24th 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.

2008 Bay Area Champions

Where's Gesualdo?

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.

2008 Results

Where's Gesualdo?
Sweet Deliverance
Underage Quartet
Audience Favorite
Underage Quartet
Best Original Arrangement
"Takin' It Back" Arr. Kathleen Hollingsworth - Where's Gesuldo?
Best Original Song
"Takin' It Back" Written by Kathleen Hollingsworth - Where's Gesualdo?

2008 Participating Groups

Curious Blend brings together five a cappella voices into one delicious blendified sound that makes your ears say "yum!". Our repertoire includes a curious blend of genres including vocal jazz, pop, country, and more... including original songs.

Members: Angie Boyce, Barbara Kaplan, Mike Pogue, Craig Rosen, Randi Zuckerberg

Flying Without Instruments - FWI (yes, we say ‘fwee’) was formed ten years ago by former members of a Bay Area chorus who wanted to sing whatever they liked, regardless of genre, relevance, trendiness, or, very occasionally, taste. The result is a refreshingly diverse repertoire ‘from the ridiculous to the sublime,’ which includes Renaissance and classical music, swing, jazz, country, folk, pop and, of course, rock. FWI produced its second CD this year, ‘FWI Will Rock You,’ with music by Bach and Stroope as well as Nine Inch Nails and Evanescence.

Members: Stacey Oziel, Melissa Leventon, Cynthia Lohr, Caia Brookes, Greg Campbell, Greg Tinfow, Charles Seagrave, Gareth Loy

Redshift is a 7 member vocal group based in the Bay Area, California. We've been entertaining people for ten years with a wide repertoire, featuring everything from alternative rock to Weird Al. We sing at various public and private events throughout the Bay Area, at schools, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers.

Members: Anne Stern, Brian Heffner, Fraser Tan, Grant Hughes, Liz Brimhall, Stephen Nelson, Mike Barrientos

Richter Scales - Formed in 2000, the Richter Scales are a group of like minded thirty-somethings who find a few hours each week to sneak away from their jobs and families to, well, sing. They sing jazz songs and pop songs, fast songs and slow songs, old standards and brand new originals.
Their debut album "We Hate A Cappella" features "I Got Mail" (runner up for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording award for Humor Song of the Year) and the title track, which was specifically written for the 2004 Harmony Sweepstakes. More recently, their internet video "Here Comes Another Bubble", swept the blogosphere last December, garnering over one million views in the first week of its release. The group ordinarily numbers sixteen, but for special occasions (such as when the rules absolutely require it), they can shrink down to eight. Usually the loudest eight.

Members: Dan McQuigg, David Mister, Mark Casey, John Davi, Brian M. Rosen, Jason Hunter, Curtis C. Chen, Ephraim Swanson-Dusenbury

Sweet Deliverance has been singing Christian a cappella for over 30 years. Members have changed over the years but the tradition of tight harmonies and praise to our Lord has not. This semi-professional group is based in the San Francisco bay area and tours primarily in California. Sweet Deliverance is excited about the oportunity to compete in this years harmony sweepstakes competition.

Members: Bob Alsup, Kevin Percival, Ken McAlpin, David Morgan, Steve Morgan, Gary Ferguson

Rat Trio (The Irrationals) - No, nothing to do with the Rat Pack, but Frank, Dean, and Sammy ain’t got nothin’ on us! The Rat Trio was born out of the need for intelligent music without the burden of making sense. Aficionados of a fine non-sequitur, we’re the Minute Rice of the a cappella set. By all accounts, Gwen ‘What the Hell was I Thinking?’ McElwee is damn good. She prefers to be referred to as “Diva,” but will respond to “Hey you!” Which is fortunate, since she’s still searching for the real singer inside of her. Sam ‘It Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time’ Rogers is also known as The One Mouth Band. Forging new ground in a cappella music, Sam was the first solo act to compete against groups, and due to U.S. rules, had to go to Europe to do so. Not that he’s bitter or anything – he won stuff. Dr. Tim ‘Brutally Optimistic but Not All There’ Lukaszewski prefers to sing songs about love gone bad. His mind is made up…but the rest of him is real.

Members: Gwen McElwee, Sam Rogers, Tim Lukazewski

TonicEffect brings together five talented Bay Area musicians who have turned their shared love of music and late night cocktails into a compelling vocal sound. This dynamic new group blends tight harmonies with a mix of edgy modern music and a shot of vocal percussion. Straight up or with a twist, TonicEffect rocks!

