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Now in its fourth decade, the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival has been the melting pot of top-notch a cappella talent from around 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.

2018

Ro Sham Bo

Ro Sham Bo brings a surprising and exciting spark to the Bay Area vocal music scene. Ro Sham Bo's roots are steeped in jazz and funk, and their performances deliver an inspired blend of complexity and ease. Most group members are music educators or music educated, arrange, perform, and direct not only for Ro Sham Bo but for groups from San Jose to Black Rock City, and have taught students from Stanford University Jazz Workshop to Jazz Camp West to Blue Bear School of Music.

Members: Bonnie Doyle, Audrey Kauffman, Juliet Green, Jimmy Kraft, Dave Duran, Bakari Holmes

2017

Business Casual

Business Casual is an a cappella band based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Combining elements of pop, jazz, and other genres, this young all-vocal group puts a fresh spin on vintage chart toppers and today's hits. Winners of the National Harmony Sweepstakes a cappella competition in 2018, Business Casual has performed at weddings, corporate events, and live public shows throughout the Bay Area since 2012.

Members: Cassie Greene, Leslie Baker, Roshun Alur, Jacob Chamoun, Michael Wang

2016

Halfway to Midnight

Halfway to Midnight is a co-ed band of musical misfits who, having missed the thrill of the a cappella world and desiring an outlet to strengthen our individual instruments, serendipitously found each other in the midst of the great big beautiful Bay Area and begun gathering weekly to share in the blend of our voices together. Our life stories are as varied as our voices yet we find common ground in our love of instrument-free music-making and we truly hope you like what you hear.

Members: Alicia Florr, Michael Barrientos, Gonzalo Alonso, Scott Adler, Shanna Bengtson, Vivek Saraswat, Elana Zizmor

2015

Business Casual

Business Casual is an a cappella band based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Combining elements of pop, jazz, and other genres, this young all-vocal group puts a fresh spin on vintage chart toppers and today's hits. Winners of the National Harmony Sweepstakes a cappella competition in 2018, Business Casual has performed at weddings, corporate events, and live public shows throughout the Bay Area since 2012.

Members: Jacob Chamoun, Emily Ross, Ryan Cook, Danny Cavero, Cassie Greene

2014

Prime Time

The members of Prime Time met through singing with other groups. They recognized they had kindred voices, natural blend, and the same desire to sing challenging, tightly harmonized charts - and also the inclination to laugh a LOT while working hard. Their backgrounds range from vocal jazz to collegiate-style a cappella pop to barbershop, with those influences all audible simultaneously in most of their performances. A literal garage band, Prime Time rehearses in Sunnyvale, CA, and performs all over the Bay Area.

Members: Caia Brookes, Dan McQuigg, Wil Mathews, John Rae-Grant, Jennifer Ayre

2013

Ro Sham Bo

Ro Sham Bo brings a surprising and exciting spark to the Bay Area vocal music scene. Ro Sham Bo's roots are steeped in jazz and funk, and their performances deliver an inspired blend of complexity and ease. Most group members are music educators or music educated, arrange, perform, and direct not only for Ro Sham Bo but for groups from San Jose to Black Rock City, and have taught students from Stanford University Jazz Workshop to Jazz Camp West to Blue Bear School of Music.

Members: Audrey Kauffman, Lilan Kane, Seth Herring, Ben Fendel, Ryan Tomko, Bonnie Doyle

2012

Sing Theory

Sing Theory is a modern vocal quartet, dedicated to uniquely interpreting jazz and pop standards, and preserving and developing the art of vocalese. The quartet is a configuration of familiar faces from the Bay Area vocal jazz scene. Members of the group originally met through the De Anza College jazz ensemble Vocal Flight, and have sung together in several variations since the mid 1990s, including +4db, Vocalese Inc., Moodswing, and Clockwork. Sing Theory most recently appeared as the Angel City 4 in Hillbarn Theater's production of "City of Angels"

Members: Zach Yaholkovsky, Juliet Green, Michelle Hawkins, Dave Duran

2011

Brass Farthing

Brass Farthing is a group of stalwart lads brought together to sing songs, raise good cheer, and otherwise make merry in the company of friends both old and new. We take our inspiration from many periods and enjoy performing historical, traditional, and contemporary compositions in traditional styles.

George started the group in August 2006. We first performed at the Dickens Chistmas Fair and have performed there every year. We cut our self-published CD "Brass Farthing" in summer 2007. We also perform at the Northern California Ren Faire, Steam Punk Conventions and local bars.

