28th 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.

2012 Pacific Northwest Champions

Six Appeal

Is Six Appeal a comedy group, a vocal ensemble, or a rock band? Audiences have been trying to answer that question for years. Swearing off instruments, Six Appeal uses a cappella singing to span decades of classic oldies, current chart toppers, and catchy original tunes. Featuring vocal dexterity and adventurous song selection, the group explores all genres with a far-reaching repertoire that will surprise and captivate audiences regardless of the setting. Despite their cheeky group name, the antics of these six young gentlemen provide a good natured atmosphere for their electrifying performance. A Six Appeal show will split your sides, feed your musical sweet tooth, and leave you wondering how in the world they pulled it off just with voices.

With members formally instructed in singing and musical composition, and over 70 combined years of musical training and experience, Six Appeal utilizes a diverse arsenal of style and entertainment. In addition, Six Appeal has a passion for spreading their a cappella music to every audience, and an essential aspect of their mission is to empower young singers in their educational outreach program. What makes these Six stand out from the crowd? Their Appeal.

2012 Results
1st
Six Appeal
2nd
Bodacious Ladyhood
3rd
Rezonate
Best Original Arrangement
"I Will Survive"
Best Original Song
"On Your Love"


2012 Participating Groups

5bit
Springing from the rubble of groups past and rabble of friends present, these game industry vets have been singing together in various groups for over a decade. Gracing stages from the Puyallup Fair to the infamous Everett Sausage Fest, 5bit puts on the kind of infectious performance that'll have you singing a long, even after their gone. With a repertoire that includes Jazz, R&B, Funk, and even TV Themes these guys are smooth, soulful, and the best thing to come out of the 1970's since the 80's.

Members: Erik Eliason, Freddie Lugtu, Sean Braxton, Bill Schneider, Brian Kirkness
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Bodacious Ladyhood
Bodacious Ladyhood is a Seattle-based trio of women who have been singing together since 2002. Carolyn, Loretta and Jenny are excited to be back for their fourth time at Sweeps, having placed in the top three in their prior three appearances! They have opened for The Baudboys and have performed at Chateau Ste. Michelle (and on live, national radio) as guests on "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." They have been called "distinctive", "vibrant-voiced", and "show-stopping." Bodacious Ladyhood is three parts harmony, one part comedy and a whole lot of fun.

Members: Loretta Deranleau Howard, Carolyn Hasting, Jenny Buehler
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Fretless Quintet
Fretless is five friends with similar taste in mixd drinks and a cappella. The four fellas in Fretless attended the University of Oregon and sang together in the all male collegiate a cappella sensation On The Rocks. After several years they found themselves up in Portland together itching to hit the stage once again. With a distinct lack of tenors, they employed Alli Magee, friend and fellow connoisseur of harmony to complete the five-person ensemble. Fretless is one year young and has performed everywhere from the street corner to The Alberta Rose Theater with a cappella veterans The Coats. We are excited to continue on our path of melody and mixology and hope to have the opportunity to engage the audience at this years Harmony Sweepstakes.

Members: Jeremy Davidson, Greg Barkett, Alli Magee, Jim Klein, Cody Curry
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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: Tyson Biggerstaff, Jason T. Caffarella, Justin Diller, Chris Dobson, CJ Mickens, Jason Simms
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Six Appeal
Is Six Appeal a comedy group, a vocal ensemble, or a rock band? Audiences have been trying to answer that question for years. Swearing off instruments, Six Appeal uses a cappella singing to span decades of classic oldies, current chart toppers, and catchy original tunes. Featuring vocal dexterity and adventurous song selection, the group explores all genres with a far-reaching repertoire that will surprise and captivate audiences regardless of the setting. Despite their cheeky group name, the antics of these six young gentlemen provide a good natured atmosphere for their electrifying performance. A Six Appeal show will split your sides, feed your musical sweet tooth, and leave you wondering how in the world they pulled it off just with voices.

With members formally instructed in singing and musical composition, and over 70 combined years of musical training and experience, Six Appeal utilizes a diverse arsenal of style and entertainment. In addition, Six Appeal has a passion for spreading their a cappella music to every audience, and an essential aspect of their mission is to empower young singers in their educational outreach program. What makes these Six stand out from the crowd? Their Appeal.

Members: Jordan Roll, Michael Brookens, Trey Jones, Nathan Hickey, Reuben Hushagen, Andrew Berkowitz
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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, Mike Mendyke, Roy Rasera
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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: Jeff Weister, Chris Taylor, Jeffrey McGlinn, Jesse Lewis
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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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2012 Judges

Sue Beck   

Sue Beck has been a Sweet Adelines member since 1972. She joined Sound Cities Chorus in Everett, transferred to Lakeside Chorus; founded Pacific Sound Chorus in 1990 and founded Voices Northwest Chorus in 2005, serving as front line director until the end of 2011. She has served on SAI faculty from 1980 to 2011 – certified in 2009; served on the SAI international board of directors from 1979-82 and again from 1998-2001; Education Direction Committee (EDC) 2002-2005; Certified Showmanship judge – since 1996; CompuJudge Task Force; Int’l Membership Chair, WorldWide Liaison, Certified Director

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!

Beth Smith   

Beth Smith is a member of Pacific Sound Chorus in the Seattle area, and is the tenor of AirWave Quartet. As a Certified Sound Judge and vocal production specialist, Beth travels where called to coach individuals and ensembles, or to teach workshops. She has judged a cappella competitions for various organizations, including Harmony Sweepstakes, and is delighted to be here again this year.

Doug Wisness   

Doug Wisness is the baritone, manager, and founding member of The Coats, one of the Pacific Northwest's most established a cappella quartets and winners of the National Harmony Sweepstakes. A graduate of the University of Washington in statistics, Doug decided to forgo the wild and crazy world of accounting for the sedate life of a full-time musician just after college, and he's never looked back.

Complete list of 2012 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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