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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.

1997 Bay Area Champions

SoVoSo

SoVoSo is a highly imaginative a cappella ensemble that sings a unique, rhythmic mix of jazz, gospel, world and R&B music, all rendered in their trademark improvisational style.

The SoVoSo repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective, from Afro-Latin idioms to traditional funk and jazz arrangements. Two SoVoSo members (Joey Blake, past member, and current member David Worm) are current members of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella group, Voicestra, performing with him from 1993 to present.Currently you will see David Worm, Sunshine Becker, Bryan Dyer and Zoe Ellis in this vocal band line-up, along with other great singers such as Nicolas Bearde, Ashling Cole and Vernon Bush. The SoVoSo family of singers continues to expand as this one of a kind musical project grows and flourishes.

1997 Results
1st
SoVoSo
2nd
+4db
3rd
Sweet Deliverance
Audience Favorite
+4db


1997 Participating Groups

+4db
+4db is an a cappella quintet who's sound is as diverse as it is smooth. With a repertoire that ranges from jazz standards to contemporary pop, +4db straight-up swings and surprises. Formed in 1996, this award-winning ensemble makes its home in the San Francisco Bay Area. 1998 saw them champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes San Francisco Regionals, where they also earned Best Arrangement for the second year in a row. Their local success harbingered national accolades, with their memorable sound securing Second Place and Best Arrangement at the 1998 Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals. Judges aren't the only ones who dig the delicious harmony of these five voices. +4db has also won Audience Favorite each time they've participated in Harmony Sweepstakes regional and national competitions. +4db released their eponymous debut CD to much fanfare just this January.

Members: Paul Cingolani, David Duran, Juliet Green, Jay Jordana
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9th Cabaret
9th Cabaret is an a cappella quartet featuring Glenn Myles and his three daughters, Michelle Myles Queen, Simone Myles Young and La Reva Miles. They sing nostalgic music of the 20s, 30s and 40s as well as original songs.

Members: Glenn Myles, Michelle Myles, La Reva Myles Ratoosh, Simone Myles Young
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All Family Boys
Sacramento-based group made up of 4 brothers, "Noah"-"King"-"G"-"J.T." originating from the South Pacific Islands of Samoa. Known as the "Big Boys of A Cappella" or more appropriate "Two Tons of Fun", audiences everywhere are taken back not only by their soft harmonic sounds, but also by their physical appearance as each member weighs over 300 pounds. They love to hang around the 50's, 60's, 70's/Motown/Gospel, which can be heard on the release of their 1st tape "Looking Back".

Members:
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Apex
Apex is a young, exciting sextet from the Bay Area. With their energetic and animated stage presence and diverse selection of pop, rock and R&B tunes, they are captivating audiences everywhere. They create a fun mix of popular cover tunes with the unique addition of Filipino ballads to create a cross-cultural treat, sure to delight any audience.

Members: Leo Chan, Anthony-Chris Lorenzo, Errol Viral, Lawrence de Guzman, Andrew Gapuz, Audrey
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Mary Schmary

Mary Schmary are like a group of irrepressible friends: they are zany, infectious, and full of energy, and sometimes they drive you up the wall.

Hidden Agenda Items is an album that puns twill and tuille, sings about Babar the Elephant and parodies Peter, Paul and Mary by singing If I Had a Hamster. It combines moments of sweet music and true originality (Bug Girl) with an overdose of vocal takes, laughing-in-the-studio tracks and almost funny riffs. I bet they were funny if you were there, or part of a good-natured, drunken late-night collective. But before midnight, sober listeners end up missing out.



Members: Cynsa Bonorris, Myriam Casimir, Marie DesJardins, Michelle Long
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On Q
Entertaining the Bay Area since 1992, On Q sings all kinds of popular music arranged in the barbershop style. As musical leaders of Petaluma's 125-member Pacific Empire Chorus, Sweet Adeline's Debi Thomas (tenor), Leah Brooks (lead), Donna Spitzer (baritone) and Barbara Harp (bass) enjoy the thrill of ringing chords many nights per week!

