2011 Participating Groups
In a world where anything is possible—except female groups lasting more than three years—Traces is an all-female quintet that has managed to survive for FIVE years and counting. Yay!!! With their expansive vocal range, vocal dynamics, tight harmonies, “female bass” and hard hitting percussion, this NY based group offers a variety of musical styles and continually push the envelope of female vocals. Their wide range of musical influences—Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Pop, R&B, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Spirituals, Caribbean and African, just to name a few—has lead them to create a unique style all their own. Over the years, the group has had some amazing experience including performing in churches, colleges, prisons, festivals and the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. Traces looks forward to continuing our journey and seeing you in March.
Members: Cindy Valerus, Keesha Gumbs, Sherene Campbell, Gbianka Kotee, Tamika Gumbs
| Da Capo|
Da Capo is an a cappella group hailing from the Washington, D.C. area composed of music professionals from all walks of life. We believe strongly in promoting a cappella music and educating youth about the Barbershop style. Ryan, Tony, Wayne, and Joe have officially been singing together since October of 2009, when our lead singer Tony assembled us to sing his marriage proposal to his wife-to-be. We have also been members of the Barbershop Harmony Society for a combined total of 54 years!
Members: Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Wayne Adams, Joe Sawyer
Throat is a collective of singer-musicians that perform original music. Hard-rocking beats, cerebral songwriting and a full, in-your-face band sound...that just happens to all be produced without instruments. Throat is a vocal band that sings 100% original music. Influenced by great rock groups of the past 50 years, as well as the pioneers of the contemporary a cappella vocal band movement, THROAT is dedicated to performing fresh, rocking music for the masses.
Members: Kate Spencer, Emily Bedal, Peter Driscoll,, Mister Tim, Matt Murphy
Vybration was formed in 2001 to perform at Disney's California Adventure under the name "Groove 66". The band quickly became the park's most popular atmosphere group. Its members are some of the most powerful, versatile, and in demand vocalists in all of Southern California with resume credits spanning from broadway, television, and film, to orignial rock bands, and pioneering modern music projects. Vybration is unlike many acapella sextets out there, covering a variety of music that includes traditional jazz tunes like Blue Skies and Fly Me to the Moon, rock n roll songs like Lenny Kravitz's Fly Away, pop hits such as Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin Something and many many more. All that have witnessed the magic in music that Vybration creates can tell you that, "Vybration is a force to be reckoned with!"
Members: Heather McMasters Orosco,, Jill Burke, Bryan Chadima, Trist Curless, Laura Dickinson, Jeff Smith
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.
Back around 1990, a couple of the founding members of the coed Microtones decided that they wanted to form a men's a cappella group at Microsoft so that they could sing the charts from their college groups. The original quartet consisted John Rae-Grant, bass and musical director, Bill Pope, baritone, Bob Gunderson, 2nd tenor, and David Olsen, 1st tenor. True to their profession, the group's chosen name, The Baudboys, referred to the method by which modem speeds were rated. The group performed only a few times in its first years of existence, doing lunch time gigs on the Microsoft campus.
As members left Microsoft over the years, they would also leave the Baudboys, prompting natural turnover in the membership. During the 1990's, the group expanded it's membership, aiming to have two full quartets within the group. Since that time, the group has remained at 7-9 members, but the expanded membership has allowed the group to sing more complex arrangements than the 4-part charts that the founders envisioned.
Members: Owen Braun, Elliot Lewis, Dave McEwen, Jon Schwartz, Mark Adolph, Paul Eng, Martin Puryear, Mike Thomsen
| Brass Farthing|
Brass Farthing is a group of stalwart lads brought together to sing songs, raise good cheer, and otherwise make merry in the company of friends both old and new. We take our inspiration from many periods and enjoy performing historical, traditional, and contemporary compositions in traditional styles.
George started the group in August 2006. We first performed at the Dickens Chistmas Fair and have performed there every year. We cut our self-published CD "Brass Farthing" in summer 2007. We also perform at the Northern California Ren Faire, Steam Punk Conventions and local bars.
Members: Rory Alden, Chris Callahan, George Chlentzos, Mark Donnelly, Jim Partridge, Tazz Richards, Bill Roper, Ben Wilson
| 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
||Phil Fetterman |
Phil co-hosts the Human Voice program on 91.5fm, KKUP radio (www.kkup.org), which has become the Bay Area’s premier radio showcase for vocal music. Since the Human Voice program began in the same year that the very first Harmony Sweepstakes competition was held (1985), they’ve always shared a mutual admiration for one another.
Phil has always had a passion for vocal harmony, he currently sings in a men’s quartet known as ‘Amen’, as well as a 9 voice mixed ensemble named ‘Heartsong’. He has been actively involved in music & media since the mid 1960’s. He sang with The De Anza Chorale and The Vintage Singers, each under the direction of Dr. Royal Stanton. Later, he was a singer and vocal arranger on 3 album projects for Banish Misfortune, a “Renaissance-Jazz”/folk group of the 1970’s & 1980’s. In the 1990’s, Phil hosted the morning drive “Breakfast Table” under the name Wayne Phillips on KFAX radio, San Francisco. He also did voice-over work and commercial production at both KFAX and KMKY/Radio Disney, Oakland. He also worked as the in-house anthem singer and music & effects coordinator for the San Jose Giants baseball organization. Then, in 2002, he was a videographer for the San Francisco Giants. Phil has also served previously as a judge in the Harmony Sweepstakes competition.
