2nd Annual

Bay Area Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, acapella singing competition, san francisco

National Finals | Current Schedule | Our National Champions | Historical Events | Judges | Directors | Search

Recordings | Groups | Goals | Rules | How to enter | Contact Us | About Us | Publicity Photos

Boston | Chicago | Los Angeles | New York | Pacific North West | San Francisco | Mid Atlantic (DC)


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.

1986 Bay Area Champions

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.

1986 Results

1st
The Flips


1986 Participating Groups

A Little Bit of Everything

A Little Bit of Everything’s talent includes members from the San Francisco, Berkeley, and Marin counties. Specializing in a free-wheeling country style, the group sings and plays for all occasions, even though their focus is on events of a political nature. Transformation Through Musical Regeneration is their motto.

Members: Elllen Stapenhorst, Barbara Saunders, Maria Stark, Sandy Schoenfeld

Alchemy (86)

Alchemy’s repertoire reflects their social, political, and spiritual values: their commitment to peace, equality, and the earth as a healing force. Influences as varied as Eastern European fold songs, Renaissance, contemporary classical music, and the works of performers such as Holly near and Sweet Honey in the Rock can be found in the music of Alchemy. In the Summer of 1987, the trio will embark on a peace tour of Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R. To finance the venture, performances throughout Northern California are being scheduled and the group has released a new cassette tape of their most popular songs.

Members: Sharon Hansen, Cynthia Frank, Jess River

The Baby Boomers

Kept together by a common love of Food, Money, and Sex, the Baby Boomers return to the Harmony Sweepstakes. Be sure to see the movie version of their meteoric ries to fame, starring Diane Keaton, at a theatre near you. Prepare to meat your “BOOM-BOOM.”

Members: Catheryn Zaro, Robin Lewis, Laurie Tvedt, Bill Bramblett

Dotes Sisters

The delightful “Dotes” feature lots of original, funny tunes as well as some beguiling vocal blends. The Dotes have been seen at Buckley’s Bistro, Big mama’s, The Plush room, Ristorante Vanetsia, and Wolfgang’s. Combining pleasing music and comedic timing, the “dotes” are great entertainers for any occasion!

Members: Annette Altrogge, Stephanie Feyne, Kate O’Neil

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

Full Swing

Full Swing is a vocal jazz quartet comprised of two men and two women performing a variety of jazz-influenced material -- standards, doo wop, contemporary, and Latin music. Original arrangements by Robin Lewis give Full Swing a unique style. Their music is at times humorous, at times sophisticated, and always enjoyable. Backed by guitar, bass, and saxophone, Full Swing presents a sound that is well rounded and appeals to a variety of audiences.

Members: Donna Spitzer, Robin Lewis, Bob La Rosa, Laurie Tvedt

Girls’ Night Out

These three sisters-in-song have dazzled audiences for six years. Perennial favorites at such events as the Sausalito Art Festival, they also appear regularly at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley.

Members: Carol Joy Harris, Maggie Catfish, Cici Dawn

Lip Service

Lip Service is a semi-professional vocal quartet comprised of two men and two women. Originally formed for the purpose of performing Christmas music for private parties and public holiday events, the group has expanded its musical repertoire to include jazz, swing, pop, contemporary, and classical styles.

Members: Mary Beth Halsing, Grant “Buzz” Halsing, Annette Lindemann, David “Woody” Woodford

Notes of Interest

Notes of Interest is a quartet composed of members of the San Francisco Chapter of the Barbershop Society and is proof that this unique American art form is alive and well. They have been together less than a year and are becoming a popular act for private parties, specialty shows, conventions, and tourist attractions, and have competed at various Barbershop competitions.

Members: Rob Gorlin, Alex Aikman, Ron Losk, Tom Shipp

Teddies

The Teddies got started in February 1985. Since that tie they have been welcomed at The Sweetwater, Uncle Charlie’s, New George’s, The Stone, Last Day Saloon, Beaux Arts Ball at City Hall in San Francisco, the New Varsity Theatre in Palo Alto, and many other Bay Area clubs. Sharing the stage with such greats as Jesse Colin Young, Maria Muldaur, Jerry Garcia, Danny O’Keefe, Donovan, Taj Mahal and the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra, The teddies provide an interesting and delightful performance of unique vocal arrangements, choreography and lighthearted fun.

Members: Ro Rigney, Bonnie Gardner, Susan Snow, Melissa Phillippe

The Accidentals

... are no accident this year. We first got together for last year’s Harmony Sweepstakes and had such a good time that we kept at it. We’ve tripled our repertoire and performed fo such Gala events as the Point Reyes Bird observatory’s Oplen House, Bob and Zoe’s weeding, and the annual Bolinas Labor Day Extravaganza. DLave writes our sharp arrangements, Steve’s a natural dentist in lagunitas, and Liz and Susan make tea in no time flat.