Members: Chris Callahan, George Chlentzos, Mark Donnelly, Jim Partridge, Tazz Richards, Bill Roper, Ben Wilson, Rory Alden

2010

Boyz Nite Out

No Instruments? No Problem! Specializing in cover, pop and rockin' upbeat music, this high energy group combines all-vocal drums, guitars, and horns with smooth 5-part harmony to make you think there's an entire band on stage!

For over 14 years, Boyz Nite Out has traveled throughout the world appearing at major festivals, corporate events and private performances. The group has worked with such artists as Ray Charles, ELO, Jay Leno, Kool & the Gang and Michael MacDonald and has released 3 full length CD projects selling over 20,000 copies in the United States and Japan.

Members: Jon Moore, Mark Baldi, Eugene Rocha, Billy Craig, Bud Anderson

2009

Love Notes Quartet

LoveNotes competed in Harmony Sweepstakes a cappella competition in 2009 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco where they won 1st place and also received the award for Best Original Arrangement for Bohemian Rhapsody. They went on to compete at the Harmony Sweepstakes Nationals where they placed 2nd while also winning the Audience Favorite award.

n the Fall of 2013 LoveNotes was crowned the 2014 International Quartet Champion 'Queens of Harmony' at the Sweet Adelines International Quartet Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii. They were also chosen as winners of the Celebrity Award by Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers. LoveNotes has had the opportunity to perform all over the world and they have also released 5 CDs

Members: Mia Dessenberger, Stephanie Lawson, Brittany Gilmore

2008

Where’s Gesualdo

Where’s Gesualdo is an a cappella quartet based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its members have performed and / or recorded Andy Williams, Bobby McFerrin, Chanticleer, Dave Gruisin, David Grisman, Don Shelton, John Williams, Jose Feliciano, Mark Murphy, Michael Tilson Thomas, Phil Mattson, Richie Cole, Stanley Jordan, and Frank Zappa, among others. They've also sung on video games such as Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution, Dance Dance Revolution, and Garage Band.

Members: Kathleen Hollingsworth, Paul Kim, Stephen Saxon, Moorea Dickason

2007

Solstice

Solstice is a female vocal ensemble specializing in music written by women or for women's voices. Our music spans many different genres with an emphasis on world, classical, pop, and jazz. We are also committed to performing new works for women's voices and regularly compose, commission, and arrange new songs.

Solstice has performed in many Bay Area venues including Freight and Salvage, La Pena, the San Francisco Community Music Center, Music on the Hill, the Berkeley Arts Center, Trinity Chamber Music series, and Villa Montalvo. Solstice has also performed on KALW's Folk Music and Beyond On-Air Folk Festival.

Members: Becca Burrington, Emily Bender, Lark Coryell, Krista Enos, Mari Marjamaa, Kim Warsaw, Sara Webb-Schmitz

2006

Clockwork

Clockwork is a vocal quartet who sing mostly close-harmony jazz but also our own twists on pop and rock tunes.

Clockwork, an award-winning San Francisco based vocal ensemble with a signature sound and style, performs a banquet of music from funk to gospel and R&B to standards. Rooted in the tradition of great vocal jazz groups such as the Hi-Lo's and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, the Clockwork "sound" draws inspiration from all styles. As the great Duke Ellington said, "If it sounds good, it is good."

Experienced in both accompanied and a cappella performing, the group has arrangements for duos, trios and an 18-piece big band. Members of Clockwork have performed live with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, The Hi-Lo's , Meredith Monk, Don Shelton, Gene Puerling, Barbara Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, John Zorn, Barbara Morrison, Kent Nagano with the Deutches Symphonie Orchester and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, The PM Singers, Heatwave, GQ, Barbara Lynn, Richie Cole, M-Pact!, the House Jacks, Boyz Nite Out, InFusion, Vocal Flight, and on Ward Swingle's Instructional video "Swingle Singing."

Members: Angie Doctor, Jim Hale, Stephen Saxon, Eric Freeman, John Paddock

2005

Mood Swing

Moodswing is the newest configuration of some of the Bay Area's most moody jazz singers. Sweeps award winners and +4db founders Dave Duran and Juliet Green have put aside their differences to team up with mercurial couple Paul and Julie Ford of the Renaissance-Jazz sextet Without Measure. They have sung together, in brief stints in such groups as InFusion, Vocal Flight, Vocal Underground, Oarkland Jazz Choir, Siemens Microelectronics Stealth Band, and on Ward Swingle's Instructional video "Swingle Singing." Combined, Moodswing brings almost 20 years of community college vocal jazz experience to each performance. Photos, mp3s, and anger management techniques are available at www.moodswing.us.

