16th Annual

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

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

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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 New York Champions

Exboyfriends

Formed in 1993, the seven-member vocal band started their humble journey in small NYC music clubs and worked their way up to win the Audience Favorite Award at the 2000 Harmony Sweepstakes national finals in San Francisco. Along the way, they appeared on VH1, Nickelodeon, TNN, NBC's Today Show as well as several appearances on The Howard Stern Show. They performed regularly at NYC rock club Mercury Lounge and their classic rock roots even earned them opening act slots with the likes of The Marshall Tucker Band and The Edgar Winter Group.

Their debut CD, A Cappella's Dead (1999) was called the "classic rock album a cappella has been waiting for" (Recorded A Cappella Review Board). The album features inventive covers of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Yes, and Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight". Their follow-up CD Karaoke Bar Brawl (2002) gained even more praise. Produced by Rockapella vocal percussionist Jeff Thacher, the album was nominated for two Contemporary A Cappella Recording Association (CARA) awards: Best Album and Best Cover Song ("25 or 6 to 4") and was one of RARB's "Picks of 2003" for favorite albums of the year. Karaoke Bar Brawl (named after a true event involving several band members) features loud & raw covers of The Who, Alice In Chains, Queen as well as two original songs.

2000 Results
1st
Exboyfriends
2nd (tie)
5th Element
2nd (tie)
PhilHarmonix
3rd (tie)
Ball In The House
Audience Favorite
Exboyfriends


2000 Participating Groups

5th Element
If you're looking for "Great" musical entertainment for your organization, the 5th Element is the solution. This is a barbershop quartet with the flexibility to sing the old songs in the old style, or to swing your favorites, like Frank Sinatra or Nat-King Cole. With an average age of the late 20's, this is not your father's barbershop quartet (although we can do that too). This is an a cappella delight for all ages. These four started singing together in April of 1998 and are currently the highest-ranking barbershop quartet in the New York-Metro area in the Barbershop Harmony Society. All four members belong to the Big Apple Chorus, the New York chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society which regularly delights audiences around the country and throughout the New York area. Both the lead and the bass are very active leaders in the chorus. The Big Apple Chorus consistently ranks in the Top Ten of all barbershop choruses.

Members: Fern Sicilia, Neil Dingle Jr., Mark Paul, Paul Santino
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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."

Members: Scott Harris, Jason Downie, David Guisth, Stephan McNulty, Jon Ryan, Michael Benard
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Bob Ross Juice Box Seven
What do you get when you put an actress, a composer, a lyricist, a lawyer, an architect, an international arts liason and a college administrator/Diva in a room together? Well, if they have a love of making music and the right wardrobe, you might get Bob Ross Juice Box, a unique blend of funky and fun - performing hot new versions of old favorites as well as original material. BRJB is proud to be making its New York City debut at the Harmony Sweepstakes.

Members:
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Duwende
Duwende aims to transcend musical boundaries and provide listeners with a smorgasbord of diverse and memorable contemporary songs. With an open spirit of musical experimentation and a unique style evolved from various musical genres, we deliver a crowd-pleasing show that showcases shopisticated vocal percussion, powerful bass, dynamic soloists and innovative songwriting. Duwende¹s musical selection consists of original all-vocal compositions and cover songs in a wide range of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, folk, and world beat. Since its inception in the winter of 1998, Duwende has been winning over audiences in venues throughout the New York City area, including high school and college campuses, private functions, ad clubs and theaters like Gaslight, The Triad, Arlene Grocery, HERE Center for the Performing Arts, New York Comedy Club, and Le Bar Bat.

Members: Jason Baluyut, Edward Chung, Abbey Janes, Dexter Jones, Morgan Phillips, Susan Hills, Brett Hopkins
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Exboyfriends
Formed in 1993, the seven-member vocal band started their humble journey in small NYC music clubs and worked their way up to win the Audience Favorite Award at the 2000 Harmony Sweepstakes national finals in San Francisco. Along the way, they appeared on VH1, Nickelodeon, TNN, NBC's Today Show as well as several appearances on The Howard Stern Show. They performed regularly at NYC rock club Mercury Lounge and their classic rock roots even earned them opening act slots with the likes of The Marshall Tucker Band and The Edgar Winter Group.

