20th 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.

2004 New York Champions

Vox Bop

Vox Bop is a mixed a cappella quartet that performs a wide variety of musical styles, from the lyrical beauty of the Renaissance to the lush harmonies of the Jazz Era to eclectic arrangements of pop classics. Vox Bop won the best award for Best Original Song at the 2001 National Harmony Sweepstakes after winning many awards at the New York City Regionals in 2001. The group was interviewed and featured in a 12-minute piece on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" in December 1999. They also appeared as the house band on a Christmas taping of NBC-TV's "The Ainsley Harriott Show" and in a national television ad for Amazon.com. During the summer of 2000, Vox Bop was a featured performer at the Alandia Jazz Festival in Finland.

2004 Results
1st
Vox Bop
2nd
High Five
3rd
Duwende
Audience Favorite
Sons of Pitches
Best Original Arrangement
"Star And Stripes" - Israel


2004 Participating Groups

CrossRoads
Crossroads is the new "superquartet" on the Barbershop Block, formed of four singers who are former BHS International Gold medalists in their own right, tenor Fred Farrell, lead Mike Slamka, bass Jim Henry and baritone Brandon Guyton. Henry won Gold in 1993 as a founding member and arranger of the legendary Gas House Gang, and is currently musical and artistic director of the 160-voice Ambassadors of Harmony. Guyton pocketed Gold in 2002 with Four Voices, Slamka sang his way to Gold with 2003 champs Power Play, and Farrell wore Gold with 1989 Quartet champs Second Edition. With this much vocal and arranging talent and experience, it came as no great surprise that newly-formed Crossroads struck Gold again in Anaheim, CA in 2009!

Members: Brandon Brooks, Brian Schreiner, Jeremiah Brooks, Chad Tully
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Duwende
Duwende (Doo-WEN-day) is six voices with nothing between them and the audience but a bank of monitors and some wireless microphones. They wail, they scream, they sweat. They dispose of the fluff, stripping rock music down to its most essential elements and building it back up again, using nothing but lung power and soul. The result is thrilling, booty-shaking, refreshingly honest funk/pop unlike anything that's been seen or heard in quite some time. Since 1998 Duwende has been playing clubs, colleges and events up and down the East Coast, building a loyal following along the way. Their music has received critical acclaim in print publications and online, including The Boston Globe, garageband.com, and Billboard Magazine.

Members: Jason Baluyut, Edward Chung, Abbey Janes, Dexter Jones, Morgan Phillips, Ari Picker
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High Five
High Five is an award winning, mixed voice, 5-part, a cappella jazz quintet from the Baltimore-Washington area creating music and fun wherever music lovers can be found. With more than a century of combined musical experience, this full-chord sound and tight harmonies are indicative of their unique style. This, combined with an undisputable jazz influence & champion arranger, makes Janet, Christy, Lori, Joe and Mike the ensemble that is unmistakably High Five.

Members: Janet Montrie, Christy Brannock, Lori Dreyer, Joe Mannherz, Mike Kelly
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Israel
Israel is an acappella ensemble taken from the larger Mass Choir of the Church of God & Saints of Christ. Influenced by the likes of recording artists such as Take 6, Israel promises to refine a cappella music.

Members: Rev. Jesse Hendricks, Erikka Hendricks, April Grant, Crystal Grant, James Grant, Delilah Marshall, Robert Grant
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Seul
Seul (pronounce "Soul") is a vocal group of five women with the love of a cappella jazz, pop and R&B music. Based in New York City and heavily influenced by Jazz and Christian music, they are sure to give a wide range of vocals with beautiful textures.

Members: Ronnie Rochester, Keesha Gumbs, Kimberly Robinson, Beverly Anne Burton, Tamika Gumbs
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Sirens
The Sirens are one of New York City's premiere female a cappella groups, dedicated to musical excellence and quality performance. A group of fabulous and talented women, they strive to break new music ground by choosing songs that have never been attempted by others in the cappella world in order to challenge themselves and surprise the audience. They balance fresh and innovative songs with numerous well-known and recognizable favorites. The result is a diverse repertoire including contemporary, pop, jazz, rock classics and oldies, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

Members: Marnie Black, Joanna Lovell, Yeraz Markarian, Tari Suprapto, Rachel Wallins, Wendy White
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Sons of Pitches
Sons of Pitches is new to the professional music world although they span four years as college favorites. Their spectacular harmonies coupled with striking arrangements and originals have earned them dozens of sold out shows in theatres across upstate NY including Ithaca's 1650 seat State Theatre. They have shared the bill with The Four Tops and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artists, The Temptations. Their third CD earned them accolades for their versatility and style matched with sales totaling 20,000 to date. These five talented guys are also master showmen whose music, charisma and humor leave audiences hungering for more. This is the first competition for Sons of Pitches and they are excited to perform in Harmony Sweepstakes.

Members: Ryan James Ainsworth, Ross Mizrahi, Thomas Morris, Eric Toyama, James Wheal
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Vox Bop
Vox Bop is a mixed a cappella quartet that performs a wide variety of musical styles, from the lyrical beauty of the Renaissance to the lush harmonies of the Jazz Era to eclectic arrangements of pop classics. Vox Bop won the best award for Best Original Song at the 2001 National Harmony Sweepstakes after winning many awards at the New York City Regionals in 2001. The group was interviewed and featured in a 12-minute piece on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" in December 1999. They also appeared as the house band on a Christmas taping of NBC-TV's "The Ainsley Harriott Show" and in a national television ad for Amazon.com. During the summer of 2000, Vox Bop was a featured performer at the Alandia Jazz Festival in Finland.

Listen to: Commercial Medley | Listen to: God Bless This Child

Members: David Deschamps, Peter Fisher, Maura May, Melissa Munn
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Yasna Voices
Yasna Voices (yasna means "clear" in Bulgarian) is Brooklyn's only Bulgarian women's choir, founded in late 2002. This all-female vocal group, led by singer and musician Vlada Tomova, specializes in Bulgarian Folk music and other international vocal traditions and techniques. Yasna's mission is to introduce audiences to this rich vocal tradition. Yasna Voices has recently been awarded a Community grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council to present a program of "women's work woven through song".

Members: Vlada Tomova, Corinna Snyder, Kristin Espeland, Rachel Freeman, Sarah Small, Erin Stratford, Sue Dennis
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Complete list of 2004 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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