26th Annual

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Boston | Chicago | Los Angeles | New York | Pacific North West | San Francisco | Mid Atlantic (DC)

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.

2010 Mid-Atlantic Champions

West Side 5

West Side 5, an award-winning vocal jazz ensemble based in New York City, is known for its refined sound and sophisticated approach to jazz. Inspired by greats like Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and The Real Group, WS5 has crafted its own unique sound, characterized by highly original arrangements, complex harmonies, and outstanding musicianship.

The group formed in the summer of 2009, bringing together five old college friends on the west side of Manhattan. They immediately garnered acclaim, winning the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes while being voted Audience Favorite and winning Best Arrangement for "Pure Imagination". They went on to be featured artists at the SingStrong A Cappella Festival, and have performed alongside groups including Blue Jupiter, Streetcorner Symphony, and The Bobs, as well as for Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion in New York.

2010 Results
1st
West Side 5
2nd
DoubleShot!
3rd
Lustre
Audience Favorite
West Side 5
Best Original Arrangement
Eric Hughes - "Pure Imagination"
Best Original Song
"Rainy Season" - Sarah Kenan Shunk & Roberta Beary


2010 Participating Groups

West Side 5
West Side 5, an award-winning vocal jazz ensemble based in New York City, is known for its refined sound and sophisticated approach to jazz. Inspired by greats like Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and The Real Group, WS5 has crafted its own unique sound, characterized by highly original arrangements, complex harmonies, and outstanding musicianship.

The group formed in the summer of 2009, bringing together five old college friends on the west side of Manhattan. They immediately garnered acclaim, winning the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes while being voted Audience Favorite and winning Best Arrangement for "Pure Imagination". They went on to be featured artists at the SingStrong A Cappella Festival, and have performed alongside groups including Blue Jupiter, Streetcorner Symphony, and The Bobs, as well as for Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion in New York.

Members: Lara Hirner, Sara Wajnberg, John Shumway, Eric Hughes, Will Fithian
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Lustre
Lustre is a lovely award winning quartet out of the Baltimore area. Lustre's musical adventures began in 2005, and what a journey it has been! Kate, Lori, Lori, and Jenny met through Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus, and have been ringing chords together ever since. They have wowed their audiences at performances and contests around the country, from shows in Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania to international competitions in Houston and Denver. You may even have seen them singing at a Baltimore Orioles game or two! Lustre is proud to be the 2013 Sweet Adeline's International 7th Place Quartet Finalist.

Members: Laura Colozzi, Lori Crouter, Lori Dreyer, Jenny Harris
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DoubleShot!
Since 2006, the guys have blended traditional and contemporary all- vocal music with energy and humor to create six decades of hits live on stage at every show. Every sound - vocals, bass, effects, even the drums - is created using only the voice. They have performed all over their native Pittsburgh, and nationwide from Washington, D.C. to the San Francisco Bay, as well as features on local news, television, and radio. In the Harmony Sweepstakes, they were Mid-Atlantic Champions and Audience Favorite in 2007 and have received two awards for Best Arrangement.

Members: Luke Clavey, Steve Donnelly, Dre Johnson, Nate Wildfire, Mike Yanchak
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Euphonism
Euphonism - is a Washington, DC based vocal band with a diverse musical background. Members share a passion for the pure, electrifying blending of voice. Euphonism brings a mixture of angelic harmonies, driving beats and moving rhythms to audiences in the capital area and beyond.

Members: Amanda Aldag, John Baer, Theresa Bowman, Joe Kang, Laura McCann, Charlie Meininger, Rachel Tepper
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Fleur de Lisa
Fleur de Lisa - is based in Durham, North Carolina. We write and perform original a cappella music, often based on poetry. Individually we bring many disciplines together, including jazz, rock, classical and country. Our diverse musical experiences blend into a versatile style of our own.

