6th 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.

1990 Bay Area Champions

About Face

About Face is the a cappella version of the pop/funk band of the same name that has recently been headlining at New George's in San Rafael among other bay area venues. In 1989 the group won first place in the first annual "Good Morning Bay Area" talent contest on KGO channel 7 as "The Bachelors", and have been charming audiences ever since with their innovative, energetic style. They won “Best Original Arrangement” in 1990.

1990 Results
1st
About Face


1990 Participating Groups

About Face
About Face is the a cappella version of the pop/funk band of the same name that has recently been headlining at New George's in San Rafael among other bay area venues. In 1989 the group won first place in the first annual "Good Morning Bay Area" talent contest on KGO channel 7 as "The Bachelors", and have been charming audiences ever since with their innovative, energetic style. They won “Best Original Arrangement” in 1990.

Members: Stan Johnson, Laurie Jones, Murray Orrick, Mat Silverman
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Celtic Elvis
A satiric quartet working in the acoustic-rock genre, Celtic Elvis describes themselves as “the party band for people who think too much” and “Paul and Mary meet the Talking Heads”. Celtic sort of refers to the folk roots and harmony, and Elvis refers to the rock, the beat, the energy. The band has performed at clubs, concerts, festivals, TV and radio in Canada, Colorado, and New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland, Texas and all over California.

Members: Jim Ocean, Mary Straw, Randy Anger, Rich Wescott
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Fat Chance


Members: Gina DeLuca, Kyla Kent, Kevin Quinn, Ken Groves, Carl Gabrielson, Fritz Stewart
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The Five Spots
The Five Spots started singing together in 1986 and since have been enjoying wonderful singing opportunities around the bay area.

Members: Matt Callahan, Brian Dyer, Jeffrey Phillips, Paul Mackey, Bill Boyd
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Full House
Graduates of St. Xavier's Orphanage Choir in Sacramento, these five cards all grew up in various places together in different times and they all learned how to sing thanks to Father De Wop, God rest his soul.

Members: Heidi Bekebrede, Bill Cavins, Robert Davis, Frank Fox, Antoinette Zachem
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The Genuine Diamelles
Having lurked about in the trenches of SF's rock club scene for most of their lives, the members of The Genuine Diamelles found themselves at first rehearsal belting out a gospel number a cappella. Thus the premise was set for a wacky vocal format that has since expanded to include an acoustic guitar here, a baritone there, DO-DA, DO-DA. The Genuine Diamelles have proven that they can take their eclectic, offbeat, sometimes risqué repertoire into any venue, from the Fillmore to the Marriott, and points beyond.

Members: Scott Young, Junglebook, Debora Tennerino, Dave "Smelley" Kelley
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The Harmonic Convergents
Over the years, the Convergents have found some pretty random ways to amuse their audiences. Pies in the face, puppet shows, songs on helium, pet crabs, special guests, bad jokes and goofy skits have all contributed to the Convergents’ distinctive style and armadillo-like grace. They have been heard as far off as Germany and Japan, and have toured and performed at exciting and varied locations throughout the US including Disneyland, Bel Air, San Francisco, Sun Valley, Idaho and in the parking lot at a Janet Jackson concert.

Members: Michael Oliver, Tod Pucket, Tim Griffin, Keith Barlow, Lance Halensteir
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Phyl n the Blanks
Six women from the rural Lost Coast of California who have been friends and neighbors for 15 years. They began singing together in 1987 to express their political and environmental concerns.

Members: Becka Sheranian, Dawn Champie, Sheila Hahn, Stephanie Lusak, Sandy Tilles, Nadine Capdelaine
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The Renovations
The Renovations started as an all-male group bent on singing doo-wop. But the original members quickly (after the first rehearsal) amended the group’s bylaws in order to admit singing of all genders.

Members: Lauren Alexander, Daniel Chaddock, Catherine LeBlank, Tim Lukaszewski, Michael Owrn, Chris Sanborn
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Tu Tone Shoes
Tu Tone Shoes (n) too ton shooz, from Latin word tonus or Greek work Rama Lama Ding Dong-A small herd composed of five individuals singing a cappella, known to roam the Sacramento Valley. Herds of Tu Tone Shoes seen as early as 1950. Modern day herds keep roots in traditional streetcorner doo-wop.

Members: Christine Martin, David Mendenhall, Cal Toca, Jim Thornburg, Laura Flowers Lothian
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1990 Judges

Annie Ashe   

Annie Ashe comes to the bay from Boston. In-between working on a novel and attending to the needs of Mags, her cat, she holds down the evening shift at "The Tide" KTID Radio, 100.9FM.

Dick Bright   

Dick Bright has been active in the SF music scene for 15 years. Former band leader at the Venetians Room, Maestro Dick Bright was also host and band leader of the Bay Area Music Awards (BAMMIES) He is the leader of the Dick Bright Orchestra, as well as the host of TV's 20's cartoon classics.

Jesse Hamlin   

Jesse Hamlin is an award-winning music writer and a respected veteran reporter of the the San Francisco entertainment scene. Hamlin has a regular column in the San Francisco Chronicle where he has worked as senior jazz critic and arts reporter for many years. He also contributes regularly to SF Arts magazine and to San Francisco Classical Voice, where he writes about jazz, Latin and classical music. His work has appeared in the New York Times, California magazine and in many other print and online publications.

Melissa Philipe   

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.

Complete list of 1990 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 :

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
415-455-8602
festival (at) harmony-sweepstakes.com


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