23rd 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.

2007 Los Angeles Champions

Moira Smiley and VOCO

Moira Smiley & VOCO is a visionary blend of voices - redefining harmony singing with the power & physicality of folksong, the avant-garde fearlessness of Bela Bartok and the delicious, vaudevillian accompaniment of cello, banjo, accordion and body percussion. Moira Smiley leads an ensemble of extraordinary musicians who share a passion for spreading powerful, emotional music with lush four-part vocal harmony, cello, accordion and banjo. Original improvisation-built songs steeped in Appalachia and Eastern Europe.

Named #1 a cappella group in the U.S. in 2007, VOCO is the energy of street singing and the elegance of a string quartet. Recently featured in Dirty Linen and on more than 100 radio stations nationwide on NPR's "Harmonia", VOCO has released two critically acclaimed CDs in '08-'09: "Small Worlds" and "Circle, Square, Diamond & Flag". VOCO is sweet, hard-driving Americana mixed with crooked eastern European dance and dissonance. It's all rounded out with body-stompin' percussive movement and joyous, magnificent, hair-raising harmonies - music that mourns and dances at the same time.

2007 Results
1st
Moira Smiley and VOCO
2nd
Down 4 The Count
3rd
Renaissance
Audience Favorite
Corner Pocket
Best Original Arrangement
"Down for the Count" Arr. Colleen Keene


2007 Participating Groups

Corner Pocket
Corner Pocket is an a cappella quartet based out of LA that performs doo-wop, barbershop and contemporary pop tunes. They have performed onboard 5-Star Cruise Ships, in Las Vegas and around Southern California.

Members: Michael Luginbill, Michael Landau, Joel Dalton, George Artope
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Down 4 The Count
Down 4 The Count began in 2003, when six CSU Northridge students in the University's vocal jazz ensemble found they shared a common interest: wanting to sing ensemble vocal jazz without those pesky instrumentalists: in other words, A Cappella! Since that time, Down 4 The Count has won multiple awards (including three song-arrangement awards and 1st place at the 2009 San Diego A Cappella Competition) and they have performed at venues all over the greater Los Angeles and San Diego area, including the Jazz Bakery, The Coach House, The Coffee Gallery Backstage, San Diego IndieFest, and many more.

They have opened for both Rockapella and for Sixthwave. Their debut album, released in 2008, is for sale at Singers.com, on iTunes, Amazon, and probably several more. Although the group line-up has changed significantly since its inception, D4TC still features original arrangements with a distinctly jazz flavor.

Members: Colleen Keene, Francesca Delfin, Genevieve Artadi, Matt Reynolds, Andreas Preponis
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Moira Smiley and VOCO
Moira Smiley & VOCO is a visionary blend of voices - redefining harmony singing with the power & physicality of folksong, the avant-garde fearlessness of Bela Bartok and the delicious, vaudevillian accompaniment of cello, banjo, accordion and body percussion. Moira Smiley leads an ensemble of extraordinary musicians who share a passion for spreading powerful, emotional music with lush four-part vocal harmony, cello, accordion and banjo. Original improvisation-built songs steeped in Appalachia and Eastern Europe.

Named #1 a cappella group in the U.S. in 2007, VOCO is the energy of street singing and the elegance of a string quartet. Recently featured in Dirty Linen and on more than 100 radio stations nationwide on NPR's "Harmonia", VOCO has released two critically acclaimed CDs in '08-'09: "Small Worlds" and "Circle, Square, Diamond & Flag". VOCO is sweet, hard-driving Americana mixed with crooked eastern European dance and dissonance. It's all rounded out with body-stompin' percussive movement and joyous, magnificent, hair-raising harmonies - music that mourns and dances at the same time.

