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National Champions

Now in its third decade, the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival has been the melting pot of top-notch a cappella talent from arounf the nation (and some from overseas!). The groups that have held the title of "Harmony Sweepstakes Champion" are diverse in their musical styles, backgrounds and rosters, and, more often than not, continue their legacies today with fruitful careers in the entertainment business. The following is a list of our esteemed champions.


The Honey Whiskey Trio

Honey Whiskey Trio blends sounds and styles from folk, bluegrass and jazz. This trio found its roots in the vocal jazz department of CSU Long Beach where the members all studied with Christine Guter, though at different times. Years later, well into their own careers as musicians and educators, the need for a new outlet for musical exploration brought Courtney, Ann and Christina together and the Honey Whiskey Trio was formed.

Members: Courtney Gasque, Ann Louise Thaiss , Christina Wilson


Six Appeal

A vocalist walks into a bar. Clearly dejected, the bartender asks him, "Hey kid, what's the matter?" The singer replies, "My director wants me to sing the lowest note in the second inversion of a Db augmented chord, but I don't know enough about music theory to know which note that is!" The bartender suggests, "Well, why don't you just try singing what you think it is?" After a brief thought, the vocalist belts out exactly the right pitch. The bartender smirks, "See kid, you're A natural." An hour later, 5 of his buddies show up and they start a vocal band and rock out forever.

Members: Jordan Roll, Michael Brookens, Trey Jones, Nathan Hickey, Reuben Hushagen, Andrew Berkowitz


Da Capo

Da Capo is an a cappella group hailing from the Washington, D.C. area composed of music professionals from all walks of life. We believe strongly in promoting a cappella music and educating youth about the Barbershop style. Ryan, Tony, Wayne, and Joe have officially been singing together since October of 2009, when our lead singer Tony assembled us to sing his marriage proposal to his wife-to-be. We have also been members of the Barbershop Harmony Society for a combined total of 54 years!

Members: Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Wayne Adams, Joe Sawyerz


Plumbers of Rome

While serving as court musicians/crepe chefs at the court of Charles VII in the 13th century (they were not allowed to serve as the Royal Plumbers, since plumbing was at that time considered to be a form of witchcraft) the Plumbers of Rome invented a device to hurl food and concert T-shirts into the starving peasant section of the King's Concert Hall. Adapted for military use, and named the Trebuchet, this modest invention lead the French army to many victories, as well as adding to the festive atmosphere of French wedding receptions and modern day Renaissance Festivals. While history has all but forgotten the inventors of the Trebuchet, the Plumbers are commemorated in the traditional French carol ballade de l'arme romaine aim'e de plombier.

Members: Randy Jackson, Ron Gilgamesh, Ernie Stuckowitz


MAXX Factor

MAXX Factor was formed in 2004. This current foursome has been singing together since August 2007. Lead Leslie Wodday became a Queen of Harmony in 2000 with Signature Sound Quartet. She joined MAXX in August of 2007. Founder Valerie Hadfield-Rasnake is a barbershop brat. She sang with Region 19 medalist Quartets Ritz Carleton and Vanity Fair. Co-founder Baritone Kim Hudson, also a barbershop brat, has sung with Region 19 medalist quartet Vanity Fair. Prior to joining MAXX in 2005, Tenor Molly Plummer sang with Region 19 multi-medalist quartet RhythmWorks. Molly and Valerie are members of the International medalist chorus Pride of Baltimore. Kim and Leslie, currently Chapter-at-Large, have competed internationally with the Pride of Baltimore choruss.

Members: Molly Plummer, Leslie Wodday, Valerie Hadfield-Rasnake, Kim Hudson



With a rich and varied repertoire covering more than 80 years, they entertain and delight their audience with songs and pieces from the Comedian Harmonists to rock 'n' roll and ABBA, from the big 80s hits to the latest pop, always presented in the gloriously elaborate sound of five professionally educated voices.

