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Now in its fourth decade, the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival has been the melting pot of top-notch a cappella talent from around the nation (and some from overseas!). The groups that have held the title of "Harmony Sweepstakes Champion" are diverse in their musical styles, backgrounds and rosters, and, more often than not, continue their legacies today with fruitful careers in the entertainment business. The following is a list of our esteemed champions.

2016

Ball in the House

Following in the path of classic harmony groups like Boyz II Men, The Temptations, and Take 6, with a mix of the classic and the contemporary, the five-member vocal band Ball in the House brilliantly blends a wide range of influences, from classic R&B to pop, hip-hop & gospel. With their extensive tour schedule (averaging 250 dates a year), Ball in the House reaches millions and is arguably one of the hardest working, most successful indie bands today. They have performed with such artists as The Beach Boys, Gladys Knight, The Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, Fantasia, Blondie, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, KC & The Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, and numerous others. All a cappella, but a sound that will astound and amaze you. 5 Guys, 5 Voices, THAT'S IT... A review from the Boston Globe put it very succinctly - "Ball in the House has everything you would expect to find in a successful pop/rock band....the one thing it doesn't have is instruments."

Members: Jon Ryan, Dave Guisti, Monterio Hill, Wallace Thomas, Benjamin Detty

2015

Timepiece

Timepiece was formed on December 16, 2013—a chilly winter night—on a stairwell in Boston University's College of Arts and Sciences. In their first year alone, Timepiece has captured numerous accolades, including the 2014 Northeastern District Quartet Championship, as well as the privilege of representing the Northeastern District (NED) at the 2015 Barbershop Harmony Society International Open Quartet Contest in Pittsburgh, PA. Timepiece identifies as a "KIB-ber" (Keep-It-Barbershop) quartet, and, as such, primarily sings barbershop arrangements from the 20th century—they pay homage to the quartets and the chord-ringing from barbershop antiquity. On top of cherishing their own bright, brassy, ringing sound, the quartet loves getting lost within the power of the music they sing—a trait inspired in them by the last NED gold medalist quartet: Boston Common.

Members: Francesco Logozzo, Kadin-Seth Binkley, Travis Roy, Rodrigo Alvarez

2014

Women of the World

Women of the World was formed to bring women musicians from across the globe onto a common platform to collaborate and create, not only through the sharing of music, but also to explore and celebrate the differences in ideologies, and cultural tenets that exist in the daily lives of women all over the world.

Honoring global folk traditions, their repertoire spans music in 29 languages. In many ways, the ensemble is a microcosm of the world, with members working closely together, not just to create and perform music, but also learning about each other's countries, cultures, languages, beliefs and practices.

2014 Harmony Sweepstakes champions, nominees for the 2013 Boston Music Awards and 2014 Independent Music Awards, Women of the World has toured North America and Asia, having collaborated with many industry legends including Grammy-award winning vocalist, Bobby McFerrin and African vocal icon, Angelique Kidjo. Women of the World continues to serve as cultural ambassadors of peace and unity through music and has delighted audiences at venues like Carnegie Hall, Blue Note Jazz Club, Boston Symphony Hall, as well as through collaborations with the United Nations, amongst others. Creating the Harmonious Human Orchestra of Life, Women of the World has brought over 200 women from all over the world together to collaborate musically.

Members: Ayumi Ueda , Annette Philip, Giorgia Renosto, Deborah Pierre

2013

Fermata Town

Founded in 2009, Fermata Town is now the newest member of the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL). Inspired by the wealth of new talent in the a cappella world, we have worked hard to find our voice and put a unique stamp on the Boston a cappella scene. We pride ourselves in our original arrangements, the sound that we produce, and our ability to maintain a healthy balance between our music and active lifestyles.

Fermata Town was officially founded during the spring of 2009 stemming from the break up of the all male Boston based group The Testostertones (Boston). The founding duo of Dan Campagna and John Baptista recruited former Testostertones Dave Carr and Nathan Pierce to join forces and find other interested singers who shared the same passion for a cappella music. Be it through word or mouth, internet advertisements and craigslist posts - Fermata Town was able to quickly establish itself as one of Boston's freshest co-ed a cappella groups to hit the streets.

