9th Annual

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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.

1993 National Finals Champions

17th Avenue All-Stars

The 17th Avenue Allstars are celebrating 20 years as one of Denver, Colorado's top musical acts singing contemporary a cappella. The Allstars have performed across the United States and opened for National Acts such as: BB King, The Temptations, Mel Torme, and Robert Cray. Named the official anthems singers of the Denver Broncos they've experienced a wide range of a cappella performance opportunities including shows for US Presidents and Governers, corporate events and product launches, outdoor festivals and concerts and large charitable fundraisers. Book the Allstars today for your concert or special event and experience the a cappella magic that is The 17th Avenue Allstars.

From the Doo-Wop favorites from the 50's to Contemporary A Cappella; straight ahead rock tunes or a cappella vocal jazz, the 17th Avenue Allstars will put on a show for any audience!

1993 Results
1st
17th Avenue All-Stars


1993 Participating Groups

17th Avenue All-Stars
The 17th Avenue Allstars are celebrating 20 years as one of Denver, Colorado's top musical acts singing contemporary a cappella. The Allstars have performed across the United States and opened for National Acts such as: BB King, The Temptations, Mel Torme, and Robert Cray. Named the official anthems singers of the Denver Broncos they've experienced a wide range of a cappella performance opportunities including shows for US Presidents and Governers, corporate events and product launches, outdoor festivals and concerts and large charitable fundraisers. Book the Allstars today for your concert or special event and experience the a cappella magic that is The 17th Avenue Allstars.

From the Doo-Wop favorites from the 50's to Contemporary A Cappella; straight ahead rock tunes or a cappella vocal jazz, the 17th Avenue Allstars will put on a show for any audience!

Listen to: Stay With Me Tonight | Listen to: Johnny

Members: Norm Silver, Jeff Harris, Robert Anderson, LaTanya Hall, Robert Johnson
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Quintessence (1993)
The spectrum of their musical style emerges from an unlikely meeting of diverse backgrounds. The five met in school at UC Berkeley where they each pursued different musical interests ranging from opera to jazz, from rock to chamber music. Accordingly, Quintessence creates arrangements that invite the ear to explore the vocal colors and nuances unique to this combo of influences. Their large repertoire, extending from French impressionism to "grundge-appella", grants them the unique ability to appeal to a broad range of tastes and audiences.

Listen to: Sign Your Name | Listen to: Wonder Woman

Members: John Bennett, Neal Cruz, Eric Freeman, Anthony Hale, Tako Oda
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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.

Listen to: Marooned In A Blizzard Of Lies | Listen to: Jeepers Creepers

Members: Bill Ingraham, Bill Reed, David Getty, Larry Arend, Charlie Hodges, Charlie Schwerin
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Joy of Six
Have been together for one year and have performed at the Moonlight Tango Café in Sherman Oaks, The Rose Garden-Back Rom in West Hollywood. Matty's on Melrose and Genghis Cohen on Fairfax. JOS also sang the title song of the soon to be released film SANDMAN and were featured Christmas Eve on KPFK's "City on the Rim" show host: Lenard Brown. They are all professional singers with varied backgrounds - from rock to opera to jazz.

Listen to: A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Members: Faye Brenner, Mary Hylan, Cece Bullard, Ariana Attie, Wendy Charles-Acey, Christina Sjoblom
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Brock and The Rockets
Founded in 1985, B&R grew out of the Hexagon Club, directed by Brock Holmes. Their recently completed recording, Out To Launch, is available on cassette and CD, and features a range of tunes from Doo Wop to new wave to TV pop. They have been featured on the Diane Rehm show on WAMU in Washington and have appeared at the National Theater and the Kennedy Center.

Listen to: St. Elsewhere Theme | Listen to: Big And Stupid

Members: Brock Holmes, Carol Nicotera, Becky Carroll, Jane Harrelson, Greg McGruder, Doug Smith, David Whitman
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Regency
Regency is a five man a cappella vocal group from Baltimore Maryland. They are often called the Temptation of the twenty first century. Their musical magic has fascinated fans throughout the United States. They sing everything from 40's Swing, Elvis, Motown and Classics and Pop Tunes in their own special a cappella style that is not quite doo wop, not quite R&B, but altogether wonderful. They have won Entertainer of The Year on the college market many times, have done national commercials and have opened for many of today's leading musicians. They have NEVER performed without receiving a standing ovation. Their biggest fans are musicians who marvel at their vocal ability. Regency won the New York Regionals several years back and have not competed in several years.

