24th Annual

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Boston | Chicago | Rocky Mountain | Los Angeles | New York | Pacific North West | San Francisco | Mid Atlantic

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.

2008 National Champions

With a rich and varied repertoire covering more than 80 years, they entertain and delight their audience with songs and pieces from the Comedian Harmonists to rock 'n' roll and ABBA, from the big 80s hits to the latest pop, always presented in the gloriously elaborate sound of five professionally educated voices.
Members: Tobias Kiel, Ansgar Pfeiffer, Niklas Turmann, Johannes Gruber, Tobias Wunschik

2008 Results

National Champions



Where's Gesualdo?



Audience Favorite


Best Original Song

"Ain't Had None of That Yet" - Stephen Saxon, Where's Gesulado

The David Lichtman Award
Best Original Arrangement

"High and Dry" - Tsunerori "Lee" Abe, Syncopation

2008 set list

2008 National Finalists

Where’s Gesualdo is an a cappella quartet based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its members have performed and / or recorded Andy Williams, Bobby McFerrin, Chanticleer, Dave Gruisin, David Grisman, Don Shelton, John Williams, Jose Feliciano, Mark Murphy, Michael Tilson Thomas, Phil Mattson, Richie Cole, Stanley Jordan, and Frank Zappa, among others. They've also sung on video games such as Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution, Dance Dance Revolution, and Garage Band.

Members: Moorea Dickason, Kathleen Hollingsworth, Paul Kim, and Stephen Saxon

The Boston Globe calls Syncopation the “Manhattan Transfer of the 21st Century”, and it is easy to see why. Like that legendary vocal group, Syncopation performs jazz and pop music that is both timeless and up-to-the-minute. These four young singer/musicians have performed across the U.S. at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the Tri-C Vocal Jazz Festival, the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, the Meihou Music Festival, and the 2004 and 2006 International Association for Jazz Education Conferences in New York City. The group has also regularly tours Japan.

Members: Aubrey Logan, Christine Fawson, David Thorne Scott, Tsunenori “Lee” Abe

5oneis an up-and-coming pop/rock a cappella group consisting of five male Millikin University music students. Established in April, 2006, 5one accepted an offer to entertain tourists at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL that following summer. Since then, 5one has astounded audiences and encouraged musicians in the Chicagoland metropolitan area. Currently based in Decatur, IL, 5one has released their first album, "Get It" through their own student-run record label at Millikin, First Step Records.  5one is very excited and honored to be a part of this fine competition and are anxious to perform for you!

Members: Shane Irvin, David Kempton, Brian Parrish, Gregor King, Tony Marx

Legacy is a nationally known contemporary Christian vocal group that is based out of Lubbock, Texas. Their sound has been compared to many world renowned groups such as Take 6, Acappella, Gaither Vocal Band and Rockapella.

Members: Jake Lierman, John Paul Sheppard, Clint Dickerson, Josh Wheeler, Nick Gaultney

Los Angeles

Sunday, April 20th


710 Pier Ave (At Pacific Coast Highway), Hermosa Beach

Hosted by Moira Smiley & VOCO


Saturday, April 5th


3701 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria

Tickets available from Box Office

Hosted by DoubleShot

Red No. 5 has been causing a sensation in Connecticut's local music scene. Moving audiences with skillfully tight a cappella harmonies and dynamic performances, the four young women of Red No. 5 have lent their voices to reinvigorate and diversify their home state's musical community. While each woman in the quartet resonates as an individual, the four voices fuse together to create breathtaking harmonies and produce a truly original sound. Red No. 5's self-arranged four-part interpretations are rooted in their creative and unconventional understanding of music. Their eclectic repertoire spans all genres, from folk to soul, reflecting a particular enthusiasm for contemporary a cappella compositions. Red No. 5 looks forward to sharing their music with wider audiences, and is enthusiastic to participate in this year's harmony Sweepstakes.

