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
||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.
Kenyon Erickson is most notorious as one of the Tone Rangers, who won three Audience Favorite and three Best Arrangement Awards, along with numerous Runner Up awards, at the Mid-Atlantic Region Harmony Sweepstakes throughout the 90's before their magnificent trip to San Francisco for the Nationals in 2002. The Rangers also hosted three times and subsequently won a string of Wammies, including one for their most recent CD. Kenyon’s preparation began with a John Phillip Sousa Award in High School for outstanding musician, followed by graduation from the University of Utah with a degree in choral music (Magna cum Laude -- big deal). As a grad student at Cornell University, Kenyon discovered the CU Glee Club and their subset, the Hangovers. In 1986, his friendships and Hangover harmonies lead to the founding of the group you know today as the Tone Rangers and rest is history. Over the years, Kenyon has also toured Europe and Asia, sung in large and small choruses, including the esteemed Choral Arts, continues to lead young church choirs, and teaches selective voice students. He is best known in his neighborhood for leading ad hoc sing-alongs.
||Ted Donat |
The Mid-Atlantic Sweeps welcomes Ted Donat as judge again this year. Ted produced the Mid-Atlantic Regional from 2002 to 2011, and is responsible for moving the venue to his favorite place in the world to enjoy music - The Birchmere Music Hall. Ted has been singing, writing, arranging, directing and producing music for over thirty years. His a cappella experience began with the Amherst College Zumbyes (that is if you don't count High School madrigals choir) and continued post-college in New York City where he would join Downtown Vocals and ultimately go on to direct the group. After relocating to the DC area in 1999, Ted would join dcVocals in 2000 and ultimately go on to direct. Since 2004, Ted has continued to sing in bands, most recently with A Beautiful Noise.. It is always an honor for Ted to be invited to participate in the Harmony Sweepstakes.
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