Short and Sweet
About the Short and Sweet
Born in 1963, Tony started his musical background with arduous piano practice every day for seven years until his piano teacher just told him she couldn't teach him anymore. While in Carroll High School in Dayton, Ohio he participated in marching band with a trumpet and concert band with french horn, when he was requested to play in the pep band and other musical competitions. In his junior and senior years he was given the task of transcribing music for all parts in the marching band due to his eye for perfection and maybe even his neat handwriting. In his senior year of high school he took music theory and impressed his teacher with a piece of music that would qualify for additional awards. College was set to a mathematical skill track as computers, physics and engineering had strong overtones in music and theory. Once, he left college life behind he searched for more clarity in his music studies and joined the New MexiChords in 1992. Lacking in tenors they decided to place Tony in the tenor section. Eventually after a couple of years he formed his first quartet called MasterChords in September of 1994 along with Bob Chavez as lead, Ron Randal as baritone and Nick Maxwell as bass. As time progressed he earned Outstanding Service Awards in 1994 and 1995 for assistance in the Valentine Program and other service related programs. In 1997 he started in two other quartets in preparation for contest that fall. The first quartet performing fell flat on its face, having difficulties getting the first chord out, while the Lords of the West, with Shawn Mondragon as lead, Bob Landry as baritone and Greg Titus as bass, earned the Novice Quartet Champion award. Naturally the quartet morphed as the baritone had to move westward and Matt Vaive filled in as baritone. But it was short lived as the bass had to move out west too! It was more than 10 years before he started singing in another quartet called Short and Sweet. The lead was Dick Goins, baritone was Dennis Ledbetter and the bass was Lee Seligman. As you can tell the baritone and bass stuck with us and we've acquired a new lead Kirk Sugars which Tony felt added a new flare to the name Short and Sweet. Although the sound that Short and Sweet makes is wonderful and sweet sounding it has added a touch of comedy to spice up its performances.
A native of northern California, Kirk has lived in Albuquerque since 1993. As child Kirk loved to sing and could actually carry a tune - in tune! He began studying piano at the age of 11 and was playing professionally by the time he was 16. In high school he was a certifiable "band geek," playing in virtually every ensemble at his school on a different instrument in each. Beginning in 1990, after many years of accompanying the voice lessons of others, Kirk finally studied voice more seriously while on staff at the Northern Arizona University School of Performing Arts in Flagstaff. Kirk was introduced to the Barbershop style in 2004 when he joined the Duke City Sound. He sang lead in the competitive quartet First Light for two years, then joined Short 'n' Sweet in 2009. That same year he released a solo album of piano improvisations, "Organic Chemistry." (Available on iTunes!) Kirk makes his living as a licensed massage therapist, while his other activities include performing chamber music on the piano, coaching an elementary school chess club, and practicing Tai Chi Chuan.
Dennis was born in Orlando, Florida before Disney World was built and he was raised and educated in New England where he sang in his church choir and in high school choruses. Dennis tried a short stint at Clarkson College in Potsdam, NY where he was the lead singer in a rock band named "The Family Dog" and, more importantly, where he met his wife, Joan. Dennis finished college in Rhode Island with a degree in Business Management from Bryant University and started my work career. He found barbershop in 1975 and have actively participated in choruses and quartets ever since, having been President and Assistant Director of the Ocean State Chorus and a member of the Narragansett Bay Chorus, both in RI. Joan and Dennis were blessed with two fine boys, Nicholas in 1979 and Daniel in 1983. In 1999 Joan and Dennis relocated to Keene, New Hampshire where he sang with the Cheshiremen and competed on the International Stage with the Granite Statesmen. They relocated to Albuquerque in 2002 where he sang with the New MexiChords and currently the Duke City Sound. Quartets are too numerous to remember but included Fourtuosity and Turnpike Travelers back East, Finishing Touch and Short 'n Sweet. In 2005 Finishing Touch competed in and won the Rocky Mountain Senior Quartet contest. Dennis joined Short 'n Sweet in 2007.
Lee was introduced to Barbershopping in high school in 1952; and following a period of active duty in the Navy, joined the Society in 1966. He has sung in Barbershop choruses in Albuquerque, Charlottesville (VA), Miami (FL), Portland (OR), Houston, and Pittsburgh (PA), and has sung the bass part in over eight registered quartets. He formed and directed a performing Barbershop chorus in Lake Jackson, TX in the 80s.
An Albuquerque native, he received bachelor's and master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from UNM in the early 60s, and was awarded a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1975. Along the way, he enjoyed memberships in such organizations as Rotary International, Mensa, and the Society for Neuroscience. For the next 25 years, he worked in the cardiac pacemaker industry and was an early researcher into implantable stimulators of the brain.
(He likes to think that his efforts have somehow supported Barbershoppers engaged in singing songs of the heart, as well as those attempting to maintain some kind of cerebral balance.)
In 1961, Lee married fellow UNM student, Los Angelino Barbara Ann Bancroft; and together they raised two Barbershopping sons, Douglas and Gregory. Barbershop harmony has been one of the mainstays of their 50-year marriage.
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Website last reviewed March 1, 2010