Members: Tobias Kiel, Ansgar Pfeiffer, Niklas Turmann, Johannes Gruber, Tobias Wunschik


Moira Smiley & VOCO

Hailing from Los Angeles, and just named as honored representative of western U.S. & Canada at the International Folk Alliance Music Conference, Moira Smiley & VOCO is a fiery roots vocal band making new song as it pulls on roots of Eastern European and Appalachian harmony and rhythm. "The multilingual singing of Smiley's VOCO ensemble is especially fascinating" (Los Angeles Times). !

Members: Moira Smiley – Lead Vocals, body percussion, Jess Basta - Vocals, body percussion, Christine Enns - Vocals, body percussion, Jessica Catron - Vocals, body percussion



Hi-Fidelity is the 2006 Harmony Sweepstakes Los Angeles AND National A Cappella Champions. It has been a great couple of years for Hi-Fidelity, as they were crowned the Barbershop Harmony quartet champions for the Far Western District in 2005. If the guys look familiar it is not surprising. You may know them for their recurring bit on NBC‚s Last Call with Carson Daly as the "Barbershop Monologue Joke Explainers". They have also been featured recently on a radio jingle for Living Spaces Furniture with Kobe Bryant. You may recall them as the Roto Rooter Plumbers during Rose Bowl publicity a few years ago. Hi-Fidelity was also in a commercial for X-Box as well! All four singers are also members of the Masters of Harmony Chorus, winner of the 2005 International Chorus championship! They distinguish themselves with painstaking craftsmanship, sophisticated song stylings, a strange sense of humor - and they sing good too!

Members: Gregg Bernhard (baritone), Martin Fredstrom (bass), Tom Moore (lead), Craig Ewing (tenor)


Groove For Thought

Groove For Thought is a group of six singers who share a love of contemporary vocal music. GFT sings an assortment of jazz, gospel, rhythm & blues, and pop music both a cappella and with a live band. The members of GFT all have extensive backgrounds in vocal jazz and bring something fun, exciting, and unique to the idiom. GFT originated in 1998 and perform at schools, jazz festivals, and community events throughout the Seattle area. The group's early performances were completely a cappella and the group won the "Best Original Arrangement" as well as the "Audience Favorite" awards at the 2003 Pacific Northwest Regional Harmony Sweepstakes Festival. GFT looks forward to the release of their debut CD in the spring of 2005.

Members: Kelly Kunz, Jeffrey Horenstein, James Niles, Randy Taylor, Kevin Kunz, Peter Jones


Chapter 6

When the men of Chapter 6 began singing together in college, none of them had any idea that in just five years time, they would have performed over 550 concerts in 25 states. As the 2001 International Collegiate A Cappella Grand Champions and three-time winners of the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes, Chapter 6 quickly made a name for themselves in the a cappella music community. In 2003, the group's third CD, "Christmastime" was nominated by the Contemporary A Cappella Society for Best Christmas Album and Song. With their tight vocal harmonies, award-winning original arrangements, and diversity of repertoire, it is easy to understand the groupís appeal."

Members: Luke Menard, Nathan Pufall, A.D. Stonecipher, Jarrett Johnson, John Musick, Mark Grizzard, Charles Bosworth


The Idea of North

The Idea of North is regarded by its peers as one of the best and most unique live musical acts in Australia. Over the last few years as one of Australia's only fully professional vocal quartets, they have reinvented a cappella and taken it to new heights. Their stunning visual presence and incredible sound has built them a legion of adoring fans here and across Europe, Asia and the USA. The Idea of North is an exhilarating live act presenting a blend of uniquely arranged contemporary classics and original material. Thus at their own concerts and at corporate events audiences are treated to a show that includes spectacular original arrangements of artists as varied as Sting, Stevie Wonder and The Bee Gees, together with an eclectic mix of jazz, soul, gospel and originals. Having played with some of Australia's greats, including James Morrison and Don Burrows, "The Idea of North" has been shaping this new sound in music now for over eight years. It's a style grounded on the classic musicianship that these four friends crafted at two of Australia's premier music academies, the Canberra School of Music and the Elder Conservatorium of Music (Adelaide).

