1990 Participating Groups
| 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
| Celtic Elvis|
A satiric quartet working in the acoustic-rock genre, Celtic Elvis describes themselves as “the party band for people who think too much” and “Paul and Mary meet the Talking Heads”. Celtic sort of refers to the folk roots and harmony, and Elvis refers to the rock, the beat, the energy. The band has performed at clubs, concerts, festivals, TV and radio in Canada, Colorado, and New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland, Texas and all over California.
|The Genuine Diamelles|
Having lurked about in the trenches of SF's rock club scene for most of their lives, the members of The Genuine Diamelles found themselves at first rehearsal belting out a gospel number a cappella. Thus the premise was set for a wacky vocal format that has since expanded to include an acoustic guitar here, a baritone there, DO-DA, DO-DA. The Genuine Diamelles have proven that they can take their eclectic, offbeat, sometimes risqué repertoire into any venue, from the Fillmore to the Marriott, and points beyond.
Members: Junglebook, Debora Tennerino, Scott Young, Dave "Smelley" Kelley
|The Harmonic Convergents|
Over the years, the Convergents have found some pretty random ways to amuse their audiences. Pies in the face, puppet shows, songs on helium, pet crabs, special guests, bad jokes and goofy skits have all contributed to the Convergents’ distinctive style and armadillo-like grace. They have been heard as far off as Germany and Japan, and have toured and performed at exciting and varied locations throughout the US including Disneyland, Bel Air, San Francisco, Sun Valley, Idaho and in the parking lot at a Janet Jackson concert.
Members: Tod Pucket, Tim Griffin, Michael Oliver, Keith Barlow, Lance Halensteir
| Phyl n the Blanks|
Six women from the rural Lost Coast of California who have been friends and neighbors for 15 years. They began singing together in 1987 to express their political and environmental concerns.
Members: Dawn Champie, Sheila Hahn, Becka Sheranian, Stephanie Lusak, Sandy Tilles, Nadine Capdelaine
The Renovations started as an all-male group bent on singing doo-wop. But the original members quickly (after the first rehearsal) amended the group’s bylaws in order to admit singing of all genders.
Members: Lauren Alexander, Daniel Chaddock, Catherine LeBlank, Tim Lukaszewski, Michael Owrn, Chris Sanborn
| Tu Tone Shoes|
Tu Tone Shoes (n) too ton shooz, from Latin word tonus or Greek work Rama Lama Ding Dong-A small herd composed of five individuals singing a cappella, known to roam the Sacramento Valley. Herds of Tu Tone Shoes seen as early as 1950. Modern day herds keep roots in traditional streetcorner doo-wop.
Members: David Mendenhall, Cal Toca, Christine Martin, Jim Thornburg, Laura Flowers Lothian
||Annie Ashe |
Annie Ashe comes to the bay from Boston. In-between working on a novel and attending to the needs of Mags, her cat, she holds down the evening shift at "The Tide" KTID Radio, 100.9FM.
Dick Bright has been active in the SF music scene for 15 years. Former band leader at the Venetians Room, Maestro Dick Bright was also host and band leader of the Bay Area Music Awards (BAMMIES) He is the leader of the Dick Bright Orchestra, as well as the host of TV's 20's cartoon classics.
||Jesse Hamlin |
Jesse Hamlin is an award-winning music writer and a respected veteran reporter of the the San Francisco entertainment scene. Hamlin has a regular column in the San Francisco Chronicle where he has worked as senior jazz critic and arts reporter for many years. He also contributes regularly to SF Arts magazine and to San Francisco Classical Voice, where he writes about jazz, Latin and classical music. His work has appeared in the New York Times, California magazine and in many other print and online publications.
Melissa Phillipe teaches voice lessons, harmony classes and background vocals. She headed the vocal faculty at On Stage Music and has expertise in developing a student's confidence and self-expression. Melissa also brings 14 years of experience as a vocal arranger, lead and back-up singer, and was a member of the Teddies, winners of the 85 and 86 Harmony Sweepstakes.
Complete list of 1990 participants
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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
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
festival (at) harmony-sweepstakes.com