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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.

2017

The Sound Exchange

From soulful ballads, to blistering rock anthems, from jazz standards to chart-topping singles, The Sound Exchange does it all. Based out of the Twin Cities, this group brings dazzling harmonies and wisecracking audience interaction to every show and do it with it with joy and humor. Get ready for the hijinks and harmony of...The Sound Exchange.

Members: Alicia Renée, Nick Bailey, Eric Buegler, Caleb Lee, Paul Donnelly

2016

Double Date

Double Date is a quartet made up of two couples. We are the current World Mixed barbershop quartet champions. We met in choir at the University of Missouri - St. Louis and started the group in 2012. We've been sharing our love of music through performance, competition and education ever since. We sing a variety of styles, with lots of barbershop in the mix.

Members: Blair Brown, Michaela Slamka, Nathan Johnston, Ravi Raghuram

2015

Remedy

Remedy comes from different ends of Ohio to form the University of Dayton's first a cappella group. When they are not captivating their audience, Remedy enjoys spending time together as a group. From many walks of life and representing a vast number of majors, the group discovered camaraderie and harmony instantly. Remedy hopes to entertain and captivate the audience with their memorable performances.

Members: Hannah Snow, Holly Gyenes, Shelby Searcy, Caitlin Pearn, Kerry Speed, Trevor Rosenbaum, Matt Radford, Jon Besecker

2014

3AM

3AM Movement or Three Angels' Message is a new and exciting group of musician song stylists committed to expressing the good news of God's desire to establish an intimate relationship with all of His children. These talented and innovative musicians are creating music that expresses their commitment to God, family, and community, while sharing God's message of love and forgiveness. Based in Florida, these servants of the Lord bring forth their joyous message through their unique musical style that incorporates traditional gospel, A cappella, R&B, Jazz, Neo-Soul and Contemporary Christian music. They strive to exemplify Christian living in the light of the Lord and seek to share that light, though their music, with all those who cross their paths on their journey to everlasting life! They are humbled by their Lord's call to minister to the world by sharing their personal journeys through life's challenges, while staying true to their Savior's words of love, brotherhood, fidelity, and compassion.

Members: Mark Jenkins, Roger Mike, Christopher McGill, Jeffrey Henderson, Micheal Medina, Kelvin Mitchell

2013

Cat's Pajamas Vocal Band

The Cat's Pajamas are 5 men who creates all the sounds of a band using only their voices. The group was formed in 2005 by Brian Skinner and Nate Mendl who both share a passion and drive for performing and music production. The two had previously worked together in college groups at The University of Wisconsin such as the Wisconsin Singers and a cappella groups the MadHatters and Redefined. The first time The Cat's PJs ever performed together was for the 2005 Oreo Cookie Jingle competition. They then recorded a demo and searched everywhere for gigs until their first big break when they were offered a 6 month stint on Celebrity Cruise Lines as the in house a cappella group.

Members: Brian Skinner, Nate Mendl, Nate Adams, Mike Hilliker, Brad Baker

2012

Rooftop Rhythm

Rooftop Rhythm began in Spring of 2010 when Jacob, Nate, and Ashley began looking for a bass singer to complete the group. After a short search, Steve was brought into the fold and things took off. The quartet honed their style through practice, recreation, and a rough two weekends roofing a garage. Sure, Steve nailed Jake’s jeans to the roof, but the quartet survived and became close friends and hard workers. In July, their hard work paid off when they finished 49th in the world at the Barbershop Harmony Society International Convention. Rooftop Rhythm has sung in many venues, including contests, barbershop shows, corporate meetings, sporting events, and private functions. It’s rare for these four gentlemen to turn down the opportunity to show folks how great a cappella music can be. With a varied repertoire that includes barbershop, jazz, opera, Americana, and gospel, you’re sure to find something you like

Members: Ashley York, Jacob Oxley, Nathan Oxley, Steve Schoultz

2011

Brotherhood Singers

The Brotherhood Singers (from Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH) are among the very few remaining quartet style groups that still perform in the old-school acappella fashion. The Singers specialize in the intricate and emotional four-part harmony "jubilee" style pioneered by such legendary groups as the Dixie Hummingbirds. the Golden Gate Quartet, the Soul Stirrers and The Harptones of Cincinnati. The Brotherhood Singers started singing at the 9th Street Baptist Church in Covington, KY in 1986 and has performed in churches, secular music venues and television spots throughout the U.S., Canada and in Spain (which they have toured 17 times).

Members: Eric Riley, Ric Jennings, Greg Page, Stace Darden, Demetrius Davenport

2010

Home Free

A cappella. It's technically what we do. But we're not your bow-tie barbershop quartet. We're a vocal band. Which means we do more than sing - we perform - engaging audiences in a rich blend of harmonies while entertaining them.

