1999 Participating Groups
| Toxic Audio|
In 1998, Toxic Audio launched its quirky show in an abandoned storefront at the Orlando International Fringe Festival. To their amazement, people began cramming into that storefront to see them. The show caught the attention of Disney executives who hired them as featured performers at the Disney/MGM Studios. Soon after, the group was crowned champion at the National Harmony Sweepstakes in California.
In the year 2003, Toxic Audio's album, Chemistry was named "Album of the Year" by the Contemporary Acappella Society of America. The group has made national TV appearances with Ed McMahon and Wayne Brady, and even got to sing a reggae-style weather report on ESPN2's morning show "Cold Pizza". Toxic Audio won the 2004 Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" for their Off-Broadway Show in New York's John Houseman Theatre where they continue to electrify audiences by exploring the boundaries of the human voice.
Members: Rene Ruiz, Jeremy James, Shalisa Sloan, Michelle Mailhot, Paul Sperrazza
| Minimum Wage|
Minimum Wage is a group that can only be described as inventive, insane and delightful! Picture the Marx Brothers, Forever Plaid and the Flying Karamozov Brothers rolled into one. Por example, one might witness a lecture on Spatula techniques that goes hilariously awry. Or a capricious, musical history lesson about the "'Histoire du le Burger." Or even a rap number with wildly eclectic choreography. They won a Bistro award for Outstanding Musical Comedy Act by BackStage Magazine and in 1999 they were chosen as the Mid Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes Champions and went on to win "Audience Favorite" in the National Finals. They can be seen pseudo- regularly on the Food Network's, Doorknock Dinners and other TV appearances include The Fox Network, Comedy Central, Good Day New York, The Veronica Network and America's Funniest People(Grand Prize Winners).
Listen to: The Last Cowboy Song | Listen to: Patty Duke
Members: Jeff Lagreca, Brad Barton, Charlie Lagreca, Sean Harris
People often ask us how the Chromatics got started. It's a complicated story, but here's a brief summary:
Back in 1993, a group called the OK Chorale was formed at NASA'S Goddard Space Flight Center by Anne Raugh and Steve Leete. The OK Chorale was 12 members strong and sang mostly doo-wop tunes, standards, and classics from Sesame Street. None of the current Chromatics were in the group at its inception, but Padi Boyd and Karen Smale joined in 1993, followed by Alan Smale and Deb Nixon in 1994.
After numerous further changes in personnel, including the departure of co-founder Anne Raugh, the group decided to refocus and reinvent itself as The Chromatics. The Chromatics were incorporated in 1995, and have been performing continuously under that name ever since.
| Bay Rum Runners|
Bay Rum Runners are a registered male quartet with the Alexandria chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBQSA). Their "ringing sounds from the lower latitudes leave nothing but good times in their wake.
Members: Ed Cazenas (tenor), Lynn Conaway (lead), Steve White (bass), Barry Galloway (bari)
| Fair Game|
Fair Game is a five member co-ed a cappella group from the Washington, DC area, performing its own unique blend of pop, jazz, and swing. Recently heard on WHFS 99.1FM, the group amuses audiences with their sometimes zany, always "cheesy" a cappella.
| Live Wire|
Live Wire is the newest vocal rock sensation out of Atlanta, GA. These six male and one female musicians put together complex arrangements, witty banter, and epic stage shows as they thrill Atlanta radio and live audiences with their jaw-dropping musicality, contagious high energy and a pinch or three of wackiness.
Members: Michelle Arrascue, Jennifer Bond, Carl Christie, Benjy Rose, Jordan Small, Rob Sylvester, Kris Walker
| Not To Scale|
Not To Scale is a collection of three male and three female a cappella jazz vocalists from vibrant Raleigh-Durham, NC. The group gets audiences cooing to their mellifluous tones at such events as the North Carolina Jazz Festival, the Wilmington Riverfest, and Raleigh's Artsplosure.
| Venus d Minor|
We have been together for about 15 years; performing a wide variety
of styles including jazz, pop, folk, classical, and novelty songs.
