19th Annual

Home | Recordings | Previous winners | Rules | How to enter | Press Materials | Venue & Visitor Information | Visit us on MySpace!
Boston | Chicago | Denver | Los Angeles | New York | Pacific North West | San Francisco | Mid Atlantic (DC)

The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival is the premier American showcase for vocal harmony music. The annual national competition draws from hundreds of vocal groups from around the country with regional competitions in eight cities. The winning group from each festival is flown to perform in front of celebrity judges and a sold out house of enthusiastic a cappella fans at the National Finals.

2003 National Champions

The Idea of North

The Idea of North is regarded by its peers as one of the best and most unique live musical acts in Australia. Over the last few years as one of Australia's only fully professional vocal quartets, they have reinvented a cappella and taken it to new heights. Their stunning visual presence and incredible sound has built them a legion of adoring fans here and across Europe, Asia and the USA. The Idea of North is an exhilarating live act presenting a blend of uniquely arranged contemporary classics and original material. Thus at their own concerts and at corporate events audiences are treated to a show that includes spectacular original arrangements of artists as varied as Sting, Stevie Wonder and The Bee Gees, together with an eclectic mix of jazz, soul, gospel and originals. Having played with some of Australia's greats, including James Morrison and Don Burrows, "The Idea of North" has been shaping this new sound in music now for over eight years. It's a style grounded on the classic musicianship that these four friends crafted at two of Australia's premier music academies, the Canberra School of Music and the Elder Conservatorium of Music (Adelaide).
Members - Trish Delaney-Brown, Naomi Crellin, Nick Begbie, Andrew Piper

2003 Results

National Champions

The Idea Of North

2nd

Moosebutter

3rd

Cadence

Audience Favorite

The Idea Of North

Best Original Song

"Psycho: The Musical" - Moosebutter

The David Lichtman Award
Best Original Arrangement

"Mas Que Nada" Andrew Piper, The Idea Of North


2003 National Finals set list


Complete list of all 2003 regional participants


2003 Participating Groups

Bay Area - moosebutter is a wacky music ensemble from Provo, Utah. moosebutter croons about truth justice and the vegetable way. moosebutter loves peanut butter and igloos. moosebutter is just like a cutting-edge, hard-core hip-hop group, except moosebutter is from Utah, all white, not interested in controversy, and also doesn't perform hip-hop. Weston, however, does perform the "hip pop" when he does the splits. moosebutter likes you.
Members: Tim Y. Jones, Glen Sawyer, Weston Wride, Chris Harris


Denver -Groove Society is an exciting new group of dedicated a cappella artists that has set out to explode the myth that singers are not true musicians. With degrees ranging from vocal performance to music education to theory and composition, individual members have received numerous accolades, including several prestigious Downbeat Magazine awards. Although the group's roots are firmly planted in the jazz genre, they are not afraid to demonstrate their versatility by performing in a variety of styles. Of primary importance to Groove Society's fresh sound are their innovative arrangements. A common thread of exuberant passion and soul runs throughout each performance
Members: Bianca Herbert, Jeremy Ruff, Cameron Chinatti, Joe Herbert, Damion Massey, Dave Sheehan


Chicago - Nightwatch was formed in December of 1998 as a result of a lost bet, or at least it seems that way sometimes. Matt (a fireman Ď ask him to show you his Dalmatian), Paul (international secret agent/sock garter model), Dan (the new voice behind that AFLAC duck) and Scott (not sure what he's doing this week) have been verbally berating each other ever since meeting in Greendale WI's Midwest Vocal Express, also known as the 2002 5th Place Bronze Medallist Barbershop Chorus. Their consistent refusal to sing any song seriously actually paid off in August of 2000, as they were crowned the Buckeye Invitational Funny Bone Comedy Quartet Champions after performing their now infamous (this means "more than famous", right?) Diner Set in front of tens of people in Columbus OH. Their latest achievement occurred in April of 2001, when they duped an esteemed judging panel just enough to capture the Land O╠Lakes Division I Quartet Championship. No matter what the venue, you can expect high-quality singing and a wide array of musical styles from this group. What you can't expect is for them to go to bed early and to have serious conversations with each other, or anyone else for that matter.
Members - Dan Naumann, Scott Hettig, Paul Wolf, Matt Martin