Members: Dave Duran, Julie Ford, Paul Ford, Juliet Green

2004

Clockwork

Clockwork is a vocal quartet who sing mostly close-harmony jazz but also our own twists on pop and rock tunes.

Clockwork, an award-winning San Francisco based vocal ensemble with a signature sound and style, performs a banquet of music from funk to gospel and R&B to standards. Rooted in the tradition of great vocal jazz groups such as the Hi-Lo's and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, the Clockwork "sound" draws inspiration from all styles. As the great Duke Ellington said, "If it sounds good, it is good."

Experienced in both accompanied and a cappella performing, the group has arrangements for duos, trios and an 18-piece big band. Members of Clockwork have performed live with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, The Hi-Lo's , Meredith Monk, Don Shelton, Gene Puerling, Barbara Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, John Zorn, Barbara Morrison, Kent Nagano with the Deutches Symphonie Orchester and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, The PM Singers, Heatwave, GQ, Barbara Lynn, Richie Cole, M-Pact!, the House Jacks, Boyz Nite Out, InFusion, Vocal Flight, and on Ward Swingle's Instructional video "Swingle Singing."

Members: Eric Freeman, Angie Doctor, John Paddock, Jim Hale, Stephen Saxon

2003

Moosebutter

Moosebutter is a four-man comedy a cappella group. They have won awards from the Contemporary A Cappella Society(Best Comedy Song, 2004), The Harmony Sweepstakes (2003 International Finals runners-up), had their music included on compilation albums (Doctor Demento Basement Tapes 2005, Sing II 2005) and played live shows in front of audiences around the United States. Their tight harmony and eclectic humor have charmed audiences through two albums and countless live performances.

To handle all the performance requests they receive, moosebutter has several casts of performers. They perform with three, four, or five singers, depending on the show, and have done just about every kind of show you can imagine (Punk rock show? Check. National television? Check. Wedding reception? Check.).

Members: Glen Sawyer, Weston Wride, Chris Harris, Tim Y. Jones

2002

111 of A Kind

111 of a Kind is a dynamic vocal trio from the Philippines formed in 1994 and is currently based in southern California. Comprised of soloists belonging to different music backgrounds. The three met when they joined the "UP Madrigal Singers"- a renowned Philippine choral group. With their deep passion for singing all kinds of music, from classical to jazz, R&B, mainstream pop and a cappella, they decided to form a "quartet". With a shortage of altos, they gave up looking for one and moved on as "III of a Kind". The union creates a memorable musical experience in each performance with their combination of high energy, powerful vocal chords and great passion for music.

Members: Annie Nepomuceno, Gelo Francisco, Edward Granadosin

2001

Freestyle

Current Champions of the Far Western District, barbershop quartet Freestyle are known for not only their great singing but also their zany antics, characterized as "a few fries short of a Happy Meal." Recently named Entertainment Champions at the prestigious Buckeye Invitational, their memorable show is sure to please, and members of the group have appeared on countless stages and milk cartons throughout the land. Tenor Todd Kidder recently gave up his dream of being the first 5 ft. 9 in. center of the NBA, while bass Bruce Morgan is the (Volvo) owner of a (Volvo) dealership in (Volvo) Santa Rosa, but does not use this venue (Volvo) for his own personal (Volvo) gain. Baritone Andy Wallace is an unassuming financial mastermind, collecting paperclips in his spare time. Lead Rich Brunner is the best-looking member of the quartet and his mother really loves him. It’s Freestyle entertainment tonight!

Members: Bruce Morgan, Rich Brunner, Andy Wallace, Todd Kidder

2000

+4db

+4db is an a cappella quintet who's sound is as diverse as it is smooth. With a repertoire that ranges from jazz standards to contemporary pop, +4db straight-up swings and surprises. Formed in 1996, this award-winning ensemble makes its home in the San Francisco Bay Area. 1998 saw them champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes San Francisco Regionals, where they also earned Best Arrangement for the second year in a row. Their local success harbingered national accolades, with their memorable sound securing Second Place and Best Arrangement at the 1998 Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals. Judges aren't the only ones who dig the delicious harmony of these five voices. +4db has also won Audience Favorite each time they've participated in Harmony Sweepstakes regional and national competitions. +4db released their eponymous debut CD to much fanfare just this January.

