22nd Annual

The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, 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 Boston Champions


Traces is a female quintet dedicated to pushing the envelope of female vocals to the limit. Although the group has been around only for 2 years, the individual members have been singing all their lives. With musical influences like Take 6 and The Real group and The Jackson 5, there's usually something to look forward to when these ladies step on stage.

Members: Tia Fields, Keesha Gumbs, Kimberly Robinson, Bianka Kotee, Tameeka Gumbs

2006 Results

Vote For Pedro
Invisible Men
Audience Favorite
Vote For Pedro


5-Alone began five years ago at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) in South Hadley, MA. In 2004, 5-Alone made a cappella history as the first high school group ever invited to compete in the Harmony Sweepstakes Competition. If you were at the Boston Regional in 2004 or 2005, you saw firsthand why 5-Alone has turned so many heads. This year, founder and director Tony Lechner has assembled an all-star cast of 5-Alumni, including: Alecia Chakour (soprano '02), O.J. Martori (tenor '03), Emily Kaufman (alto '04) and current high school senior Jorge Jones (bass & percussionist '06). 5-ALone has two CD's for sale tonight, and 100% of your purchase supports PVPA's music program.

Members: Alecia Chakour, Jorge Jones, Emily Kaufman, Tony Lechner, O.J. Martori

Harmonious Soul has a solid reputation of high caliber performances. Dedicated to peace and equality, this group boasts an incredible record, having entertained at many popular state events and venues in Connecticut. With an eclectic array of covers from traditional a cappella to country, jazz, and rock and roll, this group's music is as thought provoking as their sonority is deep. While drawing audiences with their blended sound and extensive range, this ensemble continues to perform throughout the New England area, singing from a self-invigorating and socially conscious repertoire.

Members: Andrea Barnes, Amy Bonneau, Beth D'Amato, Erika Herz, Nicole Kuca, Tobi Krutt, Amity Wahl

In The Moment is a group of seven women, dedicated to their passion for a cappella, amidst the complications of life with 7 husbands, 14 children, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a variety of careers! Since 1999, they have been devoting their vocal talent and contagious sense of fun to entertaining audiences at concert halls, festivals, fundraisers, and private parties. From pop to jazz, doo-wop to hip hop, they do it all, and take pride in their versatility. Refusing to be "desperate housewives," they consistently challenge themselves to take musical risks, while remaining true to a quality sound that is uniquely their own.

Members: Ruthanne Larsen Brown, Debby Foner, Anne Kalis, Debbie Cohen Skelton, Rachel Reynolds, Betsy Morris Rosen, Amber Tol

Invisible Men is a five-man vocal band based in New York City, dedicated to performing tasty and propulsive arrangements of the choicest pop, rock and R&B morsels. IM won Audience Favorite honors at the 2005 New York regional of the National Harmony Sweepstakes. The current lineup is the result of years of careful musical breeding, coming together from various other projects (and the occasional CraigsList ad); two of them began their pop acappella experiences at schools in the Boston area (Harvard and Brandeis)..

Members: Justin Blanding, Warren Bloom, Oliver Libby, Tyler Pennock, Angelo Rufino

Traces is a female quintet dedicated to pushing the envelope of female vocals to the limit. Although the group has been around only for 2 years, the individual members have been singing all their lives. With musical influences like Take 6 and The Real group and The Jackson 5, there's usually something to look forward to when these ladies step on stage.

Members: Tia Fields, Keesha Gumbs, Kimberly Robinson, Bianka Kotee, Tameeka Gumbs

Undertone is a dynamic addition to Boston's semi-pro a cappella scene, with its assortment of alumni from different college groups in the area. As they broke into the real world, they realized that careers such as information technology and investment banking didn't offer them opportunities to fulfill their rock star fantasies. Hence the birth of Undertone in 2004. Their repertoire consists of songs that pop up into Niel and Eric's heads, which usually include current and old school Pop, Rock, and R&B. Undertone's fresh sound has been permeating the region from street corners, to area middle schools and colleges, to the bars of Cambridge.

Members: Dave Blauch, Niel Francisco, Mary Hunt, Ehsan Iraniparast, Ellen Langhans, Amanda Mercier, Eric Tjonahen

The VariAsians are Boston's premiere Asian American a cappella group. Their music is best described as a fusion of traditional Asian folk songs with modern pop and R&B. The VariAsians have performed at numerous venues in Boston, including the Boston Celtics FleetCenter, 2004 Democratic National Convention, 2004 Boston Folk Festival, Borders Bookstore, Ritz Carlton, Urban Nutcracker, NAAAP, Forest Hills Cemetery Lantern Festival, and various community events and fundraisers.

