22nd 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.

2006 Mid-Atlantic Champions

Regency

Regency is a five man a cappella vocal group from Baltimore Maryland. They are often called the Temptation of the twenty first century. Their musical magic has fascinated fans throughout the United States. They sing everything from 40's Swing, Elvis, Motown and Classics and Pop Tunes in their own special a cappella style that is not quite doo wop, not quite R&B, but altogether wonderful. They have won Entertainer of The Year on the college market many times, have done national commercials and have opened for many of today's leading musicians. They have NEVER performed without receiving a standing ovation. Their biggest fans are musicians who marvel at their vocal ability. Regency won the New York Regionals several years back and have not competed in several years.

2006 Results
1st
Regency
2nd
New Release
3rd
Glorious
Best Original Arrangement
"Dig a Little Deeper" - arr. Glorious
Best Original Song
"Traveling Light" - Marianne Pastelak


2006 Participating Groups

Glorious
Glorious has been together since 1997. During this time we have become a group of tight knit, polished and professional performers. Our unique A Cappella style leaves very little room for imperfections in our sound. Drawing from our individual spiritual backgrounds, and combining tried and true spirituals with an upbeat tempo. We create a unique listening experience. Worship, Punctuality and Professionalism are the cornerstones to our organization.

Members: Barry Fleming, Michael Lemon, Eugene Gleaton, Julius Smith, John Elliott
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New Release
Imagine a laser tenor, a perfect pitch lead, a solfege-singing bari, and a monster bass, from three different states... and you've got New Release! Formed in April 2005, this extreme-energy ensemble earned silver medals three months later at the International Collegiate Quartet Contest in Salt Lake City. Believing strongly in uplifting youth in harmony, New Release has toured 11 states from Florida to Oregon, leading master classes and coaching at college campuses, high school quartet adjudications, and a cappella festivals, including SoJam in North Carolina.

Members: Ryan Griffith, Shawn Thomas, Joe Eckert, Noah Morrison
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Rare Blend
Hailing from central Florida, Rare Blend fuses gospel, vocal jazz classical, swing and doo wop. Whether singing for thousands at a festival, hundreds at a convention, dozens in church or an intimate private party, Rare Blend is striking a heart-chord with Central Floridians. This will be Rare Blend's second appearance at the Mid-Atlantic Regional.

Members: Betsy Reid, Rebecca Roberson, Shannon Elswick, Greg Patterson
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Regency
Regency is a five man a cappella vocal group from Baltimore Maryland. They are often called the Temptation of the twenty first century. Their musical magic has fascinated fans throughout the United States. They sing everything from 40's Swing, Elvis, Motown and Classics and Pop Tunes in their own special a cappella style that is not quite doo wop, not quite R&B, but altogether wonderful. They have won Entertainer of The Year on the college market many times, have done national commercials and have opened for many of today's leading musicians. They have NEVER performed without receiving a standing ovation. Their biggest fans are musicians who marvel at their vocal ability. Regency won the New York Regionals several years back and have not competed in several years.

Listen to: Only You | Listen to: Jump, Jive & Wail

Members: Dewayne McNeill, Milton Ames, Aubrey Brown Jr., John Tiller, Isaiah Simmons
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Transit
Combining soaring leads, smooth harmonies, and a thumping rythm section, Transit demonstrates the power, versatility, and emotion of the most natural instrument of all - the human voice.

Members: Joseph Bates, Nick Lyons, Dave Sperandio, Brent Stephens, James Wallace
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Vocal Obsession
Vocal Obsession consists of five friends who have sung in various ensembles for the past twenty years, and decided to form a group devoted to a cappella music. They have performed separately, gaining recognition in ensembles and as soloists in the US and Europe (including Orlando, Chicago, Amsterdam, Montreux, Vienna, Strasbourg, and Liege). In 2003 Vocal Obsession decided to band together to sing sans instruments. While they began primarily as a jazz group, they enjoy singing all types of contemporary a cappella tunes. This is Vocal Obsession's third appearance at the Sweeps. They won Best Original Song in 2005 and 2006. Maybe there are better things in the cards for them this year

Members: Marianne Pastelak, Donna Youngberg, Dotti Smith, Charles Braungard, Harry
More Details

2006 Judges

David Buffum   

David Buffum is a producer, arranger and award-winning director of a cappella music in the Philadelphia and DC areas. For eight years, David produced the popular Philadelphia A Cappella Fest, which enables local secondary school vocal groups to sing with nationally renowned collegiate and professional groups. A founding member of the acclaimed a cappella group The Vineyard Sound, David has been singing for over 20 years, has arranged dozens of contemporary pieces, and has performed for and with celebrities internationally and at home. David has served as a judge at the Harmony Sweepstakes New York Regional for three years, and also at the ICCAs.

Kenyon Erickson   

Kenyon Erickson is most notorious as one of the Tone Rangers, who won three Audience Favorite and three Best Arrangement Awards, along with numerous Runner Up awards, at the Mid-Atlantic Region Harmony Sweepstakes throughout the 90's before their magnificent trip to San Francisco for the Nationals in 2002. The Rangers also hosted three times and subsequently won a string of Wammies, including one for their most recent CD. Kenyon’s preparation began with a John Phillip Sousa Award in High School for outstanding musician, followed by graduation from the University of Utah with a degree in choral music (Magna cum Laude -- big deal). As a grad student at Cornell University, Kenyon discovered the CU Glee Club and their subset, the Hangovers. In 1986, his friendships and Hangover harmonies lead to the founding of the group you know today as the Tone Rangers and rest is history. Over the years, Kenyon has also toured Europe and Asia, sung in large and small choruses, including the esteemed Choral Arts, continues to lead young church choirs, and teaches selective voice students. He is best known in his neighborhood for leading ad hoc sing-alongs.

Claire Gardiner   

Claire Gardiner joined the Fairfax based Vienna-Falls Chorus of Sweet Adelines International in 1984, began directing the chorus in 1993, and has led Vienna-Falls to six Regional Championships. She has sung in many Quartets, one of which won the Regional Championship in 1989. She is currently singing in a new quartet which will compete in 2 weeks at their Regional Competition in NC. Claire is a faculty member within her Sweet Adeline Region, where she teaches arranging classes, gives voice lessons and coaches many choruses and quartets. In her 'day job', she is a Supervisory Registration Specialist in the Performing Arts Division of the U.S. Copyright Office here in D.C. This is one of only a few jobs in the Federal Government, which requires a music degree. Claire has judged the competition several times in the past.

Complete list of 2006 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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