Members: Trish Delaney-Brown, Naomi Crellin, Nick Begbie, Andrew Piper


The Perfect Gentlemen

They have collectively appeared in over 1500 shows, in over 40 states plus tours of England, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Canada, Mexico, and the West Indies. Collective appearances on The Simpsons, ER, Blossom, Home Improvement, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, gold and platinum recordings with Neil Diamond, and appearances with The King's Singers, The Osmond Brothers, David Frost and Jonathan Winters, are just a few of their many entertainment industry credits.

Members: Dan Jordan, Tim Reeder, Mike Economou, Jim Campbell


Sixth Wave

Sixth Wave is an a cappella jazz/pop/rock group that performs unaccompanied originals and novel arrangements of familiar tunes. The six singers in the "band" are all accomplished studio and concert singers who can be heard in venues ranging from local concert halls to opera stages, from rock and jazz clubs to movie theatres. Their wide experience allows them to sing a variety of styles, showcasing them as individual soloists as well as a tight jazz/pop/rock ensemble. Because all of the arrangements are created by members of the group, Sixth Wave's sound is fresh and original.

Members: Elin Carlson, soprano Cindy Bourquin, soprano Amy Fogerson, alto Gerald White, tenor Gary Rosen, baritone Eric Bradley, bass


Toxic Audio

Toxic Audio is a 5-member theatrical mixed vocal band who combine popular and original songs, musical improvisation, and comedic sound effects in their high energy performances without the use of musical instruments. The Toxins create their unique sound by combining tight a cappella harmonies with vocal percussion and voice effects processors. Styles include contemporary pop, rock-n-roll, jazz, hip-hop, comedy, and improvisational songs. They've traveled across the country performing their concert show and opening for the likes of Tony Bennett, Ziggy Marley, The Rippingtons, and The Bobs. Their self-titled debut CD is a mix of original and cover tunes with unique twists. They've performed in a variety of venues across the country including New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Washington D.C. and Colorado as well as appearing for the past year at Walt Disney World."

Members: Renè Ruiz, Jeremy James, Paul Sperrazza, Shalisa James, Michelle Mailhot


Naturally Seven

Naturally Seven's members all hail from the New York Metropolitan Area and have been friends and musical partners, in various combinations, for years. The group's latest incarnation came together last year when Roger Thomas, Naturally Seven's founder, arranger and musical director, added two new voices and began to build intricate seven-part harmonies around a fuller sound, artfully blending gospel, jazz, R&B, hip hop and even classical vocal genres. On selecting Naturally Seven's members, Thomas says, "They have to have a keen ear for complex harmonies, and be eager to experiment and create what doesn't already exist." The six other carefully melded voices are those of Dwight Stewart, Garfield Buckley, Rod Eldridge, Warren Thomas, Marcus Davis and, newest addition, Jamal Reed. Their faith-infused music reaches across denominations, striking common chords of human experience among religious and secular audiences alike. "Most moving is when people find an honesty and spirit in the music. When they are touched right there," Thomas reflects, tapping his chest. For Naturally Seven, the music and the message are inseparable. "We're all about hope. It's spirit, music and entertainment. We want to give you something you remember, that makes you smile and even do the right thing."

Members: Marcis Davis, Warren Thomas, Dwight Stewart, Roderick Eldridge, Roger Thomas, Garfield Buckley, David LaRoche



Formed in February of 1994, Metropolis has come to the attention of national television audiences within the past few years, beginning with their appearance on the pilot episode of Four Floor Show on E! Entertainment Television in June 1995 and the filming of a national Dr. Pepper commercial later that same year. They continue to make appearances in various media, most recently singing jingles for radio commercials and having appeared in the limited release film entitled "Pacino is Missing." The members of Metropolis have performed in a cappella groups on national and local television, film, radio, and in 28 different states and provinces including Florida, Michigan Minnesota, Hawaii, Alberta, Ontario, California, Arizona, and Nevada. They have competed in numerous different vocal styles encompassing Jazz, Doo-Wop, Broadway, R&B, Dixieland, Madrigal, and Opera.

