Aged to Perfection, a female quartet of a cappella singers specializing in the barbershop harmony style and affiliated with Harmony Inc. was recently named international quartet champions.
The group beat more than 100 quartets from across the United States and Canada at the competition held in November in Orlando. The competition was part of Harmony Inc.’s annual convention, which featured educational sessions, various categories of competition, and performances by past and current championship choruses and quartets.
“Aged to Perfection consistently strives to become more masterful at the four-part harmony that characterizes the barbershop style, but winning the International Convention & Contests is truly the highlight of our career,” says the group’s tenor singer, Gaye LaCasce, director of development at the Pensacola State College Foundation.
“To be recognized by our peers for our performance on that contest stage instills in us pride that we carry back to our respective communities, and winning those gold medals is a memory we will carry for a lifetime.”
Aged to Perfection has been an active quartet in Harmony Inc. for four years and travels extensively for shows, competitions and to provide youth outreach in schools and community centers. Its members are the mother-daughter duo (Gaye) LaCasce, tenor, and Alexa Beal, lead, of Charlottesville, Virginia; and another mother-daughter combination Kathy Pomer, bass, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and Ellie Pomer, baritone, a third-year student at Ithaca College in New York. With its win, the quartet has earned a permanent position in the Association of Harmony Queens, a subset of Harmony Inc. representing quartet champions, also known as Harmony Queens.
LaCasce and her husband, Dan Signor, also are founding members of Pensacappella, a local mixed voice a cappella chorus which began in spring 2018.
Directed by Signor, Pensacappella belongs to the Mixed Harmony Barbershop Association. Performances include a cappella music from many genres including doo-wop, show tunes and gospel. The chorus performed Christmas selections on Dec. 8 at the Gateway Church of Christ and on Dec. 16 at the Rex Theater.
LaCasce and Signor also sing in a mixed harmony quartet with Pace residents Rick Rogers and Karen Schutt. Short Circuit Quartet performs locally in various venues and can compete under the auspices of the Mixed Harmony Barbershop Association.
Harmony Inc. has hosted the International Convention & Contests for more than 50 years, gathering female singers of all musical backgrounds and experience levels to participate in a series of competitions for quartets and choruses. Participants are adjudicated by a panel of trained judges evaluating categories that encompass what songs the performers elect to sing, the skill with which they sing those songs, and how they present the songs, which can include emotionally connecting with the audience.
“Aged to Perfection offered a stunning, memorable and unique performance in Orlando,” said Donna McKay, Harmony Inc. president. “To even earn a spot on the international stage, the quartet had to qualify earlier in the year at an area competition but to walk away as international champions is a notable accomplishment. We appreciate the talent and commitment that these women bring to the barbershop harmony genre.”
To hire any of the ensembles or to get information about upcoming performances or auditions, visit the Facebook pages for Aged to Perfection Quartet or Pensacappella.