24th 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.

2008 Pacific Northwest Champions

The Baudboys

Back around 1990, a couple of the founding members of the coed Microtones decided that they wanted to form a men's a cappella group at Microsoft so that they could sing the charts from their college groups. The original quartet consisted John Rae-Grant, bass and musical director, Bill Pope, baritone, Bob Gunderson, 2nd tenor, and David Olsen, 1st tenor. True to their profession, the group's chosen name, The Baudboys, referred to the method by which modem speeds were rated. The group performed only a few times in its first years of existence, doing lunch time gigs on the Microsoft campus.

As members left Microsoft over the years, they would also leave the Baudboys, prompting natural turnover in the membership. During the 1990's, the group expanded it's membership, aiming to have two full quartets within the group. Since that time, the group has remained at 7-9 members, but the expanded membership has allowed the group to sing more complex arrangements than the 4-part charts that the founders envisioned.

2008 Results
1st
The Baudboys
2nd (tie)
V-Chords
2nd (tie)
Vocalocity
3rd (tie)
Rezonate
Audience Favorite
Vocalocity
Best Original Arrangement
"Mandolin Rain" (arr Jason T. Caffarella) - Rezonate


2008 Participating Groups

A Toast of the Town
A Toast of the Town consists of two men and two women who perform a mix of (mostly) acappella music. Their perlformances are highly entertaining and encourage audience participatin. A Toa sot the Town perofmrs a varietyt of musical styles including Manhattan Transfer style jazz, Doo-wop favorites from the 50s, Broadway showstoppers, patriotic songs, and nostalgic tunes from the early 20th century. They have experience singing for a variety of occasions and the fresh blend of nostalgic and current music is sure to be an audience pleaser.

Members: Kelly Hughes, Karen Murphy, Lyle Johnson, Ron Fisher
More Details

The Akafellas
The Akafellas are from Olympia and have been together since 1997. One of our first Harmony Sweepstakes appearances was in n1999 where we won 2nd place as well as best original arrangement. In years since, we’ve returned a few times and some members have come and gone.. and come back again. We are still having a great time and looking forward to making more, fun music together for many years to come. We still love singing all kids of music from Doo-wop to Pop to Rock to Country to everything in between. We are all every excited about getting to perform with all of the great groups at Harmony Sweepstakes again.

Members: Jon Morgan, Kurt Fralick, Jon Murdock, Tony Benjamins, Michi Imamura
More Details

The Baudboys
Back around 1990, a couple of the founding members of the coed Microtones decided that they wanted to form a men's a cappella group at Microsoft so that they could sing the charts from their college groups. The original quartet consisted John Rae-Grant, bass and musical director, Bill Pope, baritone, Bob Gunderson, 2nd tenor, and David Olsen, 1st tenor. True to their profession, the group's chosen name, The Baudboys, referred to the method by which modem speeds were rated. The group performed only a few times in its first years of existence, doing lunch time gigs on the Microsoft campus.

As members left Microsoft over the years, they would also leave the Baudboys, prompting natural turnover in the membership. During the 1990's, the group expanded it's membership, aiming to have two full quartets within the group. Since that time, the group has remained at 7-9 members, but the expanded membership has allowed the group to sing more complex arrangements than the 4-part charts that the founders envisioned.

Members: Jon Schwartz, Ric Lewis, Graham Sheldon, Owen Braun, Elliot Lewis, Mark Adolph, Dave McEwen , Paul Eng
More Details

Rezonate
Rezonate The premiere a cappella group from Eugene, Oregon, the gentlemen of Rezonate sing R&B, Gospel, Pop, Soul, Jazz, Funk, and even some Hard Rock, including deftly arranged covers and original songs. The group started singing together as Rezonate in December 2004, and have sung at many venues since. At the Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals in May of 2009, Rezonate won both Third Place and the coveted award for Best Original Arrangement. With thick, lush, true six and seven part harmonies and a difficulty level second to none, Rezonate can evoke the smooth sounds of the Four Freshman, the rockin' edge of the Goo Goo Dolls, or the pop excitement of acts like Bruno Mars and Owl City.