Members: Debi Thomas, Leah Brooks, Donna Spitzer, Barbara Harp
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Ro Sham Bo
Ro Sham Bo is named after a popular hand game often used as a selection method in a similar way to coin flipping or drawing straws to select a person for some purpose. When Ro Sham Bo tours in Japan or Brazil, we're called Jan-Ken-Pon, but Philippinos call us Jack-n-Poy because they're cool. In England we're called Scissors-Paper-Stone because there's no Rockhenge, silly. In South Africa, the mildly offensive Ching-Chong-Cha. In Latvia we're called Akmens, skeres, papirits because of the catchy rhyme, "Akmens, skeres, papirits, viens, divi, tris." Caligula called us Saxum-Charta-Forfex, but in those days forfex beat everything because of the excitement over the newly invented scissors. Biologist Barry Sinervo from UC Santa Cruz discovered the Ro Sham Bo evolutionary strategy in the mating behavior of the side-blotched-lizard species Uta stansburiana. When we're not drinking during rehearsal, mating or playing Ro Sham Bo, we sing nicely.

Members: Anna Prozinski, Audrey Kauffman, Arinoe Bacogiannis, Will Flash, Tim Lukaszewski, Paul Kim
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SoVoSo
SoVoSo is a highly imaginative a cappella ensemble that sings a unique, rhythmic mix of jazz, gospel, world and R&B music, all rendered in their trademark improvisational style.

The SoVoSo repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective, from Afro-Latin idioms to traditional funk and jazz arrangements. Two SoVoSo members (Joey Blake, past member, and current member David Worm) are current members of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella group, Voicestra, performing with him from 1993 to present.Currently you will see David Worm, Sunshine Becker, Bryan Dyer and Zoe Ellis in this vocal band line-up, along with other great singers such as Nicolas Bearde, Ashling Cole and Vernon Bush. The SoVoSo family of singers continues to expand as this one of a kind musical project grows and flourishes.

Listen to: Say | Listen to: Say A Prayer

Members: Sunshine Garcia, Dave Worm, Joey Blake, Rhiannon, Nic Beard, Melanie
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Sweet Deliverance
Sweet Deliverance has been singing Christian a cappella for over 30 years. Members have changed over the years but the tradition of tight harmonies and praise to our Lord has not. This semi-professional group is based in the San Francisco bay area and tours primarily in California. Originally, Sweet Deliverance began in 1976 at Oklahoma Christian by 4 young men, one of whom was Kevin Allsup. Kevin, the group's originator, grew up in Manteca, California, where they became based.

Their newest member is David's younger brother, Stephen Morgan. Both David and Stephen have an extensive singing background, as they have been singing a cappella music in their own family group for many years. Now, with six men and a new recording, they are lifting their voices for God's glory, in full force. Looking back, it is obvious that God has seen them through good times and bad, and they know that it is He who has given them the voices to praise Him. They continue to offer Him their lives, their songs, and their voices for the encouragement and the uplifting of Christ's church.

Members: Bob Allsup, Kevin Percival, Gary Ferguson, Russ Wooten
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True Spirits
True Spirits is a modern-day, highly uplifting gospel singing group, that is based in the greater Oakland area. A vision was sent from heaven and the group came together in March 1996. God divinely selected each member for this ministry and each is devoted to His service. We are confident that prayer is the key, out faith in God shall lead us and sustain us through all our endeavors. Our mission is to glorify God through song and praise.

Members:
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Complete list of 1997 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 Nealís 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 nationís 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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The Palace of Fine Arts was built as part of The Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, an event dedicated to progress, the celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal, and the rebirth of San Francisco following the disastrous 1906 earthquake. The only remaining building from the Exposition the Palace slowly crumbled from the ravages of the weather and ill-use. Finally, after World War 2, the structure had to be fenced off as it was a public hazard. Then, in the late 1950's, a group of dedicated citizens, led by philanthropist Walter S. Johnson, initiated a drive to rescue the Palace from planned demolition and restored it to its former glory. Directions - Yelp reviews - Photos


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