11th Annual

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Events | Groups | Judges | Directors | National Finals Publicity Photos

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.

1995 National Finals Champions

The Accidentals

A unique mixed voice octet, The Accidentals are known for their sophisticated harmonies, off-beat sense of humor, and an eclectic repertoire of original songs and distinctive arrangements. Their many awards include MAC and Back Stage Bistro Awards for Best Vocal Group. They were also the 1995 National Champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes. The Accidentals' CDs have won several Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, and their songs have been included in feature films and on television.

1995 Results
1st
The Accidentals
2nd
The Metronomes
3rd
Graffiti Tribe
Audience Favorite
The Accidentals
Best Original Arrangement
“Time & Space” Garh Ross
Best Original Song
“You Win” Margaret Dorn


1995 Participating Groups

Boyz Nite Out
No Instruments? No Problem! Specializing in cover, pop and rockin' upbeat music, this high energy group combines all-vocal drums, guitars, and horns with smooth 5-part harmony to make you think there's an entire band on stage!

For over 14 years, Boyz Nite Out has traveled throughout the world appearing at major festivals, corporate events and private performances. The group has worked with such artists as Ray Charles, ELO, Jay Leno, Kool & the Gang and Michael MacDonald and has released 3 full length CD projects selling over 20,000 copies in the United States and Japan.

Listen to: People Are Strange | Listen to: Wild Wild West

Members: Mark Baldi, Tom Grifffin, Tony Ridenour, Bill Craig, Dave Menken, Ted Tolman
More Details

Five o’Clock Shadow
Five O'Clock Shadow, the all-vocal rock band from Boston, is living proof that a band without instruments can still rock! Using the same tech wizardry that guitarists have been using since the dawn of rock, Dan, Oren, Paul, and Caleb morph their voices into shredding guitar riffs and soaring solos right before your very ears. Meanwhile, their one-man vocal rhythm section, Stack, lays down his "beatbass": mouth beats and vocal bass thundering forth from his face, both at the same time! Yet when you take away all the speakers, amps, and microphones, these guys are still singers right down to the soul!

Also known as "FOCS", Five O'Clock Shadow has vocally rocked audiences of all ages throughout the US and Japan, and in every kind of venue. Through their educational program FOCS has presented workshops and concerts to thousands of music students from coast to coast.

Listen to: Green Eyes | Listen to: Oh Sugar

Members: JoJo David, Bill Eddy, Dave Harrison, Mike Mendyke, Warren Tessier, Wes Carroll
More Details

Chicago Voice Exchange
CVX is an entertaining award-winning five-member a cappella group based in Chicago. CVX is a three -time winner of the Midwest Harmony Sweepstakes competition, and has entertained crowds at venues such as sports events (Cubs, Sox and Bulls games, the World Cup), holiday events, festivals, industry conferences and bake sales.

One of the first actions of the group was to argue long and hard about what the name of the group should be. There were a whole host of possible names: WeWopDoo (from Peter Harlan, master of cheese), New Caboose, Vox Populi, Digital Voice Exchange, Five Guys named Moe, etc. Eventually, a compromise was reached with Chicago Voice Exchange. Hurrah.

Listen to: High & Lonesome | Listen to: Mexican Polka

Members: Joe Dennis, Tim Eaton, Peter Harlan, Dan MacDonald, John Milne
More Details

Heart & Soul
Heart & Soul is a male a cappella quartet singing songs from the doo wop era of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Over the past 4 years Heart & Soul has performed at various hotels, shopping centers, and private parties. Cuttently they perform at Sea World of California in San Diego.