New York - Cadence Four men, four microphones, no instruments.­ This is the formula for Toronto's celebrated vocal band, Cadence.­ This formidable foursome has been dishing up its unique blend of tight harmony, instrumental imitation, high-energy antics, and audience interaction to sold-out audiences - and getting people genuinely excited about vocal music!­ The results have earned Cadence international recognition as "one of the finest quartets to make an appearance in the a cappella scene". Cadence is Dylan Bell, Carl Berger, Kevin Fox and Ross Lynde. Four different performance backgrounds, musical sensibilities, and vocal textures contribute to their unique sound.­ And whether it's Carl's dark molasses baritone, Kevin's solid groove and bass, Dylan's acrobatic R&B stylings, or Ross' sweet, expressive tenor, audiences find themselves drawn in to the musical experience. Cadence was nominated for a 2001 Juno Award (Canada) and received two Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (San Francisco) for their debut CD, frost-free. During the past five years, the Cadence performance schedule has been highlighted by appearances on radio and television, at SkyDome (Toronto's landmark stadium), and at the 2001 World Leaders tribute to Quincy Jones.­ The group has also had the honour of performing for Bobby McFerrin and Manhattan Transfer, and has shared the stage with Canada's pioneering quartet, The Nylons.
Members - Dylan Bell, Carl Berger, Keven Fox, Ross Lynde


Boston - All About Buford wants you to get up, work your groove thang, and laugh your butt off! With a repertoire that infuses jazz, pop, funk, and comedy - their goal is for you to hear new and exciting music, have a great time and join in on the fun! At only 3 years old, All About Buford has already won critical praise and awards: the 2003 Boston Regional Harmony Sweeps winners have performed with Wayne Brady and the acappella legends The Persuasions. Jerry Lawson of the persuasions said: "you're going to go down in the history books!" Recently, they've won in the Acappella Community Awards: runner-up for Best Lead Female Vocal (Taunia Soderquist), runner-up for Best Lead Male Vocal (Shah Salmi), and Best World/Folk Band. With the addition of newest member vocal percussion guru Wes Carroll, All About Buford hopes that things will only get better!
Members - Wes Carroll, Amy Malkoff, Shah Salmi, Taunia Soderquist


Los Angeles - Undivided Musical Group was formed, in their eyes, as an accident, but later they realized that God had led them to become one in Christ through a cappella music, and has continued to lead them into this world that needs Jesus, giving people hope and a greater understanding about the wonderful Gospel. Hence, the name Undivided which they felt well suited for what they are and what Christianity should be.
Members - Greg Gordon, Ruben Aponte, David Cortes, Hector Sanchez, Richard Aponte, Mel Ramirez.


Mid-Atlantic - The Idea of North is regarded by its peers as one of the best and most unique live musical acts in Australia. Over the last few years as one of Australia's only fully professional vocal quartets, they have reinvented a cappella and taken it to new heights. Their stunning visual presence and incredible sound has built them a legion of adoring fans here and across Europe, Asia and the USA. The Idea of North is an exhilarating live act presenting a blend of uniquely arranged contemporary classics and original material. Thus at their own concerts and at corporate events audiences are treated to a show that includes spectacular original arrangements of artists as varied as Sting, Stevie Wonder and The Bee Gees, together with an eclectic mix of jazz, soul, gospel and originals. Having played with some of Australia's greats, including James Morrison and Don Burrows, "The Idea of North" has been shaping this new sound in music now for over eight years. It's a style grounded on the classic musicianship that these four friends crafted at two of Australia's premier music academies, the Canberra School of Music and the Elder Conservatorium of Music (Adelaide).
Members - Trish Delaney-Brown, Naomi Crellin, Nick Begbie, Andrew Piper


