“Lower Merion High School Auditorium never sounded as sweet as it did today,” said Arthur Van Young of Rosemont.  Van Young came to hear “the Sirens of Baggot Street” which is the Merion Mercy Academy team.

Ardmore, Lower Merion Township, PA — The Rotary Club of Ardmore held its 7th annual A Cappella Sing-off Sunday, January 27, 2019, in the auditorium at Lower Merion High School.

The mainstay musical event of the season featured more than a dozen sponsored high school A cappella singing teams.  Each team battled for the charities of their choice and they were able to earn a minimum of $500 and as much as $1000 for their charity.

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“I wouldn’t miss this event for the world,” stated the Master of Ceremonies Brenda Viola. “I am pleased and honored to cheer on these amazing singers.” 

Viola who currently resides in Sarasota, FL, is well known throughout the Delaware Valley.  She is a QVC host, former news anchor and past Public Information Officer for Lower Merion Township.  

This year’s winner was the Baldwin School team, the BFlats.  

The Bflats wowed the highly packed auditorium by performing flawlessly. The team lead by Choral Director Lee Hagon-Ker performed upbeat and highly acclaimed tunes like “Il Est Bel Et Bon” by Pierre Passereau and “Roads Untraveled” by Linkin Park. 

One thousand dollars will be heading to the team’s chosen charity, The A Cappella Project, which is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit.  The Ardmore Rotary Club Foundation makes the donations for the teams.

Besides the winners and the $1,000 donation, a $500 donation from the Ardmore Rotary Club Foundation will be provided to each of the other teams’ charities.


Meet the Teams

Nine teams competed and each had their own special charity:


School: The Agnes Irwin School

Team: The Bel Cantos

Charity: No More Kids With Cancer

Roster: Nicole Arnold, Caroline Freiwald, Anne Braithwaite, Viven Hevizi, Madeline Briddell, Brianna Jaffe, Arya Bedi, Emily Kulp, Colette Cavazos, Leann Luong, Molly Cordray, Fiona Moser, Lia Della Porta, Logan Short, Lucie Donne, Lydia Somani, Lizzie Dixon, Lauren Weigle, Wren Francis (President), Sarah Yoh 



School: The Baldwin School


Charity: The a cappella Project

Roster: Lilly Altman, Nira Kotay, Sammy Baron, Taylor Levinson, Christina Cappola, Carys Li, Anisha Devas, Tessa Pearlstein, Jattu Fahnbulleh, Ava Rosenberger, Emma Gantard, Anna Rosenthal, Sanae Hagino, Emily Seltzer, Sophia Hairston, Layla Siahatgar, Maria Harlamova, Ivonna Thatch, Delina Irqau, Isabella Tyminski



School: Cheltenham High School

Team: Sons of Pitch

Charity: Autism Speaks

Roster: Caelan Donahue, Quincy Rhodes, Miles Fodor, Manny Rimmer, Jaden Greenbaum, Stefan Rogowski, Jordan Hood, Matt Ryan, Bishop Kashock-Mirenda, Oren Schwartz, Roy Nussbaum, Najeh Williams, Colin Polisano


School: Cheltenham High School

Team: Up the Octave

Charity: The Valley Youth Center

Roster: Nila Anthony, Naomi Guth, Kayla Banks, Anna Turk Karan, Lily Bitterman, Jay Mancini, Michaela Bockarie, Casey McLaughlin, Sydney Difebbo, Raina Miller, Sarah England, Jess Pham, Alice Fodor, Natalie Pomerantz


School: Friends Central School

Team(s): Spicetones, Grace Notes, Foxtones

Charity:The Philly Friendship Circle


Spicetones: Sara Bergmann, Mariella Buxbaum, Lisa Green, Kristen Johnson-Camila Liu, Isabel Pereira-Lopez, Skye Victor, Xinping Xie

Grace Notes: Alexa Connors, Kate Dewey, Natalie Dodds, Lily Forbes, Catherine Hebert, Claire May, Dior Rodgers, Sarah Wusinich

Foxtones: Will Bozman, Reed Cooper, Benny Flora, Leo Flora, Casper Hoffman, Aiden Kempf, Ben Miller, Fotini Mourelatos, Daniel Saligman