Members: , , , , , , ,

2012

Foreign Exchange

Foreign Exchange is a female foursome made up of members from 3 different countries, brought together by the power of music. We formed in 2009 and have loved making music together ever since. We are officially a barbershop quartet, but we sing everything from jazz to disco to broadway classics. Over the last year we have been quite busy, traveling throughout the Northeast and performing for various groups. The cherry on top was when we became the Harmony, Inc. International Quartet Champion of 2011 in November. In March we began the process of recording our first CD which will drop in the fall. Check out our website or facebook page to find out more and to see if we'll be performing near you!

Members: Amanda Holloway , Morgan La Croix, Maria Gabriella, Nanda Landers

2011

Overboard

Founded in the spring of 2006 by current director Nicholas Girard, Overboard is a male a cappella group from Boston, MA. Although Overboard's repertoire consists primarily of contemporary pop/rock songs, including covers from such artists as Rascall Flatts, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles, the group remains true to its a cappella roots and continues to perform classic selections such as "Blue Moon," "In The Still of the Night" and "Stand By Me."

First conceived as a street performance group intent on entertaining audiences around coastal New England during the summer months, Overboard has come a long way in a short time. The group's first album, Shipwrecked, was recorded in Nick's living room and was released during that first summer. Shipwrecked was distributed during frequent busking stops in Newburyport, MA; Freeport, ME and Burlington, VT, as well as around the group's hometown of Boston.

Members: Scott Cobban, Jeff Eames, Nick Girard, Alfredo Austin III, Caleb Whelden.,

2010

Plumbers of Rome

While serving as court musicians/crepe chefs at the court of Charles VII in the 13th century (they were not allowed to serve as the Royal Plumbers, since plumbing was at that time considered to be a form of witchcraft) the Plumbers of Rome invented a device to hurl food and concert T-shirts into the starving peasant section of the King's Concert Hall. Adapted for military use, and named the Trebuchet, this modest invention lead the French army to many victories, as well as adding to the festive atmosphere of French wedding receptions and modern day Renaissance Festivals. While history has all but forgotten the inventors of the Trebuchet, the Plumbers are commemorated in the traditional French carol ballade de l'arme romaine aim'e de plombier.

Members: Randy Jackson, Ron Gilgamesh, Ernie Stuckowitz

2009

Our Town

Comprised of four men with championship ranking in both the Barbershop Harmony Society and a cappella circles, OUR TOWN won both the prestigious Harmony Sweepstakes (the oldest a cappella competition in America) and Barbershop Harmony Society Northeastern Districts in 2009.

Known for their "big sound" and pure style of harmony, the quartet recently appeared at the iconic New York City nightclub, Birdland. Intent on singing familiar songs for the enjoyment of varying audiences - college students to traditional song buffs - OUR TOWN boasts a repertoire reflective of musical tastes ranging from contemporary up-tunes to nostalgic ballads.

Members: Jamie Carbone, Scott Brannon, Terry Clarke, Larry Tully

2008

Syncopation

The Boston Globe calls Syncopation "the 21st Century Manhattan Transfer or Lambert, Hendricks and Ross" and it is easy to see why. Like those legendary vocal groups, Syncopation performs jazz and pop music in four-part harmony with a style that is both timeless and up-to-the-minute. As an added treat each of the singers also plays an instrument or two like trumpet, trombone piano and percussion providing the excitement of a band much larger in size.

You may have seen Syncopation on WBZ-TV singing with the Boston Pops on their 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (2009). The group often performs with instrumental accompaniment of piano, bass and drums, but they are equally renowned for their a cappella singing, which has earned them regional and national awards from Harmony Sweepstakes.

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

2007

Men In Black

Men in Black is a young quartet bringing a fresh youthful sound and personality to barbershops classic standards and drawing appeal to its ever evolving sound in today's world. Their passion for the barbershop style was rewarded in July of 2005 when they were awarded he 2005 gold medal as the MBNA International Collegiate Quartet Champions. Once winning at this level, they immediately began to take on "the big boys" and in October of 2005 they were crowned the best in the Northeast.

