2012 Participating Groups
| West Side 5|
West Side 5, an award-winning vocal jazz ensemble based in New York City, is known for its refined sound and sophisticated approach to jazz. Inspired by greats like Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and The Real Group, WS5 has crafted its own unique sound, characterized by highly original arrangements, complex harmonies, and outstanding musicianship.
The group formed in the summer of 2009, bringing together five old college friends on the west side of Manhattan. They immediately garnered acclaim, winning the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes while being voted Audience Favorite and winning Best Arrangement for "Pure Imagination". They went on to be featured artists at the SingStrong A Cappella Festival, and have performed alongside groups including Blue Jupiter, Streetcorner Symphony, and The Bobs, as well as for Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion in New York.
Members: Eric Hughes, David McIntosh, John Shumway, Sara Wajnberg, Lara Hirner
Audiofeels is a group of friends, whose eight individual musical tastes unite in one fascination for the unique capacity of human voice. They represent Vocal Play, a style that uses human voice for making music in a way that transforms an a cappella performance into a rich vocal orchestra. Using only their vocal chords to replicate instruments, Audiofeels in fact become instruments to create an impression of an entire orchestra on stage. Their adventure began in the Adam Mickiewicz University Choir in Poznan, Poland where they met and where after years of singing together they decided to pursue their dreams in a different "direction".
Members: Jaroslaw Weidner, Marek Lewandowski,, Marcin Illukiewicz, Bartosz Michalak, Michal Szajkowski, Bartosz Lehmann, Michal Stec
Lustre is a lovely award winning quartet out of the Baltimore area. Lustre's musical adventures began in 2005, and what a journey it has been! Kate, Lori, Lori, and Jenny met through Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus, and have been ringing chords together ever since. They have wowed their audiences at performances and contests around the country, from shows in Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania to international competitions in Houston and Denver. You may even have seen them singing at a Baltimore Orioles game or two! Lustre is proud to be the 2013 Sweet Adeline's International 7th Place Quartet Finalist.
Members: Kate Mirrical, Lori Crouter, Lori Dreyer, Jenny Harris
| Jazz Affair|
Jazz Affair is a combination of six unique voices resulting in a colorful and dynamic sound. Members of the group hail from Quebec City and Montreal Canada. They met each other in 2009, while studying music at University. Since then, they have worked together, producing shows and participating in various events in Quebec. Jazz Affair sings an assortment of Jazz, Pop, and French songs. The group arranges most of the pieces they perform and the pleasure and fun the have when singing is - in their words - contagious.... Be warned!
Members: André Bean, Luce Bélanger, Christian B. Poulin, Camille Legault-Coulombe, Marie-Pier Deschênes, Louis Laprise
Empire was launched in September 2010, bringing powerful all-female a cappella to New York City and beyond! In addition to local performances, they have toured the US, participated in the Harmony Sweepstakes competition, VoCAL Nation, auditioned for NBC's The Sing-Off, and headlined a major fundraising event. Empire has garnered a large fan base throughout the Northeast, stretching out to small towns in Iowa, and as far as California.
Members: Erica Meyer, Meron Mogos, Rachel Tombes, Holli Matze, Sarah Jensen, Anna Concepcion, Madison McCollough, Christie Steele
| Cerise Quartet|
Cerise is a new a cappella group composed of four femmes who found each other while gigging with the New York Philharmonic. We sing everything from classical to jazz and are happy to perform a cappella or with accompaniment.If you're from the future, you're familliar with our multi-platinum albums. If you're from the present, you've seen us on the Onion News Network, on Live From Lincoln Center, and possibly at the gym. Cerise has just been booked to sing the National Anthem at the NY Knicks game on April 17 and are stoked to be making their Harmony Sweepstakes debut!
Members: Esther David, Erin Kemp, Margarita Martinez, Helen Karloski
The Perspective is a five-man vocal band, blending Pop, Rock and R&B on a daily basis, with absolutely no instruments. Bringing together the best traditions of the five-man sound, THE PERSPECTIVE builds a bridge from the classic sounds of the 50's and 60's to the modern era of rock and R&B. Formed in 2009, and proud to call New York City our home, THE PERSPECTIVE has performed at listening rooms around New York City including the legendary Bitter End, the National Underground, and Millesime Salon at the luxurious Carlton, NYC. We are stoked to make our debut at the Harmony Sweepstakes Competition! .
Members: Damon Maida, Jack Holahan, Doug Paulson, Joe Dunham, Aaron "AB" Belinfanti.
Revive is a five member male A Capella group originating in Philadelphia PA, the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection. The group has been singing and writing songs together for the past year. their niche in music is based on the R&B groups of the 90s,, such as Boys II Men and Dru Hill, where timeless music was created; and as their name suggests, they are here to 'Revive' the legacy, and beyond. They have the diversity of our melting pot country; and they harmonize beautifully, involuntarily. Revive is a group not to be missed!
Members: Derek Anthony, Sage Bleakney, Anthony Pompey, Andrew Segan, Brett Kahn
With their brand of R&B soul, The Tee-Tones are quickly making a name for themselves in the NYC tri-state area, The Tee-Tones are an amazing a cappella singing group from Brooklyn, NY who combine soulful, group harmony with passionate vocal performances in the classic Doowop, RnB and Motown genres everyone loves.
