2004 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards Nominees

The wait is over! Following are the nominations for the 2004 Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards. Look for the winners in the April/May issue of The CAN. Congratulations to all the nominees! (Note: when the source album for a nominated song, arrangement or soloist has been mentioned in a previous category, its name will not be repeated.)

Artist of the Year:

  • Wise Guys: Their album "Klartext" shot to #10 on the German album charts in its first week, and spent eight weeks in the Top 100. They are the first German a cappella group to achieve such a feat. They consistently fill very large arenas, and even attracted 21,000 attendees to an outdoor concert in Cologne (Köln). The group also garnered countless reviews and features in the German press in 2003 and is helping to bring a cappella to mainstream audiences.
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon and Jerry Lawson: Normally, a nomination is for accomplishments in the year covered by the awards, but we couldn't let 2003 end without recognizing two of the most influential American a cappella artists, both of whom have announced their retirement. Bernice Johnson Reagon founded Sweet Honey in the Rock 31 years ago, creating one of the most politically-active, thought-provoking groups ever to grace a stage. 41 years after Jerry Lawson co-founded the Persuasions, they remain the "Godfathers" of the contemporary a cappella movement. Both have inspired legions of fans to put down their instruments and raise their voices in song.
  • The Idea of North: In 2003, Aussies The Idea of North achieved something foreign groups have been trying for years — they won the American national a cappella competition, a.k.a. the Harmony Sweepstakes. Making waves half a planet from their base wasn't enough — back home, their third album reached the Top 10 of the national Jazz & Blues charts, and the group was seen across Australia on the TV music show "Studio 22." Also in 2003, for the third year in a row The Idea of North was nominated for an Australian "Mo" arts award for live performance, they got their first Australian Club Entertainment award nomination, received the Corporate Gold award from the Sydney Cabaret Convention — and oh, they've had a cocktail named after them in Japan.
  • RioAcappella and Alliance for A Cappella Initiatives: Crismarie Hackenberg, Cylan Delgado and the rest of the members of RioAcappella extended their reach into Latin America by putting on their third summit (known as Il Forum da Música A Cappella). With corporate support they put on shows that promoted groups to more than 900 paid attendees and countless more for free concerts, workshops and the building of community within the choral and nascent a cappella scene in Brazil and extending into South America.
    Meanwhile, Dave Sperandio and the AACI made similar strides in the U.S. Southeast, founding the A Cappella Fund for scholarships, putting on the three-day SoJam festival, attracting approximately 1,000 total attendees, grabbing media attention and sponsors, and providing a shot of energy to the a cappella scene in their region.


Best Pop/Rock Album:

  • Nonets - SAMtweich
  • The Magnets - Another Place
  • Voice Male (Belgium) - Approved
  • The House Jacks - Unbroken

Best Pop/Rock Original Song:

  • "No Matter What" - The Magnets
  • "Obsession" - InPulse (from Alone & Above)
  • "Good Things" - The House Jacks
  • "Rules" - 4:2:Five (from the SING compilation)

Best Pop/Rock Cover Song:

  • "Fade To Grey" - Fourth Avenue (from Scrapbook)
  • "Lights" - InPulse
  • "Come Together" - BaSix (from Embodiment)
  • "Life in a Northern Town" - Voice Male

Best Jazz Album:

  • Chanteuse - It's a Good Day
  • A'Cappella Expresss - Magic Moment
  • Encore - Without a Song
  • Vocal Montage - Vocal Montage

Best Jazz Song:

  • "Sentimental Journey" - Chanteuse
  • "Etelvina" - Canto Nono (from Oportoaoitovozes)
  • "Their Hearts Were Full of Song" - Encore
  • "MozArt" - A'Cappella Expresss

Best Barbershop Album:

  • Gas House Gang - Gas House Gang's Fifth
  • Various - SPEBSQSA Top 21 Choruses 2003
  • Unplugged - Electrified
  • Vocal Majority - X

Best Barbershop Song:

  • "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Unplugged
  • "The Best Times I Ever Had" - Power Play (from SPEBQSA Top 20 Quartets 2003)
  • "Jezebel" - Storm Front (from Storm Watch)
  • "Richest Man In The World" - Rural Route 4 (guest track on Heart of America Chorus CD From The Heart)