We specialize in original lyrics set to familiar tunes.
||Evelyn Harris |
Evelyn Harris sang and composed for Sweet Honey in the Rock for nearly two decades, performing for audiences all over the world, and recording and co-producing ten of their albums on the Warner Brothers, Redwood and Flying Fish labels. Her compositions include Battle For My Life, Gift of Love, Riches and State of Emergency, the latter which earned her a 1988 Grammy nomination. Ms. Harris recorded the soundtrack to Haile Gerima's work Wilmington 10 - USA 10,000, narrated Maggi Carter's film, Voices of Palestine and continues to devote her life to social justice issues.
Jon Kalbfleisch received a 1998 Helen Hayes Award for outstanding musical direction of the Signature Theatre/Arena Stage co-production of Sunday in the Park with George, and in 1996 received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for outstanding musical direction of Signature's Cabaret. He was also musically responsible for the Helen Hayes Award-winning productions of Passion, Into the Woods, Assassins and Sweeney Todd. Mr. Kalbleisch recently served for a year as the associate conductor for the national touring company of Les Miserables.
||Donal Leace |
The word craftsmanship implies not only careful technique, but also a love of and pride in one's craft. In this sense the word craftsman can be aptly applied to Singer-song writer, Artist, Educator, and Entertainer Donal Leace. Born in Huntington, West Virginia, raised in Philadelphia, Donal made his first professional folk singing appearance at Carnegie Chapter Hall, in New York City, 1959. Since 1960 he has made Washington, DC his home base. In the early 1960's while still a student at Howard University, working at The Cellar Door night club, Donal was affectionately known as "Washington's Favorite Folk Singer." He performed there for over seven years. At one time the club had a sign at the door that read, "The Home of Donal Leace." Over the years he has performed with many of the nation's most outstanding jazz, folk, blues, pop, gospel, and country artists, from Nina Simone, John Denver, Joe Williams, Muddy Waters, the Staple Singers, Odetta, Manhattan Transfer, Judy Collins, Ramsey Lewis, Take Six, Emmylou Harris, Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee to comedians Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor, Mort Sahl and many more. He recorded for Franc, Gateway, JBL, and Atlantic Records. He has appeared on "The Today Show," "Sunday Morning," and the "David Frost" show. He has been a featured performer at the "New Year's Eve Concert For Peace" at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, N.Y.C., and has appeared in concert at London's Odeon-Hammersmith, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, the D.A.R. Constitution Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Alex Tang fell into a cappella in college, singing and writing vocal arrangements for the Yale Alley Cats and performing on tour with the renowned Yale Whiffenpoofs. Locally, he has served as a legal and artistic advisor to many non-profit performing arts groups and, as a pianist, has accompanied and performed with numerous area choruses, orchestras, opera and theater companies, including Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, Master-works Chorale and the Lesbian & Gay Chorus of Washington.
||Tammie Ward |
Tammie Ward is the Programming Coordinator for Festivals at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. She managed the Dallas Children's Theatre's national touring company, served on the Steering Committee for the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration Festival (in Dallas) and held positions with the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Dallas Cultural Affairs Council. A former stage and film actor, Ms. Ward also produced plays, musicals and cabaret reviews.
Complete list of 1999 participants
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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 12 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
How to enter
Please send music and photos to the
regional director :
Sara Rasmussen (Mid-Atlantic)
Sara has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Regional production team for several years and a supporter of the Sweeps long before that. This year, she is stepping into the producer role. Sara enjoys many styles of music and was drawn to the Sweeps because it includes such a diversity of genres. Sara has been a member of Sweet Adelines for over a decade, has competed in numerous competitions both as a member of the Potomac Harmony Chorus and as a "baritone" in various quartets. In recent years she has been performing in the Washington, DC area with the Capitol Swing Quartet. In addition to helping out with production of various Sweet Adeline events, Sara has also been involved in the programing and production for several large DC area music festivals.
HarmonySweepsMA (at) aol.com