Listen to: Good ‘Ol A Cappella

Members: Steve Kofalas, Juan Del Castillo, Jason Castillo, Simon Graves
More Details

The Metronomes
The Metronomes is a Washington DC based a cappella singing group. Formed in 1991 by former collegiate a cappella singers, The Metronomes perform an array of popular music dating from the forties to the present. The group’s unique harmonies and vast repertoire appeal to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to entertaining people on the streets of Georgetown, The Metronomes have performed at the White House for President Clinton, The US Supreme Court, The House of representatives, The Senate and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Listen to: Dangerous | Listen to: Time & Space

Members: John Cattaneo, Richard Oren, Kevin Page, Brad Saffer, Garth Ross, Andreas Smith
More Details

The Accidentals
A unique mixed voice octet, The Accidentals are known for their sophisticated harmonies, off-beat sense of humor, and an eclectic repertoire of original songs and distinctive arrangements. Their many awards include MAC and Back Stage Bistro Awards for Best Vocal Group. They were also the 1995 National Champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes. The Accidentals' CDs have won several Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, and their songs have been included in feature films and on television.

Listen to: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Members: Emily Bindiger, Dennis Deal, Kevin DiSimone, Margaret Dorn, Bill Mitchell, Marcia Pelletiere, Rosie Vallese, Jim Vincent
More Details

Graffiti Tribe
Graffiti Tribe was founded in 1990 by Dan Perkins and has had an interesting decade. They took home the awards of Regional Champions in 1995 and again in 1997 for the Denver Regional Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival. Since touring most of the country as one of America's most popular college acts, The Tribe has signed an exclusive record deal with Jakarta Records and will soon be touring and distributing their CDs on an international level. The Tribe is working on a new CD project which will somewhat stray from their a cappella roots. Fear not a cappella fans! This group won't leave their first love all together. Be on the lookout for the Tribe to be doing bigger and better things than ever before in the new millennium!

Listen to: 29 Ways

Members: Zack Freeman, Man Martinez, Tim Rosendo, Ray Paris, Dan Perkins, Derrick Pope
More Details

1995 Judges

Sandy Cressman   

Professional singer, instructor, composer and arranger Sandy Cressman began her professional career with the acclaimed vocal trio "Pastiche", who won the Harmony Sweepstakes back in 1987. After recording and touring with Pastiche, Sandy branched out, following her love for Latin music, and forming a new group, "Homenagem Brasileira", who have been performing in major festivals and venues since 1997. She will release her second Homenagem Brasileira CD on August 1 of this year. As a session singer, Sandy has recorded with such diverse artists as Eddie Money, Jonathan Cain (Journey), Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo and Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra. Sandy is a Governor of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy, and teaches private lessons and classes at Cressman Studios, Blue Bear School, and the Music Center of San Francisco.

Phil Debar   

A Barbershop Harmony Society contest judge, chorus director and itinerant baritone, Phil hosted local acappella radio shows on KRCB Santa Rosa ('95-'03) and KKUP Cupertino ('85-'04); and was co-founder (with Deke Sharon and Buddy Saleman) and host of CASA's "A Cappella Radio International" from 1996-2002. He also hosted the week-long video-webcasts of the barbershop international championships (2000-05). Phil started in a cappella with the Stanford Mendicants ('78), subbed in Chanticleer in '84, earned 3 Down Beat jazz "dee-bee" awards in the Foothill College Fanfairs ('86-8), and has sung in four Northern California champion barbershop quartets.

Jerry Friedman   

Jerry Friedman is a leading Bay Area reviewer who has been the entertainment critic for the market leader KGO radio for twenty years. He is president of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle and president of the Palace Of Fine Arts League. He has produced shows for Harrah's in Lake Tahoe and Reno and has been a comedy writer for years.

Laura Moody   

Known on air as "Laura in the Livingroom", Laura is a veteran of Bay Area radio. She has had a show for 20 years on UC Berkeley's KALX (90.7 FM) Radio, one of the nation's most influential college radio stations, where she did an extended stint as music director. Laura has a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science specializing in Music Librarianship. As an undergraduate, Laura studied voice and percussion at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Il. An avid music lover with a seasoned and critical ear, Laura enjoys all types of music from Ayler to Zappa.

Ralph Pavone   

For the past eleven years, Ralph has been Artist Representative. He currently represents composers Gordon Getty, vocalist Weslia Whitfield, the hit musical revue Party of One and, those bad boys of a cappella--The Edlos.

Complete list of 1995 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 :


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