35th Annual

Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, acapella singing competition, illinois

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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.

Saturday March 30th, 2019 - 7.30pm

WENTZ CONCERT HALL

171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville IL 60540

Tickets available at the door

Box Office: 630-637-7469

Hosted by

2018 Chicago Champions

Due North

We are Due North. Hailing from the Twin Cities area, Due North is one of the Midwest's newest a cappella ensembles. The name was inspired from Minnesota's formally adopted French motto "L'Etoile du Nord" meaning "Star of the North".

Due North prides itself on being the perfect fit for any audience. Whether the setting is calm and mellow, or energized and wild; Due North will bring a refreshing taste to the music you know and love, while adding new songs to file away in your personal playlist. Available for weddings, corporate events, parties, fairs, national anthems; you name it! With a fresh outlook, immense passion, and a vibrant energy - there is only one direction to go - Due North.


Previous Years Results

2018 Results

1st
Due North
2nd
The Northsiders
3rd
Final Melody Acapella
Audience Favorite
Due North
Best Original Arrangement
Daria Derda of Counterpoint for Show Must Go On // Sweet Dreams
Best Vocal Percussionist
Cornelius Garner of Final Melody
Best Soloist
Sarah Rauch of Crimson Cadence


2018 Participating Groups

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: Kerry Speed, Alexandria Bennett, Taylor Manway, Alex Neal, Chris Hemsath, Sam Gyenes, Kat Smith, Carolyn Karutz, Katie Breslin

Vocal Chaos

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: Owen Stevenson, Ryan Naimy, Trent Snyder, Ross Matsuda, Nik Eden, Colin Commager, Richard Pridgen, Michael Novak, Zachary Watts, Daniel Meeks

Due North

We are Due North. Hailing from the Twin Cities area, Due North is one of the Midwest's newest a cappella ensembles. The name was inspired from Minnesota's formally adopted French motto "L'Etoile du Nord" meaning "Star of the North".

Due North prides itself on being the perfect fit for any audience. Whether the setting is calm and mellow, or energized and wild; Due North will bring a refreshing taste to the music you know and love, while adding new songs to file away in your personal playlist. Available for weddings, corporate events, parties, fairs, national anthems; you name it! With a fresh outlook, immense passion, and a vibrant energy - there is only one direction to go - Due North.

Members: Kaynen Harris, Alissa Peanasky, Matt Laudenbach, Maddie Forrest, Barry Bakunowicz

Counterpoint Acapella

Counterpoint is Loyola University Chicago’s premier competitive co-ed acapella group! We personally arrange and energetically perform a diverse range of music to feature at our concerts, competitions, and throughout the city of Chicago! We provide not only a creative musical outlet for members and listeners, but take pride in sharing ourselves with our city!

Members: Sophia Manternach, Daria Derda, Chloe Antrobus, Taylor Beck, Rachel Groth, Reese Bailey, Malcolm Charles, Joseph Kraemer

Crimson Cadence

Pop/Vocal Jazz

Members: Jeremy Gussin, Jacob Seo, Noah Nordman, Milan Babic, Melissa Krueger, Sarah Rauch, Ella Clary, Chelsea Bonhotal

Final Melody Acapella

Final Melody Acapella Is A Vocal Acapella Group. We Consist Of 5 Talented Singers Ranging From Bass To 1st Tenor. Four Out Of The Five Of Us Met In Grammar School And We Met Our Beatboxer From An Online Inquiry. Our Moto That We Live By Throughout All Of Our Performances Is; "Creating Harmony Through Unity." We Believe That By Working Together As A Group And Group Members, We Create Spectacular Acapella Music That's Both Melodic And Vocally Intriguing. We Have Been A Group Since 2012 And We Enjoy Performing Throughout The Chicagoland Area. We Enjoy Putting Smiles On People's Faces When They Hear Our Sound And We Believe That We Can Empower Other Young Adults To Follow Their Dreams And Instill In Them That With Hard Work And A Great Level Of Dedication, Anything Is Achievable.

Members: Josh Metoyer, Robert Downer Jr., Shawn Denton, Brendan Stewart, Darius Gleghorn

The Northsiders

The Northsiders are Chicago's hippest barbershop quartet. Last year's regional runners-up to eventual national champs The Sound Exchange, The Northsiders are no stranger to the Harmony Sweepstakes stage. They perform traditional and contemporary favorites with a nod to the Rat Pack era. They have finished "on the podium" every time out on the barbershop contest stage. Sit back, sip a martini, and enjoy these cool cats!

Members:

Your Emcee for the Evening

David Wilner

David Wilner is a singer, songwriter, pianist and DJ who has been performing in the Chicago area for over two decades. David’s a cappella career began with the University of Illinois Xtension Chords where he won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for vocal arranging. David went on to sing professionally with the popular Chicago-based vocal rock band Blind Man’s Bluff where he toured nationally for six years and recorded five albums. David competed in the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes with both Blind Man’s Bluff and Fiveplay, winning First Place, Audience Favorite, and Best Original Song with each group. David twice took Third Place at the National Finals, once winning the award for Best Original Song. Today, David is on stage as often as possible: performing as a solo artist, leading events as a DJ, singing in the classic rock quartet Ac·Rock, spreading holiday cheer in The Caroling Party,, and releasing his inner “Jersey Boy” in the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute band The Four C Notes.

