14th 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.

1998 Chicago Champions

Blind Man’s Bluff

Bluff rock is vocal rock - more than vocal. more than rock. aggressive. dirty. human. texture that tingles. both familiar and surprisingly unique. gritty but not grating. edgy but not hard edged. a sound you've never heard before. unquestionably modern. undeniably rock. rich. dark. driving. enticingly organic. depth without pretention. no holds barred and widely appealing. what you're waiting for - believe your ears.

1998 Results
1st
Blind Man’s Bluff
2nd
Poor Baker’s Dozen
3rd
The Shaggy Boys
Audience Favorite
Delusions of Grandeur
Best Original Arrangement
“Just What I Needed”
Best Original Arrangement
“Bei Mir Bist Du Schien” - Listen Up!
Best Original Song
“Wake Up Call” by David Wilner
Best Original Song
“Shagabego” by Matt Anthoney


1998 Participating Groups

Listen Up!
Listen Up! has delivered harmony, humor and vocal pyrotechnics for 22 years as the "house band" (sans instruments) of the Greater Chicago Jewish Folk Arts Festival. The quartet brings warmth and sheer vocal power with a confident, easy manner that wins hearts (and ears) of audiences of all ages. "Our music creates a special connection", says musical director, Steve Singer. "We are building that relationship from the first note... to energize and inspire. By the end of the show, we're family." With wit, humor and diverse Jewish musical traditions, Listen Up! leaves no audience unaffected by their performance.

Members:
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Blind Man’s Bluff
Bluff rock is vocal rock - more than vocal. more than rock. aggressive. dirty. human. texture that tingles. both familiar and surprisingly unique. gritty but not grating. edgy but not hard edged. a sound you've never heard before. unquestionably modern. undeniably rock. rich. dark. driving. enticingly organic. depth without pretention. no holds barred and widely appealing. what you're waiting for - believe your ears.

Listen to: Virtual Insanity | Listen to: Wake Up Call

Members: David Wilner, Nick Geisinger, Chaz Ruhl, Drew Breen
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Delusions of Grandeur


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Poor Baker’s Dozen
Poor Baker's Dozen seeks to honor and invite the presence of the Living God through honest, heartfelt worship. Our music is an outward expression of the joy, peace and love we have found in Jesus Christ and our desire is to see God move among His people and minister only as He can. Our message is two-fold: new life in Christ for those who have not received Jesus, and abundant life for those who have been walking in the truth.

Members:
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The Shaggy Boys


Members:
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Complete list of 1998 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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