Pacific NW - Second Chance was formed in June of 2001 in Pendleton, Oregon. The group originally consisted of four members, but later added a fifth, bringing in vocal percussion. The membership of the group changed continually in a persistent search for the right combination of voices to produce the best sound. The group went through some more personnel changes during the 2001-2002 school year before arriving at the group you will hear tonight. In addition to local performances, Second Chance has performed in San Francisco, Hawaii, and all over the northwestern United States. They attended the West Coast Summit, an A Cappella conference in San Francisco, and are scheduled to debut there this fall. Second Chance has become one of the northwest’s fastest growing a cappella groups.
Members - Mike Telfer, Jeremy Miller, Chris Moore, Kevin Tesch, Micah Bartron


Judges

Richard Bob Greene - Richard Bob Greene is an award-winning composer, arranger, singer, writer and producer. As the co-founder and creator of the nu-wave a Cappella super group The Bobs, Greene fractured and reconstructed the rules for popular music. He was nominated for a Grammy for his and Gunnar Madsen's a Cappella arrangement of the Beatles "Helter Skelter". As a composer and songwriter/librettist, Greene has received commissions from Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Theater Center, the Minnesota Opera, Oberlin Dance Collective, ISO Dance Theater, National Public Radio and many others. He has written music for the feature films "Breaking the Rules" "For Better or Worse" and "Man in the Moon" (the Andy Kaufman bio-pic). He was one of the vocal arrangers for the 1995 Emmy Awards starring Jason Alexander. He has recently turned to producing for other a cappella groups and in the past year has done CDs for "Throat Culture," "Toxic Audio" and "Da Vinci's Notebook." His most recent credit is as directorand host of the A Cappella Foundation's "Arranging For Vocal Groups" video.

Maxine Jones - Founding member of the multi-platinum R&B quartet En Vogue, who redefined the girl group for the '90's. Their first CD, "Born to Sing", featured three number one R&B hits. The follow up, "Funky Divas", contained the hugely popular and still memorable "My Lovin' (Never Gonna Get It)", selling three million copies and earning 5 Grammy nominations. The group also won an American Music Award, Soul Train award and were featured in a Diet Coke commercial directed by Spike Lee. Maxine is now busy being a Mom and contemplating her next move.

Louise Robinson - Founding member of Sweet Honey In The Rock, Louise's received her BA from Howard University. Her professional credits include producing, directing and acting on and off Broadway, where she worked with respected talents such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Gregory Hines, Lynn Whitfield and others too numerous to mention. Louise also co-wrote Sweet Honey's book, "We Who Believe in Freedom." As a performer in the touring company of "Little Shop of Horrors," she first came to the Bay Area, where she joined the staff of Oakland's Festival at the Lake. She started the professional a cappella quintet Street Sounds in 1989. Street Sounds has released two CD's, opened for or played with the Persuasions, the Manhattan Transfer and Ladysmith Black Mamabazo, and toured the US and abroad.

Merl Saunders Jr.- San Francisco Chapter Executive Director, NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)- began performing with the San Francisco Youth Symphony and grew up in the heart of the San Francisco music scene, hanging with such musical families as the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Saul Zaentz's Fantasy Records. He learned the business and production end of the industry working with such diverse artists as Michael Jackson, Frank Zappa, David Crosby and Robert Cray. Saunders' career led him to Marketing Director for Gibson Guitars and Dean Markley Strings, where he arranged benefits for many philanthropic causes. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Music in Schools Today, Taylor Family Foundation (pediatric AIDS).

Robin Cohn - President of City Hall Records. City Hall began in Robin's San Francisco garage in 1973, expanding steadily to become a national distributor of hundreds of specialty labels, both domestic and international. From blues, jazz, urban, nostalgia, world, and yes, a cappella - including artists such as the Swingle Singers, the Bobs and SoVoSo - City Hall has built its success and reputation through supporting independent music.


