The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, 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.
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.
2014 Participating Groups (2015 TBA)
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. God has infused each of them with a passion for encouraging others to accept the Lord into their lives and live in the light of His eternal love!.
Members: Mark Jenkins, Roger Mike, Christopher McGill, Jeffrey Henderson, Micheal Medina, Kelvin Mitchell
3 Men & A Melody is an a cappella vocal group from Kansas City area. Their stylings include swing, jazz, pop, doo wap, oldies, rock, motown, r & b, barbershop, etc. 3 Men & A Melody are the 1998 Central States District Quartet Champions, the 2004 International BHS Finalist, and the 2009 Harmony Sweepstakes Champions. Blending 2 Music educators, a pastor and a financial planning comedian, with over 100 combined years of street-cred, and you've got the recipe for "A Cappella At It's Best" with 3 Men & A Melody.
Members: Brian Bellof, Rob Mathieu, Brad Stephens, Eric Derks
The Other Option - What do you get when you mix a teacher, a software analyst, a tax specialist, a sailing instructor, and a graphics artist? You get The Other Option! The Other Option brings together the voice talents of Colin Gagnon, Ravi Manghnani, Eric Pantano, Matthew Porcelli , and Barry Rokusek. Formed in Madison, Wisconsin in early 2012, the group's eclectic sound mixes contemporary songs from the 70's and 80's, along with a dash of current music. Whether singing at open mics, birthday parties, or just out on the street corner, the group puts its emphasis on fun, harmony, and good music..
Members: Colin Gagnon, Ravi Manghnani, Eric Pantano, Matthew Porcelli, Barry Rokusek
Remedycomes 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: Shelby Searcy, Holly Gyenes, Caitlin Pearn, Hannah Snow, Matt Radford, Trevor Rosenbaum, Jon Besecker
THUMMp - Once upon a time, one of the greatest acappella groups in the Midwest was a buzz in the ears of Milford, MI. From 1998 - 2010, elmoTHUMM wowed audiences with their aggressive sound, rich arrangements, and boundless energy. They won countless contests, accepted awards, played for Presidents and royalty, filled TV screens, and worked their way into the hearts of kids and parents throughout the country. Now THUMMp, they look forward to bringing Chicago more great music as only THUMMp can.
Members: Greg Vaden, Adam Westmoreland, Jason Miller, Ed Pendleton, Tre Cruz
The Triad - Made up of a bass, an alto, a soprano, three vocal percussionists, a producer, a DJ, a lead singer of a cover band, an actress, a photographer, a waitress, an automobile aesthetics technician, and last year's winner of Harmony Sweepstakes award for "Best Original Arrangement;" all condensed into three talented vocalists. They hope that their unique takes on hit songs from yesterday and today will leave you asking how a group so small can have such a big sound. They are The Triad.
Members: David DeVries, Molly Pan, Giana Casale
Vocal Chaos is an award-winning a cappella group from right here in Chicago! They have been making incredible music all over the Windy City since 1996, from Soldier Field and Cellular Field to Chicago Public Radio. They can also be heard singing a cappella in the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn movie "The Break Up". To foster collaboration and promote the art form of a cappella, they founded ACappellaFest, which in its eighth year has grown into the Midwest's largest a cappella festival. Vocal Chaos is thrilled to be back at the Harmony Sweepstakes. Look for their new EP to drop later this year!
Members: Vincent Baudoui, Eric Fenton, Patrick Hockberger, Tim Mao, Dave Nadolski, Vivek Natarajan, Richard Pridgen, Owen Stevenson
Vocality is an a cappella quartet with a wide ranging repertoire from 60’s and 70’s classic rock tunes to gospel to musical theater to barbershop. They are an animated ensemble who love singing together and entertaining audiences with a passion for igniting the spark of music in young people everywhere.minded bands and organizations to perform and promote the art form of a cappella.