Home Free has performed for a diverse and extensive clientele, ranging from the Minnesota Vikings, to Fortune 500 companies, Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise Lines, Allied Concert touring services, the Dutton Family from America's Got Talent and many, many more. It also devotes its time to educating and encouraging music in the public schools through innovative workshops and concert fundraising. To date, its programs have already raised tens of thousands of dollars for schools in Minnesota.

Members: Rob Lundquist, Matt Atwood, Troy Horn, Adam Rupp

2009

3 Men & A Melody

Start with two music teachers, add one preacher, stir in a financial planner, and you could have the basic ingredients for any great quartet, but 3 Men & A Melody is not your basic quartet. 3M&M first formed in the stairwells of the women's dorm at Northwest Missouri State University. (Can you find better acoustics or a better audience?) These four guys have been around for 15 years competing mostly in the Barbershop Harmony Society. Since their first visit to the international stage in 2001, they have consistently placed in the top twenty, and once in the top ten. These guys are highly sought after clinicians for Young Men in Harmony and Harmony Explosions across the country, bringing their passion for a cappella harmony to young people and educators alike. In-house Tenor, Chris Droegemeuller arranges much of 3 Men & A Melody’s music to give them the unique sound that best highlights their voices. Get your ears ready for a stage full of a harmonic variety of a cappella jazz, doo-wop and barbershop.

Members: Chris Droegemeuller, Eric Derks, Brian Bellof, Brad Stephens

2008

5one

5one is an up-and-coming pop/rock a cappella group consisting of five male Millikin University music students. Established in April, 2006, 5one accepted an offer to entertain tourists at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL that following summer. Since then, 5one has astounded audiences and encouraged musicians in the Chicagoland metropolitan area. Winners of the 2008 Chicago Rgional of the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival. Currently based in Decatur, IL, 5one has released their first album, "Get It" through their own student-run record label at Millikin.

Members: Shane Irvin, David Kempton, Brian Parrish, Jesse Upah, Tony Marx

2007

Nightwatch

Nightwatch was formed in 1998 as a result of a lost bet, or at least it seems that way. "Stik" (Fireman - ask to see his Dalmatian), "Flip" (Security pro - he breaks in and cleans out your fridge), "Leo" (Nursing home crooner/heartthrob) and "Nooge" (Nacho cheese pump problems? He’s your man!) have been berating each other ever since meeting at a local Sadie Hawkins dance (they were the ones "holding up the wall"). Their consistent refusal to get serious actually paid off in August of 2000 - they were crowned the Buckeye Invitational Comedy Quartet Champions after performing their now infamous (this means 'more than famous', right?) Diner Set© in front of tens of people. Since then, they've hoodwinked their way into a 2001 Division Quartet Championship and a spot in the 2003 Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals. Scores of unsuspecting audience members across the country have made it through a “Nightwatch Experience”; the lucky ones brought a tarp. No matter what the venue, you can expect a wide array of musical styles from this group. What you cannot expect is for them to go to bed early or to have serious conversations with each other, or anyone else for that matter.

Members: Scott Hettig, Daniel Naumann, Paul Wolf, Mathew Martin

2006

elmoTHUMM

ElmoTHUMM In the summer of 2000, elmoTHUMM began performing for a few local events to rave reviews. Today, elmoTHUMM’s hard rockin’, high energy, fun filled show is featured entertainment at many of the Midwest’s top fairs, festivals & events. Their arrangements of such classics as “Some Kind of Wonderful”, “Come Go with Me”, “Ain’t that Peculiar” & “America the Beautiful”, using only their voices & percussion, will leave you shocked, amazed & applauding for more.

Members: Ed Pendleton, Jason Miller, Paul Ellinger, Greg Vaden, Adam Westmoreland

2005

Fiveplay

Fiveplay, Chicago's 2005 Midwest Harmony Sweepstakes Champions, is not your typical vocal group. In a world where musical trends change on a weekly basis, Fiveplay's style is timeless and enduring. With fresh interpretations of the standards of yesterday, classic arrangements of the hits of today and their own critically-acclaimed original compositions, Fiveplay demonstrates stunning versatility and razor-sharp precision with every song. Their diverse repertoire is virtually a 20th century songbook, covering everything from Sinatra to The Temptations to The Beatles and U2. More than simply a musical showcase, Fiveplay's refined choreography and unique brand of humor will entertain audiences of all ages.