National Finals 2003

 Mas Que Nada - Idea of North
Amarte Mas - Undivided Musical Group
Psycho: The Musical - Moosebutter
Go tell It On the Mountain - Second Chance Singers
My Funny Valentine - All About Buford
Truck Drivin' Man - Nightwatch
Gimme Some Skin - Perfect Gentlemen
Straighten Up and Fly Right - Cadence
You're Not So Good - Groove Society
Tempted - Cadence
When She Loved Me - Idea of North
Sand Down My Pants - Second Chance Singers
Star Wars - Moosebutter
Meanest Thing You Ever Did Was Kiss Me
Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Mission Impossible Theme - Undivided Musical Group
Summertime - All About Buford
Listen to the Music - Groove Society

We're of the almost certainly biased opinion that the Harmony Sweeps Finals are the best a cappella shows in the world. Imagine 8 groups, who have come in first in Regional competition with 10 other groups in places like New York, Boston, the Bay Area, Chicago and LA, performing before a packed auditorium in San Rafael, CA for 12 minutes each, for the coveted National Championship. Each year outdoes the last, and 'electric' doesn't do justice to the 2003 Finals. There are 18 songs on the CD, two from each group and two from '02 Champs, and very funny hosts, LA's Perfect Gentlemen, 'Gimme Some Skin' and the guitar accompanied (!) 'Meanest Thing You Ever Did Was Kiss Me.' The Bay Area's hilarious Moosebutter brings us 'Psycho, The Musical,' winner of 'Best Original Song' (lyrics), and their trademark parody, 'Star Wars,' part of a set that won them 2nd place honors. The Pacific NW's Second Chance contribute a funky 'Go Tell It On The Mountain' and the very funny beach song parody 'Sand Down My Pants.' LA's Undivided Musical Group sing 'Amarte Mas' and nail Ward Swingle's arrangement of 'Mission Impossible Theme.' Boston's All About Buford do wonderful covers of the Gershwins' 'Summertime' and Rodgers & Hart's 'My Funny Valentine.' Chicago's Nightwatch sing two songs from their infamous 'Diner Set' (complete with ballistic donut), 'Truck Drivin' Man' and 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby,' and New York's very smooth Cadence covers 'Straighten Up and Fly Right' and 'Tempted' beautifully. Denver's Groove Society gets the crowd up and rocking with 'You're No Good' and the classic 'Listen to the Music.' Unbelievably, as good as all these groups were, the best was saved for last, Mid-Atlantic winner Idea of North from Australia, who shine on 'Mas Que Nada' (which won the David Lichtman Award for Best Arrangement) and Randy Newman's heart-tugging 'When She Loved Me.' Idea of North got the nod from the judges, and won Audience Favorite, while Moosebutter and Cadence placed 2nd and 3rd. A chorus of 'Goodnight Sweetheart' later we were all walking out of beautiful Marin Veterans Auditorium, not believing how good a show we had just seen and heard!

2003 CD $14.98

Click Here for Past Harmony Sweepstakes Recordings


Past Results: 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001- 2000 - 1999 - 1998


Home | Recordings | Previous winners | Rules | How to enter | Press Materials | Venue & Visitor Information | Visit us on MySpace!
Boston | Chicago | Denver | Los Angeles | New York | Pacific North West | San Francisco | Mid Atlantic (DC)

Read the latest reviews, articles, features and more - A CAPPELLA NEWS

For More of The Primarily A Cappella On-Line Catalog

SEARCH OUR DATA BASE OF THOUSANDS OF A CAPPELLA RECORDINGS

To find a specific song on any recording (or to find recordings by group name or CD title),
pick the search method and type the item you are searching for here:

By Song Title
By Group Name
By Recording Title
By Music Category

     or use our Power Search for more search options

Thanks to our Sponsors