Members: Mike McGee, James Sabina, Bob Hartley, Brian



SoVoSo is a highly imaginative a cappella ensemble that sings a unique, rhythmic mix of jazz, gospel, world and R&B music, all rendered in their trademark improvisational style.

The SoVoSo repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective, from Afro-Latin idioms to traditional jazz choral arrangements. Three SoVoSo members (Joey Blake, Melanie Rath, and David Worm) are alumni of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella group, Voicestra, performing with him until 1993. Sunshine Garcia, Destani Wolf, and Norman Pitters are the most recent members of the sextet. As SoVoSo ("from the Soul to the Voice to the Song"), the ensemble has continued to pioneer new horizons in improvisational vocal performance. According to the San Jose Mercury News, "The extraordinary richness and brilliance of this virtuoso vocalism lifts you into a special realm.

Members: Sunshine Garcia, Bryan Dyer, David Worm, Caitlin Cornwell and Joey Blake



Hailed as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal ensembles in the world” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “among the best a cappella groups in the country” (NBC’s Today Show), the pop-jazz tour-de-force, m-pact, has received countless honors, including Billboard’s Best Unsigned Band of 1999 and the coveted dual titles, 1996-1997 Grand National Champions and Audience Favorites of the Harmony Sweepstakes Festival. In 2001 this Seattle-based vocal band was crowned Artist of the Year at the SAMIE Awards, the Pacific Northwest’s annual contemporary pop music competition, and for the last two years, m-pact was voted Best Vocal Jazz Group (2002-2003) in the international ACA (A Cappella Community Awards) competition.

Members: Marco Cassone, Trist Curless, Britts Quentin, Rudy Cardenas, Jeff Smith, Brian Atkinsons


The Accidentals

The professional backgrounds of the group members include the record industry (Bette Midler , Barry Manilow, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Taylor Dane...), Broadway (Hair, Shenandoah, Jesus Christ Superstar, Nite-Club Confidential), commercials, industrials, songwriting (covers by Karen Carpenter, Barry Manilow, Melba Moore, The Dells), and arranging, teaching, poetry, gardening, nightclubs and arena tours (Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Leonard Cohen, Eddie Arnold, Petula Clark, Leslie Gore, Willie Nelson). The Accidentals have performed with Petula Clark and Ronnie Spector, and have shared stages with Rockapella, The Persuasions, The Swingle Singers, Vocal Sampling, The House Jacks and many other great vocal groups.

Members: Margaret Dorn, Emily Bindiger, Dennis Deal, Todd Johnson, Bill Mitchell, Marcia Pelletiere, Rosie Vallese, Jim Vincent


The Coats

The Coats vocal band started on the street corners of Seattle, Washington's famous Pike Place Market. Singing for tourists, locals, fish vendors, and fellow buskers, their humble ambitions of earning a few clams to fight off the tuition bills quickly evolved into a full-time international performance career. They've since won national vocal competitions, sang for the President of the United States, and have been fortunate enough to share the stage with such talented fellow entertainers as Ronnie Milsap, Trisha Yearwood, Montgomery Gentry, The Beach Boys, Tanya Tucker, Billy Dean, Crystal Gayle, and Colin Ray, just to name a few, all while continuing their tradition of outreach performances and workshops supporting music in schools throughout the northwest. The group formed in January of 1987 at the University of Washington when four guys who enjoyed a cappella got together to sing. Wrapped up in their vocal synergy, they spent the early days bouncing harmonies off campus walls, passing students and patrons of the Pike Place Market. Finally, their big break came when a local high school music teacher asked the group to perform for her class. An instant hit with that age group, they decided to try their performance before audiences of all ages. A new group was born.