Members: Aaron Siedband, Brian Siedband, David Reeder, Dave Wagner, David Wilner

2004

Chapter 6

The group's boundless range and appeal has resulted in one of the most diverse touring schedules in the music industry. Whether at an opera house, symphony hall, campus, church, corporate or community event, or aboard a cruise ship, Chapter 6 is right at home. Opera houses are often repeat clients, while the Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities' audiences named Chapter 6 "Entertainer of the Year" (2005). Chapter 6 has performed theatrical pops programs with over ten major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with The Symphonic Pops Consortium, yet returns to the intimate classroom where the group has conducted over a hundred master-classes for high school choirs. Finally, their Christmastime concert is a favorite among churches and arts venues offering holiday programming.

Members: Luke Menard, Nathan Pufall, A.D. Stonecipher, Jarrett Johnson, John Musick, Mark Grizzard

2003

Nightwatch

Nightwatch was formed in December of 1998 as a result of a lost bet, or at least it seems that way sometimes. Matt (a fireman Ò ask him to show you his Dalmatian), Paul (international secret agent/sock garter model), Dan (the new voice behind that AFLAC duck) and Scott (not sure what he's doing this week) have been verbally berating each other ever since meeting in Greendale WI's Midwest Vocal Express, also known as the 2002 5th Place Bronze Medallist Barbershop Chorus. Their consistent refusal to sing any song seriously actually paid off in August of 2000, as they were crowned the Buckeye Invitational Funny Bone Comedy Quartet Champions after performing their now infamous (this means "more than famous", right?) Diner Set in front of tens of people in Columbus OH. Their latest achievement occurred in April of 2001, when they duped an esteemed judging panel just enough to capture the Land OÌLakes Division I Quartet Championship. No matter what the venue, you can expect high-quality singing and a wide array of musical styles from this group. What you can't expect is for them to go to bed early and to have serious conversations with each other, or anyone else for that matter.

Members: Dan Naumann, Scott Hettig, Scott Hettig, Matt Martin

2002

Chapter 6

The group's boundless range and appeal has resulted in one of the most diverse touring schedules in the music industry. Whether at an opera house, symphony hall, campus, church, corporate or community event, or aboard a cruise ship, Chapter 6 is right at home. Opera houses are often repeat clients, while the Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities' audiences named Chapter 6 "Entertainer of the Year" (2005). Chapter 6 has performed theatrical pops programs with over ten major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with The Symphonic Pops Consortium, yet returns to the intimate classroom where the group has conducted over a hundred master-classes for high school choirs. Finally, their Christmastime concert is a favorite among churches and arts venues offering holiday programming.

Members: , , , , ,

2001

Voice Trek

Voice Trek has been thrilling listeners with their impeccable vocal skills since 1987. Their astonishing adaptability and inventive arrangements have defined this vocal quintet as one of the topmost in their genre. Based in Minnesota, the all-original members of Voice Trek are Shelley, Vicki, and Rae Plaster - three sisters who are known for their dazzling vocal mix; the group's tenor, Denis Allaire, specialist in vocal percussion and vocal instrumental sounds; and bringing up the bass is the dynamic Kevin Smith - the irreplaceable bottom line.

A multitalented and prolific group with numerous CD's in their catalog, Voice Trek has appeared in performance venues around the globe. Voice Trek's newly released CD "An A cappella Trek" is already receiving enthusiastic reviews from fans and critics alike.

Members: Shelley Plaster, Vicki Plaster, Rae Plaster, Denis Allaire, Kevin Smith

2000

Chapter 6

The group's boundless range and appeal has resulted in one of the most diverse touring schedules in the music industry. Whether at an opera house, symphony hall, campus, church, corporate or community event, or aboard a cruise ship, Chapter 6 is right at home. Opera houses are often repeat clients, while the Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities' audiences named Chapter 6 "Entertainer of the Year" (2005). Chapter 6 has performed theatrical pops programs with over ten major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with The Symphonic Pops Consortium, yet returns to the intimate classroom where the group has conducted over a hundred master-classes for high school choirs. Finally, their Christmastime concert is a favorite among churches and arts venues offering holiday programming.

Members: John Musick, Jarrett Johnson, Brian Owens, Aarion D. Stonecipher, Charles Bosworth, Luke Menard

1999

Chicago Voice Exchange

CVX is an entertaining award-winning five-member a cappella group based in Chicago. CVX is a three -time winner of the Midwest Harmony Sweepstakes competition, and has entertained crowds at venues such as sports events (Cubs, Sox and Bulls games, the World Cup), holiday events, festivals, industry conferences and bake sales.

One of the first actions of the group was to argue long and hard about what the name of the group should be. There were a whole host of possible names: WeWopDoo (from Peter Harlan, master of cheese), New Caboose, Vox Populi, Digital Voice Exchange, Five Guys named Moe, etc. Eventually, a compromise was reached with Chicago Voice Exchange. Hurrah.

