20th 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.

2004 Chicago Champions

Chapter 6

The group's boundless range and appeal has resulted in one of the most diverse touring schedules in the music industry. Whether at an opera house, symphony hall, campus, church, corporate or community event, or aboard a cruise ship, Chapter 6 is right at home. Opera houses are often repeat clients, while the Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities' audiences named Chapter 6 "Entertainer of the Year" (2005). Chapter 6 has performed theatrical pops programs with over ten major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with The Symphonic Pops Consortium, yet returns to the intimate classroom where the group has conducted over a hundred master-classes for high school choirs. Finally, their Christmastime concert is a favorite among churches and arts venues offering holiday programming.

2004 Results
1st
Chapter 6
2nd
Straight No Chaser
3rd
Stripped
Audience Favorite
Chapter 6
Best Original Arrangement
"Wonderful World" arr. by Mark Grizzard
Best Original Song
"Dump Your Boyfriend" by Sean Archer


2004 Participating Groups

Chapter 6
The group's boundless range and appeal has resulted in one of the most diverse touring schedules in the music industry. Whether at an opera house, symphony hall, campus, church, corporate or community event, or aboard a cruise ship, Chapter 6 is right at home. Opera houses are often repeat clients, while the Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities' audiences named Chapter 6 "Entertainer of the Year" (2005). Chapter 6 has performed theatrical pops programs with over ten major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with The Symphonic Pops Consortium, yet returns to the intimate classroom where the group has conducted over a hundred master-classes for high school choirs. Finally, their Christmastime concert is a favorite among churches and arts venues offering holiday programming.

Listen to: Themes And Variations On It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing | Listen to: 7th Wheel

Members: Luke Menard, Nathan Pufall, A.D. Stonecipher, Jarrett Johnson, John Musick, Mark Grizzard, Charles Bosworth
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Stripped
Stripped is a vocal band that continues to stretch ideas about what a cappella music can be. Their concerts are highly focused on improvisation, audience participation, and making music that moves the spirit. The voices gathered here have blend and unity, but frequently remind the listener that individual expression can flourish within the context of a group sound, like a single flower enhances the garden with its own particular bouquet and color.

Stripped has performed throughout Chicago, singing original vocal jazz music at the Green Mill, HotHouse, Fitzgerald's, Lyon's Den, Uncommon Ground, Beat Kitchen, and 4th Presbyterian Church. Stripped received awards at the Chicago Cultural Center Cx2 competition and the 2004 Harmony Sweepstakes Regional competition. Stripped opened for jazz and R&B legend Patti Austin in summer 2004. Keep your eyes open for performances coming your way, then open your ears and prepare to be Stripped!

Members: Mariama Torruella, Gayle Bisesi, Leslie Beukelman, Sean Archer
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Vocal Chaos
Vocal Chaos is an award-winning a cappella group from right here in Chicago! They have been making incredible music all over the Windy City since 1996, from Soldier Field and Cellular Field to Chicago Public Radio. They can also be heard singing a cappella in the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn movie "The Break Up". To foster collaboration and promote the art form of a cappella, they founded ACappellaFest, which in its eighth year has grown into the Midwest's largest a cappella festival. Vocal Chaos is thrilled to be back at the Harmony Sweepstakes. Look for their new EP to drop later this year!

Members: Anthony Roberts, Jeff Swearingen, Karl Solis, Drew Dahan, Jim Pretkelis, Jason VanCauwenberge, Paul Peterson, Tim Gallagher
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Rendezvous
Rendezvous is a mixed a cappella quartet from the Chicago area. They have very diverse interests and careers, but share a common joy in singing a cappella music. All four are accomplished singers in the barbershop style, now they get together to sing in a style that is truly their own. Their repertoire ranges from popular songs to jazz, folk and gospel, and there is sure to be something for everybody in each of their performances. Rendezvous has performed in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Oregon, New Mexico, and as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia. They recently recorded a new jingle that will be airing nationwide on radio and television for Empire Today (formerly Empire) Carpets.

Members: Lynda Keever, Jennifer Schwarz, Mark Keever, Andy Isbell
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Four Bettys
The Four Bettys are the 2008 Sweet Adelines International Champion Quartet. With a combined 40+ years singing and numerous national and international awards, they share a passion for performing. The Bettys just love an audience, and have enjoyed a wide variety of performance situations including concerts, barbershop chapter shows, special events, serenades, or even drive-by singings. The Bettys have sung for audiences in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Nevada, Kansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida, Canada, Maryland and can soon be seen in Oregon, California and Hawaii. Last May, the Bettys had the rare honor of headlining a show at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Members: Wendy Ahlgrim-Bellandi, Lynda Keever, Cori Albrecht, Heather Mears
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Straight No Chaser
The group originally came together in the fall of 1996 at IU, basically as "10 guys who happened to be good friends who also liked to sing." Choosing the members carefully for personality as well as vocal talent - Stine, Mechling, Jerome Collins, David Roberts and Walter Chase remain from the original lineup -- SNC set itself apart from other a cappella groups with its contemporary repertoire and dynamic approach, quickly headlining concerts both in Bloomington and on road dates. SNC recorded three independent albums, and John Mellencamp even invited the group to his home for a private performance.

