CHICAGO HARMONY SWEEPSTAKES

2019 JUDGES

Nick Bailey

Nick Bailey

Judge

Nick Bailey graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Music Theatre, and then went on to perform aboard Holland America Cruise Line’s Maasdam and Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. In 2011and 20102, Nick landed understudy and supporting roles in Chicagoland musical productions and was a member of The Merry Maskers caroling group. He worked with Spotlight Youth Theater (Now CYT) in Illinois, music directing shows in McHenry and Kane Counties. Since 2014, Nick has been music directing, arranging, and singing for one of the country’s premier a cappella groups: The Sound Exchange (www.thesoundexchange.co). In 2017, Nick and The Sound Exchange won first place and audience favorite at the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes and again at the National Finals. In 2018, Nick founded The Minnesota Carolers to fill the Twin Cities with holiday spirit. Nick also does a cappella arranging for college and professional groups around the Midwest.

Andrew "Berko" Berkowitz

Andrew "Berko" Berkowitz

Judge

Andrew “Berko” Berkowitz grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota. Berko is the Vocal Percussionist in Six Appeal where he creates dynamic drum sounds and special effects using only his face. In 2012, Six Appeal dominated the Harmony Sweepstakes, winning first place, audience favorite, and Best Original Song (for Berko’s own “On Your Love”) at both the Pacific Northwest Regional and the Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals. Six Appeal has gone on to be one of the most popular and award-winning groups in the country. Berko reminds you: If your child gets in trouble for constantly making funny noises, then you may be raising a beatboxer.

Patti Lupo

Patti Lupo

Judge

Upon her graduation from Northwestern University, Patti began performing in theater and joined Actors Equity when she was cast in the original production of Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? Not long after that, she formed her first vocal quartet with Megan Mullally called Colossal Nerve and has enjoyed performing close harmony music ever since. Patti has her own band and musical services company Patti Lupo Music (www.pattilupomusic.com) and is the co-founder of Chicago’s busiest Christmas caroling group, The Caroling Party (www.thecarolingparty.com).

Brian Skinner

Brian Skinner

Judge

Skinner got his start singing barbershop in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.  At Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, he sang bass in The MadHatters and performed vocal percussion in Redefined. Upon joining the pro quartet BC3, Skinner was happily forced to learn how to sing bass and beat-box at the same time! Skinner started The Cat’s Pajamas Vocal Band in 2005 and has since toured to over 30 countries as guest entertainers on multiple cruise lines. The Cat’s PJs won the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes in 2013 and were featured on PBS’s show “Doo Wop Generations” and NBC’s “The Sing-Off!”  Skinner and The Cat’s Pajamas are still touring, having just finished their “Meow-sic in Schools Tour” where they have raised over $150,000 for vocal music education programs to date. #vocalmeow

Randy Stine

Randy Stine

Judge

After graduating from Indiana University in 2000 and a career working in information technology, Randy was called back to the world of music in 2006 when he posted a video to YouTube. The video, shot in 1998, was of his college a cappella group Straight No Chaser singing the “12 Days of Christmas.” It became the most viral video of 2007, which led the CEO of Atlantic Records to call Randy and reunite the group. Over ten years later, the group has performed thousands of concerts across 48 states and 20 countries, performed on television shows such as TODAY and Jimmy Fallon, sold over one million albums, and has over 100 million YouTube views. Randy and his wife, Lindsey, reside in his hometown of Naperville, IL, along with their two-month-old son, Henry.