VOCALITY formed in January, 2007 and was immediately recognized as an entertaining quartet with flawless harmonies and exciting delivery. They were crowned District Champions in the Land 'O Lakes district of the Barbershop Harmony Society and quickly rose to the elite ranks of the Top 20 in the International Barbershop Quartet contest. Their debut recording was honored with two Contemporary A Cappella Recording nominations by the Contemporary A Cappella Society: Best Barbershop Album and Best Barbershop Song. In fall of 2011 VOCALITY released their second recording, Alleluia, which features gospel music.
Members: Jay Althof, Tony Blackwood, Tom Matchinsky, David Boyd
Your Emcee for the Evening
Andrew Blendermann mostly hangs out in piano bars (as a performer, not as a barfly), where his repertoire spans over 1800 songs. He entertains regularly at Big Shot in Arlington Heights, Mastro's Steakhouse in Chicago, and The Signature Room at the 95th. He spent a decade banging on grand pianos at Howl At The Moon in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Cleveland. He has played extensively at Villa Verone in Geneva and Elgin, Billy Berk's in Skokie, and Davenport's Piano Bar And Cabaret. Andrew has also been involved in the theater: onstage ("L.M." in Pump Boys & Dinettes - twice), offstage (music-directing Five Guys Named Moe at Drury Lane Evergreen Park), and in the orchestra pit (a year at the Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire). As a vocalist, Andrew has directed several a cappella groups (including the "Navy Pier Players", using his own arrangements), and he is currently singing with Chicago Voice Exchange, three-time winners of the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes. Andrew also has produced the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival (Chicago Regional) since 2001, and plans to continue his work behind the scenes. While living in Cleveland, he acted as music director for 1940's Radio Hour, Cabaret, Once On This Island, and Cleveland's first local production of Forever Plaid. He and his wife Shelly are raising a back-up band, including six-year old drummer Adam, and three-year old singer (or wailer) Samantha.
Timm Adams is enjoying his thirteenth year as Associate Professor of Music at Rockford University, where he teaches a variety of voice and musical theater-related courses, conducts three choirs, and musical directs the Performing Arts Department’s main stage musicals. He is also the proud Artistic Director of the Chicago Chamber Choir, which he has conducted since 2000. In fall of 2012, the choir released its CD under Timm’s direction: Earth, Wind and Choir: Songs of Nature (available on iTunes). CCC will present “Where the Wild Songs Are”, a humorous and slightly zany look at the animal kingdom, featuring Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb”, Whitacre’s “Animal Crackers”, Ivor Davies’ “Prayers from the Ark”, and more, on March 30 and April 5 and 6. Prior to his move to Rockford, Timm enjoyed an extensive career in theater, both as an actor and a musical director, performing throughout the Southeast and Midwest in such shows as Hello, Dolly! (Cornelius), Joseph and the…Dreamcoat (Joseph), Singin' in the Rain (Cosmo), Pump Boys and Dinettes (L.M.), Buddy…The Buddy Holly Story (Norman Petty), and Return to the Forbidden Planet (Ariel, the rollerblading robot). Most recently, Timm directed 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Rockford University. Timm holds a Masters degree in Vocal Performance from Baylor University and is thrilled to be judging this exciting competition once again! www.ChicagoChamberChoir.org
Daniel Gregerman, Choral Director at Niles North High School in Skokie, IL has spent 23 years building an award winning choral program. Applying his deep passion for music and education, Gregerman started and built the NNHS vocal program. He was recently named, the 2014 John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year by the Jazz Education Network and the Berklee School of Music. His groups have earned national recognition, performing at regional and national conferences, winning multiple Down Beat awards, and performing at festivals both nationally and internationally. Gregerman’s ensembles have shared the stage with such names as Diane Schuur, The New York Voices, The Real Group, Take Six, and Janis Segal of The Manhattan Transfer. Known composers such as Jennifer Barnes, Michele Weir, Kirby Shaw, Greg Jaspers, and Gary Fry continue to create musical arrangements and compositions for his ensembles. Gregerman has served in a variety of leadership roles within the community of education. He is a founding member of the Jazz Education Network, (JEN), where he has volunteered in many different roles including his role as the Conference Office Co0rdinator for the Annual JEN Conference. Gregerman has held positions as State and District Chairman of Vocal Jazz for ILMEA, and has been Guest Director for several ILMEA District Jazz Festivals as well as acting as a clinician for vocal groups both locally and around the Midwest. Gregerman earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and a Master of Music Degree with an emphasis in Choral Conducting and Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI.