Members: Syreeta Mussante, Colm Davis, Jennifer Exley, Glenn Shope, Brian Arao

Underage is a group of four young ladies (ages 17-20) singing a cappella 4-part harmony, mostly in the barbershop style. They have been working and performing together for five years. Each girl is an accomplished vocalist in her own right, thus making their sound strong, full and mature. In July of 2005, in Greenville, South Carolina they won the highest honor for women under 25 years of age in the Sweet Adelines Organization, that of Young Women in Harmony International Champions.

Members: Brittany Gilmore, Mia Dessenberger, Caitlin Smith, Stephanie Lawson

. 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

2008 Judges

Catherine Rose Crowther follows a dual path of visual art and music. After singing and performing with a number of choirs and a cappella ensembles in her youth, an interest in experimental vocal technique and improvisation led her to Balkan music and eventually to Kitka where she has been singing and performing for over 22 years. This association has provided the opportunity to study with a number of premier vocalists from Eastern Europe. Outside of Kitka, Catherine Rose pursues the vocal and instrumental music of early American and Celtic traditions. Catherine Rose is also an award winning illustrator whose art graces the covers of Kitka's CDs.

Bryan Dyer is a professional musician with almost 20 years of professional experience. He's a versatile multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who has performed many styles of music from classical and avant-garde to rock, jazz and blues. His talents are in a high demand as he performs with as many as 8 different groups at a time. Music has taken Bryan around the world to several different countries including Japan, Switzerland & Jamaica and alongside such artist as Al Green, Michael McDonald and Bonnie Raitt. Some of the groups he currently performs with include SoVoSo, Slammin All-Body Band, Chelle! and Friends, Rankin' Scroo & Ginger and Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir.

Phil Fetterman is a Bay Area native with a passion for vocal harmony music and has been involved in music performances, promotions and media of all kinds for over 40 years.  Some of the notables are:  singing in The De Anza Chorale and The Vintage Singers, each under the direction of Dr. Royal Stanton; vocalist and arranger on three album projects for the “Renaissance - Jazz”/folk group Banish Misfortune; host of the morning drive “Breakfast Table” under the name Wayne Phillips on KFAX radio San Francisco; voice-over talent and production at KFAX and KMKY/Radio Disney Oakland.  Phil also worked as the in-house anthem singer and music & effects coordinator for the San Jose Giants baseball organization. In 1992, Phil became a co-host on KKUP’s Human Voice Program, which has become the Bay Area’s premier radio showcase for vocal music.  He worked alongside Phil DeBar, our Master of Ceremonies for tonight’s event and the founder of the Human Voice Show in March of 1985.

Bryan Matheson is the owner of Skyline Studios, a mainstay in the Easy Bay music scene, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary. Bryan has had extensive experience on both sides of the glass, as a recording engineer and as a session singer, and has won numerous awards for his film TV, and radio work. As a vocalist, Bryan has a long list of radio and TV and CD credits, as well as a 2006 Grammy nomination for his work with The Pacific Mozart Ensemble on the Leonard Bernstein Mass, performed and recorded with Kent Nagano at The Berlin Philharmonic. In November 2005, The Pacific Mozart Ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall with renowned New York composer Meredith Monk. Bryan is also the founder and CEO of iMusicast, which from 1999 to 2005 produced live webcasts from its concert venue in Oakland. By creating a unique hybrid of a webcast studio, recording studio, video sound stage and concert venue, iMusicast was able to bring DVD and streaming media production services within reach of independent record labels and artists. Through six years of concerts, iMusicast became the epicenter of a vital East Bay music scene, enjoying enormous support and goodwill from fans, local bands and national touring acts. Bryan recently joined the faculty at San Francisco State University, teaching recording classes in the Music Recording Industry program.
He is currently in the studio working on Solstice's new CD.

Ellen Robinson is a jazz vocalist and recording artist with CD's "Mercy! Ellen Robinson Live" released in 2006 and "On My Way To You" released in 2001. "Ellen Robinson is blessed with great pipes." Jazz Improv Magazine. As a a vocal coach, Ellen works with semi professional jazz & popular vocalists as well as adult intermediate singers. In addition, she is the Director of the Anything Goes Choruses in Oakland and San Francisco, mixed community choruses which she founded 28 years ago, and also three women's vocal ensembles: Girlfriendz, Swingshift Singers and Treble Makers.  

Complete list of 2008 national participants

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