Shiloh Hobel’s musical background as a singer, songwriter and musician inspired her to pursue a career in both the business production management and artistic sides of the industry and dedicated her passions to arts and education.
For over two decades Shiloh has earned a reputation as a respected music industry studio production manager and singer, earning numerous gold and multi-platinum awards for her business and vocal work with world-class recording studios and multi Grammy award winning record producer, Narada Michael Walden and the famed Record Plant Recording Studios. Selected clientele list includes: Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Lisa Fischer, Patti LaBelle, Barbra Streisand, Howard Hewett, Tevin Campbell, Shanice Wilson, George Benson, Journey, Heart, Starship, Rick James, Santana and Huey Lewis and the News and many others.
In 2013, Shiloh Road Productions was founded, as a full spectrum music, event production management and consulting company. Services include: Songwriting, recording, performance, production management, education, public speaking, moderating, panelist, lecturer, motivational coach and community leader. Her current original music-recording project highlights her unique vocal and songwriting style and musicianship, as well as, collaborations with highly recognized artists, producers and engineers world wide.
Shiloh takes great pride in serving music, audio, visual, entertainment and educational communities in elected leadership and mentoring roles including over a decade of service as Vice President and Board of Governors for the SF Grammy Chapter. It is extremely fulfilling to Shiloh to make a meaningful difference in the growth of our creative community through music, education, inspiration, creativity and self-expression.
Vice President - West Coast Songwriters,
Voting Member (formerly Vice President, Governor, Education & Membership Committee Co-chair) - San Francisco Grammy Chapter,
Advisory Board - Vallejo Community Arts Foundation, Audio Engineering Society - Member,
Visual Effects Society - Member
||Craig Knudsen Knudsen Productions |
In 1999, Craig Knudsen founded the talent agency, Knudsen Productions, LLC. With a focus on exceptional vocal talent, Craig quickly established Knudsen Productions as one of the most highly regarded US agencies representing a cappella groups, both national and international, working with top presenters in the performing arts market with regular bookings and tours at prestigious venues throughout the US and Canada. His agency’s current and past representation of vocal ensembles includes the 2015 GRAMMY winning choir, Conspirare; the multi Grammy Award winning British a cappella legends, the Swingle Singers; the multi Grammy nominated British early music vocal ensemble, Stile Antico; the Bay Area’s favorite women’s vocal ensemble, KITKA; the legendary BOBS! (also Grammy nominated); the 2012 Harmony Sweeps National Champions, Six Appeal; Decca recording artist, VOCES8; and, most recently, the 2014 Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions, Women of the World. Before embarking on his career as an agent, Craig served as the music director of the Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Project, and, additionally, spent 18 years as a singer / Composer / arranger with the EDLOS a cappella quartet (the 1989 Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions).
A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (vocal performance), Craig's performance credits span a wide variety of musical styles and performance mediums. As an opera and classical singer, he has performed leading roles with Pocket Opera, Mendocino Music Festival Opera, West Bay Opera, Berkeley Opera, Las Vegas Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera and the Austin Opera in Austin, TX. Craig originally came to the SF Bay Area in 1982 to join the San Francisco Mime Troupe as a sax player/music director/composer/actor, and toured extensively with the Troupe in the U.S. and Canada. Before joining the Mime Troupe, Craig was the sax player with the R&B Hall of Fame artist, the Marcia Ball Band (Austin, TX).
In the realms of vocal performance and singing instruction, Raz Kennedy has created a legacy for over 40 years that rivals the music industry’s finest. Acknowledged as “the premiere vocal coach in the Bay Area” by Narada Michael Walden (multi-platinum Grammy and Emmy winning producer and musician)his eclectic performance credits include serving as a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra and performing as a background vocalist on recordings for many legendary artists, including Whitney Houston and Al Jarreau, as well as on stage for Sting, Santana, and Mickey Hart.
His depth of knowledge and expertise has positioned Raz to instruct a diverse roster of musical luminaries, from members of Metallica, to Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind, Hilary Duff, Davey Havok of AFI, members of Los Tigres Del Norte, the late Clarence Clemons from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and many more.
In addition to his thriving private practice, Raz is an active faculty member at Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco, one of the Bay Area’s most prestigious music study institutes. Throughout his career, Raz has served as a guest instructor at SF Jazz, Jazz Camp West, Stanford Jazz, GRAMMY in the Schools, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, West Coast Songwriters, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School for the Arts, and various music education programs in Latin America and Europe.
||Michelle Weir |
Michelle Weir is one of the leading figures in vocal jazz today. She has earned international recognition through a diverse set of talents as arranger, teacher, singer and pianist.
Michele's vocal arrangements are performed by The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, M-Pact, Beachfront Property, Chanticleer, Voice Trek and her orchestral works played by the Boston Pops, the Buffalo, Cincinnati and Pacific Symphonies, and others. Michele's educational arrangements are distributed by various publishers, including her own online publishing company, MichMusic. She was Vocal Producer for the Manhattan Transfer.
Currently serving on the faculty of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Michele taught previously at USC, CSU Long Beach, and the Phil Mattson School. Highly respected as a teacher and clinician, her work has taken her to more than 22 countries around the globe.
In her role as Music Supervisor for the DreamWorks film, Prince of Egypt, she journeyed through Europe and Asia overseeing music production for the film's foreign language dubs. Her solo CD with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman is titled, "The Sound of Music." Michele is a member of S.A.G., A.F.T.R.A., A.S.C.A.P. and N.A.R.A.S.
Complete list of 2011 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
How to enter
Please send music and photos to the
regional director :