The A Cappella "Who's Who"

a guide to the names behind the music

 

Aitken, Gene
Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, under his guidance the program has received more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other post-secondary institution in the United States, and the only one to receive a Grammy nomination in Vocal Jazz. He is also the director of UNC Jazz Press, and was inducted in the International Association of Jazz Educator's Hall of Fame in 1995.

Altman, Sean
Founder of Rockapella and a member, writer and arranger for the group for 11 years - through a half-dozen Japanese albums and five years of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. He left Rockapella in 1997 to pursue a solo career, releasing SeanDEMOnium in 1997 and occasionally performing a cappella with his new group, the GrooveBarbers, made up of former Rockapella members.

Ames, Morgan
A Grammy-winning producer, she has sung and/or written vocal arrangements for artists that include Bette Midler, Vanessa Williams and Frank Sinatra. Morgan is the leader and principle arranger for the a cappella group Inner Voices (on Rhino Records), a NARAS Governor and has taught songwriting at UCLA.

Armstrong, Dr. Anton
The Conductor of the St. Olaf Choir since 1990, he is only the fourth conductor since its founding in 1912. Dr. Armstrong spent more than 20 years on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School, serves on the National Board of Directors of Choristers Guild and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Boychoir School.

Backhouse, Tony
Musical director of the cappella musical, Namatjira Park, Tony also researched and coordinated New Zealand TV's documentary Strictly Acapella. He currently directs two Australian gospel groups, the Heavenly Light Quartet and Cafe At the Gate of Salvation, which won the 1993 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for Best Song, and runner up for the Best Soloist and Best Album.

Banos, Rene
The founder and creative force behind Vocal Sampling, he is also one of the group's primary composers. RenÈ is a graduate of the National School of Music in Cuba, where he studied piano.

Barnwell, Dr. Ysaye
A member of Sweet Honey in the Rock since 1979, she also writes for the group. With collaborators she has won awards from Meet the Composer. An experienced choral director, Dr. Barnwell conducts vocal workshops on African-American songs and singing traditions. She has written composed music for such varies organizations as Sesame Street and Tenesseee Repertory Theater.

Botto, Louis
The late artistic director and founder of renowned men's ensemble Chanticleer, he held music degrees from University of Texas, Incarnate Word College (San Antonio) and Dominican College (San Rafael, CA). Louis also was, for many years, a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and served on the board of directors for Chorus America.

Carrington, Simon
A founding member of the King's Singers, he was co-director for 25 years before leaving in 1993 to become professor, artist-in-residence, and director of choral activities, including the master's and doctoral programs in choral conducting, at the University of Kansas.

Cash, O.C and Hall, Rupert
SPEBSQSA founders. Meeting by accident in a Kansas City hotel, the two Tulsa natives invited 33 men to a songfest on April 11, 1938 that lead to the formation of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA).

Clancy, Jim
Director of the most acclaimed (and eleven time champion) SPEBSQSA mens chorus The Vocal Majority from Dallas, TX.

Clausen, Dr. Rene
The long-time conductor of the Concordia Choir at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, he teaches choral conducting and serves as artistic director of the college's nationally-broadcast (radio and TV) Christmas concerts each year. Dr. Clausen also regularly conducts major choral and orchestral performances, and choral festivals.

Craig, Renee
Credited by many as the leading influence in the modern sound of women's barbershop, she was the lead and arranger for the Cracker Jills, the 1957 International Sweet Adelines championship quartet.

Crenshaw, Randy
The Grammy-nominated singer has sung with many a cappella groups, including No Strings Attached, Terra Nova (1987 Hennessey Jazz Search grand prize winners), Vocal Nation, The Berklee Vocal Jazz Choir, Just 4 Kicks and The Haven Quartet. Randy is also an arranger, with more than 40 of his works currently available through UNC Jazz Press.