Listen to: Summertime | Listen to: Shamalama Ding Dong

Members: Milton Ames, Duane Early, Anthony Griffin, Wayne McNeil, Dwayne McNeil
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1993 Judges

Charles Eisler   

Charles Eisler is one of San Francisco's leading producers and managers of live theatre. Mr. Eisler has produced Beehive the 60’s Musical Sensation in Las Vegas, Detroit, Houston, Fort Worth, San Jose, and Phoenix, and on a 70-city national tour. In San Francisco, productions include the Cole Porter musical revue Cole, Forever Plaid, and Noises Off that toured to many West Coast cities. Mr. Eisler has acted as general manager for Sylvia, Free Food, Together Again, starring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, Night Dreams, and Tunnel Rats. Mr. Eisler owned and operated the Mason Street Theatre in San Francisco, where Shear Madness played for four years, and the Union Square Playhouse, which housed the comedy hit Late Nite Catechism. On Broadway, Mr. Eisler produced the Alan Jay Lerner musical, Music! Music! He general managed the national tours of Man of La Mancha with Richard Kiley, and Fiddler on the Roof with Hershel Bernardi; The Abbey Theatre; the Shenyang Acrobats, and the Wushu Martial Arts Exhibition from the Peoples’ Republic of China; The National Theatre of Greece; The National Folk Theatre of Ireland; and the Gavella Theatre of Zagreb. Mr. Eisler is currently co-writing a new musical that uses the words and music of Cole Porter.

Phil Elwood   

Philip Elwood is a well respected vetran music critic fo the SF Examiner. Mr Elwood has taught American history and has produced a jazz and blues weekly radio program on KPFA since the 1950's.

Dawn Holiday   

Dawn Holiday is a respected veteran of the northern California music business, having made her mark in many aspects of live music promotion and production. She has been a force since the beginning in shaping the musical character of San Francisco's now famous "South of Market" club district, and currently serves as general manager and talent buyer for Slim's, the prestigious SF showcase nightclub.

Gunnar Madsen   

Gunnar Madsen is an award-winning composer, actor, singer, and writer. He is perhaps best known as founder, songwriter and performer with the internationally acclaimed a cappella group The Bobs. Their first album, released in 1984, led to a Grammy nomination for Mr. Madsen. Since then, The Bobs have released five more albums with Gunnar and he has received seven consecutive ASCAP songwriter's awards for his work. His two recent solo releases on G-Spot Records, "Spinning World: 13 Ways of Looking at a Waltz", and "The Power of a Hat" continue his unique ways with music. As a composer and songwriter/librettist he has received commissions from the Los Angeles Theater Center, the Oberlin Dance Collective, the Minnesota Opera, ISO Dance Theater, National Public Radio, and many others. He has written music for the feature films "Breaking the Rules" and "A Special Providence", and is a featured performer on the soundtrack of "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", in the National Geographic Special "Asteroids: Deadly Impact", and as the voice of Sammy Davis, Jr. in the HBO film "The Rat Pack". He is also the creator of the sound and music for the hit video game San Francisco Rush. Gunnar's performing highlights include appearances on the Tonight Show, the Smothers Brothers Show, and two award-winning hour-long specials on PBS featuring his music and performances. He has worked with a broadrange of performers, including Robin Williams, The Grateful Dead, Bobby McFerrin and Billy Crystal. He enjoys playing with his dog and his lovely wife.

Gene Puerling   

Gene Puerling is known throughout the world of music for his hghlt distinctive choral arranging. He was the guiding light in two premier jazz vocal groups; The Hi-Lo's and the Singers Unlimited. During his career, he has written arrangements for Linda Ronstadt, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Jackson, Manhatten Transfer, The Ritz, The Vocal Majority and Chanticleer to name a few. Mr. P os also active as a clinician/ejudicator in the educational music field. Many of his arrangements are published by Shawnee Press, Columbia Pictures and Hal Leonard. Among his many commendations are a Grammy Award for his vocal arrangements of "A Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square" as recorded by the Manhattan Transfer, and 14 Grammy nominations.

Complete list of 1993 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 be waived.

How to enter

Please send music and photos to the regional director :


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