Their debut CD, A Cappella's Dead (1999) was called the "classic rock album a cappella has been waiting for" (Recorded A Cappella Review Board). The album features inventive covers of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Yes, and Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight". Their follow-up CD Karaoke Bar Brawl (2002) gained even more praise. Produced by Rockapella vocal percussionist Jeff Thacher, the album was nominated for two Contemporary A Cappella Recording Association (CARA) awards: Best Album and Best Cover Song ("25 or 6 to 4") and was one of RARB's "Picks of 2003" for favorite albums of the year. Karaoke Bar Brawl (named after a true event involving several band members) features loud & raw covers of The Who, Alice In Chains, Queen as well as two original songs.

Listen to: Ramble On | Listen to: A Phloyles Thing

Members: Brian Reichelt, David Curry, David Kern, Ari Pickart, Jeremy Lipkin, Jeff Leibert, Xerxes Ecclips
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Hearts of Stone
Hearts of Stone originated in the 1970's as a Motown recording group. Motown, however, is not the only musical style found in this group. R&B, rock'n'roll, and doo-wop are also among the styles heard during performances. Hearts of Stone appears either "a cappella" or with the Touch Band. In either situation, they demonstrate their smooth sound and terrific harmonies. Carl Cutler, in the original recording group, re-vived the Hearts of Stone about ten years ago, re-teaming with Idells member Benny Rodgers. Each member of this quintet has been singing since his youth. Individually or in various group configurations, the Hearts of Stone have appeared with Eddie Holman, the Delphonics, Ray Charles, Benny King, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Pookine Hudson and the Spaniels, Bobby Rydell, and Teddy Pendegrass among others. Hears of Stone is currently performing in a variety of venues throughout the Philadelpnia area and New Jersey. Hearts of Stone appeared on NIN-TV in 1998 as part of the Harvey Holiday Street Corner extravaganza.

Members: Charles Murkey, Carl Cutler, Benny Rogers, Stanford Laws, Elliotte Jenkins
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PhilHarmonix
Meet Philharmonix, a mixed a cappella quartet that is thrilling audiences in the Philadelphia are, as well as up and down the East Coast. These four talented singers, each with a strong background in the close harmonies and precision singing of the barbershop world, have joined forces to create an exciting new sound in the style of the Modernaires and the Manhattan Transfer. Organized in 1997, Philharmonix performed at the Mixed Harmony Showcase at the 1998 SPEBSQSA International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, were a featured quartet at the 1998 &1999 Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio and performed at the Ohio State Fair. Their busy schedule includes appearing in community concerts, conventions, banquets, and festivals. In January 1999, they received first-place medals in their first national contest, the Mid-America Barbershop Quartet Expo in St Louis, Missouri. Philharmonix combines a natural sound and fun-loving style that their audiences truly enjoy. These accomplished musicians can perform melody and harmony with ease, making every song they sing a showcase for their unique ability and versatility. Their repertoire includes favorites from the 30’s and 40’s, as well as pop tunes, gospel, Broadway, and Jazz.

Members: Donna Perrone, Amy Carr, Tom Halley, Rick Serpico
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Special Delivery
Since it's inception in 199, Special Delivery has developed into one of the Northeast's premier acappella groups. This seven man vocal ensemble continues to captivate audiences with it's sophisticated arrangements, intricate harmonies an powerful lead vocals applied to the popular American music from the 1930's through the 1990's.

Members: Michael Barchetto, Bud Cuttito, Jim Espallat, Jim Hammill, Mike Mulligan, Phil Ruggiero
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Sunday Morning News


Members: Dan Driscoll, Ed Hiligar, Tom McMueency, Dave White
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Uncle Baz and the Jive Street Five
Cryogenically frozen in the late 70s, Uncle Bazz and the Jive Street Five returned to life at the cusp of the new Millennium to continue performing all music that is funky. While "getting its groove back" proved more complicated than first anticipated, the group has finally adjusted to life in the present and plans to start singing Latin pop music any day now.

