Youth in Harmony Festival 1/25/2025 | Amery, WI | Registration Begins 9/1/2024
Jamye Casperson began her directorial position with the Commodores as of December 2019. She has her B.A. in Music Education from Luther College and her master's in teaching and Learning from St. Mary's University.
She taught general music and/or choir in a public-school setting for over 30 years. Most recently, she taught choir, piano and guitar at Lakeville North High School in Lakeville, MN. She is an accomplished pianist and teaches private piano lessons as well as plays piano and organ at her church.
Jamye has put together some excellent SSAA and TTBB quartets during her time at Lakeville North. In addition, acapella group at Lakeville North, The Now & Then Singers, performed on many Commodores' shows. She has also directed over 40 musicals (high school, middle school, community) in her career. Jamye was also very active in the Minnesota Choral Directors Association and provided administrative and musical leadership in that organization as the middle school girls honor choir chair.
She sings in a Sweet Adelines quartet called Elevator Music and is co-directing MCX, a second acapella chorus within the Minneapolis Commodores. She lives in Lakeville with her husband, Dave (a bass in Commodores and MCX) and has two adult children and an adorable grandson.
Jay has been singing barbershop harmony his whole life and has been a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society for 39 years. He is currently the Artistic Director for the Croix Chordsmen from Stillwater, MN and loves sharing his experience and talents with such a fun group of men.
Many of you will recognize Jay as the tenor of Vocality, a Land O’ Lake District champion and Hall of Fame quartet www.vocalityquartet.com. Jay recently completed three years as President of the Land O’ Lakes District and received the Barbershopper Of The Year Award for 2023. When he isn’t engaged in a barbershop activity he enjoys boating, fishing and spending time with his family, especially his little granddaughter! And, as time permits, Jay does some consulting as the President of Lake Avenue Group.
Brandon graduated from U of Mn Twin Cities with a degree in music education. In addition to the Valley de Croix Sweet Adelines he also directs two choruses in the Barbershop Harmony Society; the North Star Chorus, from Saint Paul, MN and International Medalist Chorus, the Great Northern Union.
He sings lead/baritone with his quartet Mixed Meter. Brandon has previously directed the annual NW Wisconsin Youth in Harmony Festival which attracts over 100 youths interested in singing. In addition to his barbershop singing, Brandon sings at Hamline Church United Methodist in St. Paul as a tenor section leader and works producing learning tracks for area groups. He has also sang with these local groups: The Journeymen chorus, Hymnos, MPLS – Impulse, Minnesota Chorale and Singers In A Chord.
Upbeat is an award winning a capella quartet from the Twin Cities. Their members are Karla Kalway (tenor), Val Salley (lead), Bonnie Plumley (baritone), and JoAnn Flanagan (bass).
They are all members of the City of Lakes Chorus of Sweet Adelines International and are the 2022 Northern Lights Region 6 Bonze medalists. Mostly, they are four great friends who love the opportunity to sing together and share their harmonies with you!
Hailing from Minneapolis Minnesota, First Ave tips its cap to all the arts and culture that the Twin Cities Metro area has to offer – especially live music. The legendary First Avenue rock venue and tiny side bar have launched careers of some of the best up and coming musicians since it first opened in 1970.
First Ave [Quartet] is what you get when 4 singers from 4 different musical backgrounds meet in one of the Country’s premiere cultural places. The quartet was ecstatic to be crowned Land O’ Lakes District Champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society in October of 2019, and embodies the Twin Cities culture, while adding some attitude and a little flare. Music performed by the quartet ranges from classic barbershop to swing, spirituals, jazz, country, choral, and even some more modern songs – all in the acapella style. First Ave is working to become the Twin Cities’ premiere barbershop quartet as they continue to expand their rep and deliver an eclectic musical experience at shows, glows, festivals, and public and private events around the Midwest and beyond!
Charlie Barrett – Baritone
Charlie has been a musician all his life and a barbershopper since 2015. He has also been a member of the Great Northern Union, the Minnesota Chorale, the University of Minnesota Drumline, and the 2018 LOL District champion quartet Hi-Mark. He's always down to sing a tag, no matter what!
Brent Haagenson – Lead
Brent was raised in a barbershop home listening to his father, Dean, sing with Harmony Works. Some of his earliest memories are tagging along (no pun intended) to international conventions in the early 90s. However, he didn’t start singing barbershop until recently and is so excited to be singing in his first quartet with First Ave! Brent is also an accomplished choral tenor. He first joined The Singers Minnesota Choral Artists, a Minneapolis based professional choir, in 2013 after three years as a proud member of The Concordia College Choir under the direction of Rene Clausen. Brent can frequently be found running, painting, cooking, wishing he was a low bass, watching jeopardy, singing barbershop tags, or making delicious homemade fermented hot sauce. Brent is a Licensed Psychologist and holds degrees from Concordia College, (BA, magna cum laude) and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (MA, PsyD).
Eric Renz – Tenor
Eric is a southern Minnesota native, now residing in Saint Louis Park. Music has always been a passion, leading to his participation in several choirs, bands, musical theatre, and finally, barbershop. He started out singing with the Great Northern Union achieving 3 international medals and has been in several quartets over the years. He was especially excited to win his first district championship with First Ave!
Paul Tabone - Bass
Paul began singing at the age of 18 when he was accepted into the University Singers Choir at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. The following year, he and 3 friends auditioned for a new barbershop quartet to represent Cal Poly. The rest, as they say, is history. Paul has been singing ever since and was a member of the Masters of Harmony from 2007 – 2011 and a competing member of the Westminster Chorus from 2005 – 2019. Paul has sung bass for a few quartets – the most notable being The Crush, 2010 Far Western District Champions and 3-time international finalists. He also sang bass in Ruckus, 2016 LOL District Quartet Champions, before finding his way to First Ave. When he is not singing, he enjoys traveling, fishing, hanging with friends and family, biking, and just relaxing at the lake or the beach. Paul resides in Plymouth, MN with his wife, Ruthie, and his 2 little girls, Lucy and Gabi.