31st Annual

National Finals | Schedule | Recordings | National Champions | Rules | How to enter | About us

Events | Groups | Judges | Directors | 2015 National Finals Publicity Photos

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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.

2015 Pacific Northwest Champions

Straighter Road

Singing is one of the purest art forms. Nothing man made between the artist and the audience. Straighter Road was formed as a Gospel vocal group first, with a band back-up, and recently has ventured down the Acapella Road. The challenge of acapella sing is without edges and joined with the charge of spreading the Good News of the Gospel, keeps Straighter Road striving for excellence.

2015 Results

Straighter Road
Bodacious Ladyhood
Audience Favorite
Best Original Arrangement
“Shake It Off” by 20/20
Set List

2015 Participating Groups


20/20 is a group of wildly attractive young men from Ellensburg, WA. They've set their sights on the Sweepstakes and they aim to entertain. These gentlemen have opened their eyes to the majesty of a cappella music, and hope to share their serenades with the sightly members of the audience. Let them show you a few things about love as they leave it all on the floor tonight.

Members: Theo Olson, Ben Rice, Isaiah Ragland, Jacob Cecil, Matt Mayrhofer

Bodacious Ladyhood

Bodacious Ladyhood is a Seattle-based trio of women who have been singing together since 2002. Carolyn, Loretta and Jenny are excited to be back for their fourth time at Sweeps, having placed in the top three in their prior three appearances! They have opened for The Baudboys and have performed at Chateau Ste. Michelle (and on live, national radio) as guests on "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." They have been called "distinctive", "vibrant-voiced", and "show-stopping." Bodacious Ladyhood is three parts harmony, one part comedy and a whole lot of fun.

Members: Carolyn Hastings, Loretta Deranleau Howard, Jenny Buehler

High Altotude

High Altotude is a female a cappella group made up of seven members from Cleveland High School. The group was founded in 2010 by a few girls in the choir department at Cleveland who felt there needed to be a female counterpart to the male a cappella group, Cloud Nine, made up of nine young men from different high schools around Portland. High Altotude’s original director gave the position up at the end of last year to our current director, Aranda Furth, who has been a joy to have as a leader. High Altotude performs around Portland at various locations such as Providence Child Center, The Pittock Mansion, and Portland State University.

Members: Molly Carpenter, Lillian Sweeney, Lilley Carroll, Laura Young, Maiya Coleman, Rain Pollock, Aiden Lester Ingram,

Peppermint Twist

Peppermint Twist Quartet is a women’s barbershop quartet with a refreshing sound. We are part of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization for female singers. We truly love to perform and sharing our love of music with many audiences. We are fun, sassy and a little bit unexpected. We are the best of friends and believe that comes through in our music!

Members: Robin Osborn, Debra Aungst, Shelly Bristow, Angie Whitten

Straighter Road

Singing is one of the purest art forms. Nothing man made between the artist and the audience. Straighter Road was formed as a Gospel vocal group first, with a band back-up, and recently has ventured down the Acapella Road. The challenge of acapella sing is without edges and joined with the charge of spreading the Good News of the Gospel, keeps Straighter Road striving for excellence.

Members: Diane Trandum, Lynn Knight, Jerry Leith, Chris Nelson, Aliya Kunz, Mary Kunz, Kevin Kunz

Your Emcee for the Evening

Smilin Jay

A radio announcer for over 40 years, Smilin Jay is a weekend host on Live 95 in Centralia, Washington. He and his “Hunny-Bunny” Mariann live on Tumwater Hill in a wholly automated home run by a computer named D.O.R.I.S. (Domestic Operations, Resources and Information System.) A former school band, orchestra and choir member, Smilin Jay has a deep affection for a cappella music and is honored to return as emcee for this evening’s Pacific Northwest Regional Harmony Sweepstakes.

2015 Judges

Mark Anton   

Mark Anton is vocal instructor and clinician as well as a professional singer, entertainer and producer. He has performed at many live, recorded and televised events with some of the top singers in the show business industry such as The Norman Luboff choir, The Roger Wagner Chorale, George Burns, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett and Barry Manilow, Diana Krall and Linda Ronstadt. Mr. Anton has vocal studios in Burbank and Pasadena, California and Olympia, Washington.

