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
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
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
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
festival (at) harmony-sweepstakes.com