26th Annual

National Finals | 2010 Schedule | Recordings | Previous winners | Rules | How to enter | About us

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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.

2010 Bay Area Champions

Boyz Nite Out

The year was 1995. Bill Clinton was the President of the United States, Tom Hanks won an Oscar for Forrest Gump and Boyz Nite Out had a great time competing in the Harmony Sweepstakes! From that beginning at the sweeps fifteen years ago Boyz Nite Out has had the opportunity to work with artists like the Righteous Brothers, Michael McDonald, Jay Leno and the late great Ray Charles! They’ve released five full length albums selling over 20,000 copies in the United States and Japan and have toured extensively throughout the United States performing for festivals, corporate and private events. After 15 years, 400 shows,  12 pitch pipes, dozens of national anthems, jingles and trips from to New York to Spain and from Miami to Marin, Boyz Nite Out is back where it all started.  It’s good to be home.

2010 Results

Boyz Nite Out
Radio Silence
Voz en Punto
Audience Favorite
Boyz Nite Out
Best Original Arrangement
"Tilingolingo" Arr. Jose Galuan - Voz En Punto

Groups' set lists - Read the reviews of this show

2010 Participating Groups

Boyz Nite Out

The year was 1995. Bill Clinton was the President of the United States, Tom Hanks won an Oscar for Forrest Gump and Boyz Nite Out had a great time competing in the Harmony Sweepstakes!

From that beginning at the sweeps fifteen years ago Boyz Nite Out has had the opportunity to work with artists like the Righteous Brothers, Michael McDonald, Jay Leno and the late great Ray Charles! They’ve released five full length albums selling over 20,000 copies in the United States and Japan and have toured extensively throughout the United States performing for festivals, corporate and private events.

After 15 years, 400 shows,  12 pitch pipes, dozens of national anthems, jingles and trips from to New York to Spain and from Miami to Marin, Boyz Nite Out is back where it all started.  It’s good to be home.

Members: Bud Anderson, Jon Moore, Mark Baldi,, Eugene Rocha, Bill Craig

Brass Farthing is a group of stalwart lads brought together to sing songs, raise good cheer, and otherwise make merry in the company of friends both old and new. They take their inspiration from many periods and enjoy performing historical, traditional, and contemporary compositions in traditional styles.

Rory Alden, Daniel I. Briggs, Chris Callahan, George Chlentzos, Mark Donnelly, Jim Partridge, Tazz Richards, Ben Willson

Fwee - "Fwee" is the word we imagined for the sound of the only instrument we use: a pitchpipe! We hail from the true north, strong and "fwee" in Calgary, Canada. We are a new group - we met through involvement in worship music at Centre Street Church, one of Calgary's larger churches.  And in song, we celebrate that Christ has set us "fwee"!

Members: Reid McLean Wiest, Becky Timmons, Torrance Airhart, Beth McLean Wies

PDQ is a 4-part a cappella group that enjoys singing in the barbershop style. We sing jazz, pop, Americana, comedy, traditional barbershop, gospel and anything else. Basically, if you want to hear it, we'd love to sing it! We are the current 2009 Region 12 Fifth Place Medalist Quartet.

Members: Karrie Colette, Leah Brooks, Kathy Hebert, Laura Conners

Radio Silence is a group of 4 men and 2 women committed to innovation in a cappella music. The singers each began their a cappella careers in college a cappella groups: the Stanford Harmonics, the Cornell Key Elements, and the Cornell Class Notes and have continued singing in various vocal bands and local musical productions ever since. The members of Radio Silence have shared the stage with Kool and the Gang, Rockapella, the Nylons, M-Pact, the House Jacks, Vienna Teng, and Tower of Power. Their creative brand of a cappella music combines imaginative arrangements with driving vocal percussion and powerful vocals. 

Members: Jon Pilat, Mayank Thanawala, George Hoffman, Ben Cunningham, Julia Berkley, Fiona Lawson

San Andreas Singers - Direct from our rehearsal cavern cleverly concealed somewhere in Palo Alto, the intellectual epicenter of the Bay Area, the San Andreas Singers can mostly be blamed on the sixth member of the quintet, director/pianist/arranger and Mercalli scale believer Allen Simon. Though we have yet to perform at seismology's famous Palmdale Bulge, animals do sometimes behave strangely just prior to and during our performances. Soprano Julia Simon, mezzo Deanne Tucker, alto Kitty Rea, tenor Paul Spyksma and bass Jim Puls all have varied earth-shaking backgrounds from bicycles to boardrooms to Broadway.