Members: Ray Johnson, Karl Hudson, Tony Nasto, Oliver Merrill

2006

Traces

Traces is a female quintet dedicated to pushing the envelope of female vocals to the limit. Although the group has been around only for 2 years, the individual members have been singing all their lives. With musical influences like Take 6 and The Real group and The Jackson 5, there's usually something to look forward to when these ladies step on stage.

Members: Tia Fields, Keesha Gumbs, Kimberly Robinson, Bianka Kotee, Tameeka Gumbs

2005

Firedrill

Firedrill! stepped back, got a big running start and LEAPED... And made a big splash at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps by winning the Boston regional. When the finals came around, though, the group bellyflopped. Two years later Firedrill! is back with bright-red bellies (see for yourself!) and the same disregard for what contemporary a cappella is supposed to be. Since its last appearance the group has stepped up its repertoire and performance schedule, appearing at SoJam in North Carolina and agreeing to host the ICCA Finals at Lincoln Center this April. Firedrill! even released its first EP, Rock Paper Scissors. Thanks for having Firedrill! at the Boston Harmony Sweepstakes!

Members: Nathan Altimari, Mike Barnicle, Michael Leblanc, Mark Manley, Victor Sandman, Judd Tomaselli, Matt "Twinkles" Wrobel

2004

Road Show

Road Show performs for Barbershop Chapters of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), Sweet Adelines, Int. (SAI) Harmony Inc. (HI) as well as many non-barershop events and private occations. In addition to winning the Northeastern District Championship, Road Show won the N.E. Harmony Sweeps Acapella contest which is the premier American showcase for vocal harmony music.

Members: Mike Gabriella, Mike Maino, Bob O’Connell, Rick Spencer

2003

All About Buford

All About Buford is a pop-funk vocal band from Boston, New York City and Philadelphia who switch seamlessly between an a cappella format and an acoustic guitar format, delivering pure vocals, complex arrangements, and intricate harmonies. The rhythmic background of AAB is the complex vocal percussion (beatboxing) of Del Coy, who simultaneously does percussion AND bass. You might not believe the sound is being created vocally, but there are no drum tracks! Performing an eclectic mix of covers and originals, All About Buford has been described as both sexy AND sophisticated. They have performed steadily at venues large and small since their inception in 2000, and were the 2003 Boston Regional Harmony Sweepstakes champions (runner-up in 2002). All About Buford does a high-energy, surprising show that gets an audience involved.

Members: Wes Carroll, Amy Malkoff, Shah Salmi, Taunia Soderquist

2002

Groove

Groove is Boston's newest acappella sensation. Formed in December of 2001, this seven man vocal band specializes in arranging and performing pop/rock songs in a contemporary style. Though this lineup is new, individually, Groove's members have performed in over 2000 acappella shows as past and current members of: Binghamton Crosbys, Buffalo Chips, Boston College Acoustics, Boston College Bostonians, UMASS Doo wop Shop, The Gentlemen of UNH, Jyde, Four Shadow, The Hyannis Sound, Jigsaw and Five o'Clock Shadow. This exciting new septet strives to combine a high level of musicality with a vibrant stage energy

Members: Roopak Ahuja, Nate Altimari, Darrell Belch, Michael Burrows, Jim Harrington, Matt Lane, Michael LeBlanc

2001

SoRare

So Rare is an award-winning women's a cappella quartet singing smooth sounds and intricate harmonies. No vocal percussion here, just perfectly blended chords in a varied repertoire including swing, jazz, modern and contemporary. Brought together by their love of close harmony, these talented ladies have been entertaining audiences for six years. SoRare! has been 1st runner up in the Boston Area Harmony Sweepstakes Competition for 1998, 1999, and 2000 before becoming this year's winners. They are a five-time medalist quartet in the North Atlantic Regional Quartet Competition of Sweet Adelines International. They have performed extensively throughout New England including, Worcester's 1st Night Celebrations, Bridgewater’s 4th of July featured entertainers and performer of the National Anthem, Stellar A Cappella, A Cappella Gold, opening night for the Boston Celtics where they performed for Bill Russell, several area shows, clubs and private parties. They have recently released their 1st CD entitled, SoRare! Well Done!

