27th 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.

2011 Pacific Northwest Champions

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.

2011 Results
1st
Baudboys
2nd
Rezonate
3rd
The Uptown 4
Audience Favorite
Baudboys
Best Original Arrangement
"People Get Ready" Arr. Martin Puryear


2011 Participating Groups

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: Ryan Dixon, CJ Mickens, Chris Dobson, David Fertal, Jason Caffarella, Tyson Biggerstaff, Justin Diller
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The Uptown 4
The Uptown 4 - What started out as four friends singing in their backyards has become one of the fastest-growing A Cappella quartets in the Northwest. The Uptown 4, based out of Renton, Washington, has been described as "having a natural, raw quality and talent" and "one of the best quartets in a long time." The Uptown 4 is consistently working on new music, finding ways to bring unique style and personality to their arrangements. They perform an extensive repertoire of music, spanning a range of different styles from Fifties Doo-Wop and Standards to modern-day Top 40 hits. They have performed at events and venues across the country, from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles, California. They were even given priority auditions at NBC's "The Sing-Off" and "America's Got Talent". The Mission of The Uptown 4 is to bring the joy of harmony to people of all ages and prove that A Cappella will continue to be one of the best forms of music for generations to come.

Members: Orion, Jeffrey McGlinn, Jeff Weister, Sky Lewis
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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: Owen Braun, Elliot Lewis, Dave McEwen, Jon Schwartz, Mark Adolph, Paul Eng, Martin Puryear, Mike Thomsen
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Crosspoint
Crosspoint is a vocal ensemble made up of church members of Westminster Chapel. They are a diverse group of people, but they are unified in the vision of providing an excellent musical experience that brings a message of hope and encouragement to the community. Crosspoint was originally formed in 2003, but its current member lineup has been singing together for just over a year. Last year was their first year to compete at the PNW Harmony Sweepstakes and had a blast so they decided to come back for a second time! They have performed in churches, malls, and other local venues, singing intricate, yet fun, arrangements of church music.

Members: Tim Anderson, Arlene Finley, Colleen Hickman, Drew House, Cindy Lucas, Cheri McDonald, Dave McEwen, Jim Stocker
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Klapa Doo Wopella
Klapa Doo Wopella is one of the world's oldest ongoing musical ensembles devoted exclusively to singing a cappella. KlapaDooWopella specializes in traditional Croatian "Klapa" singing. Klapa singers are a cappella minstrels that hang out on boat docks and street corners along the Adriatic coast of Croatia. The passionate harmonic blend of traditional Klapa songs evokes uncaught fish, raging seas, and lost love. Despite forays into other genres, the quartet always returns to its first love, the moan of the sea that is the primal chord of the Klapa song.

Members: Phil Parham, Ted Hunter, Jim Hoath, Bill Weis
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Shadywood Boys
Shadywood Boys are four guys who get together to sing. We graze freely through the pasture of quartet styles: a little Jubilee Quartet here, a little Doo-Wop there, maybe a bit of Barbershop. Sometimes we wander into the back forty and browse 19th century styles such as Antebellum Spirituals - or even some Shape-Note Singing. But there is one patch of grass we keep coming back to: a style of singing that emerged from the Southeastern U.S. in the 1930's and 40s that would become known as Southern Gospel. This style carries through the early recordings of bands like The Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, and Flatt and Scruggs. It's retro-phonic, and we like it. Members: Larry Statland, Tim Cullen, David Brook, Phil Shaver

Members: Phil Shaver, David Brook, Tim Cullen, Larry Statland
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Strangers in Harmony
Strangers in Harmony is a vocal quintet from Portland, Oregon. Since 2009 The Strangers have been delighting audiences all over greater Portland with their memorable original music and classic crowd-pleasing covers. In 2010 Strangers in Harmony took top honors in the prestigious "Portland's Got Talent" contest. Five guys from different musical and geographical backgrounds come together to make music. That's Strangers in Harmony.

Members: Eric Chung, Ramsay "RC" Cowlishaw, Shawn Dudley, Mike Mendyke, Roy Rasera
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Wild Rose Chorale
The Wild Rose Chorale is celebrating twenty years of great a cappella music. Though our membership has changed over the years, our goals have not: we strive to bring the highest quality vocal music to audiences of all ages Our repertoire includes lush jazz arrangements, traditional and show tunes and the occasional novelty number. If "a cappella" is our first name, "entertainment" is our second name.. Audiences come back again and again because they have so much fun watching us have fun! Wild Rose is a diverse group of singers whose interests and careers include computer consultant, health professional, dental hygienist, band director, newspaper writer, piano teacher, biofeedback specialist, minister, golfer, parent and grandparent. All share a love of a cappella pop and jazz vocal music.

Members: Marj Iuro, Barb Matter, Lynn Nowak, Jes Schumacher, Dave Spaun, Charles Helman, Al Thompson, Blaine Lewis
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2011 Judges

Jamie Dieveney   

Jamie Dieveney is an exceptional musical talent, has spent more than two decades entertaining and touring nationally as a singer/musical director with the critically acclaimed vocal group, The Coats. Best known for his unique, enthusiastic performing style and beat boxing, his vocal and arranging skills have brought great joy to hundreds of thousands of music lovers over the years. Jamie is the co-producer for 10 Coat's albums and has won several national awards for his writing and arranging.

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.

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!

Joan Levitin   

Joan Levitin is an active member and one of the Musical Leaders of the award-winning Pacific Sound Chorus. As a member of Sweet Adelines International, she is a Certified Director, a Certified Expression Judge and a Panel Chair. Joan was the front-line director of Jet Cities Chorus for over seven years and was the lead in eight regional medalist quartets. She presently serves on the Education Direction Team for her region and is an active coach and faculty representative as well.

Judy Pozsgay   

Judy Pozsgay is a professional vocal and visual performance coach and choreographer based in Seattle, WA. She travels the world to work with a cappella ensembles and choruses, and her innovative choreography and visual plans have been showcased at multiple international competitions. As a member of Sweet Adelines International, Judy serves on their International Faculty and is also a Showmanship Judge. For 15 years, Judy was the Choreographer and Assistant Director of the International award-wining Lions Gate Chorus (Vancouver, BC, Canada). Not being one to simply create and teach, she is also an 11-time SAI Top 10 International Quartet finalist, and currently sings with the 5th Place International Quartet, Frenzy.

Complete list of 2011 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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