By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota a cappella group are now international champions after taking first place at a Russian festival.

One thing is clear when Six Appeal performs: These six guys can sing.

“There’s a different power to it when you get six or five male vocalists together,” said baritone Trenard Jones.

Between the six of them, there is a teacher, a pizza delivery driver, a bookseller, a call center operator, a sales associate and a full-time musician. But a shared love of music brought them all together.

“The five of us lived together for years. When the band was young, it was an easy way to keep everybody together and on the same track,” said bass Reuben Hushagen.

(credit: Six Appeal)

Twelve years later, they don’t live together anymore — they’re busy winning major competitions.

They just got back from one of world’s biggest a cappella competitions in Moscow, where 180 groups from 16 countries competed for more than a week.

“It was the mayor of Moscow and it was all in Russian, and we were just kind of sitting around chatting with people, and suddenly we heard ‘Six Appeal!’” said vocal percussionist Andrew Berkowitz.

They won the whole thing — along with a check for 6.2 million Rubles.

“Depending on markets right now, roughly it’s about $100,000,” Berkowitz said. “It’s not too shabby.”

So far, the recognition has not gone to their head, as they are warming up for their next show here at home.

In between their 150 shows a year, they still run educational clinics to encourage young men and women to find their voices, no matter their background.

The group plans to spend their award money on recording a new album and covering travel expenses. They do about 150 shows a year.

Click here to check out their albums and tour dates.

Kate Raddatz