11th 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.

1995 Bay Area Champions

Boyz Nite Out

No Instruments? No Problem! Specializing in cover, pop and rockin' upbeat music, this high energy group combines all-vocal drums, guitars, and horns with smooth 5-part harmony to make you think there's an entire band on stage!

For over 14 years, Boyz Nite Out has traveled throughout the world appearing at major festivals, corporate events and private performances. The group has worked with such artists as Ray Charles, ELO, Jay Leno, Kool & the Gang and Michael MacDonald and has released 3 full length CD projects selling over 20,000 copies in the United States and Japan.

1995 Results
1st
Boyz Nite Out
Audience Favorite
Pinay Divas


1995 Participating Groups

A.K.A.
A.K.A (A Capppella for the terminally hip) consists of top vocalists from the Davis/Sacramento region of Northern California. Founding members Frank Fox (aka Dr. Doo-Wop,) Dianna Craig and Joseph Rodriguez, along with the newest spectactularly talented members Catherine LeBlanc and Chris Sanborn, tackle everything from rock, jazz, and gospel; to funk, country, and surf instrumentals. Although sticklers for detail, members have been known to break into new material in the middle of a "heavy gig" just to see if the others can "hack it." Says Fox, "…if it makes noise, we can sing it!" In real accounting life, all musicians (multi-instrumentalists) artists, poets and dancers, augmenting their incomes with the occasional accounting gig ("remember kids, always have something to fall back on!). They live by their motto… "WE DON"T NEED NO STINKING BAND!"

Members: Frank Fox, Dianna Craig, Joseph Rodriguez, Catherine LeBlanc, Chris Sanborn
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Boyz Nite Out
No Instruments? No Problem! Specializing in cover, pop and rockin' upbeat music, this high energy group combines all-vocal drums, guitars, and horns with smooth 5-part harmony to make you think there's an entire band on stage!

For over 14 years, Boyz Nite Out has traveled throughout the world appearing at major festivals, corporate events and private performances. The group has worked with such artists as Ray Charles, ELO, Jay Leno, Kool & the Gang and Michael MacDonald and has released 3 full length CD projects selling over 20,000 copies in the United States and Japan.

Listen to: People Are Strange | Listen to: Wild Wild West

Members: Mark Baldi, Tom Grifffin, Tony Ridenour, Bill Craig, Dave Menken, Ted Tolman
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Front Page
The Front Page is a mixed quartet who came down all the way from Seattle to be involved in tonight's program. The group has been together for only ten months and in that time has performed for thousands of people throughout the Northwest. Their crowds at fairs, festivals, middle and high schools, colleges, and theatres all around have enjoyed the exciting and Fun Show of The Front Page. The Group started as friends in highly respected music department of Edmunds Community College in Seattle. There, all four sang in the nationally known jazz group, Soundsation. Their music reflects on every generation, from The Coasters, Under The Boardwalk, to 94's hot group Green Day.

Members: Jeremy Anglin, Jim Castaneda, Niki Vaughan, Jake Moulton
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Mayim
For over three years, the a cappella trio Mayim has blended their intricate harmonies at parties, weddings, cafes, university and community events. One review described their "incredibly sweet harmonies, perfectly blended that kept the crowd spellbound." Audiences have been impressed with their unique sound and dynamic energy. Their style of music includes classical, sacred, jazz, contemporary and ethnic. They regularly perform at the Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz and many other invited locations throughout the Bay Area.

Members: Jemila Alldis, Ariel Thiermann, Natalie Bridgeman
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On Q
On Q is a medalist quartet in Sweet Adeline's International's Region 12 (Northern California.) All four members of On Q also harmonize with the Pacific Empire Chorus, a 125 woman Barbershop chorus based in Petaluma, which will be competing as a Region 12 Champions in the Sweet Adelines International competition this fall in New Orleans. When not singing, they manage to find time for theirs and families.