Members: Brie Johnston, Sumitra Ratneshwar, Mary Kate Sitarz, Kristin Yates

As the premiere a cappella group from Eugene, Oregon, the gentlemen of Rezonate sing R&B, Gospel, Pop, Soul, Jazz, Funk, and even some Hard Rock, both arranging covers and writing original songs. The six members met each other through the Oregon Children's Choir, and started singing together as Rezonate sometime around December 2004. Since then, they have appeared at many venues, including art and air festivals, many local high schools, and even a live mini-concert broadcast from a leading pancake house on the local guitar rock radio station. Would you like a live station I.D. with your order of French toast? Call Rezonate!

Members: Aaron Matthew, Chris Dobson, David Fertal, Jason Caffarella, Tyson Biggerstaff, Justin Diller


Daniel Hughes is in constant demand as a conductor, accompanist, coach and choral clinician. He serves as the Artistic Director & Conductor of The Choral Project. Celebrating 12 years of musical excellence, the ensemble has been hailed by the San José Mercury News as “a Bay Area jewel," and "...there is nothing subtle about why this is one of the best choirs you will ever hear." The Choral Project has released six albums on the Clarion label. Additionally, Hughes serves as the Artistic Director of the Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, an acclaimed organization committed to inspiring our diverse community through musical excellence and collective pride. He has extensive training in piano and voice, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Conducting from San José State University. Awards include: 4th place in the 35th International Choral Competition in Gorizia, Italy; the second place award in the ACDA National Student Conducting Competition; the Christina Cadena Memorial Accompanying Scholarship; and the California Arts Scholar Awards for piano and composition. Collaborations include work with Costa Rica’s Café Chorale, the San José Chamber Orchestra and creative work with award-winning Broadway composer & lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Hughes recently served three terms as the Repertoire & Standards Chair for Community Choirs for the Western Division of the ACDA, and is currently serving as Bay Area Representative for the California ACDA Board. He is an accomplished composer & arranger, and has his own choral series through Santa Barbara Music Publishing. Mr. Hughes’s biography is featured in the 62nd edition of "Who’s Who in America."

For the past 15 years Craig Knudsen has been a performer / composer / arranger with the EDLOS (the 1989 Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions). In 2001 Craig expanded his horizons to include representation of other performing artists and opened his own talent agency, Knudsen Productions. He is currently the exclusive North American Artist Representative for the multi grammy award winning a cappella sensation, the Swingle Singers. For the past 10 years Craig has also served as the music director for the Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Project. Craig's performance credits span a wide variety of musical styles and performance mediums. As an opera and classical singer, he has performed leading roles with Pocket Opera, Mendocino Music Festival Opera, West Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, Las Vegas Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera and the Austin Opera in Austin, TX. and has been the tenor soloist in numerous oratorios, performing with the Santa Clara Chorale, the U.C. Symphony, the Mendocino Music Festival, The Bronx Arts Ensemble, the Prometheus Symphony, the Valley Chorale Society and the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra. He also toured to the East Coast as a tenor soloist with George Coates Performance Works, performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.. Craig originally came to the SF Bay Area in 1982 to join the San Francisco Mime Troupe as a saxophone player/actor/music director, and he toured extensively with the Troupe in the U.S. and Canada and, before that, he was the sax player with the Marcia Ball Band out of Austin, TX. Just to make sure he is always busy, Craig continues to teach private voice lessons out of his studio in Berkeley, CA. And lastly - no, he is not (and never has been) one of the Knudsen Brothers.

