2008 Participating Groups
The press is unanimous: vocaldente's "singing technique is professional", their "verve is phenomenal", and they're "sparkling with imagination". Critics say they offer a "high level in singing performance", with their "funny spoken interludes" and "imaginative, passionate choreography" - and that they're known for the "professionalism in their performance": Onstage they're "fitting and harmonic", "witty and fresh", "charming and professional" ...simply "harmonic, funny and good with a refreshing naturalness."
But vocaldente have also impressed on the international stage, convincing jurors from all areas of vocal and a cappella music, from classical style to voice pop, such as John Potter (former The Hilliard Ensemble member), Ward Swingle (founder of The Swingle Singers) and Anders Jalkeus (The Real Group). The quintet have prevailed at the biggest and most significant national and international vocal and a cappella competitions in Asia, Europe and the United States.
Members: Ansgar Pfeiffer, Niklas Turmann, Johannes Gruber, Tobias Wunschik, Tobias Kiel
| Cartoon Johnny|
Cartoon Johnny is an energetic vocal band that pushes the limits of traditional a cappella. Drawing on influences from classic soul to modern alternative, they've crafted an exciting sound that is often mistaken for an instrumental band - but it's all vocal.
Based in the Washington DC area, Cartoon Johnny performs a variety of sure-fire audience favorites and their own original music, bringing audiences to their feet show after show. They are two-time National Harmony Sweepstakes finalsists, winning the title for the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2005, and in New York in 2009.
Cartoon Johnny has shared the stage with some of the best in a cappella and beyond. Highlights include headlining ACappellaFest Detroit in 2010, and performing with Marvin Hamlisch in his Christmas special at the Kennedy Center in 2008. Hamlisch invited the group to join him for his July 4th concerts in San Diego in 2009.
Members: Kevin Dixon, Ben Feeney, Mike Henrickson, Darcy Romano, Kieran Daly, Malcolm Lee
DOWNTOWN was created out of the Harmony Brigade movement in the Barbershop Harmony Society. They sing a wide variety of uptunes and ballads ranging from classic barbershop, swing, and doo-wop, to show tunes and jazz numbers.
Members: Frank Fedarko, Kevin Flynn, Mike Stoll, Drew Fuller
Euphonism is a Washington, DC based vocal band composed of four men and three women with diverse musical backgrounds - including theater, jazz, classical music, barbershop and chorus - who share a passion or the pure, electrifying blending of voice. Members of Euphonism bring a mixture of angelic harmonies, driving beats and moving rhythms to audiences in the capital area and beyond.
Members: Gillian Sowray, Lindsay Hower Jordan, Jason Sam, Joe Kang, Amanda Cornaglia, Guy Divita, John Baer
No genre is safe...,"Using state-of-the-art technology and style, Skyline will leave you wondering where the "band" is. Why? Skyline uses only the human voice for every sound you hear. No genre is safe. You want rock, you got it. You want classical, you got it. You want it, they've got it. If you've got it, they want it."
Members: Marco Ovando, Eric Pilar, Derick Eng, Hugh Gee, Chris Wong
| Stu-dio Singers|
The Stu-dio Singers (formerly known as The Pelicans) are Maryland's most fun a cappella group. They are a sextet drawn from a group of singers based in Laurel, MD, who enjoy performing various styles of music. They launched the group during a summer production of The Music Man in 2005. They had such a good time singing barbershop that they have been harmonizing ever since. Genres include songs of faith and inspiration, show tunes, swing, standards and doo-wop.
Members: Erika Cogliani, Kirby Forssell, Heather Heaps, Jocelyn Knazik, Kathryn Binney, Stu Knazik
| Tonic and Gin|
Tonic & Gin - In the spring of 2004, a group of musicians-at-heart gathered together in the hopes of creating a new, fresh mix of voices. What evolved from that first meeting was a collection of six singers ready to take on the DC a cappella scene. Rehearsals began, gigs presented themselves, and the group began to mesh. After endless discussions about what to call ourselves it finally hit us ‚ Tonic & Gin!Today, Tonic & Gin continues on as a vibrant co-ed group of seven members dedicated to sharing a wide variety of music with intriguing arrangements, amazing soloists, and a whole lot of fun!
Members: Ben Keller, Bruce Shim, Mati Makagon, Stephanie Wu, Nate Pipke, Alison Torrillo French
| Venus d Minor|
We have been together for about 15 years; performing a wide variety
of styles including jazz, pop, folk, classical, and novelty songs.
We specialize in original lyrics set to familiar tunes.
Members: Jenny Nordstrom, Patti Gaston, Amy DeLouise, Dolores McDonagh, Betsy Erickson, Beth Brummel, Robin Sloan, Kristin Bass
||Claire Gardiner |
Claire Gardiner joined the Fairfax based Vienna-Falls Chorus of Sweet Adelines International in 1984, began directing the chorus in 1993, and has led Vienna-Falls to six Regional Championships. She has sung in many Quartets, one of which won the Regional Championship in 1989. She is currently singing in a new quartet which will compete in 2 weeks at their Regional Competition in NC. Claire is a faculty member within her Sweet Adeline Region, where she teaches arranging classes, gives voice lessons and coaches many choruses and quartets. In her 'day job', she is a Supervisory Registration Specialist in the Performing Arts Division of the U.S. Copyright Office here in D.C. This is one of only a few jobs in the Federal Government, which requires a music degree. Claire has judged the competition several times in the past.
DeWayne McNeill leads the outstanding five man vocal musical ensemble Regency – a Harmony Sweepstakes staple and regional champions in 2006. Regency began singing on the street corners of Baltimore nearly 20 years ago. The group has performed with Sinbad, Patti LaBelle, The Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, Ramsey Lewis, Spyrogyra, and The Four Tops.
||Reggie Moore |
Reggie Moore, member of a capella legends The Persuasions, is a native Washingtonian who began his long singing career in the DC area. Moore has performed at every cultural institution in our Nation's Capitol, including The White House, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress, The Shakespeare Theatre and The Corcoran Gallery of Art Music Series. He has also been a featured performer at The National Folklife Festival of American Music, on Black Entertainment Television (BET) and has traveled internationally with several music ensembles. Charged with holding the musical torch of The Persuasions, Moore continues the a cappella/eclectic tradition that has made the group one of the most beloved in the industry.
Bernie Muller-Thym is a former member of the national a cappella comedy act Da Vinci's Notebook. He has been an artist in residence at the Kennedy Center and has appeared on Comedy Central, the Today Show and PBS. He has been heard on countless radio stations and stages across America and can even be found on You Tube. Bernie is now involved in teaching, giving performances and song writing workshops, as well as singing, writing music and performing with his guitar, Latin percussions, lips, hands, etc., etc., and still looking for the perfect band.
Complete list of 2008 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 :
Amanda Cornaglia (Mid-Atlantic)
Amanda Cornaglia is the manager for Acaville Radio,
a 24/7 streaming service for a cappella music. Amanda is also co-owner of Clear Harmonies, a full service studio and management company for a cappella groups. She got her start in contemporary a cappella with Special K, an all-female ensemble at Hamilton College. She has since performed and directed groups around the globe. She is business director and primary arranger of the multiple CARA nominated group Euphonism. She
also founded Snowday, a professional quintet that incorporates contemporary vocal music into education, visiting close to 100 schools each year. She has served in various capacities at the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) & turned the Contemporary A Cappella League into its own non-profit organization. Amanda has been a CARA nominator and judge since 2010.
amanda (at) clearharmonies.com