Members: Michelle Ritche, Paul Cingolani, Jay Quibodeaux, Juliet Green, Dave Duran

1999

Euphorics

The Euphorics (U4X) are a joyous, energetic a cappella quartet, who, since 1983, have been delighting audiences internationally on radio, television, and concert stages, at schools, festivals, and special events of all kinds. Individually, members of the Euphories are powerful lead singers. Joani Bye (alto), fronts her own band, the Homewreckers, and her voice has graced countless albums (including those of Bon Jovi, David Bowie, INXS, and Cher). Helen Davis (soprano) leads her own jazz quartet and has backed up Doug and She Slugs, and Kathi Hof Donald. Bing Jensen, bass, long-time Vancouver performer, winner of the 1993 CARAS award for best children's album and the West Coast Music Award for Best Children's album in 1998. David Steele, tenor, is a singer songwriter who has worked with numerous internationally recognized artists. Together, they create a rich and soulful blend with a repertoire of top-notch originals and innovative arrangements of covers in a wide variety of styles. The Euphorics celebrate their passion for music with plenty of humor and dynamic audience interaction.

Members: Bing Jensen, Helen Davis, Joani Bye, Nathan Aswell

1998

+4db

+4db... is an a cappella vocal jazz quintet. This Bay Area group formed in August of 1996 and is the 1998 Bay Area Harmony Sweepstakes Regional Champion. They also won Audience Favorite and Best Arrangement awards in both 1997 and 1998. They have performed at the Freight and Salvage, and have opened for many groups such a s M-Pact!, the House Jacks, and Boyz Nite Out. They have been featured at major a cappella events such as "Hot August Harmony" in Santa Rosa and the West Coast A Cappella Summit in San Rafael. They have performed in the National Anthem at 3Com Park for the San Francisco Giants, and appeared on cable's "The Bruce Latimer Show."

Members: Dave Duran, Juliet Green, Jay Jordana, Jay Quibodeaux, Paul Cingolani

1997

SoVoSo

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 funk and jazz arrangements. Two SoVoSo members (Joey Blake, past member, and current member David Worm) are current members of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella group, Voicestra, performing with him from 1993 to present.Currently you will see David Worm, Sunshine Becker, Bryan Dyer and Zoe Ellis in this vocal band line-up, along with other great singers such as Nicolas Bearde, Ashling Cole and Vernon Bush. The SoVoSo family of singers continues to expand as this one of a kind musical project grows and flourishes.

Members: David Worm, Joey Blake, Rhiannon, Nicolas Bearde, Melanie Rath, Sunshine Becker

1996

New Originals

Former members of Quintessence, Table For Five, In The Buff, The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, and one aspiration have Banded together to form one unique sound. Their balance of humor, energy, and heart can be habit forming.

Members:

1995

Boyz Nite Out

No Instruments? No Problem! Specializing in cover, pop and rockin' upbeat music, this high energy group combines all-vocal drums, guitars, and horns with smooth 5-part harmony to make you think there's an entire band on stage!

For over 14 years, Boyz Nite Out has traveled throughout the world appearing at major festivals, corporate events and private performances. The group has worked with such artists as Ray Charles, ELO, Jay Leno, Kool & the Gang and Michael MacDonald and has released 3 full length CD projects selling over 20,000 copies in the United States and Japan.

Members: Tom Griffin, Tony Ridenour, Bill Craig, Dave Menken, Ted Tolman, Mark Baldi

1994

Banned

Mona, Martin, Mel and Vern, veterans of Corner Market, 1993 Bay Area Regional Second Place winners, are joined by Elisa Smith, to create the rockin' hot sounds of The Banned. With five of the best solo vocalists/composers/arrangers/recording artists from the South Bay and beyond, this sensational new a cappella machine will fire you up and melt you down with its incendiary, percussive arrangements of pop-rock originals and cover tunes.

Members: Martin Puryear, Mel McMurrin, Vern Smith, Elisa Smith, Mona Dena

1993

Quintessence (1993)

The spectrum of their musical style emerges from an unlikely meeting of diverse backgrounds. The five met in school at UC Berkeley where they each pursued different musical interests ranging from opera to jazz, from rock to chamber music. Accordingly, Quintessence creates arrangements that invite the ear to explore the vocal colors and nuances unique to this combo of influences. Their large repertoire, extending from French impressionism to "grundge-appella", grants them the unique ability to appeal to a broad range of tastes and audiences.

Members: Neal Cruz, Eric Freeman, Anthony Hale, Tako Oda, John Bennett

1992

House Jacks

The House Jacks of San Francisco are the original rock band without instruments. Using nothing more than their five voices (and mouths), they deliver everything from blistering funk to screaming rock to heart-melting ballads for their ever-growing legions of fans.

These pioneering musicians have performed over 1,000 shows and have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, having performed for live crowds of 100,000+, with appearances on at least 3 continents each year.

