22nd 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.

2006 New York Champions

'Round Midnight

'Round Midnight is an award-winning "a cappella" quartet of music educators from the Long Island/Manhattan area of New York. While they sing primarily in the barbershop style, their eclectic influences range from jazz to classical and everything in between. The group is a two-time Semi-Finalist in the Barbershop Harmony Society's (BHS) International Barbershop Quartet Contest and they are also the BHS 2010 Mid-Atlantic District Quartet Champions. In addition, the foursome won the New York City Harmony Sweepstakes Championship and was bestowed with the coveted "Audience Favorite" award by overwhelming crowd vote. The quartet has received praise for their self-titled debut recording too, receiving a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nomination in the category of "Best Barbershop Song" for their rendition of "Try A Little Tenderness". 'Round Midnight has been featured in an array of showcases, contests, and educational workshops spanning the United States from New York to California.

2006 Results
1st
'Round Midnight
2nd
Blue Jupiter
3rd
High 5 Vocalworks
Best Original Arrangement
"Time after Time" Arr. Toby Donnelly - Blue Jupiter
Best Original Song
"Mrs. Minahan" - Sean Berg - Crush On Janice


2006 Participating Groups

'Round Midnight
'Round Midnight is an award-winning "a cappella" quartet of music educators from the Long Island/Manhattan area of New York. While they sing primarily in the barbershop style, their eclectic influences range from jazz to classical and everything in between. The group is a two-time Semi-Finalist in the Barbershop Harmony Society's (BHS) International Barbershop Quartet Contest and they are also the BHS 2010 Mid-Atlantic District Quartet Champions. In addition, the foursome won the New York City Harmony Sweepstakes Championship and was bestowed with the coveted "Audience Favorite" award by overwhelming crowd vote. The quartet has received praise for their self-titled debut recording too, receiving a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) nomination in the category of "Best Barbershop Song" for their rendition of "Try A Little Tenderness". 'Round Midnight has been featured in an array of showcases, contests, and educational workshops spanning the United States from New York to California.

Listen to: Take The A Train | Listen to: Tin Roof Blues

Members: Larry Bomback, T.J. Carollo, Wayne Grimmer, Jeff Glemboski
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The Acchords
This group's dedication to perfection emulates uncany insight and expression into melodic tones and incredibly smooth harmony. Their distinctive combination of vocal talent and showmanship engenders a feeling of all that was right with the world during an era that fashioned the greatest rock and roll music of all time.

Members: Tommy McManus, Brian Connolly, Pete Chacona, Marty Badamo
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Blue Jupiter
Blue Jupiter is a powerful pop-jazz-funk a cappella quartet: Marty the beatboxer, Chris the screaming-high tenor, Jonathan the human orchestra, and Diana- (Blue Jupiter's secret weapon) a Broadway singer and voice-over artist. These four voices will set the audience ablaze with their infectious energy, seamless harmony and thunderous vocal percussion. You'll swear they have a back up band... but they don't.

Blue Jupiter is best known as the voices of Oreo Cookie, singing the national Oreo radio commercial since 2005. Over the past 6 years, Blue Jupiter has worked with famed producer and American Idol Judge Randy Jackson, sang with Livingston Taylor and performed on Oprah and VH1's Save the Music. They've headlined charity events for the American Cancer Society, The Red Cross, Braking the Cycle, Hartford Children's Hospital and many others. Blue Jupiter has been voted "Audience Favorite" multiple times at the Harmony Sweepstakes and has appeared at countless NACA (National Association of Campus Activities), showcases including the 2008 National Showcase in St. Louis.

Members: Marty Gasper, Chris Chatham, Toby Donnelly, Chris Thomas
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Crush on Janice
Crush on Janice formed in August 2005 and has been singing in the halls of 11 Penn Plaza ever since. We are united by a love of a cappella music and The Muppets, particularly members of the Electric Mayhem band.

