2008 Participating Groups
| Collectively Kenny|
Collectively Kenny - is the name of the group (or so Colleen's 3-year-old figured when he started announcing the arrival of each member of the group as 'KENNY!!') Timing is everything and that's what finally brought CK together. The group is made up of some old, some new vocal collaborations to put a fresh new spin on this perfect a cappella alliance. You may have heard these songs before but you haven't heard 'em like this!
Members: Dalyn Sale-Whaley, Carolyn Leenerts, Jay Welch, Kenny Kurtz, Colleen Cowley
| Down 4 The Count|
Down 4 The Count began in 2003, when six CSU Northridge students in the University's vocal jazz ensemble found they shared a common interest: wanting to sing ensemble vocal jazz without those pesky instrumentalists: in other words, A Cappella! Since that time, Down 4 The Count has won multiple awards (including three song-arrangement awards and 1st place at the 2009 San Diego A Cappella Competition) and they have performed at venues all over the greater Los Angeles and San Diego area, including the Jazz Bakery, The Coach House, The Coffee Gallery Backstage, San Diego IndieFest, and many more.
Members: Andreas Preponis, Colleen Keene, Francesca Delfin, Genevieve Artadi, Matt Reynolds
Renaissance - is an all a cappella quintet, dedicated to showcasing and preserving the critical art form of street corner style; doo-wop singing. The group is equally adaptable to film, TV & stage as they are beneath the street lamp. Not just another singing group, Renaissance intertwines social and cultural awareness themes in their music offering "food for the spirit" as well as the soul. Whether it's a soul stirring tribute to the legendary Sam Cooke, love songs for the ladies, Black History themed conscious music or a rousing Gospel celebration, their superb vocal skills shine through. These Cats can flat out sing and their infectious energy is quite entertaining as they transport their audience to another space and time.
Members: Torre Brannon, Kwame Alexander, Anthony Snead, Charles (Sonny) Banks, Maurice Kitchen
SoundStage constantly impresses audiences both at home and abroad with their tight, unexpected harmonies and passionate delivery. Founded in 2006, their 2008 win of the LA Regional Harmony sweepstakes has catapulted them to appear on ABC's "The View" as well as a touring headline performance for the 2009 International Contemporary A Cappella Festival in Taipei, Taiwan. Their consistent jazz sensibility (with an infusion of funk) has taken them from shopping malls, to professional sporting events, to international conferences, to high school auditoriums, to county fairs, and local churches, where they have been described as "the white, suburban step-child of Take 6 and Earth, Wind, and Fire."
Members: Kim Reed, Bradley Hampton, Andy Cummins, Kyle Bowen, Johnny Davis Figueroa, Jammie Hann
Swingshift - This stylish vocal jazz group was formed in Santa Monica in 2002. Swing Shift draws on a variety of sources: from swing tunes to Broadway, from groove to folk, from Latin to contemporary. All of these styles inform the groupís sound and character. The group is lucky to count three accomplished arrangers among its members. Phil Azeltonís work is widely sung in jazz and school ensembles, and his ballads are much-admired for their lush harmonies. Founder Richard Gilinsky contributes many of the groupís current repertoire, ranging from up-tempo swing to reharmonized folk and show tunes. One of the newest members, Michael Kohl, has demonstrated his considerable talent as an up-and-coming vocal jazz arranger. Swing Shift will entertain you with swinging groove pieces embodying scat solos to show off the groupís versatility. They will lull you with rich, warm ballads. They will surprise you with unexpected turns of phrase and rich and surprising chord progressions. Swing Shift loves to sing, and hopes to share its vocal joy with all who care to listen.
Members: Jessica Freedman, Katharine Hoye, Michael Kohl, Phil Azelton, Richard Gilinsky, Tyler Azelton
| Trojan Men|
Trojan Men - Formed in January 2005, The Trojan Men are the first and only all-male a cappella ensemble at the University of Southern California. The group has garnered awards and accolades, and in their short history, they have established themselves as a USC tradition. In December 2007, they became the first group in USC history to host a solo concert in USC's Bovard Auditorium. But, let's face it, their favorite thing to do is get caught by campus police trying to wake up sorority houses in the wee hours of the morning. Their debut studio album will soon be available at www.thetrojanmen.com.
Members: Evan Bregman, Jared Scheib, Eitan Nir, Mario Sawaya, Rob Ellis, Tien Nguyen, Todd Levin, Kevin Ikuta
| Vocal Magic|
Vocal Magic has been entertaining audiences since before the turn of the century. Their smooth vocal jazz style is inspired by groups such as Manhattan Transfer, the P.M. Singers, the Real Group, and Happy Jackson & the Quintessentials. The group is always scouring the globe for unique and interesting performance opportunities. Some of their favorites include music & arts festivals, park concerts, and Area 51 (CLASSIFIED). In a quest to promote the art of a cappella singing, Vocal Magic hosts "Javapella"- A monthly showcase of a cappella music in Orange County. Mix mirth with a cup of java, and add a sprinkle of magic- that's Vocal Magic!
Members: Gabriella Rollins, Willem Van der Pol, Linda Cicino, Ariana Attie, Glenn Phillip Wanke
| What Four!|
What Four! - One of the newest foursomes in the Verdugo Hills stable of talented quartets, What Four! has quickly established themselves as popular entertainers, having already appeared at numerous community events, country clubs, local businesses and private parties. The group is made up of four talented ladies who collectively have a wealth of experience in singing & a cappella music.
Members: Catherine Peters, Dee Cardello, Ellen Totleben, Susan Smith
2008 Judges TBA
Complete list of 2008 participants
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 :
Tom Keyes (Los Angeles)
Tom is a passionate and dedicated a cappella facilitator, event producer, and music director. He is the Director of Operations for A Cappella Academy, and previously has served as the exec. producer of the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, and as director of the Contemporary A Cappella League (while still part of the Contemporary A cappella Society: CASA.org). With a considerable background in performance, vocal, and instrumental music, Tom was bitten by the a cappella bug in 2009 when he decided to create and direct his own group, the award-winning Frequency, and has been a strong advocate of all-vocal music ever since. Still music directing Frequency (vocalfreqs.com) as well as a spiritual center, he balances music, work, and family, and lives with his wife and three children in South OC.