Best Folk/World Album:

  • Sweet Honey in the Rock - Women Gather
  • Caltex Chorale - Harana
  • Finest Kind - Silks & Spices
  • Blind Man's Holiday - Work Play Sleep

Best Folk/World Song:

  • "The Painful Plough" - Finest Kind
  • "Ballad of the Sit-Ins" - Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • "Green Leaves of Summer" - Voice Male (Belgium)
  • "Zinch Ou Zinch Dam" - Zulal (from "Zulal: Armenian Folk Trio")

Best Religious Album:

  • Kantorei - The Road Home: Folk Songs & Spirituals
  • Twentyfourseven - Changes
  • Rescue - The Difference
  • Voice Male (Utah) - Hims II

Best Religious Song:

  • "Ezekial Saw the Wheel" - Gas House Gang (from "Gas House Gang's Fifth")
  • "We'll Soon Be Done" - NoJoe (from "NoJoe")
  • "Ezekiel Saw de Wheel" - Kantorei
  • "Bilvavi" - Mike Boxer

Best Classical Album:

  • Calmus Ensemble - Farb T:one
  • Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir - The Power of Heaven
  • The Orlando Consort - The Toledo Summit
  • Gloriae Dei Cantores - Prism

Best Classical Song:

  • Calmus Ensemble - "Zahnweh"
  • Estonians - "By the Rivers of Babylon"
  • Orlando Consort - "Al la Caça, sus, a caca"
  • Calmus Ensemble - "Guter Mondi, du Gehst So Stille"

Best Christmas Album:

  • Eclipse - Three Kings
  • The Real Group - Julen En Her
  • King's Singers - Christmas
  • Rajaton - Joulu

Best Christmas Song:

  • "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" - The Real Group
  • "Noel Nouvelet" - King's Singers
  • "Carol" - Cantabile (from Christmas With Cantabile)
  • "Christmas Time is Here" - Western Wind (from Holiday Light)

Best Doo-Wop Album:

  • The Persuasions - A Cappella Dreams
  • The Alley Cats - Doo Wop Drive-in Live
  • Remembrance - A Cappella Memories North Jersey Style
  • 3rd Edition - 1st Take

Best Doo-Wop Song:

  • 3rd Edition - "My Juanita"
  • The Persuasions - "There's a Train"
  • The Alley Cats - "What's Your Name"
  • Remembrance - "There's a Moon Out Tonight"

Best Comedy Song:

  • "We're Little But We're Loud" - Gas House Gang
  • "Psycho, the Musical" - moosebutter (from "Harmony Sweepstakes 2003")
  • "Big & Stupid" - Flying Without Instruments (from FWI At Last)
  • "Baritone Blues" - After Hours (from For Once in My Life)


Best Female Collegiate Album:

  • Brown Chattertocks - All Modesty Aside
  • Duke Out of the Blue - Finally Legal
  • Brandeis Up The Octave - UTOpia
  • Virginia Belles - Sterling

Best Female Collegiate Song:

  • Dartmouth Rockapellas - "Prayer of the Children" (from Bare)
  • Virginia Belles - "Born to Fly"
  • Brown Chattertocks - "Hemmorhage"
  • Duke Out of the Blue - "Sway"

Best Female Collegiate Soloist:

  • Kate Douglas, "Bethlehem," Dartmouth Subtleties (from Irony)
  • Jessie Martin, "Winter," Swarthmore Grapevine (from Purple Reign)
  • Zeynep Saltuk, "Storms in Africa," Brandeis Up The Octave
  • Rebecca Haffajee, "Sway," Duke Out of the Blue

Best Female Collegiate Arrangement:

  • "Soak Up The Sun," Brandee Martin, Virginia Belles
  • "Beautiful," Katie Irish, Vanderbilt Swingin' Dores (from Down This Road)
  • "One," Carolyn Starrett, Brown Chattertocks
  • "Only Time," Brianna Crawley, Duke Out of the Blue

Best Male Collegiate Album:

