14th Annual

National Finals | Schedule | Recordings | National Champions | Rules | How to enter | About us

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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.

1998 National Finals Champions

Metropolis

Formed in February of 1994, Metropolis has come to the attention of national television audiences within the past few years, beginning with their appearance on the pilot episode of Four Floor Show on E! Entertainment Television in June 1995 and the filming of a national Dr. Pepper commercial later that same year. They continue to make appearances in various media, most recently singing jingles for radio commercials and having appeared in the limited release film entitled "Pacino is Missing." The members of Metropolis have performed in a cappella groups on national and local television, film, radio, and in 28 different states and provinces including Florida, Michigan Minnesota, Hawaii, Alberta, Ontario, California, Arizona, and Nevada. They have competed in numerous different vocal styles encompassing Jazz, Doo-Wop, Broadway, R&B, Dixieland, Madrigal, and Opera.

1998 Results
1st
Metropolis
2nd
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3rd (tie)
Blind Man’s Bluff
3rd (tie)
City Lights
Audience Favorite
+4db
Best Original Arrangement
“In a Mellow Tone” David Duran
Best Original Song
“Wake Up Call” by David Wilner


1998 Participating Groups

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+4db... is an a cappella vocal jazz quintet. This Bay Area group formed in August of 1996 and is the 1998 Bay Area Harmony Sweepstakes Regional Champion. They also won Audience Favorite and Best Arrangement awards in both 1997 and 1998. They have performed at the Freight and Salvage, and have opened for many groups such a s M-Pact!, the House Jacks, and Boyz Nite Out. They have been featured at major a cappella events such as "Hot August Harmony" in Santa Rosa and the West Coast A Cappella Summit in San Rafael. They have performed in the National Anthem at 3Com Park for the San Francisco Giants, and appeared on cable's "The Bruce Latimer Show."

Listen to: Chili Con Carne | Listen to: In A Mellow Tone

Members: Paul Cingolani, David Duran, Juliet Green, Jay Jordana, Jay Quibodeaux
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Ball In The House
Following in the path of classic harmony groups like Boyz II Men, The Temptations, and Take 6, with a mix of the classic and the contemporary, the five-member vocal band Ball in the House brilliantly blends a wide range of influences, from classic R&B to pop, hip-hop & gospel. With their extensive tour schedule (averaging 250 dates a year), Ball in the House reaches millions and is arguably one of the hardest working, most successful indie bands today. They have performed with such artists as The Beach Boys, Gladys Knight, The Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, Fantasia, Blondie, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, KC & The Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, and numerous others. All a cappella, but a sound that will astound and amaze you. 5 Guys, 5 Voices, THAT'S IT... A review from the Boston Globe put it very succinctly - "Ball in the House has everything you would expect to find in a successful pop/rock band....the one thing it doesn't have is instruments."

Listen to: Get It On | Listen to: Crawlin

Members:
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Blind Man’s Bluff
Bluff rock is vocal rock - more than vocal. more than rock. aggressive. dirty. human. texture that tingles. both familiar and surprisingly unique. gritty but not grating. edgy but not hard edged. a sound you've never heard before. unquestionably modern. undeniably rock. rich. dark. driving. enticingly organic. depth without pretention. no holds barred and widely appealing. what you're waiting for - believe your ears.

Listen to: Virtual Insanity | Listen to: Wake Up Call

Members: David Wilner, Nick Geisinger, Chaz Ruhl, Drew Breen
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Metropolis
Formed in February of 1994, Metropolis has come to the attention of national television audiences within the past few years, beginning with their appearance on the pilot episode of Four Floor Show on E! Entertainment Television in June 1995 and the filming of a national Dr. Pepper commercial later that same year. They continue to make appearances in various media, most recently singing jingles for radio commercials and having appeared in the limited release film entitled "Pacino is Missing." The members of Metropolis have performed in a cappella groups on national and local television, film, radio, and in 28 different states and provinces including Florida, Michigan Minnesota, Hawaii, Alberta, Ontario, California, Arizona, and Nevada. They have competed in numerous different vocal styles encompassing Jazz, Doo-Wop, Broadway, R&B, Dixieland, Madrigal, and Opera.

Listen to: Some Lucky Day | Listen to: Yakkos World (Mexican Hat Music)

Members: Bob Hartley, Brian Philbin, Mike McGee, James Sabina
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Acapelicans
The Acapelicans are a three part ensemble from Melbourne, Australia that formed out of a love and mutual respect between Carl Pannuzzo, Sarah Liversidge, and Simon Nugent. Their combined voice pays a unique homage to the wondrous mystery of music through the dynamic possibilities of harmony in a repertoire of songs that is both sensitive and challenging. The Harmony Sweepstakes Finals is the last stop n their North American debut tour where they have quickly developed a strong following with their reverent performances of poignant originals and uniquely arranged classics.