Members: Bryan Frederick, Amir Herman, Xerxes Eclipse, Jane McIntosh, Vanessa Manuel, Thea McCartan, Mike Van Allen
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2000 Judges

Margaret Dorn   

Margaret Dorn is an award- winning singer, composer, arranger and producer whose work encompasses the recording industry, commercials, film and television, theater, night clubs and the concert stage. As a versatile vocalist and musician she covers a broad range of styles. She has sung with many artists including Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, k.d. lang, Carly Simon, Michael McDonald, Jessica Simpson, Willie Nelson, Barry Manilow, Michael Feinstein, Diana Ross, Rosanne Cash, Lucie Arnaz, Garth Brooks and The Chieftains. She recently toured the US and Australia with Bette Midler. A highly respected writer and vocal arranger, Margaret’s work includes pop, rock, country, jazz, gospel, r&b, classical, theatrical and some styles that can’t be defined! She has written the score for a new musical, “Faraway Bayou”, featured in the NAMT festival in 2006. She’s always writing and arranging for her elegantly eclectic a cappella group THE ACCIDENTALS. Award winners on both coasts (Back Stage Bistro and 3 MAC Awards in New York; 3 CARA s ), The Accidentals won the Harmony Sweepstakes National Championship-sweeping all the categories in the New York Regional and 3 of the four categories in the National Sweepstakes. With 5 CDs (produced by Margaret), theater and cabaret shows, TV and film scores, and TV appearances (Denis Leary’s “Merry F#$%in’ Christmas”), The AX is still rockin’!

Darmon Meader   

Recognized in both the jazz vocal and instrumental worlds, Darmon Meader is a highly respected vocalist, arranger and saxophonist. Darmon has achieved international recognition as the founder, musical director, chief arranger, composer, producer, saxophonist, and vocalist with New York Voices. As a member of New York Voices, he has released numerous recordings on the GRP, RCA/Victor, Concord and MCGJazz labels. In the fall of 2007, New York Voices released their long-awaited MCGJazz release "A Day Like This," and in January of 2008, Darmon released his much anticipated debut solo CD, And So Am I. Darmon's solo project is a collection of jazz standards and original works, which reflects his varied interests and skills as a singer, saxophonist, writer and arranger.

Claudia Marx   

With more than twenty years in the record industry, Claudia Marx began her career at Connoisseur Society Records, a small classical label where she was in charge of production. In 1979, she accepted a position at RCA as an assistant in the publicity department, where she worked alongside well-known jazz publicist Elliott Horne who opened her eyes to jazz. She later moved to Vanguard Records where, as head of production, she was responsible for pressing and record jacket production. She completed her industry education during a stint at NewYork Digital Recording, where she learned bout the technical aspects of the recording business. She launched Town Crier Recordings in 1986, aspiring to make it the Rolls Royce of jazz labels. The personal attention she was able to give her artists and the high audio standards she set for her recordings put Claudia in a league of her own - head and shoulders above the big record companies. When Sir Roland Hanna first heard his finished Round Midnight recording he remarked that it is the best album he ever made. Paquito D'Rivera said the same thing about the album he made for Town Crier. Since 1991, Ms Marx has been the Director of a jazz-oriented vocal group called the Lance Hayward Singers. The 18-voice ensemble sings unusual arrangements of jazz compositions, standards Negro Sprituals and some classical music. The group has been working since 1984. Town Crier Recordings is the American record label for the high level a cappella groups The Real Group and most recently, Vox P.

Jack Scandura   

Jack comes from a musical family. His Dad was a musician with prominent big bands during the 40s and the 50s. Jack grew up in Queens, in the 1950s, acquired his interest in vocal groups singing with friends on the local street corners. To his credit are numerous recordings with groups such as the Blend-Aires, Blue Stars (LP on Clifton in 1990), and most recently the Five Discs. Jack has been a member of this legendary street corner group, the Five Discs, for the last few years traveling the country with the group of the 50's, 60's revival concerts. Musician, lead singer, harmony sing, arranger, musical director, vocal teacher, all facets of Jacks love, interest and knowledge of vocal harmony. He is currently working as an arranger, lead and background vocals on a couple of CD projects for Clifton Records.

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 :

Colette Thompson (New York) Colette Thompson has directed or performed in over eleven vocal ensembles, with her group, Stay Tuned, placing 3rd in the 1998 New York Regional of the Harmony Sweepstakes; Colette has performed/recorded with Lukas Foss, Leonard Bernstein, Jesse Norman, Peter, Paul & Mary, and James Levine A billboard-ranked singer/songwriter, she has also managed several events, including, Christmas at NYU, Complex at the Duplex, and An Evening with The Real Group at NYC's Symphony Space. With performances televised via major news programs including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, and NY1, she is a promoter, producer, adjudicator and an ambassador of vocal music worldwide.

128 Fort Greene Place, Suite 1B, Brooklyn, NY 11217
917-442-2011
colette.thompson (at) mac.com


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