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2013 International Toronto

Toronto Recap

Masterpiece brings home GOLD

Three past-champion singers plus a hot young lead combined to bring MASTERPIECE the gold medals in Saturday's world championship competition in Toronto.

Singing music ranging from Kathy Mattea's "Where've You Been" to American classics "Tennessee Waltz" and "Sweet Lucy Brown," the quartet emerged from a pack of fifty quartets at the contest, held at the 75th Anniversary Convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Experienced singers Bass Brett Littlefield and tenor Rob Menaker sang in 1996 champion Nightlife; baritone Alan Gordon sang in 2004 champ Gotcha!; and lead Patrick Haedtler previously sang in international competition with The Crush.

The top five finishers were, in order:
  1. Masterpiece -- 8041 points, 89.3%
  2. Musical Island Boys -- 8002 points, 88.9%
  3. A Mighty Wind -- 7924 points, 88%
  4. Main Street -- 7825 points, 86.9%
  5. Forefront -- 7758 points, 86.2%

See the Scoresheets

TNL wins on Home Turf

Singing a hilarious medley of parody songs set in a vegetable garden, Toronto's Northern Lights Chorus captured the gold medal in the international barbershop chorus contest Saturday night.

"The Age of Asparagus," "Corn Free," "Lettuce Entertain You" and "Beet It" were among the classics lampooned by the 73-member chorus, which has earned second place five times in the past.

Toronto beat the Westminster Chorus by a mere 2 points, 2831-2829, a mere 0.06% margin. It is the first win in the chorus contest by a non-U.S. chorus since the Scarborough Dukes Of Harmony captured titles in 1977 and 1980.

More than 1600 singers participated in the contest, held at the 75th Anniversary convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The top finishers were:
  1. Toronto Northern Lights, 2831 points, average 94.36%
  2. The Westminster Chorus, Los Angeles, 2829 points, average 94.30%
  3. Alexandria Harmonizers, Alexandria, Virginia, 2750 points, average 91.7%
  4. Sound of the Rockies, Denver, Colorado, 2693 points, average 89.8%
  5. The Alliance, Columbus, Ohio, 2602 points, average 86.7%

See the Scoresheets

The Newfangled Four crowned Collegiate Champs

The Newfangled Four, a quartet hailing from the Los Angeles area, beat out 25 other young quartets from around the world to capture the collegechampionship Tuesday evening in Toronto.

Singing old standards "Mistakes" and "Georgia Mae," the quartet posted A-level scores comparable to those in the open division contest.

The Newfangled Four quartet consists of Joey Buss, tenor, from Huntington Beach; Jackson Niebrugge, lead, of Los Angeles; Ryan Wisniewski, baritone, of Las Vegas; and Jake Tickner, bass, of Discovery Bay.

The foundation of their barbershop success has been as members of the Westminster Chorus, a two-time barbershop champ that sought its third gold medal, but was edged by Toronto's Northern Lights Chorus. "We haven't spent a lot of time with coaches," said tenor Joey Buss. "Because singing with the chorus every week is like a clinic in barbershop excellence."

As champion, the quartet earns bragging rights, notoriety, and a springboard to the big contest, which has increasingly been dominated by past college champions, and offshore quartets such as 2013 champs Ringmasters, natives of Stockholm, Sweden.

The top five college quartets were, in order:
  1. The Newfangled Four, Cal State Long Beach
  2. The Sunny Boys, Bowling Green State University, Florida National University, Miami Dade College, Western Michigan University
  3. The Con Men, Capital University
  4. The New Edition, Schoolcraft College, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri- St. Louis
  5. Phantom Fifth, University of North Texas

See the Scoresheets