School: Harriton High School

Team: Pitch Please

Charity: Unite for Her, a non-profit helping women diagnosed with cancer

Roster: Jaspar Albright, Hannah Richter, Angelina DeMonte, Annika Ridky, Jackson Eisner, Carly Siciliano, Nina Gold, Audrey Sigler, Allegra Greenawalt, Rebecca Soslowsky, Julian Greenawalt, Henry Stefan, Aiden Kaliner, Sage Torrisi, Jacqueline Kelly, Victoria Vass, Ben Newman, Keifer Wood-Barreno


School: Penncrest High School

Team: The Ambassadors

Charity: the Media Food Bank

Roster: Nicholas Burbo, Elan Guthrie, Abigail Burdall, Jessica Kasper, Grace Carliss, Julia Kasper, Matthew Coulter, Jake Kelk, Jillian Donohue, Jacob Lamb, Benjamin Grady, John McCafferty, Matthew Brader, Isabella Phillips, William Guenther, Emily Sampson


School: Merion Mercy Academy

Team: Sirens of Baggot Street

Charity: the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia

Roster: Isabelle Grady, Ritamarie Montagna, Gwen Moore, Bella DeShays, Kierstein Carter, Emma Mcgrath, Emma Carter, Ava Donatucci, Dinasti Mosely, Allie Henkels, Grace Dell Pizzo, Sydney Parsons, Kaitlyn Powel, Grace Torna, Victoria Conroy, Mira Kolluri, Christina Schwab


School: Merion Mercy Academy

Team: Chorale

Charity: St. Rose of Lima Catholic Elementary School in Philadelphia

Roster: Ava Donatucci, Victoria Conroy, Stephanie Winterdal, Isabelle Grady, Caroline Conway, Maggie Carr, Mira Koluri, Allison Henkels, Kiersten Carter, Lia Mazmanian, Grace DelPizzo, Sophia Folgia, Gwen Moore, Hannah Facenda, Katie Gallone, Dinasti Mosely, Sarah Fritz, Nora Paller, Grace Torna, Katie Powel, Kiera Songhurst, Grace Brazunas, Emma McGrath, Bella DeShayes, Ritamarie Montagna, Emma Carter          



Each team performed four musical sets that were judged by local singers with ties to the musical community.

Paula Kielich, head judge is a founding member of the Delaware Valley Show Chorus where she sings and has competed for ten years. 

Joseph Erdeliac, a judge, has taught music at the University of West Chester for 12 years.  He also has been holding private instruction lesson for 50 years.  Erdeliac has sung with many groups and organizations including Philadelphia’s Singing City Choir.  He has performed nationally and internationally including a performance with the Czech National Symphony in Prague.

Alex Cyr, judge sang with the Haverford School Glee Club’s a cappella group and was a member of the University of Notre Dame Glee Club.  Cyr has participated in 40 tours with Glee Clubs nationally and in Europe.

This year's performances were judged on vocal skills, stage presence, creativity/expression and dynamics/synchronization.

While the judges were tallying up their votes the audience was treated to the sweet melodies of The Larks, directed by Lyndsey Holmes.  The Larks are from the Junior League of Philadelphia and member Jane Williams is a past president of the Rotary Club of Ardmore.

The Larks singing group was formed in 1961.  They perform regularly at hospitals, senior centers or assisted living facilities.  If you ask the members what they are all about, many will tell you that they are just a bunch of volunteer singers that are rewarded by bringing joy to others through song.


The Larks from the Junior League of Philadelphia

Left to right, kneeling: Nancy Hill, Maggie Sansone, Lindsey Holmes (Director), Meredith Earley

Standing, from left: Cherie Baker, Anne Markle, Laura Gelrich, Carolyn Hoyer, Jill Franks (President), Gail Parker, Joyce Cafiero, Jane Williams (past president of the Rotary of Ardmore)


The program was conceived by Christian Hoyt a long-standing member of the Ardmore Rotary.  Eight years ago the Rotary took Hoyt's suggestion and started a program.  The 1st year there were only 3 schools that participated.  It has grown every year since.


What is Rotary?

Rotary is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, engage high ethical standards in all locations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

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