Head Judge – Jonathan Minkoff
Jonathan Minkoff is the Founder and Executive Producer for the Public Charity, SingStrong and its International A cappella Festivals in New York, Washington, DC and Chicago, IL. He performs worldwide and on TV with the award-winning a cappella quartet, Blue Jupiter. Minkoff was a three-term CASA President and winner of the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes. After teaching, performing, coaching, emceeing and judging at over 40 a cappella festivals worldwide, Jonathan Minkoff now coaches, composes and produces for various a cappella groups in his New York City recording studio.
Judges for the Vocal Group Competition
Morten Kjær is a singer, songwriter, producer, and music educator. For 15 years he has taught singers and choir leaders around the world – often collaborating with Malene Rigtrup in ‘Ørehænger’.
He has a background in the Danish vocal ensembles Basix and Vocal Line. in 2010, he relocated to Los Angeles where he joined the vocal group M-Pact and founded his own choir, Top Shelf. Over the years, Morten has been involved in several theater projects. He worked as a Musical Director on the “It Gets Better” show (currently touring in the US) and did the vocal score for “Shu-bi-dua – The Musical” in his home country. He also writes and releases music under the artist name ‘Kier’ and tours solo as well as with his Hollywood-based trio, Ebb & Flow.
Lukas Teske is a professional jazz and pop singer, member of the popular german vocal group MAYBEBOP and the phenomenal beatboxing and pop-duo ”Hartmuth und die hitmachine”. He teaches beatboxing with Felix Powroslo in Berlin, where he lives with his family.
Tobias Hug has been singing, teaching and travelling with music for more than 20 years. He is deeply involved in the a capella and choral music scene around the globe and is wearing many different “hats”. Not only as a singer but also as beatbox gipsy, live looper, and artistic director. Tobias was born in Germany but is now based in London. He currently performs with The Beatbox Collective, Beatvox and with his own Loop Solo programme. He has also performed or collaborated with The Swingle Singers, Bobby McFerrin, The Puppini Sisters, The London Voices, Jazzchor Freiburg and much more. Tobias is teaching and coaching worldwide, and has a Master in Rhythmic Choir Conducting, from the Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg, Denmark. He is a well-known vocal networker and is the co-founder of ‘Vocalmente’, The London A Cappella Festival and The European Voices Association (EVA).
Judges for the Choir Competition
Vocal arranger, conductor, singer and singing teacher
Malene teaches choir-conducting and vocal arranging at The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and is one of the main teachers of RAMA Vocal Center in Aalborg. At The Music School of Aarhus, she teaches solo-singing and is the conductor of the elite girls-choir Maestra (aged 15-25 years old). Together with Morten Kjær and Ørehænger she has published several books and sheet music about modern vocal music. Malene has done vocal arrangements and workshops for several choir and vocal groups all over Europe. For 11 years she was a singer, arranger and co-conductor of Vocal Line. Malene released in 2012 the EP “Not Later Love” with her own songs and is at the moment working on new songs for another album.
Since 1992, Lauren has been a member of the internationally renowned vocal group New York Voices. Their career has taken them all over the world working with many of music’s gems like Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Bobby McFerrin, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Ivan Lins and The Manhattan Transfer.Lauren’s versatility as a composer is shown in her contributions on New York Voices CDs over the years and co-founding two other super groups, Moss and JaLaLa. Moss, made up of Luciana Souza, Kate McGarry, Theo Bleckmann, Peter Eldridge and Lauren, released their self-titled CD, Moss, in 2008 to rave reviews. JaLaLa is short for Janis Siegel (The Manhattan Transfer), Laurel Massé (founding member of The Manhattan Transfer) and Lauren Kinhan, and they released their tribute to Johnny Mercer That Old Mercer Magic in 2009.