2013 Participating Groups
| Avante Vocal Jazz|
Avante Vocal Jazz is eight accomplished singers, based in Raleigh, NC with a truly unique contemporary style. A bold fusion of jazz and contemporary a cappella singing, Avante performs repertoire paying tribute to the great masters of vocal jazz, while adding a new twist to many familiar standards. Their repertoire ranges from contemporary choral works to cutting edge jazz with a modern flair. Routinely praised for its high standard of musicianship and unique arrangements, Avante tours the United States, appearing in concert, corporate venues and on college campuses. Avante’s educational outreach provides workshops to students of all ages and boasts two nationally regarded clinicians within its membership.
Members: Brad Yoder, Lacey Burt, Bill Adams, Kimberly Slentz-Kesler, Bob Slentz-Kesler, Rachel Fitzsimons, Jenn Myers, Kevin Badanes
Bling! is an award winning south Florida-based quartet affiliated with Sweet Adelines. Formed in 2009, this talented and beautiful quartet won first regional competition in 2010, and most recently placed 2nd in the 2012 national Sweet Adelines competition. They sing a wide variety of music including barbershop, contemporary, and show tunes. Brought together by their love of harmony and singing , the natural blend of their voices and infectious enthusiasm, has lead audiences to say “Bling! Baby, Bling!
Members: Angie Love-Callahan, Deanna Kastler, Kim Elger-Griffin, Dayve Gabbard
BlueLine is an award-winning, mixed quintet that performs jazz, gospel and pop a cappella music from the DC Area. Started in the fall of 1999 by friends whose day jobs weren't providing enough time on stage, the group has achieved a tight blend and performed at competitions, music festivals and private events. Washington City Paper called BlueLine "exciting" and "exhilarating." BlueLine gets its name from the subway line and is a tribute to the great Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train" - the kind of bluesy jazz that the group loves to sing
Members: Ashley Mattison, Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Brian Lewis, Joel Schneider, Jocelyn Ulrich
| Breath of Soul|
Cutting-edge arrangements, tight vocal percussion and spirited harmonies are just some of the phrases used to describe Nashville based vocal group Breath of Soul. Since 2006, the group has brought their unique a cappella tunes to festival, concert, and church audiences throughout the United States and abroad.
Before their relocation from the midwest to Nashville, TN, Breath of Soul was formerly titled 5one - so named for the familiar music cadence, V-I. The group originated at Millikin University in Decatur, IL and three of the five founding members of 5one still perform with the group today.
Members: Jeff Trenchard, Lou Shafer, Matthew Sciara, Jamie Holden, Tony Marx
| Lake Effect|
The Lake Effect is an award winning group of 5 men unified in one common goal; the promotion and performance of all-male a cappella music. The Lake Effect is the next step in the evolutionary process of a cappella music in the Western New York region. The group's focus is new, intricate a cappella songs of both original & popular tunes that can be appreciated by people of all ages.
Members: Jeff Trenchard, Lou Shafer, Matthew Sciara, Jamie Holden, Ron Veiders
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: Lori Dreyer, Jenny Harris, Kate Morrical, Lori Crouter
Sfourzando (S4Z) formed in 2012, after years of singing together with The Maryland State Boychoir. The members of this Baltimore-based quartet are tied together by a common love for music, the bring many years of singing experience, including choral, theatrical, operatic and barbershop. S4Z’s repertoire spans from traditional barbershop to pop, jazz, and classical music. Their chilling harmonies and youthful energy always produce show-stopping performances
Members: Ben Hawker, Christian Hoff, Nunzio Cicone, Vince Sandroni
||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.
Benjamin Olinsky has conducted the 18th Street Singers, DC's premiere young professional choir, since the ensemble's fall 2004 inception. He is a graduate of Yale University, where he conducted the Bach Society Chorus, served as the assistant director of the Yale Summer Chorus, and directed Out of the Blue, an award-winning pop/rock a cappella group that tours all over the world.
||Carolyn Sexton |
Carolyn Sexton is no newcomer to the Harmony Sweepstakes – she and husband Cal were both judges at the 2001 and 2002 competitions. For most of her adult life, Carolyn has been a proud member of Sweet Adelines International. She became an International Quartet Champion in this organization of women who teach and train the art of singing 4-part a cappella harmony, barbershop-style. During her long association with this singing organization, Carolyn served as an award-winning Chorus Director, Judge, Education Faculty member and Coach of many outstanding choruses and quartets from all over the U.S. & Canada. After switching voice parts recently (from tenor to bass), she is now working in a new combination called Gold Dust. Who knows…we may see them on the Harmony Sweepstakes stage in the future! Her latest passion is founding a new mixed a cappella chorus in the greater Frederick, MD area.
Complete list of 2013 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