Paul Langfordhas been a Chicago based singer, arranger, keyboardist, producer and conductor, since 1997, and has a career that spans over 25 years. His work includes arranging for and performing with groups such as The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicagoland Pops, the Pensacola and LaCrosse Symphony Orchestras, and for Walt Disney World. In the a cappella world, his credits include singing with and arranging for GLAD, Voices Of Liberty, VoiceTrek, MaxQ, and dozens of other fine groups. As a singer and pianist, Paul has performed or recorded with Grammy award winners Celine Dion, David Foster, Kenny Rogers, Yolanda Adams, Abraham Laboriel and Heather Headley, and he’s shared the stage with Michael Buble, Josh Groban and President Bill Clinton. He has also led and arranged for choirs, rhythm sections, big bands, orchestras and a cappella groups all across America and abroad, and is a widely published choral arranger and composer.
Patti Lupo - Upon her graduation from Northwestern University, Patti began performing in theater and joined Actors Equity when she was cast in the original production of “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” Not long after that, she formed her first vocal quartet with Megan Mullally called Colossal Nerve and has enjoyed performing close harmony music ever since. Patti has her own band and musical services company, Patti Lupo Music, and is the co-founder of Chicago’s busiest Christmas caroling group, The Caroling Party.
Raymond Schwarzkopf - Singer? Actor? Teacher? Percussionist? Quartet Guy? Coach? Music Judge? Admitted Computer Geek? Director? and FRIEND!!! Raymond is all of these...and more! Over 40 years in theater, music (both vocal and instrumental), business and teaching have made him a valuable asset for every group with which he has worked and played. A Life-Member of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1979, he has performed with numerous quartets and earned international medals with the New Tradition Chorus of Northbrook. A graduate of Northwestern University, a certified director and certified music judge, Raymond is blessed to travel the globe working with jazz, pop, a cappella, barbershop, folk, funk, reggae, Latin, African and classical ensembles, vocalists and instrumentalists, showing them ways to enhance their performance by using a balance of technique, acting, musicality, style and emotion to create art. He is thrilled to be joining this year's Harmony Sweepstakes panel and looking forward to some AMAZING performances!!! Bring it and Ring it!
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 CD 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.To apply for the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes, please download the two documents below (needs Adobe Acrobat)
Please send CD and photos to the regional director :
Andrew Blendermann is a member of Chicago Voice Exchange, three-time winners of the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes ('95, '97, '99). He decided to step behind the scenes of the Sweeps. CVX is still together, and performing all over the Chicagoland area. Andrew is also an accomplished solo vocalist and pianist, and he performs in piano bars, theaters, restaurants, cabarets, weddings and the occasional concert hall.
The North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie (NSCPAS) is a dynamic, two-theater complex located in one of the most vibrant communities in the country. The NSCPAS is home to three distinct resident companies: presenting organization Centre East, Inc, producing theater company Northlight Theatre, and the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra. The facility is also the performance home to the acclaimed Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra and hosts numerous other cultural organizations and special events each year.
The NSCPAS is located just off of I-94 (Edens Expressway) about 30-minutes north of Downtown Chicago. In addition to a diverse programming schedule, its proximity to Old Orchard Shopping Center, a wide range of excellent restaurants and plenty of free parking, make the North Shore Center a convenient and popular destination for entertainment. Yahoo map - Google map