Members: Sean Berg, Sarah Corman, Xerxes Eclipse, Jeff Liebert, Jane McIntosh, Lehho Rebasso, Anna Ulrich
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High 5 Vocalworks
High 5 Vocalworks is one of NYC’s most dynamic vocal groups whose trademark harmonies are accompanied by wit and charm, and whose performances are notable for their total absence of reverence. (Amen.) Whether you’re a fan of Ellington, Mozart, The Beatles or Queen, this group knows how to deliver a show. Their annual Holiday concerts have been sell-outs for the last 8 years and their Broadway evenings attract crowds of all ages. Their eclectic mix is often compared to The Manhattan Transfer but what sets H5VW apart is their unique personality and presentation.

Members: Doborah Ivry, Ray Lagstein, Raina Saul, Michael Flemming, Yuval Cohen
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Mystery Date
Award-winning a cappella sensation Mystery Date sings to entertain and inspire. This gay male a cappella group has roots as diverse as rock and roll, classical music, musical theater, soul, and collegiate a cappella. They delight audiences with their jazzy sound and sweet, sassy ( and sometimes irreverent) stage presence. Their repertoire defies categorization, ranging from Spike Jones and Gershwin classics to the B52s and contemporary songwriters like Alanis Morrisette and Desiree. They have performed nationwide sharing stages with a cappella legends “The Bobs”, Sweet Honey and the Rock’s Y’saye Barnwell, Lea DeLaria, The Persuasions, Kate Clinton, and Naturally Seven, among others. From New York cabarets and concert halls to theaters and arenas across the country, their performances are fueled with uncompromising musicianship, explosive energy and offbeat humor.

Members: Ken Browne, Jeff Domoto, Joshua Koffman, Bill Poock
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Revielle
Exciting, enthusiastic, and always entertaining, Reveille qualified for the SPEBSQSA International barbershop competition in its very first year, and is the 2002 Mid-Atlantic District quartet champions. A versatile quartet, Reveille commands a repertoire remarkable in its variety, ranging from traditional ballads, to original comedy, to Sinatra, to contemporary swing, and featuring hot charts from a variety of top arrangers, many from the fertile brain of tenor Roger Payne. All four members are also active leaders in the top-ranked Big Apple Chorus of New York City.

Members: Roger Payne, John Ward, Mark Paul, Joe Hunter
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Streetheart

The joy of creating that magical vocal blend that singers crave brought about, in 1998, the formation of StreetHeart, New Jersey's favorite all female acappella group. In the grand tradition of doowop, StreetHeart is a five-member ensemble, singing street corner harmony with an upbeat sound, adding their beauty and fun as well. All from Central New Jersey - Betty, Dee, Bethe, Melodie, and Vicki are StreetHeart, who offer up stylish songs that employ their voices as their sole instruments.



Members: Betty Semel, Vicki Warnock, Dee Fisher, Bethe Burns, Melodie Somers
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2006 Judges

Judith Douglas   

Judith Douglas is presently Team Coordinator and Assistant Director of Metro Rhythm Chorus, Sweet Adelines, Int.'l. (SAI) She has been a member of SAI for 25 years and has her certification as a "Front Row" Director. Judy's expertise is in the area of vocal training. She Directed Golden Apple Chorus, SAI, in Westchester, NY for nine years. Judy has held positions as choreographer and Asst. choreographer for four choruses in the SAI organization and at present, is working toward her judges certification in the Expression Category for SAI. She is excited about this competition and hopes all the hard work will benefit our fine contestants!

Gerard Brown III   

Gerard Brown III is a screenwriter and former writer in residence with the New York Shakespeare Festival. He has written a number of screenplays and teleplays for the likes of Paramount Pictures and HBO among others. However, his most gratifying artistic accomplishment was PBS's Spike & Co: Do it A Cappella which he conceived, wrote, and co-executive produced and shot at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

William Zukof   

William Zukof is one of the founding members of The Western Wind , the internationally acclaimed vocal sextet. A New York City native, he has appeared as a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, and Musica Sacra of New York. Mr. Zukof performed the Bach Magnificat under the direction of Leonard Bernstein at the Vatican in Rome. His operatic appearances include roles with the Washington Opera, the Eastern Opera Company, the Eastman School, and the University of California at Berkeley. He has directed hundred of workshops and is also a stage director of opera and music theater. Executive producer for Western Wind Records, he has produced many recordings and publications.

