the accidentals
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the accidentals

new york, New York, United States | SELF

new york, New York, United States | SELF
Band Pop




""The best and most interesting a cappella group I have seen in years.""

"Their homage to cult rotten film director Ed Wood, Jr. is just one example of what makes them unique.... inspired." - Roy Sander, Backstage

"“If you think a cappella choristers are inherently square, think again.""

"This group’s irreverent sense of humor inspired Denis Leary to feature them in his
Merry F#$%n’ Christmas special on Comedy Central.” -

"The Accidentals are a remarkable, mixed-voice, a cappella octet based in New York City."

This uber-talented group is led by Margaret Dorn, someone we reviewed 10 years ago when she sang as part of the legendary Carolling Carollers (see here). Not surprisingly then, An Accidental Christmas: A Cappella Holiday Classics is a home run.

Just as the album title suggests, this is outstanding, straight-up, a cappella singing of Christmas offerings. The song selection is broad--20 tracks cover the gamut, from hushed sacred numbers to high-spirited, contemporary, secular pieces.

The success of offerings like this turns on the quality and precision of the voices, and these vocal instruments are priceless. This award-winning group features professional singers from various parts of the music industry. Listening to the Accidentals is like having the world's most amazing group of carolers in your living room throughout the holiday season. Each piece is beautifully executed, each arrangement is well-crafted, and each note is delivered with heart and grace. This is wonderful music.

Although most tracks are not played for humor, the Accidentals are also famous for their off-center sense of fun. In fact, the album's centerpiece is Rudiana, an outrageous take-off of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Arranged by Bill Mitchell, this creative, well-executed track takes aim at diverse musical genres, playfully skewering each, from classical to tango.

My favorite cut is probably the gorgeously layered and gutsy Wassail Song, which highlights everything I love about a group like this. In the hands of lesser singers, this number sounds anemic and clumsy; here, everything clicks like clockwork. Impressive! The Accidentals also successfully tackle The Hallelujah Chorus; it is wonderful to hear eight voices attack and conquer this holiday icon.

Happily, I actually have two releases by The Accidentals to review this season. Stay tuned for the more recent (2007) offering, I'm Not Going Home for Christmas, reviewed here.

- Carol Swanson,

""extremely talented""

"and beautiful artisans and singers." - Grace Roy, SONY Execuyive Producer, A&R

""There's nothing accidental about THE ACCIDENTALS.""

Every breath they take and every tone they emit is exquisitely coordinated to create a smooth symphony of sound... They combine harmony with humor and a slightly off-center perspective... No matter what the song, this group can handle it... The Accidentals blend their individually-distinct voices and bring forth sounds that would give any orchestra a run for its money." - Laurie Lawson (online review)

""Not only are the arrangements as assonant as raindrops on leaves,....""

"...but their material is startlingly original." - David Finkle, The Village Voice

"They are a vocal orchestra!""

... they sing some of the most complex arrangements in all of acappelladom....prepare to be blown away...great sense of humor... You'll laugh, you'll cry, it's beautiful, it's funny, you'll be beguiled by one of the best a cappella albums of the new millennium!" - CD review of "Popular" in Primarily A Cappella

""The Best A Cappella Group in America""

"The Best A Cappella Group in America!" - New York Post


The Accidentals, mostly a cappella
Intermittent Plush
An Accidental Christmas
I'm Not Going Home for Christmas

The following singles have won awards:

"You Win" (M.Dorn/L.Herman) - Best Contemporary Song, 1996 CARA (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award)
"Rudiana" (Bill Mitchell) - Best Humorous Song, 1996 CARA
"In Just Spring" (Jim Vincent/ e.e. cummings) - Runner-up for Best Classical Song, 1996 CARA

Many of our songs have been chosen for film and television programs such as:

"Boston Public," "JAG," "Providence," "Haven,""Spin City," "Get Carter," "Enemy of the State," "I'll Be Home For Christmas"
Comedy Central: "Denis Leary’s Merry F*#*ing Christmas Special"

In addition, our songs have been played on various radio programs including:

WFUV - The Downtown Messiah, Sunday Morning Breakfast
WCBS - Don K. Reed
WOR - Joey Reynolds
WNYC - Jonathan Schwartz
XM Satellite Radio - Bill Kates
WNEW - Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight



The Accidentals have won many awards, including MAC and Back Stage Bistro Awards for Best Vocal Group. They were the 1995 National Champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes. Their CDs have won several Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, and their songs have been included in feature films and on television.

They have performed with many artists, including:

Christine Lavin, Julie Gold, Ronnie Spector, Petula Clark, Jane Siberry, David Johansen (Buster Poindexter), Vernon Reid, The Roches, Richard Barone, Karen Mason, David Rasche, Denis Leary, David Friedman, Rockapella, The Persuasions, Vocal Sampling, The Swingle Singers, Ben Vereen, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Jamie deRoy, The Chordettes, The Jenny Burton Experience, Julia Wade, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic.


The Accidentals are well known for their Christmas recordings and performances. They have entertained audiences with their holiday programs at various venues in the NY area, including the World Financial Center, the Bottom Line, and on Denis Leary's "Merry F*#*ing Christmas Special" on Comedy Central!

Band Members