Members: Leah Brooks, Debi Thomas, Barbara Harp, Donna Spitzer
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Pinay Divas
Formed in May of 1993 by Maylene Briones, Irma de los Santos, Angelica Abiog and Jocelyn Enriquez with the original intent of performing for a U.C. Berkeley campus organization, the four vocalists realized their music was an essential part of their lives, and they decided they would continue to sing together…as the Pinay Divas. Now, Maylene, Irma, Angelica and the newest member, Loredie Reyes are ther Pinay Divas. With their message of peace and cultural pride, the Pinay Divas will use their artistic talent to gain visibility for talented Asian musicians and give voice to Filipina women. Because of the important role education and community service has played in their lives, they hope to serve as positive models for youth.

Members: Angelica Abiog, Maylene Briones, Irma de los Santos, Loredie Reyes
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Screaming Divas
"The Screaming Divas totally blew me away…I hooted and applauded and pumped my fist in the air…" was Jon Carroll's response to the Screaming Divas' 1994 Harmony Sweepstakes performance (San Francisco Chronicle 2/23/94.) It's been quite a year since then: debuting at the Paradise Lounge and the Fillmore, singing for Dianne Feinstein and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and winning a SF Weekly Whammie award in the Beyond Category. These gals redefine a cappella with a Harmony Sweepstakes award for the best original arrangement of Ravel's "Bolero."

Members: Mary Ann Boyd, Danielle Nice, Pamela Nissley, Lilli Oldfield, Tina Osinski
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Vocal Underground
"A cappellafunksoulrockingospeljazz" is the only word that describes the VU, short of "amazing". Since 1992 this 6 person vocal ensemble has seamlessly blended their individual voices to create the unique sounds that set them apart from all other vocal groups. The diversity of the singers is immediately apparent just by looking over their song list. It features contemporary tunes and familiar favorites with a new twist. By the end of each set, you have been taken on a musical journey. Members include: Paul Culala, Brady Fishler, Sally Jackels, Andrew Smith, Amy Williams, Marcia VanDerVinne.

Members: Paul Culala, Brady Fishler, Sally Jackels, Andrew Smith, Amy Williams, Marcia VanDerVinne
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1995 Judges

Sandy Cressman   

Professional singer, instructor, composer and arranger Sandy Cressman began her professional career with the acclaimed vocal trio "Pastiche", who won the Harmony Sweepstakes back in 1987. After recording and touring with Pastiche, Sandy branched out, following her love for Latin music, and forming a new group, "Homenagem Brasileira", who have been performing in major festivals and venues since 1997. She will release her second Homenagem Brasileira CD on August 1 of this year. As a session singer, Sandy has recorded with such diverse artists as Eddie Money, Jonathan Cain (Journey), Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo and Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra. Sandy is a Governor of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy, and teaches private lessons and classes at Cressman Studios, Blue Bear School, and the Music Center of San Francisco.

Phil Debar   

A Barbershop Harmony Society contest judge, chorus director and itinerant baritone, Phil hosted local acappella radio shows on KRCB Santa Rosa ('95-'03) and KKUP Cupertino ('85-'04); and was co-founder (with Deke Sharon and Buddy Saleman) and host of CASA's "A Cappella Radio International" from 1996-2002. He also hosted the week-long video-webcasts of the barbershop international championships (2000-05). Phil started in a cappella with the Stanford Mendicants ('78), subbed in Chanticleer in '84, earned 3 Down Beat jazz "dee-bee" awards in the Foothill College Fanfairs ('86-8), and has sung in four Northern California champion barbershop quartets.

Jerry Friedman   

Jerry Friedman is a leading Bay Area reviewer who has been the entertainment critic for the market leader KGO radio for twenty years. He is president of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle and president of the Palace Of Fine Arts League. He has produced shows for Harrah's in Lake Tahoe and Reno and has been a comedy writer for years.

Laura Moody   

Known on air as "Laura in the Livingroom", Laura is a veteran of Bay Area radio. She has had a show for 20 years on UC Berkeley's KALX (90.7 FM) Radio, one of the nation's most influential college radio stations, where she did an extended stint as music director. Laura has a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science specializing in Music Librarianship. As an undergraduate, Laura studied voice and percussion at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Il. An avid music lover with a seasoned and critical ear, Laura enjoys all types of music from Ayler to Zappa.

Ralph Pavone   

For the past eleven years, Ralph has been Artist Representative. He currently represents composers Gordon Getty, vocalist Weslia Whitfield, the hit musical revue Party of One and, those bad boys of a cappella--The Edlos.

Complete list of 1995 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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