Members: John Milne, Joe Dennis, Tim Eaton, Andrew Blendermann, Bryan Chadima

1998

Blind Man’s Bluff

Bluff rock is vocal rock - more than vocal. more than rock. aggressive. dirty. human. texture that tingles. both familiar and surprisingly unique. gritty but not grating. edgy but not hard edged. a sound you've never heard before. unquestionably modern. undeniably rock. rich. dark. driving. enticingly organic. depth without pretention. no holds barred and widely appealing. what you're waiting for - believe your ears.

Members: David Wilner, Nick Geisinger, Chaz Ruhl, Drew Breen

1997

Chicago Voice Exchange

CVX is an entertaining award-winning five-member a cappella group based in Chicago. CVX is a three -time winner of the Midwest Harmony Sweepstakes competition, and has entertained crowds at venues such as sports events (Cubs, Sox and Bulls games, the World Cup), holiday events, festivals, industry conferences and bake sales.

One of the first actions of the group was to argue long and hard about what the name of the group should be. There were a whole host of possible names: WeWopDoo (from Peter Harlan, master of cheese), New Caboose, Vox Populi, Digital Voice Exchange, Five Guys named Moe, etc. Eventually, a compromise was reached with Chicago Voice Exchange. Hurrah.

Members:

1996

Fourth Avenue

Take a pinch of soul, add a bit Motown, mix it all together with a little doo-wop and you have the makings of the a cappella sounds of 4th Avenue. Formed in 1993, this quintet features bass Jim Brown, baritones Scott Dawson, Ryan Holway and Chris Steward, tenor and vocal percussionist Maurice Harris. Together their diverse musical backgrounds and influences create a unique blend of music unlike any other group. 4th Avenue has performed before the Cincinnati Reds, opened for the Beach Boys, and are featured performers at Paramount's Kings Island. This group combines their voices and unique personalities to create a show of humor and harmony sure to bring audiences to their feet.

Members: Jim Brown, Scott Dawson, Ryan Holway, Chris Steward, Maurice Harris

1995

Chicago Voice Exchange

CVX is an entertaining award-winning five-member a cappella group based in Chicago. CVX is a three -time winner of the Midwest Harmony Sweepstakes competition, and has entertained crowds at venues such as sports events (Cubs, Sox and Bulls games, the World Cup), holiday events, festivals, industry conferences and bake sales.

One of the first actions of the group was to argue long and hard about what the name of the group should be. There were a whole host of possible names: WeWopDoo (from Peter Harlan, master of cheese), New Caboose, Vox Populi, Digital Voice Exchange, Five Guys named Moe, etc. Eventually, a compromise was reached with Chicago Voice Exchange. Hurrah.

Members: Joe Dennis, Tim Eaton, Peter Harlan, Dan MacDonald, John Milne

1994

Blind Man’s Bluff

Bluff rock is vocal rock - more than vocal. more than rock. aggressive. dirty. human. texture that tingles. both familiar and surprisingly unique. gritty but not grating. edgy but not hard edged. a sound you've never heard before. unquestionably modern. undeniably rock. rich. dark. driving. enticingly organic. depth without pretention. no holds barred and widely appealing. what you're waiting for - believe your ears.

Members: Bryan Chadima, Marc Lionetti, Jonathan Minkoff, Nik Volgenau

1992

Acme Vocals

Acme Vocals performs a wide variety of musical styles - bluegrass, gospel, folk, pop, heavy metal, and rap - and combine a comedic flair with incredibly rich sounding vocals. Their performances have produced critical acclaim and a national following. Their credits include performing on "CBS this Morning" and on Garrison Keller's American Radio Company. They have also displayed their talents at such nation events as the NBA Playoffs and MLB's All-Star Game and have opened for such national opened for stars as David Brenner and Jay Leno. Acme Vocals recently was nominated the top entertainment act in the nation by colleges belonging to the National Association for Campus Activities, the largest college entertainment booking organization in the country. They have harmonized together for more than five years and have traveled extensively throughout the United States, performing at more than 200 concerts yearly.

Members: Steve Anders, Tom Ciappa, Beth Frank, Kevin Poise, Faadl Shukry

1991

Back to Back

Back to Back sings a wide variety of a cappella vocal music from old standards to contemporary dance tunes. Their dynamic blend enhances their unique arrangements. The sound is topped off with a lot of charisma, which makes for a memorable performance. This Chicago-based group is compromised of six musicians whose professions range from student to teacher to businessman. Their love for music brought them together to form "Back to Back."

Members: Doug Anderson, David Cannon, Karyn Carbray, Joyce Lyons, Kristy Smith, Mike Sparnhour

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