Listen to: The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face | Listen to: Happy World

Members: Carl Pannuzzo, Sarah Liversidge, Simon Nugent
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City Lights
City Lights offers a musical experience to remember. Their wide-ranging repertoire includes sons from traditional barbershop harmony, jazz, Broadway show tunes as well as popular classics.

In 1992 City Lights captured the title of Sweet Adeline International Quartet Champions in Baltimore, MD. Since that time they have traveled to Vezprem, Hungry where they were invited to teach and perform at the Hungarian Choral Festival. They recently toured the United Kingdom from Aberdeen, Scotland to Portsmouth, England teaching the barbershop craft as well as coaching and performing. The group has performed throughout the USA and Canada and have numerous TV and Radio credits. In 1998 City Lights won the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Regional Championship in NYC and competed in the 14th Annual National Finals in San Francisco, CA where they placed third.

Listen to: Coronet Man | Listen to: That’s How You Jazz (Medley)

Members: Nancy Cloeter, Jo Lund, Sharon Vitkovsky, Jeannie Froelich
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Heebee-Jeebees
The Heebee-jeebees are an a cappella quartet formed in 1993, and in the past 13 years have sung thousands of performances, appeared on local, national and international radio, television and print. The group has a reputation for being hilarious, entertaining and extremely talented. The Heebee-jeebees have released 6 recordings, all to international recognition including 4 CARA nominations and 2 CARA Awards. They have won the Canadian Championships of Harmony twice, as well as Championships in the USA. They continue to impress and entertain audiences with their voices, and are considered the best of comedic a cappella entertainment. .... The Heebee-jeebees are: Cedric Blary, Chris Herard, Ken Lima-Coelho and Jonathan Love. .... NOTE: Some incorrect spellings of the Heebee-jeebees are: .. ..heebie geebies.. ..heebee jeebies.. ..heebie jeebies.. ..heebee jeebees (needs the - ).. .. These are put here so the search engines pick up our profile.

Listen to: Good Lovin’ | Listen to: Maritime Folk Song

Members: Chris Herard, Jonathan Love, Ken Lima-Coelho, Cedric Blary
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Cool Shooz
From Colorado comes Cool Shooz. Cool Shooz is a Rock n’ Roll A Cappella! This group has been wowing Colorado audiences musically one moment, then making them laugh out loud the next, since 1990. They appeared here previously in 1996, and have since entertained thousands of people all over Colorado. Their unique sound is a blend of many years of individual experience shining opera, vocal jazz., musical theater, and rhythm and blues. You will notice two new faces and voices: Jeff King, the velvet-toed tenor, has performed here previously with The Diners. Also new is vocal percussionist Tom Connor - a fine tenor singer in his own right - adding his tasty percussion to finish the COOL SHOOZ sound. Hear their now-famous Bohemian Rhapsody tonight at the Afterglow, but for now, just sit back and enjoy...THE SHOOZ BROTHERS!?!

Listen to: This Island Earth | Listen to: Sign Your Name Across My Heart

Members:
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1998 Judges

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.

Phil Elwood   

Philip Elwood is a well respected vetran music critic fo the SF Examiner. Mr Elwood has taught American history and has produced a jazz and blues weekly radio program on KPFA since the 1950's.

Jesse Hamlin   

Jesse Hamlin is an award-winning music writer and a respected veteran reporter of the the San Francisco entertainment scene. Hamlin has a regular column in the San Francisco Chronicle where he has worked as senior jazz critic and arts reporter for many years. He also contributes regularly to SF Arts magazine and to San Francisco Classical Voice, where he writes about jazz, Latin and classical music. His work has appeared in the New York Times, California magazine and in many other print and online publications.

Louise Robinson   

Founding member of Sweet Honey In The Rock, Louise's received her BA from Howard University. Her professional credits include producing, directing and acting on and off Broadway, where she worked with respected talents such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Gregory Hines, Lynn Whitfield and others too numerous to mention. Louise also co-wrote Sweet Honey's book, "We Who Believe in Freedom." As a performer in the touring company of "Little Shop of Horrors," she first came to the Bay Area, where she joined the staff of Oakland's Festival at the Lake. She started the professional a cappella quintet Street Sounds in 1989. Street Sounds has released two CD's, opened for or played with the Persuasions, the Manhattan Transfer and Ladysmith Black Mamabazo, and toured the US and abroad.

Gene Puerling   

Gene Puerling is known throughout the world of music for his hghlt distinctive choral arranging. He was the guiding light in two premier jazz vocal groups; The Hi-Lo's and the Singers Unlimited. During his career, he has written arrangements for Linda Ronstadt, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Jackson, Manhatten Transfer, The Ritz, The Vocal Majority and Chanticleer to name a few. Mr. P os also active as a clinician/ejudicator in the educational music field. Many of his arrangements are published by Shawnee Press, Columbia Pictures and Hal Leonard. Among his many commendations are a Grammy Award for his vocal arrangements of "A Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square" as recorded by the Manhattan Transfer, and 14 Grammy nominations.

Complete list of 1998 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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