22nd Annual

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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.

2006 National Champions


Hi-Fidelity is the 2006 Harmony Sweepstakes Los Angeles AND National A Cappella Champions. It has been a great couple of years for Hi-Fidelity, as they were crowned the Barbershop Harmony quartet champions for the Far Western District in 2005. If the guys look familiar it is not surprising. You may know them for their recurring bit on NBC‚s Last Call with Carson Daly as the "Barbershop Monologue Joke Explainers". They have also been featured recently on a radio jingle for Living Spaces Furniture with Kobe Bryant. You may recall them as the Roto Rooter Plumbers during Rose Bowl publicity a few years ago. Hi-Fidelity was also in a commercial for X-Box as well! You can check it out at their website www.hifidelityquartet.com. All four singers are also members of the Masters of Harmony Chorus, winner of the 2005 International Chorus championship! They distinguish themselves with painstaking craftsmanship, sophisticated song stylings, a strange sense of humor - and they sing good too!

Members: Gregg Bernhard (baritone), Martin Fredstrom  (bass), Tom Moore  (lead),  Craig Ewing  (tenor)

2006 Results

National Champions






Audience Favorite


Best Original Song

"Wonderful World" Traces

The David Lichtman Award
Best Original Arrangement

"Donna Lee" Steve Saxon

National Finals Set List

2006 National Finalists

Bay Area - Clockwork: With influences drawn from Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Gene Puerling, Phil Mattson, and many others, Clockwork’s performances range from beautiful ballads to complex, harmonized bebop lines normally only performed by an experienced saxophone section. From straight-ahead jazz to sweet ballads to hard swinging standards, these five voices make the listener forget that there are no instruments playing. Clockwork is a quintet of musicians who happen to sing.  With their own arrangements of jazz from standards to be-bop with interesting, unexpected surprises, this award-winning vocal group is the coolest, newest sound in jazz.  Clockwork has taken the West by storm and is not to be missed in the jazz world.  In addition to being experienced performers, Clockwork, individually and collectively, has extensive experience in hosting and participating in educational workshops on a range of topics that include arranging for voices, solo interpretation, small group singing, microphone technique, and improvisation.

Members: Angie Doctor, Eric Freeman, John Paddock, Jim Hale, and Stephen Saxon

Boston- Traces has been together for about 2 years and they haven't stopped since their birth. Five young ladies that love music and love harmony from New York and New Jersey will let nothing stop them from achieving their dreams of becoming professional singers. Dedicated to their craft they tear the boundaries of the general idea of female singing groups. With bass singing and percussion and lead singing shared throughout the group, everyone should find something to enjoy when TRACES gets on the stage. Ladies and Gents....TRACES

Members: Tia Fields, Keesha Gumbs, Kimberly Robinson, Bianka Kotee, Tameeka Gumbs

Chicago - ElmoTHUMM In the summer of 2000, elmoTHUMM began performing for a few local events to rave reviews. Today, elmoTHUMM’s hard rockin’, high energy, fun filled show is featured entertainment at many of the Midwest’s top fairs, festivals & events. Their arrangements of such classics as “Some Kind of Wonderful”, “Come Go with Me”, “Ain’t that Peculiar” & “America the Beautiful”, using only their voices & percussion, will leave you shocked, amazed & applauding for more. For booking information visit www.elmoTHUMM.com or call Greg at (248)676-0886.

Members: Ed Pendleton, Jason Miller, Paul Ellinger, Greg Vaden, Adam Westmoreland

Denver - Working out of Fort Collins, Curious Gage has been a fixture in the contemporary a cappella scene for over three years. With performances throughout Colorado, including the Denver Coliseum, this award-winning a cappella ensemble flawlessly captures the energy and intensity of today‚s hottest Rock bands. Their unique blend of pop, jazz, Rock and soul unites in strikingly vibrant harmony, complemented by their extensive professional backgrounds. With commanding solos, powerful bass and driving vocal percussion, Curious Gage is one group you don‚t want to miss!

Members: Nic Widhalm, Zach Tait, Phil Thompson, Tom Miles and Carleen Widhalm

Los Angeles - Hi-Fidelity is considered to be one of the top a cappella show quartets in the country with a locked sound, creative packages and an extremely unique sense of humor (perhaps twisted?).  Hi-Fidelity is the current Champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Far Western District.  They have also taken top honors at another national “mixed” accappella contest in 2002 when they were crowned the Buckeye Invitational Grand Quartet Champions.  Their CD, “Almost Live” has been a big hit, and one cut (Blackbird Parody) was nominated for a CASA award in 2005.  You may have seen them in some commercials too!  Either as the Roto-Rooter plumbers or promoting the popular X-Box game “Tao Feng, Fist of the Lotus” (a very “painful” commercial – Check it out at www.hifidelityquartet.com). The guys are also members of the current International chorus champions, Masters of Harmony.  Hi-Fidelity is thrilled to be sharing the stage with such great groups in such a wonderful venue celebrating one of the few remaining true art forms.