Listen to: Bring Me-Little Water, Silvie | Listen to: Szerelem

Members: Moira Smiley, Jess Basta, Christine Enns, John Ballinger, Jessica Catron
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Out of Context
Out of Context is a 14+-1 person (only 8 will be performing on any given number) mixed a cappella group that performs various styles of contemporary music, ranging from easy listening to hard rock and beyond, without any instruments besides the human voice. We are strongly committed to having fun on and off the stage, and our screening process ensures every member is willing to make a fool of him/herself in public. Since its beginnings in 1997, OoC has grown in talent and notoriety, and a week doesn't go by when we prove ourselves aptly named. Members:

Members: Emily Russell, Jessica Edwards, Dahye Song, Chithra Krishnamurthy, Soyoung Park, Borching Su, Douglas Tham, Arthur Fitzmaurice
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Renaissance
Renaissance is an all a cappella quintet, dedicated to showcasing and preserving the critical art form of street corner style; doo-wop singing. The group is equally adaptable to film, TV & stage as they are beneath the street lamp. Not just another singing group, Renaissance intertwines social and cultural awareness themes in their music offering "food for the spirit" as well as the soul. Whether it's a soul stirring tribute to the legendary Sam Cooke, love songs for the ladies, Black History themed conscious music or a rousing Gospel celebration, their superb vocal skills shine through. These Cats can flat out sing and their infectious energy is quite entertaining as they transport their audience to another space and time.

Members: Maurice Kitchen, Maurice Kitchen, Kwame Alexander, Anthony Snead, harles (Sonny) Banks
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Swing Shift
This stylish vocal jazz group was formed in Santa Monica in 2002. Swing Shift focuses on jazz and reharmonized pop and Broadway standards from the 30's to the present. The group sings mostly its own arrangements, with Phil and Richard providing them. Swing Shift performs at private parties, churches, malls, and clubs. They also appeared as one of the featured a cappella groups on KLCS’s television series “Mosaic.” Swing Shift was honored at the 2004 Los Angeles regional Harmony Sweepstakes, where they won the best arrangement award for their 6-part version of “Where is Love?” from the musical Oliver! If you love rich sounds, complex harmonies, and creamy-smooth blend, you’ll love hearing this group .

Members: Tyler Azelton, Kathy Hoye, Linda Richter, Michael Kohl, Andy Wolf, Phil Azelton, Richard Gilinsky
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Vocal Ease
VocalEase is the University of Arizona's premiere women's a cappella ensemble. This year, Vocal Ease is 7 members strong and performing a wide variety of music, including pop, gospel, R&B, jazz, and country. Vocal Ease has a reputation for being one of the hottest all-female a cappella groups around. The VE ladies released their first full-length album in December 2004, and followed that with the release of an EP in February of 2006. The past year's competitive accomplishments for Vocal Ease include Best Vocal Percussion at the ICCA West Region Quarterfinals (University of Oregon) and 2nd place at the 2006 Harmony Sweepstakes Los Angeles Regional. Additionally, Ali Davis received Best Arrangement at the 06 LA regional for "I Believe in a Thing Called Love"..

Members: Aubrey Arrington, Kristy Barrett, Jennifer Blodgett, Ali Davis, Lauren Freed, Genny Gaus, Michelle Sharpton
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Vybration
Vybration was formed in 2001 to perform at Disney's California Adventure under the name "Groove 66". The band quickly became the park's most popular atmosphere group. Its members are some of the most powerful, versatile, and in demand vocalists in all of Southern California with resume credits spanning from broadway, television, and film, to orignial rock bands, and pioneering modern music projects. Vybration is unlike many acapella sextets out there, covering a variety of music that includes traditional jazz tunes like Blue Skies and Fly Me to the Moon, rock n roll songs like Lenny Kravitz's Fly Away, pop hits such as Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin Something and many many more. All that have witnessed the magic in music that Vybration creates can tell you that, "Vybration is a force to be reckoned with!"

Members: Heather McMasters (soprano), Laura Dickinson (mezzo), Tomasina Abate (alto), Terron Brooks (tenor), Michael Washington (bass), Bryan Chadima (vocal percussion)
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Complete list of 2007 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 :

Will Hamblet (Los Angeles) The South Bay Coastliner Chorus has been a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) for over half a century. For the last 15 years, the Coastliners have sponsored the Los Angeles Regional Harmony Sweepstakes program. As such, they are the only BHS organization involved in this competition. During their sponsorship, the Los Angeles Regional is proud to have produced 5 National winners & 2 second place finalists.


323-660-0321
willhamblet (at) roadrunner.com


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Hermosa Beach Theater

The Hermosa Beach Playhouse is a division of the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities. Created for the greater South Bay area to expand the availability of programming by providing a more intimate setting. This beautifully appointed 474-seat venue enables us to present a new catalog of production of straight plays as well as musicals. Performances are presented at The Hermosa Beach Playhouse located on the southwest corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach. There is plenty of free parking. Directions -


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