32nd Annual

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Events | Groups | Judges | Directors | 2015 National Finals Publicity Photos

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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.

Saturday, March 12th, 2016 - 8pm

THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS

3301 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

Box Office: 415-392-4400

Hosted by

2015 Bay Area Champions

Business Casual

Business Casual is a five-person powerhouse performing a wide range of genres including funk, folk, pop, soul, and R&B. Their diverse musical backgrounds each lend something unique to the group. Fueled by a highly combustible mixture of hunger, talent, and passion for music, Business Casual brings the formal and the funk, the heart and the smart. Their recently released EP, "Eyes on Me" is available on Loudr, iTunes, and Spotify, and through their website: www.BCvocals.com.


2016 Participating Groups

Curious Blend

Curious Blend is two guys and two gals who refuse to be limited to one musical orientation. If we like it, we sing it! A Curious Blend performance is like tapas - tasty bites of different musical flavors. Our repertoire spans 12th to 21st centuries, with songs in seven languages. We are known for our tight harmonies, varied musical stylings, smooth blend, and spot-on humor. From Manhattan Transfer to medieval Iceland, from Claude Debussy to Gene Puerling, from an Irish lament to a rollicking parody - it's all part of an evening with Curious Blend!

Members: Mike Pogue, Craig Rosen, Elizabeth Danu, Sara Nebeling

Halfway to Midnight

Halfway to Midnight is a co-ed band of musical misfits who, having missed the thrill of the a cappella world and desiring an outlet to strengthen our individual instruments, serendipitously found each other in the midst of the great big beautiful Bay Area and begun gathering weekly to share and enjoy the blend of our voices together. Upon securing our 6th and final member in the summer of 2013, Halfway to Midnight started exploring song options and fine-tuning our sounds to begin performing for the public, professionally entertaining, recording and possibly even competing in the future. We are a diverse group ranging from a high school chemistry teacher to a software engineer, a stay-at-home-mom to a doctor of psychology. Our life stories are as varied as our voices yet we find common ground in our love of instrument-free music-making and we truly hope you like what you hear.

Members: Alicia Florr, Michael Barrientos, Gonzalo Alonso, Scott Adler, Shanna Bengtson, Vivek Saraswat, Elana Zizmor

La Di Da

La Di Da, formed about 5 years ago, seeks to bridge the gap between traditional barbershop and modern a cappella singing through a range of standards, jazz, doo wop and contemporary music. Our aim is to appeal to the widest possible audience with the recognizable and the new, presented in close harmony to the highest musical standards.

Members: Diane Copp, Rose Jensen, Mary Martin, Lucy Williams

Newyorkettes

The Newyorkettes are the all female a Cappella Beauty-Shop Quartet, singing songs from the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. They have been paying tribute to The Andrews Sisters, The Shangri-las, and The Ronnettes since the group was formed in 2005. They have performed all over NYC, including Times Square Studios for Disney, the U.S. Ironman Championship, Susan G Komen cancer walk, the ING New York City Marathon, and for the The New York Mets on the field at Shea Stadium.

Members: Anita Reyes, Liliana Herrera, Clarissa Salcedo, Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowen

Side Note

What do a publicist guy, a teacher, a nurse, a start-up employee, a social worker, and an architect have in common? A love of a cappella music and performance! Formed in February of 2014, Side Note began as a group of USF Voices alumni who wanted to continue singing and performing outside of their college groups. They teamed up with a few a cappella enthusiasts in San Francisco to become the group you see today. With music arranged by group member Richman Neumann, their sound and music choices are mostly pop and indie music that is well matched to their musical tastes and talents. They are excited to share their music with you today and look forward to continuing to perform in San Francisco and beyond!

Members: Richman Neumann, Gayelan Tietje-Ulrich, Meredith Johnston, Rebecca Holtz, Juan-Carlos Martinez, Philip Daniel Santos, Duncan Boehle

Six in the City

With varied backgrounds in folk, classical, musical theater, and more, it was the discovery of barbershop and Sweet Adelines International that brought them together. These barbershop chorus and quartet medal-winning singers are branching out into the "greater than 4-part harmony" a cappella world and the result is a fresh sound with that infamous blend that comes from being a group of experienced barbershoppers!

Members: Alisa Peters, Kelly Sopher, Molly Sopher, Michelle McGinnis, Aliza Gutman, Dana Manochi

Solstice

Founded in 1996, Solstice is a female vocal ensemble specializing in music written by women or for women's voices. Our music spans many different genres with an emphasis on world, classical, pop, and jazz. We are also committed to performing new works for women's voices and regularly compose, commission, and arrange new songs.

Solstice has performed in many Bay Area venues including Freight and Salvage, La Pena, the San Francisco Community Music Center, Music on the Hill, the Berkeley Arts Center, Trinity Chamber Music series, and Villa Montalvo. Solstice has also performed on KALW's Folk Music and Beyond On-Air Folk Festival. Solstice was a featured performer at the 2001 West Coast A Cappella Summit along with nationally known groups such as the Bobs and M-pact. At the 2007 San Francisco Regional Harmony Sweepstakes, Solstice was awarded 1st Place and Becca Burrington's arrangement of Joni Mitchell's "Blue" won Best Original Arrangement. Solstice ranked 3rd at the 2007 Harmony Sweepstakes National Competition.

Members: Becca Burrington, Kim Warsaw, Emily Bender, Sara Webb-Schmitz, Lark Coryell, Krista Enos

The Singing Bois

The Singing Bois are a queer pop quartet based in Oakland, California. Part boy band, part Rat Pack, they create spaces for masculine-of-center musicians within new and classic styles such as R&B, soul, rock, jazz, and Latin genres. Twisting gender expectations, they blend musical precision, playful staging, and sexy swagger. Known for their unique interpretations of songs by everyone from Sam Cooke to Selena, The Singing Bois make audible a range of masculinities and tell queer, butch, and trans stories through song.

Members: Tamara Roberts, Rhonda Kinard, Terezia Orosz, Erin Raber

2016 Judges TBA





Complete list of 2016 participants






Interested in Performing?

We are always seeking groups who would like to participate 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

Please send music and photos to the regional director :

John Neal (Bay Area) Beginning as a local event the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, under Nealís guidance, has grown to become the most significant live showcase for a cappella music in the nation and attracts hundreds of groups and thousands of audience members every year. The Harmony Sweepstakes was the original inspiration for the NBC prime time series The Sing-Off and Neal was hired as a consultant to the series. Neal is president of Primarily A Cappella - (www.singers.com) which is the nationís leading vendor of a cappella music including recordings, arrangements, DVDs, songbooks and instructional material for singers. Neal writes the informative blog at www.acappellanews.com which has a large and loyal readership.

PO Box D, San Anselmo, CA 94979
415-455-8602
festival (at) harmony-sweepstakes.com


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The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts was built as part of The Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, an event dedicated to progress, the celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal, and the rebirth of San Francisco following the disastrous 1906 earthquake. The only remaining building from the Exposition the Palace slowly crumbled from the ravages of the weather and ill-use. Finally, after World War 2, the structure had to be fenced off as it was a public hazard. Then, in the late 1950's, a group of dedicated citizens, led by philanthropist Walter S. Johnson, initiated a drive to rescue the Palace from planned demolition and restored it to its former glory.Directions -Yelp reviews -Photos


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