Jill Barnes   

Jill Barnes is the Executive Director of the Washington Center. She has previously worked in Idaho Falls at the Willard Arts Center/Colonial Theater, John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City, UT. Jill grew up attending and participating in chorus, band, theater, and musicals. She studied vocal performance at the University of Utah and holds a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from Boston University. She moved to Olympia in June with her husband Nathan and 3 curly-haired children. She is an enthusiastic consumer of the arts and is thrilled to be a part of Harmony Sweepstakes.

Kelley Johnson   

Kelley Johnson has headlined in NYC at Birdland, Jazz Standard, Tanglewood and Dizzy's Coca-Cola. Wynton Marsalis chose Kelley as one of only three jazz singers to tour with her trio in the six years that Lincoln Center curated the US State Department sponsorship of artists abroad. Johnson won first place in the International Jazzconnect Jazz Vocal Competition and Jazz Education Journal listed '"Live at Birdland" in the top ten vocal CD's of the year. Kelley reaches her audience with storytelling, subtlety, soulfulness and swing.

Ms. Johnson is a sought after vocal coach, jazz clinician and and mentor to young talent. Her past teaching credentials have included Cornish College of the Arts as a faculty member and past director of the Children’s Jazz Choir at the Seattle Metropolitan Urban League. Besides having a jazz performing career, Kelley is on faculty at MusicWorks Northwest in Bellevue and Shoreline Community College. Kelley is based in Seattle and is currently taking students for her popular jazz singing workshops and private lessons. She can be reached at Kelley@kelleyjohnson.com where you can also join her mailing list or check her web calendar for upcoming performances.

Judy Pozsgay   

Judy Pozsgay is a professional vocal and visual performance coach and choreographer based in Seattle, WA. She travels the world to work with a cappella ensembles and choruses, and her innovative choreography and visual plans have been showcased at multiple international competitions. As a member of Sweet Adelines International, Judy serves on their International Faculty and is also a Showmanship Judge. For 15 years, Judy was the Choreographer and Assistant Director of the International award-wining Lions Gate Chorus (Vancouver, BC, Canada). Not being one to simply create and teach, she is also an 11-time SAI Top 10 International Quartet finalist, and currently sings with the 5th Place International Quartet, Frenzy.

Jen Ryle   

Jen Ryle is Olympia Family Theater's co-founder and Artistic Director. She completed her BA at The Evergreen State College in June of 2006, focusing her studies on expressive arts, business and education with the goal in mind of creating a children’s theater here in Olympia. Formerly, she worked for Creative Theatre Experience (CTE) and for 5 years, she was a community specialist at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) teaching classes on everything from music to creative dramatics, puppetry and crafts. In June of 2013, Jen completed a certificate program- “Directing for the Stage and Screen” at the University of Washington. For OFT Jen has directed; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Giver, Rapunzel, The BFG, Winnie the Pooh, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Go, Dog. Go!, and Lyle the Crocodile and three of OFT’s all youth productions including; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth. Jen is living her dream, watching OFT as it grows and flourishes.

Complete list of 2015 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 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 :

Gary Witley (Pacific Northwest) The Pacific Northwest Regional Festival is sponsored and produced by Masterworks Choral Ensemble (MCE). Gary Witley is the Artistic Director & Conductor of MCE. MCE is a Southwestern Washington community chorus dedicated to performance, community service, music education and leadership in the arts. Our mission is to perform sacred and secular choral, orchestral and newly commissioned works; to participate in community service activities and to provide a leadership role in developing, sponsoring and broadening the vocal arts.

PO Box 1091, Olympia, WA 98501-1090
info (at) mce.org

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The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, South Puget Sound's largest performing arts facility, is committed to providing a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities for the residents of five counties. Located in the heart of Washington State's capital city, The Center has become a community gathering place, providing a focus for the performing arts unique to the region. Directions -Yelp reviews -

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