Daulne, Marie
Marie is the Zairian born, Belgian-raised founder of the women's ensemble Zap Mama, whose debut album was the biggest-selling non-compilation album in the history of Luaka Bop Records. When she heard a recording of traditional pygmy music at age 20, she decided to return to Africa to learn about her heritage. She was trained in pygmy onomatopoeic vocal techniques.

DeBar, Phil
A registered SPEBSQSA judge, Phil is the host of several a cappella radio shows and co-producer and host of A Cappella Radio International, making him "the voice of a cappella" on radio stations on four continents. He started in a cappella with the Stanford Mendicants in 1974, served as a substitute baritone for Chanticleer in 1984, and has been a member of SPEBSQSA since 1976, including being part of five Northern California quartet championship quartets.

Dent, Dr. Cedric
Take 6's baritone, Dr. Dent has a doctorate in music theory from the University of Maryland. Best known as a vocalist and arranger for the Grammy-award winning group, his training began with piano.

Diamond, Jessika
Founder/producer of the Northern Harmony Canadian A Cappella competition and vice president of CASA, Jessika is a frequent contributor to the A Cappella Summits, a cappella radio and one of the editors of CASA's Contemporary A Cappella News magazine.

Dustman, Tom
Founder/director of Beachfront Property, he also sings with the group. Tom is also a professor of music at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California.

Edenroth, Anders
Originally a pianist, this Swedish State Academy of Music-educated singer has degrees in music education and classical voice. Anders writes and arranges for (as well as sings counter-tenor with) the Real Group.

Finetti, Joe
Formerly a member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers and Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra, Joe now sings with the Bobs, although his musical training began with the trombone, which he studied for 12 years and played in various orchestras.

Greene, Richard
Nominated for a Grammy in 1984 for his arrangement of Helter Skelter, Richard "Bob" is a singer, arranger and record producer, and writes many of the Bobs' original works.

Hairston, Jester
A renowned composer, arranger and conductor, he is best remembered in the singing world for his immeasurable contributions to spirituals. Jester had an honorary doctorate from Ohio Northern University for his work in vocal music. (He's also known to TV audiences in the United States for his role as "Rolly" on the Shermen Hemsley sitcom "Amen.)

Hayes, Jimmy
Founder and leader of the Persuasions, he has been making a cappella - and influencing a cappella fans and singers around the world, including the founding members of Rockapella and the Nylons- since the 1960's.

Hicks, Dr. Val
Professional music educator, arranger, barbershop historian, editor of the definitive SPEBSQSA history book, "Heritage of Harmony." In the 1960s, Dr. Hicks coached a young family group of singers that appeared on The Andy Williams Show as a barbershop quartet -- The Osmond Brothers.

Hogan, Moses
The Artist in Residence at Dillard University in New Orleans, he is also the artistic director of the Moses Hogan Chorale, an arranger and a composer. Moses has created works for many prestigious organizations including PBS and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and much of his work has become a staple in the repertoires of high school, college, church, community and professional choirs.

Italiano, Ronnie
President of Clifton Records and head of the United in Group Harmony Association, Ronnie is "Mr. Doo-wop," the guiding force behind the resurgent popularity of this truly American musical form.

Johnson, Derric
Long time director for Disney World's "Voices Of Liberty" who formerly toured for many years with the popular a cappella group "Rare Silk".

King, Freddie
Barbershop arranger and chorus director of the Dundalk Pride of the Chesapeake, 1971 international chorus champions, he is also a quartet singer, the baritone of the 1970 international quartet champs Oriole Four. Freddie is the only man in barbershop history to have won gold as both a quartet singer and a chorus director.

Lancaster, Keith
The visionary and driving force behind The Acappella Company, he is a singer, songwriter, arranger and producer. Keith was Acappella's first lead singer, later producer of Acappella and the Acappella Vocal Band. His first album was recorded when he was 19 - and he sang all the parts on it, a cappella.

