jazz Album" and a WAMMY win for "Best A cappella Album". Most recently, Minkoff coached Stiletta, the current National Harmony Sweeps champions, and the only group to ever win every possible award at nationals. He has over 300 published a cappella reviews at RARB.org and his articles at ACAPPELLA101.com have thousands of views monthly. After teaching, performing, emceeing and judging at over 40 a cappella festivals worldwide, Minkoff now coaches, composes, records and produces for various a cappella groups in his New York City recording studio.
enyon Erickson’s history with the Harmony Sweepstakes dates back to three awards with The Benders at the Mid-Atlantic Region Competition in 1991. As The Tone Rangers, Kenyon’s group continued to win awards or host the Sweeps until 2003, including their Big Win with a trip to San Francisco for the Nationals. Kenyon continues to direct and record with the Rangers, win the occasional Wammy, lead children’s choirs, and teach music. He is best known in his neighborhood for leading ad hoc singalongs during potlucks. This is Kenyon’s third time judging the Sweeps.
||Ted Donat |
The Mid-Atlantic Sweeps welcomes Ted Donat as a judge this year. Ted produced the Mid-Atlantic Regional from 2002 to 2011. Ted has been singing, writing, arranging, directing and producing music for more years than he cares to mention. His a cappella experience began with the Amherst College Zumbyes in the last millennium, at a time when Members Only jackets, headbands and leg warmers roamed the earth. After College, Ted continued his a cappella exploits in New York City, most notably as a member and director of Downtown Vocals. After relocating to the DC area, Ted joined dcVocals in 1999, assuming the musical director mantle from 2000 to 2004. Since 2004, Ted has been leading an original music project with his band (the kind with instruments - don't hate!) His current project is called A Beautiful Noise.. Ted is always honored to be part of the festivities at the wonderful Birchmere. Next year, he hopes to be selected as Valet Parking Attendant.
Complete list of 2017 participants
Interested in Performing?
We are always seeking groups who would like to participate
in our events.
Groups of any style are welcome, but you must have between
3 and 8 members. We have a rule book which explains many of the
details of the event, which you can see by clicking here. All groups must audition in
order to compete. Generally this is done by sending a current tape
and photo, although live auditions are sometimes arranged. The
purpose of the audition is to make sure the group is appropriate for
the Festival and to help the Director determine the performance
order. If a group has competed previously, the audition process may
How to enter
Please send music and photos to the
regional director :
Sara Rasmussen (Mid-Atlantic)
Sara has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Regional production team for several years and a supporter of the Sweeps long before that. This year, she is stepping into the producer role. Sara enjoys many styles of music and was drawn to the Sweeps because it includes such a diversity of genres. Sara has been a member of Sweet Adelines for over a decade, has competed in numerous competitions both as a member of the Potomac Harmony Chorus and as a "baritone" in various quartets. In recent years she has been performing in the Washington, DC area with the Capitol Swing Quartet. In addition to helping out with production of various Sweet Adeline events, Sara has also been involved in the programing and production for several large DC area music festivals.
HarmonySweepsMA (at) aol.com