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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.

2001 Pacific Northwest Champions

Eclipse

Eclipse is a vocal group of six creating explosive sound, driving rhythms, and lush harmonies using only one instrument: the human mouth.

The six members of Eclipse originally met while performing in a public relations /ambassador-oriented group that was part of the department of Programs and Entertainment at Utah State University. They began by arranging their own vocal covers of popular songs and performing them on campus and in the Logan area. Increasing public interest and performance opportunities led to the recording of their first album, "Once," which was released in April 2001.

2001 Results
1st
Eclipse
2nd
Voce
3rd
Kickshaw
Audience Favorite
Kickshaw
Best Original Arrangement
"Me Gusta la Musica" by Kickshaw


2001 Participating Groups

Eclipse
Eclipse is a vocal group of six creating explosive sound, driving rhythms, and lush harmonies using only one instrument: the human mouth.

The six members of Eclipse originally met while performing in a public relations /ambassador-oriented group that was part of the department of Programs and Entertainment at Utah State University. They began by arranging their own vocal covers of popular songs and performing them on campus and in the Logan area. Increasing public interest and performance opportunities led to the recording of their first album, "Once," which was released in April 2001.

Members: Paul Hansen, Kevin Jones, Shayne Taylor, Pat Rose, Dan Kartchner, Kirk Mecham
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Rescue
Rescue is drawing in listeners of all ages. Their sound is described as fresh and exciting, as they have developed their own captivating style that brings listeners into an entertaining and worshipful arena. Influences include the well-known Take 6, Rockapella, and Acappella. With the doors that the Lord is continuing to open, Rescue is looking to take their music to every corner of the globe.

It all started in the spring of 1996 when Jason Overstreet had just finished his senior college recital, in which he had written and performed several a cappella songs. Impressed with his performance, his professors urged him to pursue his musical talents in the field of a cappella music. Having had previous conversations regarding a shared passion for singing, Jason got in touch with high-school and college friends Jason McKenney, and former members: Chad Krober and Matt Lusk. Together they formed a quartet and committed to learning, writing and performing a cappella songs.

Members: Jason Overstreet, Jason Pearce, Josh McKenney, Jason McKenney
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Kickshaw
Kickshaw has been performing in the Northwest for about five years now. They have been involved in hundreds of shows, where each audience is a part of a unique mouth-music experience.

In early 1997, Kickshaw won first place in the Regional Harmony Sweepstakes competition. This is a title only awarded to nine groups throughout the nation each year. Following the 1997 competition, Kickshaw decided that they were ready to pursue music full time.

In search of their own sound, Kickshaw began working with some effects to extend their already eclectic repertoire. This addition was an instant hit with their audiences as they were able to create the sounds of a full band, effects and all, with just their voices giving Kickshaw a sound all their own.

Members: Jim Castaneda, Danny Figgins, Andy Marshall, Blake Lewis, Dan Scheumacher
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Fretless Quartet
Fretless, from Redmond, Washington, may be only a year old, but its members are experienced veterans of the music world. Martin was a member of The Banned, which won the Northern California Harmony Sweepstakes in the mid '90s. He and Beth were both members of the award-winning a cappella group Baysix. Fretless is rounded out by Sean, a professional actor, and Linda, a nightclub singer and symphony violinist. Fretless performs an unusual variety of styles from English Madrigals to Motown to original pieces. They're still figuring out how they found each other-but the result is magic.

Members: Beth Puryear, Linda Vogt, Martin Puryear, Sean Mitchell
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Studio One
Studio One is an a cappella quartet with members from Seattle and Lynden, Washington. Together since 1977, they enjoy singing a variety of musical styles. Originally a barbershop quartet, the group is proud to support the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America through coaching, leadership, and administrative roles. The goals of Studio One include excellence in performance, great singing, musical leadership, and the delight of friends. They share a vision that drives them to seek the unknown, to boldly go where no a cappella quartet has gone before.

Members: John Rae-Grant, Doug Broersma, Dave Warkentin, Tim Broersma
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Vocal Tangent
Vocal Tangent is Laugh-Cry-Smile-Sigh a cappella from Eugene, Oregon. Their six voices have been blending (and clashing!) since 1995, when they went off on a tangent from the Eugene Peace Choir-and didn't come back! Since then, they've left good vibrations at many of the Northwest's premier music festivals. Vocal Tangent loves to sing about issues ranging from the personal to the universal in a variety of styles. Northwest songwriters in particular have provided them with great material. In short, heart + humor + six-voice a cappella harmony = Vocal Tangent.