Members: Aaron Matthew, Chris Dobson, David Fertal, Jason Caffarella, Tyson Biggerstaff, Justin Diller
More Details

V-Chords
V-Chords is an a cappella vocal band made up of six talented performers who truly enjoy helping the world connect with contemporary music in an exciting way. They perform a wide variety of pop, rock, jazz, gospel and country accompanied by live vocal percussion. Each member has significant performing experience and contributes to the combined flare and flavor for which V-Chords has become known. V-Chords has roots as far back as 2001 when Jeremy, Chris and Mike sang together in Pendleton, Oregon with Second Chance Singers. After relocating to Portland several years later, they formed V-Chords by joining forces with Bryan, Dave and Josh. They have performed throughout the region and are looking forward to many wonderful venues in the coming year. In 2007, V-Chords was proud to represent the Pacific Northwest Region at the National Harmony Sweepstakes Competition in San Rafael, CA.

Members: Jeremy Miller, Chris Moore, Bryan Podwys, Dave Edwards, Mike Telfer, Josh Killingsworth
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Vocalocity
Vocalocity is a seasoned six man vocal band. Ryan Brierley, Jason Tesch, Trevor Linton, James Case, Scott Rollins, and Jake Tesch have filled their lives with music since they were young, and have been performing together as a group since 2005. They have banded together to produce a compelling a cappella performance for audiences of all ages. As part of their show, they have selected popular songs such as I Wear My Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart, Everything by Michael Buble, Accidentally In Love by Counting Crows, and a special Beach Boys Medley. These and other songs have been professionally arranged by award winning musician, Derek Furch, to give them a unique and distinctive sound. With their goal set on winning the National Harmony Sweepstakes Championship, watch out for Vocalocity to take the a cappella world by storm.

Members: Jason Tech, Jake Tesch, James Case, Ryan Brierly, Trevor Linton, Scott Rollins
More Details

2008 Judges

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.

Susan Kegley   

Susan Kegley realized as a youth her true passion was singing. She joined Sweet Adelines in 1980 and has sung all voice parts in barbershop quartets over the years. Susan has been in four regional champion quartets and is an International Quartet Champion with A Cappella Gold. She judges, coaches, gives vocal lessons, and is the Artistic Director of Pacific Sound Chorus.

Kevin Kunz   

Kevin studied jazz piano and voice at Central Washington University and studied under nationally renowned director, John Mowad. After college, Kevin jumped into radio jingle and commercial singing, while playing jazz and pop keyboards and singing in clubs and lounges in the 80’s. Kevin joined with his brother in 2000 and formed Groove For Thought, which went on to win the coveted 2005 National Harmony Sweepstakes championship. Groove for Thought has gone on to star in NBC’s The Sing Off Season 2 and continues a very successful musical career.

With numerous songwriting awards, album credits for writing and arranging, including arranging for string ensembles and horn sections, 2 CARA Awards and 3 more nominations for 2107, he is very active in the local music scene.

Kevin formed Straighter Road in 2012. The 6 vocalists of SR come from very diverse vocal backgrounds and experiences and blending them together resulted in being named 2015 Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes Champions, their very first competition ever, and then on to with the National Harmony Sweepstakes Competition award 2 months later in SanFrancisco, competing against the very best groups from around the country, while also bring home the award for Best Arrangement!

Dan Schumacher   

Dan Schumacher is a member of The Bobs, an accappella group based in San Francisco, California. The tallest Bob to date, Dan was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and studied vocal jazz and opera. He sang with vocal groups Monkey Puzzle and Kickshaw (with Blake Lewis) before joining the Bobs, with whom he often sings his socks off (apologies for the smell). He doesn’t fit in most rental cars.

Melanie Wroe   

Melanie Wroe is an a cappella and choreography junkie. She began in a musical family with a barbershop mother and rock and roll brothers, sang and danced her way into adulthood, and eventually landed back in the world of barbershop. She has been active in Sweet Adelines for 27 years, participating in two internationally-acclaimed choruses and three regional championship quartets. Melanie is a Certified Showmanship Judge, and an educator/coach here and abroad specializing in visual presentation, show development and motivation. Her husband and two sons can't sing a note, but they make a fine audience.

Complete list of 2008 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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