19th Annual

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

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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.

2003 Bay Area Champions

Moosebutter

Moosebutter is a four-man comedy a cappella group. They have won awards from the Contemporary A Cappella Society(Best Comedy Song, 2004), The Harmony Sweepstakes (2003 International Finals runners-up), had their music included on compilation albums (Doctor Demento Basement Tapes 2005, Sing II 2005) and played live shows in front of audiences around the United States. Their tight harmony and eclectic humor have charmed audiences through two albums and countless live performances.

To handle all the performance requests they receive, moosebutter has several casts of performers. They perform with three, four, or five singers, depending on the show, and have done just about every kind of show you can imagine (Punk rock show? Check. National television? Check. Wedding reception? Check.).

2003 Results
1st
Moosebutter
2nd
Copper Wimmin
3rd
Irrationals
Audience Favorite
Moosebutter
Best Original Arrangement
"Star Wars"
Best Original Song
"Show Me The ~Way" - Eric Farmer


2003 Participating Groups

Copper Wimmin
Copper Wimmin are three obstreperous young women who set audiences on fire with their brilliant lyrics, haunting voices and fierce harmonies. They create a sacred hurricane of sound which leaves their audiences spellbound and often, in tears. Creating a buzz wherever they go, these vocal amazons have been singing together since they were twelve years old. They have evolved a sound so moving, so pure, that upon hearing them many recall a collective memory in which women sang together in caves and cathedrals before time began.

Copper Wimmin are a sonic epiphany. They weave their voices together so expertly that it is hard to know where one voice ends and the other begins. The combined impact of the arrangements, lyrical content and outrageous stage presence is that of a sublime sledgehammer effortlessly crashing through the door that separates the soulless from the sacred. Also appearing on the Bay Area Regionals stage in 1999, they were also finalists in the Lilith Fair talent search.

Members: Alyx Benham, Sophia Mallie, Tenaya Wallach
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Solstice
Founded in 1996, Solstice is a female vocal ensemble specializing in music written by women or for women's voices. Our music spans many different genres with an emphasis on world, classical, pop, and jazz. We are also committed to performing new works for women's voices and regularly compose, commission, and arrange new songs.

Solstice has performed in many Bay Area venues including Freight and Salvage, La Pena, the San Francisco Community Music Center, Music on the Hill, the Berkeley Arts Center, Trinity Chamber Music series, and Villa Montalvo. Solstice has also performed on KALW's Folk Music and Beyond On-Air Folk Festival. Solstice was a featured performer at the 2001 West Coast A Cappella Summit along with nationally known groups such as the Bobs and M-pact. At the 2007 San Francisco Regional Harmony Sweepstakes, Solstice was awarded 1st Place and Becca Burrington's arrangement of Joni Mitchell's "Blue" won Best Original Arrangement. Solstice ranked 3rd at the 2007 Harmony Sweepstakes National Competition.

Members: Becca Burrington, Krista Enos, Sheryl Kaskowitz, Joanna Silver, Kim Warsaw
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Irrationals
Intimate, witty and intelligent songsters, the award-winning Irrationals, are an a cappella ensemble acclaimed for their rich, complex vocal style. The delicious blending of their voices has been described as "cafe mocha for the ears." Singing together for almost twelve years, this six-member, Berkeley-based group is praised for its harmonic excellence and diverse repertoire. The Irrationals often perform songs about the unpredictable. They are dazzled by the irrationality of love, awed by the intuitive nature of life and intrigued by things that don't make sense.

The Irrationals' sound has an African American foundation that is used to explore pop, R&B, jazz, folk and rock. A core blend of three soulful women enhanced by bass, tenor and percussive vocal elements creates an exquisitely layered melodic mix. Whether it's Stevie Wonder with a rap twist, Annie Lennox, Talking Heads, the Neville Brothers or a romantic folk song, the Irrationals are playful, distinctive and sometimes irreverent.

Members: Renee Hayes, Tim Lukaszewski, Gwen McElwee, Sam Rogers, Eric Farmer, Linda Sanderson
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Moosebutter
Moosebutter is a four-man comedy a cappella group. They have won awards from the Contemporary A Cappella Society(Best Comedy Song, 2004), The Harmony Sweepstakes (2003 International Finals runners-up), had their music included on compilation albums (Doctor Demento Basement Tapes 2005, Sing II 2005) and played live shows in front of audiences around the United States. Their tight harmony and eclectic humor have charmed audiences through two albums and countless live performances.

To handle all the performance requests they receive, moosebutter has several casts of performers. They perform with three, four, or five singers, depending on the show, and have done just about every kind of show you can imagine (Punk rock show? Check. National television? Check. Wedding reception? Check.).

Listen to: Psycho: The Musical | Listen to: Star Wars

Members: Tim Y. Jones, Glen Sawyer, Weston Wride, Chris Harris
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Bohica
In the beginning of human existence, there was no music. Stories were created, told, and forgotten. BOHICA looked down from their lofty perch in the heavens and were greatly troubled. Ignoring the protestations of the other gods, BOHICA reached to the earth and created music. The other gods were angry, and punished BOHICA, stripping the four-in-one of their divinity and forcing them to walk the earth as mortals.