Members: Karen Christofi, Jannis M. Williams, Donna Manoogian, Arlene Isaac

2000

Live Wire

LiveWire is the pre-eminent vocal rock sensation out of Atlanta, GA. Since 1998, these seven talented musicians have been thrilling Atlanta TV, radio and live audiences with their unique "rock-band-without-the-band" sound: they perform musically accurate arrangements of rock songs with only one instrument -- the human voice. Their shows combine jaw-dropping musicality, contagious high energy, and a pinch or three of wackiness. They have entertained thousands of people around the Atlanta area, appeared all over the Atlanta media -- from morning news magazine appearances on the local NBC and FOX affiliates to news appearances on FOX, CBS, and ABC to radio appearances on 99X (WNNX FM - Atlanta's modern rock radio station) and Magic 96.7 (WMKJ-FM) --and are just as comfortable performing in a raucous club setting as they are in an intimate corporate cocktail party.

Members: Michelle Arrascue, Jennifer Bond, Carl Christie, Benjy Rose, Jordan Small, Rob Sylvester, Kris Walker

1999

Pickup 6

At the crossroads between swinging jazz, sultry soul, and upbeat pop, Pickup 6 delights and entertains audiences with a high-energy a cappella sound. Since 1996, we have journeyed down the musical highway, constantly straddling the double- yellow line between sophistication and fun. Most of our arrangements are by members of the sextet, including standards like "Route 66," blustery, heated ballads like "Fever," or more off-beat fare like "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "Cool" from West Side Story. Performing at jazz clubs and private parties, or spending long nights rehearsing or producing new arrangements, we find joy, challenge, companionship and inspiration in our singing.

Members: John Paquette, Adam Scotville, Valery Northrop, Kirsten Findell, Lisa MacAlaster, Christian Nolen

1998

Ball In The House

Following in the path of classic harmony groups like Boyz II Men, The Temptations, and Take 6, with a mix of the classic and the contemporary, the five-member vocal band Ball in the House brilliantly blends a wide range of influences, from classic R&B to pop, hip-hop & gospel. With their extensive tour schedule (averaging 250 dates a year), Ball in the House reaches millions and is arguably one of the hardest working, most successful indie bands today. They have performed with such artists as The Beach Boys, Gladys Knight, The Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, Fantasia, Blondie, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, KC & The Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, and numerous others. All a cappella, but a sound that will astound and amaze you. 5 Guys, 5 Voices, THAT'S IT... A review from the Boston Globe put it very succinctly - "Ball in the House has everything you would expect to find in a successful pop/rock band....the one thing it doesn't have is instruments."

Members: , , , , ,

1997

Five o’Clock Shadow

Five O'Clock Shadow, the all-vocal rock band from Boston, is living proof that a band without instruments can still rock! Using the same tech wizardry that guitarists have been using since the dawn of rock, Dan, Oren, Paul, and Caleb morph their voices into shredding guitar riffs and soaring solos right before your very ears. Meanwhile, their one-man vocal rhythm section, Stack, lays down his "beatbass": mouth beats and vocal bass thundering forth from his face, both at the same time! Yet when you take away all the speakers, amps, and microphones, these guys are still singers right down to the soul!

Also known as "FOCS", Five O'Clock Shadow has vocally rocked audiences of all ages throughout the US and Japan, and in every kind of venue. Through their educational program FOCS has presented workshops and concerts to thousands of music students from coast to coast.

Members: , , , ,

1996

Harmonytryx

In the world of a cappella music, Harmonytryx (Har-mo-NEE-trix) is a breath of fresh air! Self-managed and independent, these women entertain audiences with an eclectic mix of pop, folk and world music that ranges from sexy and provocative to soulful and spiritual. Their unique combination of tightly-crafted vocal harmonies, powerful solos, funky vocal percussion and lively humor has captivated audiences throughout the NYC metropolitan area and beyond.