Members: Scout Xavier, George Ellington, Jerome Cohen, Gerard Gittens, Bernard Taylor
| The Barkers|
"The Barkers" were formed in 2011 with the idea of singing the music of the longest running game show and putting it on "Youtube". Truth is, that was just an excuse to get old friends together to write & perform some
cool charts. What could be more fun!
Members: Marcus Smith, Craig Eckhardt, John McMahon, Warren Bloom, Jonathan Hampton, Nick Fox
||Gerard Brown III |
Gerard Brown III is a screenwriter and former writer in residence with the New York Shakespeare Festival. He has written a number of screenplays and teleplays for the likes of Paramount Pictures and HBO among others. However, his most gratifying artistic accomplishment was PBS's Spike & Co: Do it A Cappella which he conceived, wrote, and co-executive produced and shot at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Jim Diego is a current and founding member of the New York City-based award-winning co-ed a cappella group, “The Red States,” and the current Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) Ambassador for the New York City metro area. Since moving to New York over five years ago, Jim has been heavily involved with the global a cappella community, becoming a sought-after clinician and adjudicator at a cappella festivals around the country and on a consultant basis, particularly in the fields of visual performance, stage presence, and movement; and as a judge for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) and the International Championships for Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). In college, Jim went to the University of Michigan, where he sang for four years with the co-ed group, Gimble. In addition to a cappella, Jim has a background in hip hop and street jazz dance, having been trained by several top NYC-based instructors. This year, Jim is nearing completion of a multi-track solo recording of Whitney Houston covers, The Whitney Project, which will be released this spring to major digital retail stores worldwide.
||Jimmy Hayes |
Jimmy Hayes is a founding member of the legendary Persuasions. Dubbed the "godfathers of a cappella" the group began singing together in Brooklyn, New York in the mid-1960s. They have performed interpretations of both secular and non-secular music, and have covered a wide range of musical genres for almost 50 years with Jimmy singing bass. As a member of the Persuasions, Jimmy has covered artists such as Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, Roy Hamilton, Jerry Butler, Sam Cooke, and Elvis Presley, and toured, performed, and recorded with Joni Mitchell, Liza Minnelli, the Grateful Dead, and Ray Charles.
In addition to their own recordings, Jimmy and the Persuasions have appeared on albums by artists such as Joni Mitchell, Don McLean, and Paul Pena, and their version of "Papa Oom Mow Mow" appeared on the soundtrack of Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Jimmy appeared on Season 2 of the NBC’s “The Sing-Off” with the Persuasions, and groups as varied as Take 6, Rockapella, The Nylons, and Boyz II Men cite The Persuasions as major influences.
Mark Paul is an accomplished a cappella performer, music director, vocal coach, and lifelong musician. A 39-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), he is the former bass singer of a top-20 International-level a cappella barbershop quartet, Reveille, that for nine years regularly entertained audiences across the United States and internationally. Reveille holds a quartet championship in the BHS six-state Mid-Atlantic District. He served for seventeen years in top musical leadership positions for gold and silver internationally competitive BHS choruses and was the front-line Musical Director of a BHS District level chorus. He has performed in a documentary film about barbershop singing and on two music albums. An a cappella vocal coach for 34 years, Mark works with individuals, quartets, and choruses, and has served as faculty on several a cappella music education programs, both domestically and abroad. Mark is a Reiki Master, certified to use healing energy to help remove blockages and assist in correcting imbalances, and he also works as an Executive Leadership Development Coach. He integrates his leadership development and Reiki work into his vocal coaching, guiding people on an energetic level to reach higher degrees of musical awareness and achievement. Mark’s favorite downtime activities are surf fishing and camping.
||Dave Revels |
Dave Revels has been an entertainer for over 40 years, performing all over the world. He has worked in several genres of music from Reggae, Country, Rock and Roll, Soul to Calypso, where he recorded for several years with calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow. In the U.S., he was a member of the The Drifters during the 1980’s and He also wrote the music for a musical “Love Potion #10" which was showcased in Las Vegas. Dave is presently a member of the legendary a cappella group, The Persuasions; he is the group's arranger and producer on several of their record releases which include the music of The Grateful Dead, U2, Blues legend J.J. Cale and their latest CD release, “Knockin’ On Bob’s Door,” featuring the works of Bob Dylan. He is also the composer of a nationally acclaimed patriotic song, Stand Up America, which is performed nationwide by his Stand Up America “One World” Children Chorus. Mr. Revels is also the founder and director for the Stand Up America Goodwill tour which has performed free concerts across America for our troops and their families. Mr. Revels is also an author, having written a book entitled “Mastering the Art of Life Entertainment.” The book is a valuable tool to young people or anyone interested in learning about the skills necessary to establishing a rapport with an audience.
Complete list of 2012 participants
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Groups of any style are welcome, but you must have between
3 and 12 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 :
Colette Thompson (New York)
Colette Thompson has directed or performed in over eleven vocal ensembles, with her group, Stay Tuned, placing 3rd in the 1998 New York Regional of the Harmony Sweepstakes; Colette has performed/recorded with Lukas Foss, Leonard Bernstein, Jesse Norman, Peter, Paul & Mary, and James Levine A billboard-ranked singer/songwriter, she has also managed several events, including, Christmas at NYU, Complex at the Duplex, and An Evening with The Real Group at NYC's Symphony Space. With performances televised via major news programs including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, and NY1, she is a promoter, producer, adjudicator and an ambassador of vocal music worldwide.
128 Fort Greene Place, Suite 1B, Brooklyn, NY 11217
colette.thompson (at) mac.com