2018 Judges

Brian Lynch   

Brian Lynch has been acting professionally for over 30 years and has been called “one of American theater’s most impressive talents”(Phoenix Gazette). He spent seven years touring nationally and internationally with various Broadway musicals including Aspects of Love, Cats, and Les Miserables. In Les Miserables, Lynch performed the starring role of Jean Valjean for more than two years. The Los Angeles Times said, “Lynch is absolutely superb as Valjean. He teems with passion and vitality … communicating the heroism of his character with a deft slight of hand.” He was also nominated for south Florida’s Carbonella award for best actor in a national touring production for his portrayal of Jean Valjean. His work as choreographer earned him Joseph Jefferson Award nominations for outstanding choreography for Bye Bye Birdie, Zorba, Follies, and Grease for which he received the 1984 award. Brian has been a member of the North Central College faculty since 1995 and is currently the Fine Arts Director for North Central College. His North Central College productions of The Pirates of Penzance and Thoroughly Modern Millie were selected for performance at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival region three competition. His production of A Little Night Music was an alternate for the festival. Brian is a member of The Caroling Party Chicago’s premiere professional a cappella caroling group.

Carrie Marcotte   

Carrie Marcotte is the Director of the West Towns (Men’s) Barbershop Chorus, and has led them to the District Barbershop Contest’s “Most Improved Chorus” award (2016), “Most Entertaining Chorus” award (2015), and District Championship (2014). In addition to directing, Carrie sings in a Sweet Adelines women’s quartet, Cantina Vocal Project. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Carrie sang for two years in the award winning vocal jazz group, Gold Company, under the direction of the late Dr. Steve Zegree, and had the opportunity to share the stage with guest artists such as Don Shelton, Darmon Meader, and Bonnie Herman. Carrie sang for 10 years with (the now retired) Route 66, Chicago’s favorite female a cappella quartet and has performed on the Spirit of Chicago and at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. Carrie is Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Scholastica Parish in Woodridge and serves as an accompanist at North Central College in Naperville, as well as for singers and instrumentalists in the Chicagoland area.

Randy Stine   

After graduating from Indiana University in 2000 and a career working in information technology, Randy was called back to the world of music in 2008 when he posted a video to YouTube. The video, shot in 1998, was of he and his college friends in Straight No Chaser singing the “12 Days of Christmas.” It became the most viral video of 2007, which led the CEO of Atlantic Records to call Randy and reunite the group. Nine years later, the group has performed thousands of concerts across 49 states and 18 countries, performed on television shows such as TODAY and Jimmy Fallon, sold over one million albums, and has over 75 million YouTube views. Randy and his wife, Lindsey, reside in Chicago.


Complete list of 2018 participants





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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 12 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

Please send music and photos to the regional director :

David Wilner (Chicago) David Wilner is a singer, songwriter, pianist and DJ who has been performing in the Chicago area for over two decades. David's a cappella career began with the University of Illinois Xtension Chords where he won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for vocal arranging. David went on to sing professionally with the popular Chicago-based vocal rock band Blind Man's Bluff where he toured nationally for six years and recorded five albums. David competed in the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes with both Blind Man's Bluff and Fiveplay, winning First Place, Audience Favorite, and Best Original Song with each group. David twice took Third Place at the National Finals, once winning the award for Best Original Song. Today, David is on stage as often as possible: performing as a solo artist, leading events as a DJ, singing in the classic rock quartet Ac·Rock, spreading holiday cheer in The Caroling Party,, and releasing his inner "Jersey Boy" in the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute band The Four C Notes. Outside of music, David enjoys chasing after his two kids, coaching soccer, and cheering for his beloved Chicago Cubs.

P.O. Box 4502, Naperville, IL 60567
847-226-3366
david@davidwilner.com


Our Hall of Fame - The Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions

Regional Champions: Boston | Chicago | Denver | Los Angeles | Mid-Atlantic | New York | Pacific NW | SF Bay Area

The Harmony Sweepstakes National Audience Favorites

Regional Audience Favorites: Boston | Chicago | Denver | Los Angeles | Mid-Atlantic | New York | Pacific NW | SF Bay Area

Best Original Arrangement Winners | National Winners | San Francisco | New York | Boston | Chicago | Los Angeles | Pacific North West | Mid-Atlantic

Previous Year's Results - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005
2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1998 - 1997 - 1996 - 1995


Wentz Concert Hall

Wentz Concert Hall is hailed as a gem - the premier destination in Chicago’s western suburbs to appreciate performances of classical, jazz and contemporary music. The acoustics in Wentz Concert Hall are designed by Talaske Sound Thinking, acoustical consultants for Chicago’s critically acclaimed Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. Wentz Concert Hall can be “tuned” through the motorized extension and retraction of sound-absorbing curtains. Two massive sound chambers, one on each side of the stage and invisible to the audience, enhance the audio characteristics and allow sound to bounce off multiple planes as it is directed to the audience.


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