Members: Erica Cohn, Janet Crowley, Joia Ladd, Elena LaRoca, Jenifer Starr, Anne Walsh

1995

Five o’Clock Shadow

Five O'Clock Shadow, the all-vocal rock band from Boston, is living proof that a band without instruments can still rock! Using the same tech wizardry that guitarists have been using since the dawn of rock, Dan, Oren, Paul, and Caleb morph their voices into shredding guitar riffs and soaring solos right before your very ears. Meanwhile, their one-man vocal rhythm section, Stack, lays down his "beatbass": mouth beats and vocal bass thundering forth from his face, both at the same time! Yet when you take away all the speakers, amps, and microphones, these guys are still singers right down to the soul!

Also known as "FOCS", Five O'Clock Shadow has vocally rocked audiences of all ages throughout the US and Japan, and in every kind of venue. Through their educational program FOCS has presented workshops and concerts to thousands of music students from coast to coast.

Members: JoJo David, Bill Eddy, Dave Harrison, Mike Mendyke, Warren Tessier

1994

Vox One

Vox One is an award-winning a cappella jazz quintet that combines elements of blues, funk, gospel, and folk into their own brand of vocal music, which is "most adventurous and distinctive." - San Francisco Examiner. The group, formed in 1988, has since developed a unique style considered to be the cutting edge of a cappella. "This jazz quintet puts all kinds of throat sounds to such funky good use that listeners break into applause and - better - feel like dancing." - Boston Magazine.

Vox One has performed internationally, and has opened for Ray Charles, Chicago, the Persuasions, the Bobs, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Count Basie Orchestra. The group earns wide acclaim for their performances and CDs. Their awards include "Best A cappella Group, Jazz" - Boston Magazine. Vox One's eponymous debut CD was named "Best Album" and awarded "Best Song" by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA): "Creative arrangements and soulful spark... fabulous lead vocalists, and exquisite blend, a great vocal percussion sound, and lots of class." Their second US release "Out There," won "Album of the Year," "Best Jazz Song," and "Best R&B song" by CASA. "...as defining an album for vocal jazz as Singers Unlimited "A Capella" and Take 6's debut album...it's that good." - Primarily A Cappella. With their 1998 album "Chameleon," Vox One was named "Artist of the Year," and once again it earned "Best Jazz Album" and "Best Jazz Song."

Members: Tom Baskett, Jodi Jenkins, Yumiko Matsuoka, Paul Pampinella, Paul Stiller

1993

Shawnee River Rats

The Shawnee River Rats perform their own arrangements of Broadway show tunes and songs from contemporary songwriters near the banks of a certain river in Bedford, MA. Shortly after getting 12 years ago, the Rats settled into a close harmony style and developed a distinct, clear sound reminiscent of the Hi-Lo's and Four Freshmen. Each member brings many years of singing experience to the group from musical theatre, Barbershop and college ensembles, including the Yale Wiffenpoofs, Tufts Beezlebubs and Stanford's Mendicants.

Members: Bill Ingraham, Bill Reed, David Getty, Larry Arend, Charlie Hodges, Charlie Schwerin

1992

Lifestyles

The Lifestyles feature a modern, post-war sound. You pick the war. Lifestyles founder, Ned Claflin, was also the founder of the beloved bay area a cappella group, The Baltimores, who charmed local audiences in the 1980's.

Members: Ned Claflin, Patty Barkis, Nick Clark, John Pinkney

1991

Northshore A Cappella

For the last 26 years, North Shore Acappella has entertained and excited thousands of listeners throughout the Boston area, adding an experienced blend of harmony, rhythm and tempo to songs from the 40's right up through today. This special art of delivering music without instrumental accompaniment is what North Shore Acappella is all about. The award-winning group offers a continuously fresh repertoire of hundreds of popular hits that cover the last five decades. Each number and performance is arranged in a way that showcases each member in a role of lead singer – a trait that very few acappella groups in the country can claim.

Members: Tommy Duarte, Paul Lopes, Jimmy Martin, Vinny Straccia, Richie Willis

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