Members: Craig Ewing  (tenor), Tom Moore  (lead), Gregg Bernhard (baritone), Martin Fredstrom  (bass)

Mid-Atlantic (DC) - Regency:  This outstanding five man vocal musical ensemble began singing on the street corners of Baltimore nearly 20 years ago.  Incorporating their own stylistic interpretations of Swing, Motown, Rock 'n Roll, Beatles, and even Country Western into their songs, Regency brings alive the music that America has learned to love.  Their repertoire includes the hot sounds of today mixed with the Motown magic of yesterday – including the music of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, The Righteous Brothers, Sam Cooke, and The Temptations.  The group's dynamic stage presence, original choreography, and unique ability to engage their audiences produces an energetic and entertaining show with audiences invariably clamoring for more after each finale. The ensemble has appeared in concert with many national headline acts including Sinbad, Patti LaBelle, The Temptations, Manhattan Transfer, Ramsey Lewis, Spyrogyra, and The Four Tops. Regency has come in second twice – once in 2003 and again last year. Will this year be their year?

Members: Dewayne McNeill, Milton Ames, Aubrey Brown, Jr., John Tiller, Isaiah Simmons

New York - 'Round Midnight is a quartet that consists of professional musicians from the Long Island/Manhattan area of New York. While they sing primarily in the barbershop style, the foursome is well versed in (and influenced by) many other styles of music as well. Named after the old Thelonious Monk standard, their eclectic influences range from jazz to classical and everything in between. In their relatively short time together, the foursome has quickly garnered positive recognition for their vocal talents. They have been featured in many area events and showcases, including a recent show at the legendary Lincoln Center in New York City. All four men are music educators by day and avid A Cappella enthusiasts by night.

Members: Larry Bomback, T.J. Carollo, Wayne Grimmer, Jeff Glemboski

Pacific NW - Tongue Tied A Cappella has been dazzling audiences since 2002. Their distinctive arrangements create a very unique sound in the a cappella world. From classic '80s rock to original heartfelt ballads, Tongue Tied A Cappella covers a broad spectrum of previously unattempted a cappella sounds. This group of five from Northern Utah has entertained thousands, sharing stages with The Standards, T Minus 5, Eclipse, and many others. They have performed all over the Western US, and competed in the Northwest Regional Harmony Sweepstakes in 2003. Their first album "Mix It Up" showcases their mix of incredible sound, luscious bass, and original harmony.

Members: Jake Tesch, Jason Mark Tesch, James A. Case, Ryan J Brierley, Todd Becraft


Charles Eisler is one of San Francisco’s leading producers and managers of live theatre. He produced the Broadway musical Music! Music!, written by Alan Jay Lerner; the Las Vegas and touring productions of Beehive, The 60’s Musical; the Cole Porter revue Cole!; Forever Plaid and both the 1989 and recent production of Noises Off which enjoyed record-breaking runs in San Francisco, San Jose, Pasadena, Seattle and will be opening in Los Angeles this fall. Mr. Eisler has acted as general manager for Twisted Cabaret, Sylvia, Free Food, Together Again, starring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, Night Dreams and Tunnel Rats. He managed the Broadway engagements and national tours of Man of La Mancha, starring Richard Kiley; Fiddler on the Roof with Hershel Bernardi; The Abbey Theatre’s The Plow and the Stars; The Shenyang Acrobats and Wushu Martial Arts Exhibition from the Peoples Republic of China; the National Theatre of Greece; the Gavella Theatre of Zagreb; The National Folk Theatre of Ireland and the Bejart Ballet. Mr. Eisler owned and operated the Mason Street Theatre and Union Square Playhouse in San Francisco and was Director of Productions for New York City Center, at the time, the largest performing arts center in the country.

Shiloh Hobel is presently on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences SF Chapter and the Director of Industry Relations and Career Development at Expressions College for New Media, Shiloh began her career as a session vocalist/keyboardist who performed on CD’s by Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and many others before transitioning to the production side of the recording industry.  She worked at the acclaimed Record Plant before assuming the role of Production Manager at multiple GRAMMY winner Narada Michael Walden’s Tarpon Studios.  There, she contributed to the production of over 40 gold and platinum selling recordings. Shiloh’s current position at Expressions allows her to foster the training and development of the next generation of recording engineers. She’s a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the American Federation of Recording and Television Artists (AFTRA).