Members: Andie Piddington, Sarah Shunk, Sylvia Freeman , Deborah Stewart
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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: Eugene Glato, Barry Fleming, Wilson Cleary, John Elliott, Michael Lemon
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Tonic & Gin
Tonic & Gin - In the spring of 2004, a group of musicians-at-heart gathered together in the hopes of creating a new, fresh mix of voices. What evolved from that first meeting was a collection of six singers ready to take on the DC a cappella scene. Rehearsals began, gigs presented themselves, and the group began to mesh. After endless discussions about what to call ourselves it finally hit us ‚ Tonic & Gin!Today, Tonic & Gin continues on as a vibrant co-ed group of seven members dedicated to sharing a wide variety of music with intriguing arrangements, amazing soloists, and a whole lot of fun!

Members: Nate Pipke, Alison Torrillo French, Marissa Hodgkins, Amy Fromm, Bruce Shim, Jeeves Murphy, Jeff Hayes
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Voices of Truth
Voices of Truth - Voices Of Truth was created in 2008 as an expression of love of a cappella and Contemporary Christian music. Since then, they have been working toward their goal of taking their message of joy to people both inside and outside the church. With original arrangements showcasing their unique vocal blend and tight rhythms, Voices Of Truth will entertain you, inspire you, and lift you up!

Members: Kevin Barrett, Sarah Barrett, Joe Waeyaert, Natalie Stephenson
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2010 Judges

Jimmy Leathers   

Jimmy Leathers - Jimmy is coming to the realization that it's actually pretty tough to come up with witty comments for a website like this. Something you might be interested to know is that UMD is actually closer to his home than his high school was-- he's lived in College Park since he was 1 year old. But he thought it would be a good idea to waste $11,000 of his parents money every year, so he lives on campus. He enjoys coffee, the Daily Show, U2, and of course the Faux Paz. Stuff he doesn't enjoy as much includes dining hall food and the dentist.

Reggie Moore   

Reggie Moore, member of a capella legends The Persuasions, is a native Washingtonian who began his long singing career in the DC area. Moore has performed at every cultural institution in our Nation's Capitol, including The White House, The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress, The Shakespeare Theatre and The Corcoran Gallery of Art Music Series. He has also been a featured performer at The National Folklife Festival of American Music, on Black Entertainment Television (BET) and has traveled internationally with several music ensembles. Charged with holding the musical torch of The Persuasions, Moore continues the a cappella/eclectic tradition that has made the group one of the most beloved in the industry.

Jonathan Minkoff   

Jonathan Minkoff is the Founder and Executive Producer for the Public Charity, SingStrong (SingStrong.org) and its International A cappella Festivals in NY, DC and Chicago. He performs world-wide and on TV with the award-winning a cappella quartet, Blue Jupiter. Minkoff holds a Bachelors in Music Ed. from Northwestern U., a certificate in voice study from the Boston U. Tanglewood Institute, and a JD from Boston U. School of Law. Minkoff won the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes 1st place and audience favorite and the Chicago & National Sweeps' "Best Original Composition" and "Best Arrangement Awards", shared a "WAMMY" nomination for "Best Album", a CARA nomination for "Best Jazz Album" and a WAMMY win for "Best A cappella Album". Most recently, Minkoff coached Stiletta, the current National Harmony Sweeps champions, and the only group to ever win every possible award at nationals. He has over 300 published a cappella reviews at RARB.org and his articles at ACAPPELLA101.com have thousands of views monthly. After teaching, performing, emceeing and judging at over 40 a cappella festivals worldwide, Minkoff now coaches, composes, records and produces for various a cappella groups in his New York City recording studio.

Carolyn Sexton   

Carolyn Sexton is no newcomer to the Harmony Sweepstakes – she and husband Cal were both judges at the 2001 and 2002 competitions. For most of her adult life, Carolyn has been a proud member of Sweet Adelines International. She became an International Quartet Champion in this organization of women who teach and train the art of singing 4-part a cappella harmony, barbershop-style. During her long association with this singing organization, Carolyn served as an award-winning Chorus Director, Judge, Education Faculty member and Coach of many outstanding choruses and quartets from all over the U.S. & Canada. After switching voice parts recently (from tenor to bass), she is now working in a new combination called Gold Dust. Who knows…we may see them on the Harmony Sweepstakes stage in the future! Her latest passion is founding a new mixed a cappella chorus in the greater Frederick, MD area.

Complete list of 2010 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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