2016 Participating Groups
Stiletta is a NYC-based, all-female sextet combining pop leads, dance beats and hip-hop choreography. In 2016, the ladies of Stiletta were crowned National Champions at the 32nd Annual National Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, winning in every possible award category: First Place, Audience Favorite, Best Arrangement, and Best Original Song. This enormous accomplishment came on the tail end of having won First Place and Audience Favorite at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic and 2016 New York Harmony Sweepstakes competitions, as well as Best Vocal Percussion and Best Arrangement. Stiletta members boast multiple Off-Broadway and voice-over credits, WAMMY and CARA awards, original cast recordings for “Memphis” and “Dora the Explorer,” a top rank at the Beatbox World Championships and a half-decade directing the Single Singers at SingStrong A Cappella Festival. These ladies have the moves, the grooves and even the shoes. So get pumped!
Members: Judy Minkoff, Haley Clair, Stevi Incremona, Jaymee Frankel, Olivia Harding, Meghan “MC Beats” Costa
Founded in 2013, Bactrack is quickly defining itself as a powerhouse a cappella group throughout it's hometown, New York City, and beyond. This five member group performs a variety of music, with an emphasis on covers of today's top pop music. Bactrack was originally forms to produce YouTube videos, and since its founding, the group has gained over 4.1 million views and 42,000 subscribers. Expanding from it's YouTube origins, Backtrack now performs live and has taken the stage at various New York City venues.
Members: Mallory Moser, Melissa Jordano, Austin James, Andrew John Kim, Spencer Polanco
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: Sam Nulton, Michael Gullo, Doug Larsen, Garrett Philbin, Mark Martin, Alec Galambos
|The Lost Keys|
The Lost Keys are a New York based coed a cappella group, bringing a soulful sound to contemporary and classic pop music with the goal of creating a musical experience that entertains and inspires audiences of all ages. Many of the group members came to New York City to find themselves, and in the process, we found each other. Our shared love of a cappella created a sense of community that we strive to bring to every venue where we perform.
Members: Jamie Serkin, Rachel Weinstein, Jenny Baik, Deanna Giulietti, Sarah Peck, Joe Martinez, Andrew Gutterson, Peter Lam
|The Atiles Sisters|
We are four sisters ages 11 through 17 and we sing special arrangements of hymns, patriotic and broadway songs in 4 part harmony. Our musical friend/Director Steve Mugglin writes all of our arrangements. We also sing, act and dance in plays/musicals during the summer and winter seasons.
Members: Elena Atiles, Miranda Atiles, Sofia Atiles, Kayla Atiles
| Famous Janes|
Famous Janes is a NEW Female A Capella Quartet that epitomizes the best of Barbershop, while specializing in performing songs of the heart. Famous Janes was proud to compete at the Sweet Adelines International Competition and is already qualified for next year's International Competition after being together a few short months!
Members: Susan Taylor, Jen Kuethe, Harriette Walters, Amanda Clements
Quintet delivers a mix of classic vocal jazz a cappella and contemporary harmony. Comprised of an eclectic and seasoned cadre of music professionals, the 5-voice group features first-class, modern arrangements of the Great American Songbook’s finest composers.
Members: Jacqueline Duryea, Stephen Gleason, Marc Silverberg, Christine Tamer, Yuki Yamaguchi
Your Emcee for the Evening
|Diana Preisler’s career in a cappella began as the female lead singer, and band manager of Broadway Records recording artist, Blue Jupiter. She is a featured soloists on Blue Jupiter's newest album, Twisted Broadway Vol. 1. Blue Jupiter has performed at performing arts centers, colleges, festivals, and corporate events around the world. Blue Jupiter won the Oreo “Milk’s Favorite Jingle” contest, hosted by famed American Idol Judge Randy Jackson, and has performed with iconic performers like The Roots, Livingston Taylor, and The Persuasions. Companies like: Disney, ABC Family, the Food Network, Honda, NOKIA, Nickelodeon, and Hermes have featured Blue Jupiter at their corporate events. You may have seen Blue Jupiter on Oprah, the Huff Post, headlining at theatres around the globe, cruise ships and casinos, including over 200 shows at the Sands Casino in Macau, China.
Diana’s work as an a cappella performance coach and mentor caught the attention of Lifetime TV in 2014. Soon after, Diana helped create and star in the Lifetime original a cappella series, "Pitch Slapped.” This competition docu-series featured Diana working with high school students through 10 weeks of competition. “Pitch Slapped" continues to air on Lifetime in countries across the world.
Before Diana began her career as an a cappella singer, she graced the theatrical stage on multiple national Broadway tours such as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “A Christams Carol.” Regional roles across the US include Eva Peron in "Evita", Ado Annie in "Oklahoma", Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, Linda in “Blood Brothers” and Shelley in "Bat Boy, The Musical.” As a Nationally televised voice-over artist, you’ve heard Diana as the voice of MTV, Nickelodeon, Behr Paint, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Herbal Essences, Priceline, Planter’s (with Robert Downy Jr), Fisher Price, HGTV, VH1, or Bank of America (to name just a few.)
||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.
Sara Yood has been a producer for Varsity Vocals since 2003 and has been singing a cappella since her high school years. Sara has previously served as ICCA Midwest Producer and ICCA Northeast/New England Producer, and beginning in 2016, is also the ICHSA Northeast Producer. Sara served as both Concert Coordinator and Group Coordinator for The Amateurs at Washington University in St. Louis, leading the group to their first appearance in the ICCA Midwest semifinals. After moving to New York City in 2004, Sara sang with Treble, a New York City semi-professional all-female a cappella group. Sara then attended Fordham Law School, where of course she directed the law school’s co-ed a cappella group The Tortfeasors. She is now an intellectual property lawyer in Manhattan, where she is he alto section leader of the New York City Master Chorale
||Greg Cooper |
Greg Cooper is a 29-year veteran of radio, television and theatre production, development and management. He has comprehensive experience in multimedia presentations and live event production and has also produced national television commercials and developed syndicated radio programming. In 2015, Greg produced the award-winning off-Broadway musical 'Acappella' at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. The production is slated to be published by Stage Rights in early 2016.
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.
Complete list of 2016 participants
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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 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