17th Ave. All Stars

The The 17th Avenue Allstars have been recognized as one of the bright stars of contemporary a cappella, since their beginnings in Denver, Colorado over a decade ago. Whether they are performing their award winning Pop Music Show at a family concert, large scale music festival or corporate party, one thing is for sure, the Allstars will go the distance to create a completely entertaining and astounding musical experience for their audience!

Members: Norm Silver, Jimi Alexander, Tony Huerta, Barry Brown, Tim Rosendo


Acme Vocals

Group has since disbanded.


North Shore

For the last 26 years, North Shore Acappella has entertained and excited thousands of listeners throughout the Boston area, adding an experienced blend of harmony, rhythm and tempo to songs from the 40's right up through today.

This special art of delivering music without instrumental accompaniment is what North Shore Acappella is all about. The award-winning group offers a continuously fresh repertoire of hundreds of popular hits that cover the last five decades. Each number and performance is arranged in a way that showcases each member in a role of lead singer – a trait that very few acappella groups in the country can claim.

Members: Tommy Duarte, Paul Lopes, Jimmy Martin, Vinny Straccia, Richie Willis


The Knudsen Brothers (Now known as Six)

The Knudsen Brothers, based in Southern California, include five to six of 10 brothers! Their astounding blend comes from both genetics and broad barbershop training. They are equally adept at contemporary, doo-wop, vocal jazz and barbershop.

Members: Barry Knudsen, Kevin Knudsen, Lynn Knudsen, Jak Knudsen, Owen Knudsen, Curtis Knudsen



The EDLOS, you might ask? Four guys who sing without instrumental accompaniment... A Cappella. What's with the name? The story they tell is that the name is an acronym for Excessive Decibel Levels from Outer Space and that they're refugees from the planet "A" which circles the star Capella in the constellation Auriga. The story goes on, but let's cut to reality here for a minute. These four classically trained guys; Eric, Larry, Ed, and Craig were destined to take their schooling, talent, and juicy voices into the 21st century, always breaking new ground in their never ending pursuit of A Cappella diversity and originality.

Members: Avi Jacobson, Larry Venza, Eric Morris, Craig Knudsen



Group has since disbanded.



The name aptly describes this versatile female vocal trio. Originating in San Francisco, Pastiche has become well known for their wonderful harmony blend and eclectic mix of musical styles. While their roots are in Jazz and the focus is always on the vocal harmony, they draw from a broad musical palette incorporating Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms, as well as R&B and Pop influences. Though often compared to Manhattan Transfer, the three ladies of Pastiche create a unique sound all their own. Pastiche has toured nationally and internationally (with a band and completely a cappella) to rave reviews. When not devoting time to their own music, Pastiche is also in high demand as background vocalists and have been featured on recordings of popular Jazz, Pop, Latin and R&B artists, including: Eddie Money (CBS), Journey's Neal Schon (CBS) and Jonathan Cain (Intersound), Ray Obiedo (Windam Hill), Sheila E. and Pete Escovedo (Concord Jazz). They can also be heard on various movie and television scores for Polygram Pictures, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and HBO, as well as jingles and CD-ROMs.

Members: Sandy Cressman, Jenny Meltzer, Becky West


The Flips

Group has since disbanded.


Just Friends

Just Friends is a quartet of singers who met and became friends while studying vocal jazz with Roger Letson at DeAnza College in Cupertino, CA.  In 1982 they began working as an a capella group and soon after joined forces with an instrumental jazz quartet and this octet developed a repertoire of jazz standards, original songs and Motown classics.  They write original lyrics and vocal arrangements of jazz instrumentals by such artists as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Joe Henderson and Eric Dolphy.  They’ve been the Saturday night band at Lord John’s Inn in Santa Clara for two years.


Members: Darryl Rowe, Peggie Calame, Laura Rosvold, Loren Dummett

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