Leonard, Scott
Rockapella's sky-high tenor originally fronted a rock band at both Disney World and Tokyo Disney, and was instrumental in securing Rockapella their original Japanese record contract. Scott, who joined the group shortly before their stint on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego began, also writes much of the group's original music.

Malucelli, Ken
A charter member of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, he has taught piano, voice, theory, harmony and composition, served as choral director and composer, and won Grand Prize in the Bay Area Composers' Competition in 1978. He is the founder of the Merrie Olde Christmas Carolers, the world's largest caroling organization, and A Cappella Central, the first all-a cappella booking agency.

Madsen, Gunnar
He is best known in a cappella as founder, songwriter and performer with the Bobs, garnering a Grammy nomination for their debut album. He's released two solo albums since leaving the group in 1991. He's received seven ASCAP songwriter's awards and among jim commissions as a composer and songwriter/librettist are the LA Theater Center, the Minnesota Opera, and NPR. He is a featuredon the soundtrack of "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", in the National Geographic Special "Asteroids: Deadly Impact," and as the voice of Sammy Davis, Jr. in the HBO film "The Rat Pack".

Matsuoka, Yumiko
Yumiko, originally from Tokyo, Japan, is an accomplished arranger/composer/performer as well as a seasoned educator/clinician. She was the founder of Boston-based a cappella quintet Vox One whose albums Vox One (1993), Out There (1995) and Chameleon (1997) won multiple awards from the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA). Yumiko's arrangements can also be heard on another Vox One album Say You Love Me (1995), released by a Japanese label, Vap, as well as on recordings by other a cappella groups around the nation including m-pact and Toxic Audio. She is an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, teaching ear training and vocal writing. She has been a guest facilitator at the Western Wind Ensemble Singing Workshop, and has coached collegiate and semi-professional groups in and out of New England. Her current group is In the Mix, a mixed quartet pursuing a rich and exciting sound with their own compositions and arrangements.

Mattson, Phil
The Grammy-nominated Director of the School for Music Vocations at Southwestern Community College (Cresten, IA), he also started the Phil Mattson School for singers and led the P.M. Singers. Currently he arranges for such professional vocal and a cappella groups as the Real Group, Manhattan Transfer, Chanticleer and Beachfront Property.

McFerrin, Bobby
Many people's first introduction to contemporary a cappella was his number one hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy." Through his work with Voicestra and his "Circle Songs," he has explored many musical styles and forms and won a number of Grammys. His experimental use of vocal sounds has influenced a cappella singers around the world.

Morrison, Claude
Claude is the last original Nylon still with the group, having been around through the group's nearly two decades of success, international tours, gold and platinum albums, Billboard hits and Juno (Canadian equivalent of the Grammys) nominations.

Murphy-Collins, Lisa
Founder of the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, Lisa's the one who got the ball rolling on the idea of a cappella competitions, encouraging others around the world to emulate her formula for success.

Neal, John
President of Primarily A Cappella, United Singers International and national producer of the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival (a U.S.-wide tournament of professional a cappella groups), John is also produces the annual West Coast A Cappella Summit.

Puerling, Gene
A Grammy Award-winning arranger and leader of The Singers Unlimited and the Hi-Lo's, he has spread the Puerling sound to numerous other groups by arranging for Manhattan Transfer, Chanticleer, Glad, Vocal Majority, Real Group and Gold Company. His arrangements have influenced virtually every vocal jazz ensemble.

Raugh, Anne
Anne is responsible, singlehandedly or with a collaborator, for the CASA songbooks (I & II), and transcribing the Bobs', Trenchcoats' and Blenders' Songbooks. She's 1/3rd of Contemporary A Cappella Publishing (with Deke Sharon and Don Gooding), and privately does typesetting of original works (songs, an opera, piano concerti, etc.) for use in publication and in mounting productions.

Rathbone, Jonathan
The musical director of the Swingle Singers, he arranges much of the music for the group he joined in 1984. Jonathan got his start in music as a choirboy at Coventry Cathedral, later winning a choral scholarship to Christ's College, Cambridge, and after that doing a music degree (specialization singing and composition) at the British Royal Academy of Music.

