16th 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.

2000 Mid-Atlantic Champions

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.

2000 Results
1st
Toxic Audio
2nd
Midnight Voices
3rd
Crossroads
Best Original Arrangement
"Cheek to Cheek" Brian Lewis


2000 Participating Groups

BlueLine
BlueLine is an award-winning, mixed quintet that performs jazz, gospel and pop a cappella music from the DC Area. Started in the fall of 1999 by friends whose day jobs weren't providing enough time on stage, the group has achieved a tight blend and performed at competitions, music festivals and private events. Washington City Paper called BlueLine "exciting" and "exhilarating." BlueLine gets its name from the subway line and is a tribute to the great Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train" - the kind of bluesy jazz that the group loves to sing

Members: Anita Willis, Ashley Burt, Kakki Reynolds, Brian Lewis, J. P. Vidas, Jeff Knishkowy
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Crossroads
Crossroads is the new "superquartet" on the Barbershop Block, formed of four singers who are former BHS International Gold medalists in their own right, tenor Fred Farrell, lead Mike Slamka, bass Jim Henry and baritone Brandon Guyton. Henry won Gold in 1993 as a founding member and arranger of the legendary Gas House Gang, and is currently musical and artistic director of the 160-voice Ambassadors of Harmony. Guyton pocketed Gold in 2002 with Four Voices, Slamka sang his way to Gold with 2003 champs Power Play, and Farrell wore Gold with 1989 Quartet champs Second Edition. With this much vocal and arranging talent and experience, it came as no great surprise that newly-formed Crossroads struck Gold again in Anaheim, CA in 2009!

Members: Linda Beaver, Anne Willis, Bob Schellhamer, Tom Felgen
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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.

Listen to: Route 66 | Listen to: The Water Is Wide

Members: Rene Ruiz, Jeremy James, Shalisa Sloan, Michelle Mailhot, Paul Sperrazza
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4real
Since 1992 4real has been wowing crowds of all ages with their exciting and unique sound. These four male singers from western Pennsylvania use a variety of styles ranging from doo-wop to country to swing and just about anything in between. Coming from different parts of the country, with varied interests and fields of study, they combine high-energy harmonics with on-stage antics to create a show everyone will love.

Members: Sean Moran, Chris Murphy, Devon Lippmann, Richard Beaulè
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Humbuckers
This 5-man vocal band that performs contemporary rock and pop songs throughout the Washington metro area. They pride themselves on unorthodox cooking techniques, obsolete geographical trivia-and they song too. The name, the Humbuckers, refers to a coil in microphones used to warm and smooth out the sound-it is also a sure deal for an Internet domain name.

Members: Larry France, Adrian Collazo, Eric Olsen, David Lieber, Dave Trendler
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Midnight Voices
A male group of seven that started in 1996 when a bunch of guys got together to serenade their "female friends" the night before high school graduation in Bucks County, PA. They specialize in classical, pop-contemporary, doo-wop, and barbershop. What is amazing about this group right now is that they all attend different colleges.

Members: Michael Leach, Justin Guarini, Cole Simcox, Kevin Powell, Paul Griffin, Nick Cisik, Jay Herbert
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Southbound
A male trio from Ohio that has been performing together since 1983. The style of music they perform is as diverse as their voices; they sing country, doo-wop, gospel, and rhythm and blues. The group sings on a weekly basis taking their unique brand of humor and harmony on the road wherever opportunity takes them.

Members: Doug Miller, Bob MacLeod, David Beck
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Vocal Tonic
This 6-man vocal band is based in Atlanta, which is rapidly becoming THE a cappella hub of the nation... well, at least in the South. Their repertoire is mainly progressive pop/rock, with a touch of jazz and R&B thrown in for good measure. Their recent recording garnered a CARA nomination for Best Original Song.

Members: Paul Collar, Graham Kuhn, Dave Gilbert, Dave Sperandio, Paul Tate, Joey Chen
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Complete list of 2000 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 :

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.


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