John Dorer   

John Dorer started his vocal experience directing the Brown University Jabberwocks (a few years ago). A member of the University Glee Club of New York City and an active quartet competitor for many years, he has served in many capacities, including Director of Music and as President from 1983 to 1985. He arranges music and has won the coveted Mapletoft Hambone Cup twelve times with various quartets. Since 1978 Mr. Dorer has led The Ten, an 18-man a cappella group, who have sung at the White House, regaled Princess Grace of Monaco, and performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. They sing annually for a wide variety of beneficiaries including churches, hospitals, historical societies and clubs located anywhere from New York to Bermuda.

Roger Treece   

Composer, arranger, and singer Roger Treece has spent the past several years developing a new kind of choral music, combining traditional classical elements with jazz, funk, gospel, and the vocal innovations of his frequent collaborator, Bobby McFerrin. Roger has been commissioned by the Danish Radio Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Children's Choir and many others around the world. In addition, Roger has produced and arranged over 30 albums for artists such as the Bobby McFerrin, the Manhattan Transfer, the New York Voices, Mark Murphy, and Janis Siegel, as well as music for film and television, earning him five Grammy Nominations, fourteen downbeat awards, and industry accolades for his music education projects for children.

Roger tours worldwide as a vocal soloist and a member of Bobby McFerrin's 12-piece vocal ensemble, Voicestra. Roger Treece has been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards as an arranger, producer, singer, and engineer, and has won 14 DOWNBEAT awards as a soloist, ensemble member, director and arranger. In 2010, his arrangement of "Baby" (VOCAbuLarieS) was nominated for "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals" : the first time in the history of the Grammy Awards that an a cappella arrangement has been nominated for an instrumental arranging award.

Steve Friedman   

Steve Friedman juggles multiple careers in music, communications and technology. As a professional ensemble singer, Steve performs with the St. Michael's Choir and with the 92nd Street Y High Holidays Choir. He was a founding member of Angelus, a six-voice male ensemble based at St. Michael’s Church. He sang on the Douglas Frank Chorale’s recording of The A Cappella Singer. He's been an assistant conductor and singer with The Dessoff Choirs, Cantabile, The Mannes Chamber Singers and Cerddorion. His vocal arrangements have been performed by groups across the country and in Japan. His arrangements of John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane and The Beach Boys’ In My Room were recorded by The Western Wind on their 1997 CD release, My Funny Valentine. His Spiderman was chosen Best Arrangement at the 1998 New York Harmony Sweepstakes. He was a founding member of The Usual Suspects vocal sextet, for whom many of his arrangements were written. His Better Your Tuning workshop addresses intonation and temperament issues faced by vocal ensembles. Steve founded and runs Vocal Area Network, New York’s home for vocal ensemble music, celebrating ten years on the web in March 2006. By day, he works as a sales engineer for Siemens Communications. A lifelong resident of New York City (except for four years at Yale sometime in the last century), Steve lives on the Upper West Side with his wife Julie and future ensemble singers Matthew (born 2000) and Rebecca (born 2003).

Toby Twining   

Raised in Texas, with family roots in country-swing and gospel, Toby Twining has traveled musically from playing for rock and jazz bands to experimental composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned his Bachelor of Musical Composition degree in 1985. He moved to New York in 1987, initially writing for modern dance choreographers who wanted the sounds of a new choral music. In 1990, with a group of five New York–based singers, Twining presented the first international live concert of his music in Seoul, South Korea. A year later he formed Toby Twining Music, an a cappella quartet. The ensemble expanded to premiere Chrysalid Requiem in 1999 at Gaudeamus’ “Festival of New Spiritual Music”? in Amsterdam, an hour-length choral work released by Cantaloupe Music in 2002. His instrumental music has been recorded by pianist Margaret Leng Tan on the Art of the Toy Piano (Uni/Point, 1997) and cellist Matt Haimovitz on Please Welcome Matt Haimovitz (Artemis Classics, 2003) and Anthem (Oxingale/Artemis, 2002). In 2003, Twining was a Pew Fellow and he is working currently on a new solo recording for Cantaloupe.

Complete list of 2006 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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