Robinson, Arnold
The only American Nylon, Arnold first came to fame with "Sonny Turner and Sounds Limited" (formerly known as the Platters). He joined the Nylons in 1981 and has been with them ever since. He is also accomplished in many other aspects of the music industry, including management, recording and production.

Reagon, Bernice Johnson
The founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock and its artistic director for more than two decades, she is also one of the group's songwriters and was featured in the 1992 Emmy-nominated "The Songs are Free: Bernice Johnson Reagon with Bill Moyers." Her work has included a three-album collection "Voice of the Civil Rights Movement: African-American Freedom Songs."

Rhiannon
A former member of SoVoSo, Bobby McFerrin's Hard Choral and the touring ensemble of Circlesongs, she has also taught voice and improvisation for more than 25 years. Rhiannon's singing background - originally classical - includes 10 years with the women's jazz quintet Alive!, and solo albums.

Rust, Darren
The founder and one of the creative forces behind the Blenders, he arranges and writes much of the group's music.

Rutter, John
During his tenure as Director of Music at Clare College (Cambridge, England), he founded the now world-reknowned Cambridge Singers. Four of his recordings with the Cambridge Singers have appeared on the Billboard Classical Top 25. The record company John owns, Collegiaum Music, is the leading choral music label in the United States.

Shabalala, Joseph
Instrumental in putting South African music in the international music map, Joseph is the founder of the acclaimed ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo, best known outside a cappella circles for their work on the Graceland album with Paul Simon and numerous TV and radio appearances around the world.

Sharon, Deke
Founder of The Contemporary A Cappella Society (originally the Collegiate A Cappella Newsletter) out of his dorm room at Tufts University, Deke later went on to start the Ultimate A Cappella Arranging Service, The House Jacks (for whom he also serves as musical director), A Cappella Radio International and numerous other programs that make a cappella a community of singers and fans who help each other.

Shaw, Dr. Kirby
A music educator and the founder/director of numerous ensembles (including the Just 4 Kicks, the COS Vocal Jazz Ensemble at College of the Siskiyous in California, and similar groups at Colorado State University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City), Dr. Shaw's compositions and arrangements have sold millions of copies around the world, resulting in - among other things - multiple ASCAP awards.

Shaw, Robert
A multiple Grammy winner (13), he was the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's music director for 21 years and in 1991 received the Kennedy Center Honors for an outstanding contribution to the American arts. He was also awarded the national Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony in 1992; spent 17 years touring with the Robert Shaw Chorale; and founded the Robert Shaw Institute to foster excellence in music, especially choral music.

Swingle, Ward
A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory, he took the scat singing idea and applied it to the works of Bach, creating The Swingle Singers, winning five Grammys in their original incarnation. He retired from the group in 1984, but still serves as their musical advisor. Most of his time now is spent giving seminars, guest conducting and building his publishing company, Swingle Music.

Thomas, Roger
Founder, arranger and musical director of Naturally Seven he is an innovative and exceptionally gifted artist.

Warland, Dale
A recipient of the prestigious Michael Korn Founder's Award from Chorus America, he is the founder, musical director and conductor of the Dale Warland Singers, one of America's premiere choral ensembles. He also been co-chair of the choral and recording panels of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Wilson, Todd
As tenor with Acoustix, Todd is the only second-generation International Gold Quartet Gold Medalist in SPEBSQSA's 60 year history (his father sang with the 1961 winners, the Suntones). He has also won five International Chorus Championship Gold Medals with the Vocal Majority, for which he is a section leader and member of the music staff.

Wright, David
An arranger, a judge, and an avid historian of barbershop music, his music is renowned in the barbershop community. David's charts range from the purest of the pure barershop ("Bright Was the Night") to the avant garde ("Phantom of the Opera.")


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