Members: Thuy Tran, Diep Nguyen, Robin Lang, Huy Hoang, Cleoanne Estrera, Jonathan Liu

They're training to be cagefighters, but if that doesn't work out maybe the a cappella thing will! Vote For Pedro is a Boston-based group made up of three great-looking guys and one sexy, blonde mama. (Ok, ok. Taunia wrote this.) VFP likes to mix it up with jazz-influenced originals and standards, and they like to bring on the funny. They're just finishing up their debut CD of (mostly) originals and are excited about showcasing a few of the new tunes. VFP wishes all of the groups the best of luck! For more information about Vote For Pedro, visit the website at www.pedroband.com.

Members: Ben Jackson, Dan Lennon, Shah Salmi, and Taunia Soderquist


DR. JAMSHED BHARUCHA was named Provost and Senior Vice President at Tufts University in 2002. He formerly served as Dean of Faculty and Deputy Provost at Dartmouth College, where he was the John Wentworth Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences. At Dartmouth, he received the Huntington Teaching Award and the Undergraduate Teaching Initiative Special Award, and held appointments in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science, and the Program in Electro-Acoustic Music. He was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in 1993-94 and a visiting scholar at Cornell and Carnegie Mellon Universities. Dr. Bharucha’s research is on the perception of music, using computational neural net modeling and brain imaging techniques. He has received numerous research grants, has served on the National Science Foundation’s advisory panel in Perception and Cognition, and was Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Music Perception. He has co-developed two successful software products for teaching. A 1978 graduate of Vassar College, he received a master’s degree in philosophy from Yale in 1979 and a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard in 1983. He served as a Trustee of Vassar College for eight years, where he chaired the Budget and Finance Committee. He is a Trustee of the International Foundation for Music Research.

GENE KELLY, is choral director at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. He is a graduate of Bucknell University (where he was once a Bison Chip – their all-male vocal group), Berklee College of Music, and NEC.  He has been immersed in musical performance by  singing, teaching, and performing jazz in the Boston area for the last 20 years.  He loves a cappella Boys 2 Men, Take 6, and regularly plays jazz piano at Ryles and Johnny D’s.  

MASTER SERGEANT LAURA C. NOEL, a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, enlisted in the United States Air Force in September 1989 as an Aerospace Control and Warning Systems Operator. After two world tours as a vocalist with the Air Force entertainment group Tops In Blue, she cross-trained into the Air Force band career field. Sergeant Noel has served tours of duty in Florida and Georgia, and overseas in Belgium, Japan, and Korea. In January of 2003, she received her current assignment with the Band of Liberty.  Sergeant Noel is attending Boston University, where she is pursuing a Master's Degree in Arts Administration.

ELLEN SCHREIBER is the Executive Director of the Walk for Music, a collaborative fundraising event on April 30, 2006 that will raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for grass roots arts organizations, with the goal of keeping music alive and funded in Boston's neighborhoods and surrounding communities. Previously, Ms. Schreiber was the co-founder of the Boston Children's Chorus, a multi-racial, multi-cultural arts organization that brings together children from urban and suburban neighborhoods to discover the power of singing and to serve as ambassadors for their city. Ms. Schreiber is also a soprano, whose volunteer service includes roles on the boards of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium, Back Bay Chorale, PALS Children's Chorus, Nashoba Valley Chorale, on the steering committee for the National Arts Marketing Project, and as the producer of many plays and concerts.

MICHAEL TURNER is the Chair of the Performing Arts Department at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, where he has been Choral Director since 1988. Among his other ensembles he is director and arranger for the girls' a cappella group Greensleeves. Past a cappella experience includes direction and arranging for the Simmons College Notables and the Dedham-based Second Wind. He is currently Artistic Director of the Neponset Choral Society in Foxboro. Mr. Turner is a graduate of the Boston University School of Music and holds a Master of Music in Conducting and Composition from the Longy School of Music. In 1992 he was awarded a fellowship at Northwestern University. He has studied conducting with Jeffrey Rink, Thomas Dunn and Robert Harris, and served as assistant to Lorna Cooke deVaron.  Mr. Turner is an active member of the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association and designed the database and web site used by the Southeast District and Massachusetts All-State for audition registration and adjudication. He lives in Dedham, with his wife Stacey and their children, Wilson, Mackenzie and Bailey.

Complete list of 2006 national participants

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