Ken Malucelli, award-winning composer and native San Franciscan, is a charter member of San Francisco Boys Chorus, 18-yr. veteran of San Francisco Opera, 9-yr. veteran of Lamplighters Music Theatre, and Founder/CEO of Prince/SF Productions artist management and representation, now in its 30th year. Establishing A Cappella Central (div. of Prince/SF) some years ago, he has helped coordinate bookings for most of the international celebrity artists on that roster: Take 6; the Nylons; Rajaton; the Persuasions; Rockapella, plus many of its fine national artists; and later this year brings Denmark's stellar group, Basix, over for its U.S. debut.  He also has been manager or exclusive agent for the EDLOS, the House Jacks, m-pact, Talk of da Town, the Mighty Prince Singers and the Merrie Olde Christmas Carolers (world’s largest costumed caroling org.: tmocc.com). He has executive produced CD’s for Kai, m-pact, the House Jacks, the Gospel Girls, the Mighty Prince Singers and MOCC; and has had works commissioned and/or performed by both San Francisco Opera and Symphony Choruses, Symphony Silicon Valley Chorus, San Francisco Boys and Girls Choruses, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, San Francisco Choral Artists and others, and recorded, amongst others, by Chanticleer, including that group’s internationally acclaimed theme song, “King Chanticleer.” His latest project, “Oh Mr. Sousa!”, an original musical biography on "The March King," tours the national fine arts market...and of course contains an a cappella number.  

Dean Suzuki earned his Ph. D. in Historical Musicology from the University of Southern California.  Now an Associate Professor in the Music Department at San Francisco State University , he specializes in Twentieth Century music, as well as teaching Rock History and Music Appreciation.  At KPFA, 94.1 FM in Berkeley, he produces and hosts “Discreet Music” (every other Sunday at 10 p.m), an eclectic offering of contemporary, experimental music, with periodic programs devoted to a cappella, progressive rock, sound poetry, sound sculpture and other musical genres and styles.  Past in-studio guests and performers include the Bobs, the Housejacks, Naturally Seven, the Accidentals, m-pact, +4db, Gunner Madsen, members of SoVoSo, F’loom and others.  As a music critic and journalist, he writes for Goldmine, Musicworks, and other periodicals. Dr. Suzuki’s essay “The Art of the Voice: Trends in American Text-Sound Composition” was published in Homo Sonorus, an international anthology of sound poetry.

Linda Tillery is a veteran vocalist, percussionist, producer and cultural historian whose career has spanned 34 years. Since the 1960's, Tillery has been regarded as one of the San Francisco Bay Area's most versatile singers. Her powerful, shimmering alto voice has been showcased in such groups as the Loading Zone, Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra, the Solid Sender's and Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra. A native San Franciscan, Linda has Texas soul, rooted in her mother's stories and food, and her uncle Tom Anderson's deft blues whistle. These Texas expatriates anchored her earliest memories in an older musical tradition when the contemporary sound pronounced it old-fashioned. The sound of artists such as Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Bill Doggett, Dinah Washington, Clyde McPhatter, Faye Adams and Ruth Brown were all a part of Linda's early music education. An articulate and provocative speaker, Linda is in demand both as vocal coach and lecturer. She has conducted workshops for St. Mary's College (Moraga, Ca.) , the Center for Christian Studies (Toronto), The Muse Choir of Cincinnati, The Oakland Symphony Chorus, The Universal Gospel Choir of Vancouver, Mutama , Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus, The Oakland Youth Chorus, Copper Wimmin', and the MIT Concert Choir.

Complete list of competing groups - 2009

The David Lichtman Award for Best Original Arrangement

Accommodation and venue info for out of town attendees

Previous Years Results:- 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001- 2000 - 1999 - 1998

Regional Champions: Boston | Chicago | Denver | Los Angeles | Mid-Atlantic | New York | Pacific NW | SF Bay Area

Our Hall Of Fame - The Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions

2009 Schedule:

Boston - March 21 Mid-Atlantic - April 4
Chicago - March 21 New York - March 7
Denver - March 21 Pacific NW - March 7
Los Angeles - April 4 SF Bay Area - March 14

National Finals - Saturday May 16, 2009

Interested in Competing?

We are always seeking groups who would like to compete in our events.

Groups of any style are welcome, but you must have between 3 and 8 members. We have a rule book which explains many of the details of the event, which you can see by clicking here. All groups must audition in order to compete. Generally this is done by sending a current tape and photo, although live auditions are sometimes arranged. The purpose of the audition is to make sure the group is appropriate for the Festival and to help the Director determine the performance order. If a group has competed previously, the audition process may be waived.

How to enter

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2009 Schedule | Recordings | Previous winners | Rules | How to enter | Press Materials | Venue & Visitor Information

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