A chronologically diverse group (some of us were already college graduates when others of us were born), we represent at least half a dozen distinct orientations, family definitions, and lifestyles. Maintaining vocal and social harmony amidst such broad diversity requires at least two or three bottles of wine and sizeable quantities of salted snack foods after every rehearsal.

While our audiences frequently experience that "tectonic" feeling, it remains our dream to be the official a cappella group of the USGS. At any rate, as the San Andreas Singers are often heard to say, "It's not OUR fault."

Members: Julia Simon, Kitty Rea, Paul Spyksma, Deanne Tucker, Jim Puls 

The Acafellas are eight middle-aged guys who met around 2003 in the Mendocino Community Chorus, discovered they had a nice blend, and have been singing together ever since. We were The Acafellas before Glee was even a gleam in Ian Brennan’s eye. We almost all have day jobs, which range from inn keeping, web design and home construction to architecture, law and medicine, and we all love to sing. Our repertoire ranges from Renaissance music to gospel to doo wop. We perform regularly on the beautiful Mendocino Coast, where we have an enthusiastic local fan base, and recently produced our first CD. We attended the Harmony Sweepstakes finals in 2009 and were thrilled and inspired by what we heard.

Members: Jim Ehlers, Dennis Freeze, Paul Friesen, Eric Hillesland, Jim Jackson, Jason Kirkman, Joe Rosenthal, Sam Waldman

Vocalicious - VOCAL -- of or pertaining to a vowel or voice sound, plus DELICIOUS -- delightful; greatly pleasing or entertaining; equals VOCALICIOUS -- scrumptious, appetizing, ambrosial, delightful, thrilling, captivating, delectable, tasty, luscious, savory, mouthwatering, yummy.

When selecting the right vocal ingredients for Vocalicious, the same process was used as when creating any other high quality product: several trials and errors . . . a failure or two . . . but eventually, a successful recipe guaranteed to please even the most discriminate palates.

The recipe for a VOCALICIOUS treat is as follows: Ingredients:

Flour – Bassman Peter Govorchin
Sugar and Spices – Harmony singers Celeste Decker and Anne Willis
Flavorings – Lead singers Carol McMackin and Robert Lenoil

Directions: In a comfortable room, add the first five ingredients and mix gently until well blended. Fold in several up-tempo songs and a couple of ballads. Then spread a mixture of friendship and laughter over everything and top with a layer of excitement. Sprinkle with fairy dust if desired. Rehearse at least 6 weeks before serving at room temperature. Bon appetit!

Members: Carol McMackin, Celeste Decker, Anne Wilis, Robert Lenoil, Peter Govorchin

Voz En Punto - was founded in 1990 by its director Jose Galvan. While still students, Voz en Punto became the first Mexican vocal ensemble to find itself in the winners circle of some of the worldís most important choral competitions - among them, the International Choral Festival of Tampere (Finland) in 1991, and the International Choral Festival of the Netherlands in 1995--, winning accolades from such important personalities as John Potter (of The Hilliard Ensemble), Ward Swingle (founder of The Swingle Singers), and Simon Carrington (of The King's Singers). Since winning these accolades, the group has gone on to forge a brilliant international career for itself, conquering audiences and critics alike in countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Romania, Egypt, Japan and the U.S., among others.Legendary international stars of vocal music such as Bobby McFerrin and the Kingís Singers have shared the stage with Voz en Punto while on tour in Mexico; an honor heretofore not bestowed upon any other Mexican vocal group. In 2009 Voz en Punto was awarded by the Austrian Embassy in Mexico with the Mozart Medal. In 2010 its new CD is nomitated for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award.