Members: Craig LaFollette, Lori Deskin, Karen Hyatt, Karen Perkins, Wanda Walker, Wayne Leeds Contact
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Voce
This five-member vocal sensation has succeeded in carving out a sound and a style that's fresh and new and uniquely Voce. Since forming in 1993, Voce has sung a wide variety of material from doo-wop and gospel to barbershop and traditional. Their sound is clean, energized "pop" and their powerful, energetic performance is always a crowd pleaser. In 1998 they won the Specialty Artists of the Year ARIA (Alberta Recording Industry Award), and three top awards from the 1998 Northern Harmony Festival, a Canadian a cappella competition. Their debut album, "So Many Ways," was released in 1996 and followed last year with their second album, "People Change." The five men of Voce and their undeniable passion for music bring lush harmonies and innovative arrangements to life.

Members: Bruce Cable, Orville Cameron, Martin Murphy, Trent Worthington, Jeff Watt
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2001 Judges

Stephanie Claire   

Stephanie Claire has been an active participant in Olympia's music scene for almost 20 years. She has been a performer, teacher, music director, and accompanist for the community as well as the public school system and The Evergreen State College. The a cappella fever hit early for Stephanie; her Uncle Wes sang barbershop to her as a child. Later she sang doo-wop with the Chromatic Connection. Currently, Stephanie is an employee of the State of Washington, sings with a group of co-workers, and is a massage therapist.

Scott Farrell   

Scott Farrell, A Northwest native, has been a professional actor, singer, music director and teacher for over 40 years. As a featured singer he has appeared in theatres and nightclubs around this world, including New York City, Miami, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, London and Bermuda, For sixteen years he was music director for Greg Thompson Productions, one of the largest producers of staged revue shows in the world, where he arranged and directed over 50 world-class productions He is a former music faculty member at The Evergreen State college, where he directed the college’s choral group, The Evergreen Singers. Based out of Seattle, with an additional studio in Olympia, Scott currently provides private and group vocal experiences through his company, Harmonic Oasis LLC, helping people connect more deeply with their vocal selves.

Dick Meyer   

Dick Meyer has been presenting concerts by national and international performers for almost 20 years. He owns Traditions Café and World Folk Art in downtown Olympia, where his concerts have been presented for the last five years. For 15 years previous his concerts were presented at the Antique Sandwich Company in Tacoma. Included in the many performances he has promoted are past winners of the Northwest Regional Harmony Sweepstakes. He is honored to be a judge at this year's competition.

Tom Powell   

Tom Powell performs musically both as a singer and instrumentalist. He studied music at West Virginia University, and received his post-graduate degree in performance from the Joint Service School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. He has performed a variety of choral selections with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the Maenner Musik Verein in Munich, Germany, and with the Masterworks Choral Ensemble in Olympia. Recently, Powell performed here at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts at the International Combined Military Band Concert. Presently, he is the principle trombonist and euphonium soloist, and records and tours with the I Corps Army Band at Fort Lewis.

Mary Tennyson   

Mary Tennyson has been a member of Masterworks Choral Ensemble since the Fall of 1983. Mary has studied piano, guitar, and voice, performing with school choirs since 1966, including solo work in high school in concerts and theater. She has sung with an a cappella group, "The Extremes," who performed their own arrangements. For the past 10 years or so, Mary has designed the stage decorations for the Masterworks concerts. Mary has been employed as an attorney by the Washington State Attorney General's Office, and has two daughters.

Complete list of 2001 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 :

Gary Witley (Pacific Northwest) The Pacific Northwest Regional Festival is sponsored and produced by Masterworks Choral Ensemble (MCE). Gary Witley is the Artistic Director & Conductor of MCE. MCE is a Southwestern Washington community chorus dedicated to performance, community service, music education and leadership in the arts. Our mission is to perform sacred and secular choral, orchestral and newly commissioned works; to participate in community service activities and to provide a leadership role in developing, sponsoring and broadening the vocal arts.

PO Box 1091, Olympia, WA 98501-1090
360-339-0532
info (at) mce.org


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