When GQ first started singing together in July of 2011, they knew right away they had something unique. Each voice brought an important quality to the group’s sound. They knew they wanted to try and stay away from traditional a cappella arrangements and explore songs and sounds that weren’t common.
For their first competition, GQ entered the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes in Alexandria, VA, taking home First Place along with Best Original Arrangement and Audience Favorite.
Then, in March the group attended Singstrong’s ACA-Idol competition in Reston, VA, taking home both Audience Favorite and First Prize. Judges included Danielle Withers from Vocal Group “Afro Blue,” Kim Hudson of “Maxx Factor,” and Dave Brown, co-host of podcast “Mouth-Off.”
In May, GQ headed to San Francisco and took home Second Place in the National Harmony Sweepstakes’ finals, as well as Best Original Arrangement for their version of Mumford and Son’s “Timshel,” arranged by Katie Gillis and Katie Macdonald.
Then, to try out their hand in the Barbershop world, GQ flew to Denver, CO in the beginning of November and won the Sweet Adelines International “Rising Star” Competition. All of this within their first year as a quartet!
2012 Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes: First place, Audience Favorite and Best Arrangement for “Timshel“
2012 National Harmony Sweepstakes Second place and best arrangement for “Timshel“
2012 Aca-Idol SingStrong (first place and audience favorite)
2012 SAI Rising Star Champions
The following year was very exciting for GQ as well! They did their first Youth Barbershop Harmony Camp in January with the Miamians Chorus in Miami, FL. They went on to do other Barbershop Youth Harmony Camps that summer including Greater Cincinnati Harmony Festival and The Singing Buckeye’s Harmony Camp. They also taught a cappella classes at Singstrong in March, and hosted the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes.
GQ competed in the Sweet Adeline International Region 19 Quartet Competition in April and took first place with a score of 599 out of 800. They were fortunate enough to compete in the SAI International Quartet Competition in Hawai’i, where they placed 17th out of 52 quartets.
They recorded their first studio album in June at Liquid 5th Studios in Rahleigh, NC. Liquid 5th is an a cappella recording studio who manage the sound for Pentatonix on their tour! The album was released in October and has sold many digital downloads on iTunes as well as physical copies through GQ’s website, and in person at performances.
Awards and Recognition in 2013:
2013 SAI Region 19 quartet champions
Since their release of album, they have many a cappella and barbershop awards including:
2013 ACA Award – Favorite Barbershop Group
2013 ACA Award- Favorite Group without vocal percussion
2013 Barbershop Barbie Award – Album of the Year
2013 CARA Award – Best Barbershop Album
2013 CARA Award – Best Barbershop Song: “Ebb Tide”
2013- Awarded a spot on BOWA compilation album
2013- Awarded a spot on Voices Only III Compilation album
2013- Awarded a spot on Sing 10 complication album
In the Spring, GQ was featured on the front page of a popular entertainment site called Reddit, which gave them a crazy amount of internet exposure! One of their videos even got over a MILLION VIEWS on YouTube! You can see that video here.
GQ competed for the second year in a row in the Sweet Adeline International Region 19 Quartet Competition in April. They were awarded first place with a score of 624 out of 800, a great improvement from 2013!