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Roomful of Teeth is a vocal ensemble founded in 2009 by Brad Wells. Its stated mission is to "mine the expressive potential of the human voice".[1][2] Through study with masters from non-classical traditions the world over, the eight voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning project, invites composers to create a new repertoire without borders.

Roomful of Teeth
OriginWilliamstown, Massachusetts
United States
GenresChoral, Classical
Occupation(s)Vocal Band
Instruments8 voices
Years active2009–present
WebsiteOfficial Website
MembersCameron Beauchamp
Dashon Burton
Martha Cluver
Eric Dudley
Estelí Gomez
Avery Griffin
Caroline Shaw
Virginia Warnken Kelsey
Brad Wells

The ensemble gathers annually at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), where they have studied Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean p’ansori, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music and Persian classical singing with some of the world’s top performers and teachers of the styles.[3] Commissioned composers include Elena Ruehr, Christine Southworth & Evan Ziporyn, Rinde Eckert, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus (of tUnE-yArDs), William Brittelle, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Missy Mazzoli, Sam Amidon, Michael Harrison, Ted Hearne and 2015 Pulitzer Prize recipient, Julia Wolfe.[4]

Roomful of Teeth has performed at Merkin Hall, (le) Poisson Rouge, Town Hall (Seattle) and Carlsbad Music Festival (California), Fusebox Festival, MIT Sounding, and Lincoln Center among others. The group regularly leads vocal technique workshops, master classes, improv-based workshops and concerts at colleges, elementary schools, high schools and community centers across the country. In August 2014, Roomful of Teeth was spotlighted at the International Federation for Choral Music symposium in Seoul, Korea (one of only three American vocal ensembles invited).

The project’s debut album, Roomful of Teeth, was released in 2012 and nominated in three categories for the 2014 56th Annual Grammy Awards, including Best Engineer for Classical Album, Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, and Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The album subsequently received a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.[5]

In April 2013, ensemble member Caroline Shaw received the Pulitzer Prize for Music for Partita for 8 Voices,[6][7] the four movements of which appear on the group’s debut album.[8][9] An iTunes exclusive EP of Partita was subsequently released and ranked no. 1 on iTunes Classical charts.

Roomful of Teeth’s second full-length recording, Render, was released April 2015, featuring works by Wally Gunn, Missy Mazzoli, William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, ensemble tenor Eric Dudley and artistic director Brad Wells.[10]

Roomful of Teeth was one of the featured ensembles at the 2016 Ojai Music Festival.


  1. ^ Roomful of Teeth performances wrap up Princeton Symphony Orchestra's Chamber series, The Times of Trenton, Ross Amico, March 7, 2014.
  2. ^ Heck, Matthew (March 20, 2015). "Cheeky Teeth at Stave Sessions". The Boston Music Intelligencer. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Schweitzer, Vivien (October 19, 2015). "Review: Roomful of Teeth, Making Nerdiness Cool". New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes – Citation".
  5. ^ Huizenga, Tom (January 27, 2014). "New Music Shines at Classical Grammy Awards". NPR. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  6. ^ The Pulitzer Prize Was Nice and All, but a Work Is Finally Fully Heard, New York Times, Music Review, Anthony Tommasini, November 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes – Citation".
  8. ^ Tsioulcas, Anastasia (April 15, 2013). "Caroline Shaw, 30, Wins Pulitzer For Music". Deceptive Cadence. NPR. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Fetters, Ashley (April 16, 2013). "Hear the Weird, Lovely A Cappella Suite That Won the Pulitzer Prize for Music". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Zumfelde, Jeff (December 1, 2015). "CPR Classical's Favorite Releases Of 2015". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved December 23, 2015.

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