Members: Liz Tuomi, Dave Murray, Susan Goldhaber, Steve Boughton

1986 Judges

Julie Nicholas   

Julie Nicholas has been singing, performing and harmonizing since the early 1960s. Starting out in Southern California with a singing foursome she made her way up north to pursue her B.A. at UC Berkeley. Never losing sight of her musical passion, it wasn't long before Julie met Willow Wray and their long history as singing partners began.

After a year of performing together as a duo in coffee houses and local SF Bay Area clubs, Willow and Julie signed on as backup singers with Terry Garthwaite, lead singer for the nationally successful rock band Joy of Cooking. After her tour with the Joy of Cooking in the early 70s, Julie's strong vocal style was noticed by a Jazz/Rock group Small Change and they brought her onboard as a lead vocalist. Small Change featured cutting edge musicians led by guitarist/performance artist Paul Dresher. During this period, in addition to working with Small Change, Julie was a regular vocalist with Dick Oxtot's Golden Age Jazz Band.

Gene Puerling   

Gene Puerling is known throughout the world of music for his hghlt distinctive choral arranging. He was the guiding light in two premier jazz vocal groups; The Hi-Lo's and the Singers Unlimited. During his career, he has written arrangements for Linda Ronstadt, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Jackson, Manhatten Transfer, The Ritz, The Vocal Majority and Chanticleer to name a few. Mr. P os also active as a clinician/ejudicator in the educational music field. Many of his arrangements are published by Shawnee Press, Columbia Pictures and Hal Leonard. Among his many commendations are a Grammy Award for his vocal arrangements of "A Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square" as recorded by the Manhattan Transfer, and 14 Grammy nominations.

Paul Smith   

Paul Smith received his undergraduate enducation at the Royal College of Musis in London, studied piano with John Lill and Bernard Roberts, and spent an additional year at the Vienna Academy. He graduated with a master's degree from Dominican College, studying piano with Julian White. Paul is the artistic director of Contemporary Opera Marin, which specializes in the production, performance, and commissioning of contemporary operas. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Music From Marin summer festival.

Pamela Polland   

Pamela Polland is an award winning singer/songwriter with 3 albums on Columbia and epic to her credit. Her ever-increasing musical credits reads like a veritable who's who of stars from all points of the music spectrum. Over 25 years in the business, this seasoned industry professional has both performed an recorded with such luminaries as Bonnie Raitt, The Manhattan Transfer, John Denver, Billy Williams, The Vocaholics, Loggins & Messina, Van Morrison, Taj Mahal, Jose Feliciano, Jackson Browne and a host of others. Her songs have been recorded by the likes of Helen Reddy, Linda Ronstat, The Byrds, Wesley Willis, Vicki Carr, Nancy Ames, Bobby Bare and Anita Carter. She has also won numerous songwriting awards including an ASCAP award and a coveted gold record. Since 1980, Pamela has enjoyed success as one of the most sought after vocal and performance coaches in the Bay Area. Her Learn-to-Sing video "VOCALEASE" has been received with overwhelming raves.


Complete list of 1986 participants




Stay Informed!

Keep in touch. Hear about our a cappella shows by subscribing to our e mail list.

Your Email Address:
We will only send you information about our events and will
absolutely never share or sell this email list to anybody else.

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 12 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 :

John Neal (Bay Area) Beginning as a local event the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, under Neal’s guidance, has grown to become the most significant live showcase for a cappella music in the nation and attracts hundreds of groups and thousands of audience members every year. The Harmony Sweepstakes was the original inspiration for the NBC prime time series The Sing-Off and Neal was hired as a consultant to the series. Neal is president of Primarily A Cappella - (www.singers.com) which is the nation’s leading vendor of a cappella music including recordings, arrangements, DVDs, songbooks and instructional material for singers. Neal writes the informative blog at www.acappellanews.com which has a large and loyal readership.

PO Box D, San Anselmo, CA 94979
415-455-8602
festival (at) harmony-sweepstakes.com


Our Hall of Fame - The Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions

Regional Champions: Boston | Chicago | Denver | Los Angeles | Mid-Atlantic | New York | Pacific NW | SF Bay Area

The Harmony Sweepstakes National Audience Favorites

Regional Audience Favorites: Boston | Chicago | Denver | Los Angeles | Mid-Atlantic | New York | Pacific NW | SF Bay Area

Best Original Arrangement Winners | National Winners | San Francisco | New York | Boston | Chicago | Los Angeles | Pacific North West | Mid-Atlantic

Other Year's Results - 2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008
2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999 - 1998 - 1997 - 1996 - 1995 - 1994 - 1993 - 1992 - 1991
1990 - 1989 - 1988 - 1987 - 1985


Home | Boston | Chicago | Rocky Mountain | Los Angeles | New York | Pacific North West | San Francisco | Mid Atlantic (DC)


Primarily A Cappella - Your Source For Vocal Harmony Music

Browse

Browse By


Music Category
Arrangement
Gender
Instructional
Format
Christmas

Thanks to our Sponsors