12th 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.

1996 Chicago Champions

Fourth Avenue

Take a pinch of soul, add a bit Motown, mix it all together with a little doo-wop and you have the makings of the a cappella sounds of 4th Avenue. Formed in 1993, this quintet features bass Jim Brown, baritones Scott Dawson, Ryan Holway and Chris Steward, tenor and vocal percussionist Maurice Harris. Together their diverse musical backgrounds and influences create a unique blend of music unlike any other group. 4th Avenue has performed before the Cincinnati Reds, opened for the Beach Boys, and are featured performers at Paramount's Kings Island. This group combines their voices and unique personalities to create a show of humor and harmony sure to bring audiences to their feet.

1996 Results
1st
Fourth Avenue
2nd
The Tonight Show
3rd
Acafellas
Audience Favorite
Fourth Avenue
Best Original Arrangement
“Swingin' On a Star” - Andrew Blenderman
Best Original Song
I Could Love You Everyday (A Killer Song)


1996 Participating Groups

AC Rock
Ac Rock is one of America's great a cappella quartets, singing classic rock 'n roll favorites from the 1950s through the 1980s. Ac Rock sings boomer rock in stunning vocal harmony without instrumental accompaniment. It's an engaging mix of tightly-crafted music and freewheeling humor that pleases audiences of all ages. Ac Rock performs for corporate events, conventions, industrial shows, charity auctions and stunt marketing events all over the country. Centrally based in Chicago, Ac Rock has easy access to all parts of the US and Canada. Summer festivals, school shows and private parties, too. Ac Rock is the right group for your group.

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Acafellas


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Anything Goes


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Forte


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Fourth Avenue
Take a pinch of soul, add a bit Motown, mix it all together with a little doo-wop and you have the makings of the a cappella sounds of 4th Avenue. Formed in 1993, this quintet features bass Jim Brown, baritones Scott Dawson, Ryan Holway and Chris Steward, tenor and vocal percussionist Maurice Harris. Together their diverse musical backgrounds and influences create a unique blend of music unlike any other group. 4th Avenue has performed before the Cincinnati Reds, opened for the Beach Boys, and are featured performers at Paramount's Kings Island. This group combines their voices and unique personalities to create a show of humor and harmony sure to bring audiences to their feet.

Listen to: Midnight Hour | Listen to: Lullaby

Members: Jim Brown, Scott Dawson, Ryan Holway, Chris Steward, Maurice Harris
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The Girls Next Door
Founded in 1971, The Girls Next Door are University of Illinois' first female a cappella group. These twelve women are diverse in background and interests, but all share a passion for music and take pride in their ability to push the limits of all female a cappella. Performing music from almost every genre, Girls Next Door are compelling and dynamic, captivating audiences of all ages.

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The Hi Tops


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Major 6


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Monkey Puzzle


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Sybarites


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The Tonight Show


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Complete list of 1996 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 :

David Wilner (Chicago) David Wilner is a singer, songwriter, pianist and DJ who has been performing in the Chicago area for over two decades. David's a cappella career began with the University of Illinois Xtension Chords where he won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for vocal arranging. David went on to sing professionally with the popular Chicago-based vocal rock band Blind Man's Bluff where he toured nationally for six years and recorded five albums. David competed in the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes with both Blind Man's Bluff and Fiveplay, winning First Place, Audience Favorite, and Best Original Song with each group. David twice took Third Place at the National Finals, once winning the award for Best Original Song. Today, David is on stage as often as possible: performing as a solo artist, leading events as a DJ, singing in the classic rock quartet Ac·Rock, spreading holiday cheer in The Caroling Party,, and releasing his inner "Jersey Boy" in the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute band The Four C Notes. Outside of music, David enjoys chasing after his two kids, coaching soccer, and cheering for his beloved Chicago Cubs.

P.O. Box 4502, Naperville, IL 60567
847-226-3366
david@davidwilner.com


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