Members: Jose Galvan, Mariana Lorenzo, Vanessa Millan, Sonia Solozano, Luis Martinez, Santiago Menedez

Your Emcee for the Evening

Angie Doctor - A studio singer and live performer who began her career in Chicago doing commercials,  voice-overs and recording projects, Angie Doctor has been a part of the Bay Area vocal music community since 1995. Angie is the soprano in the Bay Area based jazz vocal quartet Clockwork.  Her vocal work can be heard on a number of recordings including her own original songs, as a guest artist on Richard Bob Greene’s solo album “Low? Bottom? Me?” and on the newly released Clockwork CD, “Every Voice Counts”. She has performed with Sufjan Stevens, Sweet Honey in the Rock, John Zorn, Meredith Monk, and is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers. Angie has brought her extensive experience in solo and small-group harmony singing to workshops and festivals as a judge and clinician over the past fifteen years.

The Judges

Phil Fetterman co-hosts the Human Voice program on 91.5fm, KKUP radio, which has become the Bay Area’s premier radio showcase for vocal music. Since the Human Voice program began in the same year that the very first Harmony Sweepstakes competition was held (1985), they’ve always shared a mutual admiration for one another.

Phil has always had a passion for vocal harmony, he currently sings in a men’s quartet known as ‘Amen’, as well as a 9 voice mixed ensemble named ‘Heartsong’. He has been actively involved in music & media since the mid 1960’s. He sang with The De Anza Chorale
and The Vintage Singers, each under the direction of Dr. Royal Stanton. Later, he was a singer and vocal arranger on 3 album projects for Banish Misfortune, a “Renaissance-Jazz”/folk group of the 1970’s & 1980’s. In the 1990’s, Phil hosted the morning drive “Breakfast Table” under the name Wayne Phillips on KFAX radio, San Francisco. He also did voice-over work and commercial production at both KFAX and KMKY/Radio Disney, Oakland. He also worked as the in-house anthem singer and music & effects coordinator for the San Jose Giants baseball organization.

Bryan Matheson Bryan Matheson is the owner of Skyline Studios , one of the Bay Area's longest continuously operated recording studios. During the past 20 years, Bryan has had extensive experience on both sides of the glass, as a recording engineer/producer and as a session singer, and has won numerous awards for his film TV, and radio work. A Cappella groups he's worked with include The Edlos, Solstice, Clockwork, and The Bobs. 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. In January 2010, "Songs of Praise", a CD of music composed by Dave Brubeck featuring PME was released on the Dorian/Sonoluminus label.

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 is also a member of the faculty at San Francisco State University, teaching recording classes in the Music Recording Industry program.

John Paddock - A bay area native, John is a member of the award winning San Francisco based vocal quartet CLOCKWORK. He is a musician, audio engineer, producer, adjudicator and architect. John received his first Grammy nomination for his work on the PM Singers album “Night in the City”, serving as both singer and recording engineer. John also sings with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble and is a featured soloist on the 2005 Grammy nominated performance of Leonard Bernstein's “Mass”, recorded in Berlin, Germany with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester. He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall and Birdland, and has engineered and produced live shows for Bobby McFerrin, Take 6 and the Hi-Lo's. John’s latest work can be heard on the new CLOCKWORK release “Every Voice Counts”.

Jan Pedersen Schiff is the Founder/Artistic Director of SingersMarin, a nonprofit performing arts organization, which is comprised of choral ensembles for youth and adults, amateur and professional.  Her Bachelor and Masters degrees are in Music Education and Choral Conducting, with an emphasis in vocal pedagogy. She has served on several college music faculties on the east and west coasts. And is frequently called upon to lead choral and vocal workshops, serving as choral clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, among which includes conducting at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir  Over the years she has received several awards that include the Susan B. Anthony Award for Cultural Achievement in Hollywood, the Volunteer of the Year Award (for SingersMarin) from the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Marin Women's Commission Certificate of Commendation and the prestigious Milley Award for her achievements and contributions to the creative life of Mill Valley and the community of Marin.

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.

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National Finals Recordings

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

The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival
PO Box D
San Anselmo, CA 94979
(415) 455-8602

Complete List of Bay Area Champions

Previous Year's Results - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999 - 1998 - 1997

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.

The Palace of Fine Arts Theater is located at 3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco and is next to the Exploratorium. There is plenty of free parking. Yahoo map - Google map

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