They can be heard on movie soundtracks and their jingles for everything from radio stations to theme parks have been heard (and seen) by millions around the world. The House Jacks of San Francisco are the original rock band without instruments. Using nothing more than their five voices (and mouths), they deliver everything from blistering funk to screaming rock to heart-melting ballads for their ever-growing legions of fans.

Members: Andrew Chaikin, Marty Mahoney, Bert Okpokwasili, Tristan Bishop, Robert Penn, Deke Sharon

1991

About Face

About Face is the a cappella version of the 7-piece dance band by the same name, whose unique vocal blend and engaging stage presence make this group one of the most sought-after acts in the Bay Area. The members have been making a name for themselves in the local community through appearances on local radio and TV, as well as capturing prizes for "Best Original Arrangements" and "Best Bay Area Group" in the 1990 Harmony Sweepstakes. They appeared on the TV show "Big Break" in December 1990. Their varied repertoire includes works by such artists as Sam Cook, the Police, and the Jackson 5, as well as original songs penned by gifted writers Mat Silverman and Murry Orrick.

Members: Murry Orrick, Stan Johnson, Mat Silverman, Laurie Jones

1990

About Face

About Face is the a cappella version of the pop/funk band of the same name that has recently been headlining at New George's in San Rafael among other bay area venues. In 1989 the group won first place in the first annual "Good Morning Bay Area" talent contest on KGO channel 7 as "The Bachelors", and have been charming audiences ever since with their innovative, energetic style. They won “Best Original Arrangement” in 1990.

Members: Laurie Jones, Murray Orrick, Stan Johnson, Mat Silverman

1989

Edlos

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. Speaking of diversity, the EDLOS have three shows to offer. Their critically acclaimed Popourri Show, which consistently draws standing ovations, is made up of eclectic originals and familiar favorites.

Members: Eric Morris, Bill Davis, Larry Venza, Ed Cohn

1988

Finesse

Finess'e is a SF based group formed in November of 1985. Since then they've been delighting audiences statewide in such clubs as the Sweetwater, New George's, Offpaza, Waterloo and Rathskellar's in Las Vegas. Their range of music is unlimited (R&B, gospel, jazz and classical) which makes them available for any and all occasions. Special award winners in Harmony Sweeps '87, they have recorded in Las Vegas and worked with Maxine Howard.

Members: Greg McDowell, Bill Hopkins, Terry Baxter, Don Dorsey, Jimmy "Jam" Smith

1987

Pastiche

Over the years, jazz has seen its share of talented vocal groups --New York Voices, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Andy Bey & the Bey Sisters, and Beachfront Property are among the names that immediately come to mind. All of those groups had two-gender formats, and rarely do you find a jazz-oriented vocal outfit with an all-female lineup; Pastiche is such a rarity. Consisting of singers Jenny Meltzer, Sandy Cressman, and Becky West, the female trio brings a jazz foundation to this self-titled debut album. But having a jazz foundation doesn't necessarily mean being a jazz purist or a jazz snob, and Pastiche is an appropriate name for the Bay Area threesome because Meltzer, Cressman, and West obviously have a variety of influences -- not only jazz vocal outfits like Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and New York Voices, but also everything from soul and pop to Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and Caribbean music. Stevie Wonder has influenced some of the writing, and so has the Manhattan Transfer.

Members: Sandy Cressman, Becky West, Jenny Meltzer

1986

The Flips

In the pantheon of a cappella, The Flips are considered amongst the vanguard of groups that emerged during a cappella's "new wave" in the mid-1980's, paving the way for a cappella's current popularity. Founded by Kevin Carter, Patti Lesser, Kirk Livingston and Shanna Strassberg in 1984, while studying musical theater at San Francisco State University, the group honed their vocal talents singing at keg parties, in stairwells, back alleys... pretty much anywhere anyone would listen. Their unique alchemy of demented humor and gorgeous harmonies quickly turned them into the darlings of the San Francisco/Bay Area and Los Angeles comedy and cabaret scenes.

Members: Kirk Livingston, Patti Lesser, Shanna Strassberg, Kevin Carter

1985

Just Friends

Just Friends- a jazz octet based in San Jose, CA - 1981-1986 - playing jazz and some Motown classics in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Darryl Rowe has been a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area Jazz scene for two decades. In 1992 the "Darryl Rowe Trio" was featured at the Monterrey Jazz Festival. He has appeared at Keystone Korner, The De Anza Hotel, Yoshi's, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He has worked with Woody Herman, Dexter Gordon, Sergio Mendez, Bobby McFerrin, and Patrice Rushen.

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

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