1987 Participating Groups
Over the years, jazz has seen its share of talented vocal groups --New York Voices, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Andy Bey & the Bey Sisters, and Beachfront Property are among the names that immediately come to mind. All of those groups had two-gender formats, and rarely do you find a jazz-oriented vocal outfit with an all-female lineup; Pastiche is such a rarity. Consisting of singers Jenny Meltzer, Sandy Cressman, and Becky West, the female trio brings a jazz foundation to this self-titled debut album. But having a jazz foundation doesn't necessarily mean being a jazz purist or a jazz snob, and Pastiche is an appropriate name for the Bay Area threesome because Meltzer, Cressman, and West obviously have a variety of influences -- not only jazz vocal outfits like Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and New York Voices, but also everything from soul and pop to Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and Caribbean music. Stevie Wonder has influenced some of the writing, and so has the Manhattan Transfer.
Members: Sandy Cressman, Becky West, Jenny Meltzer
Finess'e is a SF based group formed in November of 1985. Since then they've been delighting audiences statewide in such clubs as the Sweetwater, New George's, Offpaza, Waterloo and Rathskellar's in Las Vegas. Their range of music is unlimited (R&B, gospel, jazz and classical) which makes them available for any and all occasions. Special award winners in Harmony Sweeps '87, they have recorded in Las Vegas and worked with Maxine Howard.
Members: Jimmy "Jam" Smith, Greg McDowell, Bill Hopkins, Don Dorsey, Jerry Rubin
| Touche |
... a marvelous, musical group formed to relieve back and neck tension, promote world peace, and serve as a touchstone for all Druids of the world.
Members: Ray Green, Laurie Jones, Daria Mautner, Catheryn Zaro
| Rockapella |
Rockappella is an offshoot of the Marin County Rock & Roll Choir. Rockappellas can be spotted at boulevard stops intently tuned to their tapedecks, singing loudly, with the windows rolled up. Singing together, while a sideline for most of us, is a high priority balance to busy family and professional lives.
Members: Susan Ellis, Andrew Gootnick, Karen Harvey, Gail Howe, Curt Olsen, Robin Poppers, Sara Siegel, Phyllis Van Kranenburgh
| Baby Boomers|
Kept together by a common love of Food, Money, and Sex, the Baby Boomers return to the Harmony Sweepstakes. Be sure to see the movie version of their meteoric ries to fame, starring Diane Keaton, at a theatre near you. Prepare to meat your “BOOM-BOOM.”
Members: Donna Turner, Bill Hopkins, Bill Bramblett, Maggie Catfish
The Brethren are four young singers, all under the ages of 18, who are a popular attraction at Northern California Junior Miss Pageants. they have been together for two years and are coached by Cheryl Hart, who is also their manager and their Mom (they eat all her food!) The Bretheren have performed for debutante and “Sweet 16” parties, political education rallies, and church groups and opened for the New Osmonds at the Kaiser Auditorium. Their biggest gig was singing before 15,000 people at the San Ramon Fourth Of July Festival. They have to perform early in the program this evening because it’s Homecoming Night and their dates are waiting!
Members: Ben Barlow, Peter Brown, Brian Toone, Justin Hart
|The Five Options|
In 1939, the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America was formed and today has chapters all over the U.S and Canada, and over 40,000 members. There are two women’s Barbershop Societies in the U.S and both men’s and women’s societies in great Britain and Sweden. They’ve only been together since January 1987, but share approximately 30 years of Barbershop Harmony experience between them.
Members: Charles Feltman, Rob Gorlin, Ron Losk, Al Zemsky
| Five Spots|
The Five Spots are all current or former members of the Oakland youth chorus, and have been active in Bay Area musical theater. together as a group since February 1987, they have toured the Greater East Bay and Jamaica. The group is hoping to create a “Spot” for their completely unique but traditional style.
Members: Matthew Twain, Brian S. Dyer, Matthew Callahan, Jeffery Phillips, Paul Mackey
FOUR was formed in the Spring of 1987 and has since been performing throughout the Bay Area. FOUR prides itself on the diversity of its music and the flexibility of its singers. All recent graduates of U.C. Berkeley, These “FOUR” singers aspire to be full-time professional entertainers (or at least to be the center of attention at any party!).
Members: Anne Stone, Wayne Dixon, L. Malathy Krishnamurthy, Jacques Pryor
||Stan Kraczek |
Since joining the faculty of the College of Marin in 1972, with an M.A. in Theory from BYU and a Ph.D in Composistion from the University of Utah, Mr Kraczek has taught classes in theory, ear training, music appreciation, masterworks, and piano. He has directed the 120 voice Collegfe of Maron Community Chorus in many of the major works for chorus and orchestra. In addition he served as music department chairman for over nine years before coming Dean of Arts and Humanity.
Melissa Phillipe teaches voice lessons, harmony classes and background vocals. She headed the vocal faculty at On Stage Music and has expertise in developing a student's confidence and self-expression. Melissa also brings 14 years of experience as a vocal arranger, lead and back-up singer, and was a member of the Teddies, winners of the 85 and 86 Harmony Sweepstakes.
||Larry Vargo |
Larry Vargo is the founder and director of the Mayflower Community Chorus and the Unitarian Fellowship Choir. He is the award-winning composer of the light opera “Ark Row”. From 1958 to 1970 he performed extensively throughout America with the vocal groups The Town Criers, The Ackridge Singers, and the Saints III.
Complete list of 1987 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 :
John Neal (Bay Area)
Beginning as a local event the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, under Neal’s guidance, has grown to become the most significant live showcase for a cappella music in the nation and attracts hundreds of groups and thousands of audience members every year. The Harmony Sweepstakes was the original inspiration for the NBC prime time series The Sing-Off and Neal was hired as a consultant to the series. Neal is president of Primarily A Cappella - (www.singers.com) which is the nation’s leading vendor of a cappella music including recordings, arrangements, DVDs, songbooks and instructional material for singers. Neal writes the informative blog at www.acappellanews.com which has a large and loyal readership.
PO Box D, San Anselmo, CA 94979
festival (at) harmony-sweepstakes.com