SURE-FIRE: certain to succeed or meet expectations; assured.
SUREFIRE! is a brand new foursome that made their public debut on December 22, 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary Family Benefit Concert held at St Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford, CT, which also served as their 6th time ever singing together. The members hail from West Hartford and Danbury, CT and Poughkeepsie, NY. All four are musical directors or assistant musical directors for men's choruses in the Barbershop Harmony Society and sing in various choral ensembles in their areas.
Friends for years, these four gentlemen sang together for the first time in September of 2012 at the New England Harmony Brigade in Marlborough, MA. They realized that they had great potential to be a great quartet. Most recently, April of 2013, SUREFIRE! went to win the Yankee Division Championship.
JOE HUDSON (Tenor): Joe has been involved with the Barbershop Harmony Society for 11 years. Prior to finding the art-form known as barbershop, Joe performed in choirs since a young age, in school, church and college. He has performed in over 50 different plays, musicals and operas ranging from Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Monostatos) to Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Kaspar) and all the way to Cole Porter’s Anything Goes (Moonface Martin) to Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye). He has even appeared in a SEGA Commercial back in the 90s. He has taught at Danbury High school and is currently teaching K-6 Music in Ansonia, CT. As a chorus director, he is very proud to be the director of the Mad Hatters and has taken them to District contest 9 out of the past 11 years (they sat 2 years out) and helped them win 3 Small Chorus Championships. Joe currently lives in Danbury, CT with his wife Elizabeth and their 4-month old son Anthony.
TONY NASTO (Lead): Tony has over 20+ years of vocal and instrumental music experience. In 2002, as a junior in high school, he ranked 3rd in the State with the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. It was at this time that Tony discovered his love for barbershop harmony and started arranging music with the aid of his mentor, Ed Waesche. Being accepted to the Hartt School on an early admission scholarship, Tony pursued music passed the high school level. During his college years, he studied ensemble choral singing and composing with Edward Bolkovac and studied opera and classical voice privately with Mitchell Piper, Jerome Pruett, and Doris Lang Koslof. Also while in college, he met three of his best friends and quartet mates in Men in Black. Now in their 10th year together as a foursome, they have visited 26 out of 50 of the United States of America. More recently, Tony has married his best friend, Mary, a medalist Sweet Adeline barbershop quartet singer. They live in West Hartford, CT.
GARRY “BUTCH” ASHDOWN (Baritone): Butch has been singing barbershop since 1994. He has been a 4 time Division Champion having sung with Hudson Valley Connection, Swing Shift (2-time NED 3rd place award), and now with SUREFIRE!. Butch is currently the assistant director of the Poughkeepsie Newyorkers Chorus. Butch is a retired career firefighter, police officer, and arson investigator and now works as the Chief of Safety and Security at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, N.Y. Butch resides in Modena, N.Y. with his wife Sherie and children Jeffrey and Megan.
JOHN HADIGAN (BASS): John is a 27 year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society. He's been an avid quartet man throughout that time. Most notably, his quartet the Riverside Rascals competed in the 1993 International Quartet Contest, and that same year won the Northeastern District Quartet Championship. He currently is the Director of the Poughkeepsie Newyorkers Barbershop Chorus. He's employed by the Dutchess County Highway Dept. and lives in Hyde Park, NY with his lovely wife Amber and two cats, Sobe and Scrappy.