  • Tufts Beelzebubs - Code Red
  • UNC Clef Hangers - Breeze
  • Brandeis Voice Male - Propeller
  • Elizabethtown Phalanx - Home-Grown

Best Male Collegiate Song:

  • Tufts Beelzebubs - "Take Me Home"
  • UNC Clef Hangers - "Comedown"
  • Elizabethtown Phalanx - "Broken Wings"
  • University of Oregon On the Rocks - "Yellow" (from Backgammon Sessions)

Best Male Collegiate Soloist:

  • Gavin Wade, "Jeremy," James Madison Exit 245 (from Solve for X)
  • Alex Maldonado, "'Round Midnight," Yale Alley Cats (from Day & Night)
  • Jason Hamlin, "Easy," UNC Clef Hangers
  • Aithan Shapira, "Caravan," Brandeis Voice Male

Best Male Collegiate Arrangement:

  • "Hot in Herre," Ed Boyer, Tufts Beelzebubs
  • "Your Song," Carl Erik Fisher, UNC Clef Hangers
  • "Superman," Jeremy Lehn, Elizabethtown Phalanx
  • "Caravan," Aithan Shapira, Brandeis Voice Male

Best Mixed Collegiate Album:

  • UPenn Off The Beat - More Screaming
  • Tiffin Up In The Air - Volume II
  • UCLA Awaken A Cappella - Dysfunktional Family Album
  • Stanford Talisman A Cappella - Watch Me Fly

Best Mixed Collegiate Song:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Redefined - "Renegade" (from Redefined)
  • University of Illinois No Strings Attached - "Man In The Mirror" (from One Night Stand)
  • Awaken A Cappella - "Mr. Roboto"
  • Stanford Harmonics - "Lady Marmalade" (from Rock Beats Scissors)

Best Mixed Collegiate Soloist:

  • Nicole Setzen, "Winter," Emory University Aural Pleasure (from Tell Me When)
  • Randi Zuckerberg, "Sweet Love," Harvard Opportunes (from Six Degrees)
  • Chris Quidlat, "Man In the Mirror," University of Illinois No Strings Attached
  • Maria Bashian, "Heart-Shaped Box," UPenn Off the Beat

Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement:

  • "Groove is in the Heart," Kathryn McGowan & Jon Byron, University of Southern California Reverse Osmosis (from Fifty Million Reverse Osmosis Fans Can't Be Wrong)
  • "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," Sylvia Keuter, University of California-Berkeley Artists In Resonance (from Artists Gone Wild)
  • "Swing Low," Ron Ragin, Stanford Talisman
  • "Dust in the Wind," Sara Jo Elice, MIT Resonance (from First Harmonic)

Best High School Album:

  • Middlesex School A Cappella 2003 - 10 ways to Cook a Prussell Sprout
  • Germantown Friends School's Double Treble and The Bufftones - 440
  • Fourthwatch (Friendship Christian School) - I Believe In You
  • 5-Alone (Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School) - Good Vibrations

Best High School Song (new category):

  • "Cruisin'" - Jakarta International High School Joint Sound (from Pretty Good Year)
  • "Mary, Did You Know?" - Fourthwatch
  • "Mary" - 5-Alone
  • "Don't Stand So Close To Me" - Double Treble and The Bufftones

Each year, fans and performers of varied backgrounds meet over several days to consider each of the nearly 250 albums submitted for the CARAs. Anyone holding a current or former affiliation with a group under consideration is not allowed to take part in the deliberation of that award.

The 2004 CARAs screening committee and preparatory committee (in charge of obtaining and sorting discs, etc.) included the following volunteers: Jessika Diamond, Andrew Dowd, Barbara Evangelista, Miguel Evangelista, Michael Feldman, Jim Frewen, Chuck Kennedy, Thomas King, Beth Olliges, Oscar Pantaleon, Jr., Rhonda Rosales, Bonnie Schulkin, Paul Sinasohn, Marcia St. Claire and Ai Tamanaha, with major help from John Neal (Primarily A Cappella) and Amy Briggs (Mainely A Cappella).

Thanks for your many hours of work!