Members: Chris Ferejohn, Elena Krasnovsky, Ian Bell, Sara LaBatt
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Evolution
Evolution is four talented and ambitious young men who found each other through their passion for song and determination to carry out their vision of global unity through music. Guy, Will, Tone and John are vocalists who have formed a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural group united by their similarities and strengthened by their diversity. Founded three years ago, Evolution has always incorporated songwriting , arranging and producing to their established repertoire of intricate harmonies and soulful interpretation. Individually, they represent a microcosm of today¹s world; collectively, they represent the future and all its possibilities; vocally, they capture the human experience.

Members: John “JB” Boyd, Anthony “Tone” Cherry, Will Nada, Guy Baruch
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One of Each
Four microphones. Three men (Two Balding). One woman (Not balding). One of Each, formed in July 2002, has been performing in coffee shops and bus shelters, spitting on and occasionally entertaining audiences around the Bay Area. Originally born Oswald Giraffe, One of Each cocooned, pupated, and emerged a terrifying creature of tremendous power and girth...emerged a force for truth and justice...emerged blinking in the harsh stage lights. Dubbed “pretty good” by a nameless, drunk local critic, One Of Each seems poised to take on the a cappella world.

Members: Scott Adler, David Bender, Lisa Gallien, David Taylor
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Tune-ami
This group is a newly formed vocal band all the way from Reno, Nevada. They have 5 talented singers from various musical backgrounds. Though their tastes differ, they've immersed themselves in 50's & 60's Doo-Wop with a splash of contemporary style. After drowning in an ocean of unacceptable names. they caught the wave that is......Tune-ami. A tidal wave of vocal harmony!

Members: Dave Margolis, Mikki Madison, Joseph Gonda, Jamie Arrington, B.J. Hill
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2003 Judges

Peter Albin   

As a principal member of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company, Peter achieved rock icon status. Not only the group's bassist, he also played guitar and sang lead vocals on the band's first record with Janis Joplin, and wrote several of their songs. Subsequent to that auspicious success he played with Country Joe and the Fish, and well as Bay Area supergroup the Dinosaurs. In recent years, while Big Brother continue to tour and perform, Peter began working behind the scenes in the music business. Currently he works for City Hall Records, the nation’s largest independent music distributor and is active in the San Francisco Chapter of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences).

Shaira Cion   

Executive Director and singer with the vocal ensemble Kitka are too many to list here. She was the winner of the 1982 National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts Grant, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Weslayan with a degree in Ethnomusicology, and earned an Advanced Certificate from the Moscow Conservatory in 1996. Meanwhile, she was Director of Operations for the Women's Philharmonic Orchestra. With Kitka, she performed at the National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore, where they were the first non-native act. Kitka also contributed music to the films "Braveheart," "Jacob's Ladder" and "At Play in the Fields of the Lord," as well as releasing three CD's, the latest of which is entitled The Vine.

Juliet Green   

Originally from Maui, Hawaii, Juliet Green is a singer, songwriter and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Juliet has performed in various vocal jazz ensembles, winning the SF Regional Harmony Sweepstakes competition in 1998 and 2000 (+4db), 2005 (Moodswing) and 2012 (Sing Theory). Another ensemble, Clockwork, was selected to perform at the 2011 JEN Conference in New Orleans after the released of their acclaimed album Every Voice Counts. Juliet currently sings alto in the award-winning jazz a cappella sextet Ro Sham Bo. As a soloist, she sings with the big band A Touch of Brass under the direction of trumpeter Ed Morrison, and performed with many theater groups in the area. Juliet's other passion is working as an educator, clinician, and director. She has taught at the Jazzschool in Berkeley, Jazz Camp West, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and directs the six-time Downbeat award-winning Panache vocal jazz ensembles at Corte Madera School in Portola Valley.

Jan Pederson Schiff   SingersMarin

Jan Pedersen Schiff, is the Founder/Artistic Director of SingersMarin., a nonprofit performing arts organization, which is comprised of choral ensembles for youth and adults, amateur and professional.  Her Bachelor and Masters degrees are in Music Education and Choral Conducting, with an emphasis in vocal pedagogy. She has served on several college music faculties on the east and west coasts. And is frequently called upon to lead choral and vocal workshops, serving as choral clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, among which includes conducting at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir  Over the years she has received several awards that include the Susan B. Anthony Award for Cultural Achievement in Hollywood, the Volunteer of the Year Award (for SingersMarin) from the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Marin Women's Commission Certificate of Commendation and the prestigious Milley Award for her achievements and contributions to the creative life of Mill Valley and the community of Marin.

Dave Worm   

Oakland native, David Worm began his singing career in 1985 with the Bay Area groups Jazz Mouth and Vocal Front. In 1989 he became a founding member of Bobby McFerrinºs Voicestra ensemble and has remained a regular performer with Mcferrin, being featured on recordings videos and touring with the early Quartet Hard Choral, and McFerrrin's recent project Circlesongs. David is also one of the original founding members of the a cappella group SoVoSo, with whom he still performs. SoVoSo has released 5 albums and tours internationally. David has worked extensively with the Bay Area Dance community, having scored or co-written original works for ODC, Robert Moses Kin,( this work being a recipient of an Isadora Duncan Award), Tandy Beal, Project Bandaloop(an Isadora Duncan Award nominee), Axis Dance( another Isadora Duncan Award nominee) and Suzanne Gallo. Davidºs music has also been used in scoring the film documentaries ÑStepUpæ and ÑLove Francescaæ. David has over 40 record credits as a session singer, is in-house producer for sales America and has appeared in music videos for Kawasaki and Levi Strauss

Complete list of 2003 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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