Raz Kennedy has been performing and recording in the Bay Area for over 25 years. His performance credits include six years as a founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra, as well as projects with June Watanabe Performance Ensemble, Toni Childs, Rebeca Mauleon, Bob Ostertag, Bonnie Hayes, George Coates Performance Works, and Oberlin Dance Company/San Francisco. His recording credits include backup, ensemble or lead vocals for artists Al Jarreau, Todd Rundgren, Whitney Houston, Bobby McFerrin, The Bobs, Joel Harrison, Mickey Hart and Kenny Loggins as well as for film, television and radio. As a vocal coach and vocal producer, Raz has multiple Gold and Platinum records to his credit. Clients include; Grammy Award winning artists Los Tigres Del Norte, Adam Duritz and members of Counting Crows, Universal Recording artists Stroke 9, Rancid, Dreamworks recording artist Davey Havoc of AFI, Aaron Carter, A-Teens, Lavay Smith, Hilary Duff, members of Metallica, Brett Anderson of The Donnas, Jasmine Guy, Spencer Day, Karina Lombard, James Nash of The Waybacks, Jolie Holland, Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Sakis Rouvas, Forest Sun, Shana Morrison, Noelle Hampton and hit song producer Narada Michael Walden, (Whitney, Mariah, Aretha). Raz presently produces, writes and arranges vocals for live and studio projects. Raz is on faculty at three of the Bay Area’s top music study institutions; Blue Bear School of American Music in San Francisco, The Jazzschool in Berkeley and The East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Richmond.

Gaynell Rogers has worked in the music and film industry since 1972 as agent, publicist and manager.  She has represented a variety of clients including Skywalker Sound and Lucasfilm, and has worked on over 20 feature films in the areas of postproduction and music supervision. She has also produced live events such as the Sierra Center Stage Series in association with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.  She has been involved in the a cappella community for many years as a supporter of ‘Til Dawn’ from Youth in Arts, which was founded in her living room!  She currently manages her husband,  8 time Grammy nominee and award winning producer Roy Rogers, and National Medal of Arts and Grammy winner Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

Phil DeBar: A Barbershop Harmony Society contest judge, chorus director and itinerant baritone, Phil hosted local acappella radio shows on KRCB Santa Rosa ('95-'03) and KKUP Cupertino ('85-'04); and was co-founder (with Deke Sharon and Buddy Saleman) and host of CASA's "A Cappella Radio International" from 1996-2002. He also hosted the week-long video-webcasts of the barbershop international championships (2000-05). Phil started in a cappella with the Stanford Mendicants ('78), subbed in Chanticleer in '84, earned 3 Down Beat jazz "dee-bee" awards in the Foothill College Fanfairs ('86-8), and has sung in four Northern California champion barbershop quartets.

Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals 2006

Adams Family - Hi-Fidelity
My Baby Just Cares For Me - Clockwork
Only You - Regency
Take the A train - Round Midnight
Last Train to Clarksville - ElmoThumm
Blackbird - Hi-Fidelity
Jump, Jive & Wail - Regency
As - Traces
Creep - Clockwork
Tin Roof Blues - Round Midnight
Shooting Star - ElmoThumm
We Built This City - Tongue Tied A Cappella
Long Train Runnin' - Curious Gage
Sunglasses - Tongue Tied A Cappella
Windmills - Curious G
Wonderful World II - Traces

It's the first weekend in May, and the sold-out audience at Marin Veterans Auditorium in San Rafael, CA is buzzing with anticipation of seeing the Harmony Sweepstakes Finals, possibly the best live show in a cappella! 8 Regional-winning groups are backstage, having beat out as many as 8 other groups for the privilege of singing their hearts out for the National Championship. "Finals" has 16 of the best tunes from that memorable night, including Bay Area winner Clockwork's jazzy "My Baby Just Cares For Me," and wonderful cover of Radiohead's "Creep," part of an excellent set that won them 3rd place, and the award for "Best Original Arrangement." We hear Mid-Atlantic-winning Regency's "Only You" and high-energy "Jump, Jive and Wail," part of a great set that won them 2nd place. LA barbershop quartet Hi Fidelity, in "Addams Family" costume, bring us the "Addams Family" theme and a key-bending, hilarious "Blackbird," they won both Audience Favorite and the National Championship. New York Quartet 'Round Midnight's "Take the A-Train" and "Tin Roof Blues," Chicago's Elmo Thumm's "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Shooting Star," Denver's Curious Gage's "Long Train Runnin'" and "Windmills" show us how good Hi-Fidelity had to be to win. Boston's Traces sing "As" and "Wonderful World," which won Best Original Song," and the Pacific NW's Tongue Tied A Cappella give us a dynamic cover of the Starship's "We Built This City." Exciting cuts from a magic May evening in San Rafael!

Listen to Blackbird (Hi Fidelity) and Only You (Regency) in Real Audio

2006 CD $14.98

Click Here for Past Harmony Sweepstakes Recordings

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

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