When the founders began graduating in 1999 and went on to jobs mostly outside of music, they chose replacements and established SNC as an ongoing group on campus with future generations of ambitious IU undergrads. More than 50 members have passed through the group's ranks so far. Such was the impact SNC made at IU that the school hosted a 10th anniversary reunion show for the original lineup in 2006, and when Stine posted clips from a 1998 concert on YouTube, SNC's fan base grew exponentially. In 2007 alone, the group's version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" was viewed more than seven million times. Today that number has surpassed 11 million, and the group's cumulative YouTube views clock in at more than 25 million.

Members: Adam Basey, Sargon Isho, Jeff Tanski, Chris Ryan, Steve Wolf, Adam Stulberg, Corey Frye, Adam Rich
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Alchemy

Pride (and 2003 Champions) of SPEBSQSA's Illinois District, Alchemy has been rising steadily through the Barbershop competition in their quest for the Gold. These 15 songs show us how much this group has polished and refined their sound in the process. 'Old St. Louie,' 'Birth of the Blues,' 'I Only Have Eyes for You,' the very apt 'Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,' 'Dayton, Ohio) 1903,' the very funny 'Mississippi Squirrel Revival,' the deathless 'Lida Rose' in medley with 'Will I Ever Tell You,' 'Gospel Medley' and 'Stars Fell On Alabama' are pure Barbershop entertainment, that play on our heartstrings and nostalgia strings with the best of them. Sweet harmonies, pure ringing chords-this is the good stuff. Enjoy!



Members: Ken Gillie, George Sotos, Rick Anthoney, Mark Keever
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The Coverdales
The Coverdales formed in the Spring of 2003 as graduation from Indiana University was rapidly approaching. Having performed together in IU's nationally renowned men's a cappella group, Straight No Chaser, Ryan Ahlwardt, Michael Luginbill, Jon Mulholland, and Michael Seidenstein soon set off for the high seas. The quartet sailed onboard the Celebrity Cruise Line vessel, GTS Summit, performing for six months in various locales such as Alaska, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These four gentlemen proudly bring their love for singing and performing together to you tonight and hope you enjoy their tight harmonies, outstanding soloists, and dynamic charisma.

Members:
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2004 Judges

Jennifer Chada   

Jennifer Chada’s musical style would best be described as eclectic. She’s been singing everything from jingles and jazz to pop and cabaret over the last 15 years. In addition to major roles in Chicago area musicals, she has sung alongside Patti Austin and jazz legend Jack Sheldon in Cy Coleman and Alan & Marilyn Bergman’s premiere collaboration, “Like Jazz” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She is an award winning cabaret artist with two critically acclaimed shows under her belt and she has recorded two albums with "TONIC", Chicago’s premiere Vintage Jazz Vocal Quartet.

Will Clinger   

Will Clinger is currently the Host and Segment Producer of the television program Wild Chicago (WTTW/Channel 11), and his work on it has earned him fourteen Midwest Emmys. The show just celebrated fifteen years on the air with the special Wild Chicago‚s Wildest Moments: Fifteen Years in One Hour. He has also produced, written and hosted several documentaries, including Vanishing Act - Memories of Vaudeville, for which he won another Midwest Emmy and was recognized by both the National Owl Awards and the CEN (Central Education Network) Awards. Will has appeared as an actor on film, television and stage and bears a startling resemblance to Willie B. Famous of the 3-part harmony, almost a cappella group The Famous Brothers.

Patti Lupo   

Patti Lupo - Upon her graduation from Northwestern University, Patti began performing in theater and joined Actors Equity when she was cast in the original production of “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” Not long after that, she formed her first vocal quartet with Megan Mullally called Colossal Nerve and has enjoyed performing close harmony music ever since. Patti has her own band and musical services company, Patti Lupo Music, and is the co-founder of Chicago’s busiest Christmas caroling group, The Caroling Party.

Jonathan Miller   

Jonathan Miller is founder and artistic director of Chicago a cappella (CAC), a classical vocal ensemble that moves the heart and spirit with fun, innovative concerts. His work with CAC has been praised nationally and internationally and called "world-class" by Fanfare magazine. He is regularly acclaimed for his brilliant, eclectic concert programming that ranges from chant to funk. Jonathan is known for his ability to motivate and bring the best out of singers, whether the first-class professionals of CAC or amateurs in volunteer choirs. In addition to singing, conducting, and producing recordings, Jonathan is an active composer and arranger, whose style has found favor with audiences and singers alike. Jonathan holds the Ph.D. in historical musicology from UNC-Chapel Hill, publishes the music of the late Max Janowski, serves the wider choral field as a grants panelist and clinician, and serves on the musical advisory board of the Chicago Children's Choir, where he began his career at the age of nine.

Gary Stamm   

Gary Stamm’s performance career spans more than forty years and includes musical theater, barbershop harmony, emceeing, radio-theater, television commercials, narration and a host of other media. He is a certified presentation judge with the Barbershop Harmony Society. Stamm emceed the first Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes and has judged the competition three times. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife Ruth.

Complete list of 2004 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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