1995 Participating Groups
A.K.A (A Capppella for the terminally hip) consists of top vocalists from the Davis/Sacramento region of Northern California. Founding members Frank Fox (aka Dr. Doo-Wop,) Dianna Craig and Joseph Rodriguez, along with the newest spectactularly talented members Catherine LeBlanc and Chris Sanborn, tackle everything from rock, jazz, and gospel; to funk, country, and surf instrumentals. Although sticklers for detail, members have been known to break into new material in the middle of a "heavy gig" just to see if the others can "hack it." Says Fox, "…if it makes noise, we can sing it!" In real accounting life, all musicians (multi-instrumentalists) artists, poets and dancers, augmenting their incomes with the occasional accounting gig ("remember kids, always have something to fall back on!). They live by their motto… "WE DON"T NEED NO STINKING BAND!"
Members: Dianna Craig, Joseph Rodriguez, Catherine LeBlanc, Frank Fox, Chris Sanborn
| 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.
Listen to: People Are Strange | Listen to: Wild Wild West
Members: Tom Griffin, Tony Ridenour, Bill Craig, Dave Menken, Ted Tolman, Mark Baldi
| Front Page|
The Front Page is a mixed quartet who came down all the way from Seattle to be involved in tonight's program. The group has been together for only ten months and in that time has performed for thousands of people throughout the Northwest. Their crowds at fairs, festivals, middle and high schools, colleges, and theatres all around have enjoyed the exciting and Fun Show of The Front Page. The Group started as friends in highly respected music department of Edmunds Community College in Seattle. There, all four sang in the nationally known jazz group, Soundsation. Their music reflects on every generation, from The Coasters, Under The Boardwalk, to 94's hot group Green Day.
Members: Jim Castaneda, Niki Vaughan, Jake Moulton, Jeremy Anglin
For over three years, the a cappella trio Mayim has blended their intricate harmonies at parties, weddings, cafes, university and community events. One review described their "incredibly sweet harmonies, perfectly blended that kept the crowd spellbound." Audiences have been impressed with their unique sound and dynamic energy. Their style of music includes classical, sacred, jazz, contemporary and ethnic. They regularly perform at the Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz and many other invited locations throughout the Bay Area.
Members: Ariel Thiermann, Natalie Bridgeman, Jemila Alldis
| On Q|
On Q is a medalist quartet in Sweet Adeline's International's Region 12 (Northern California.) All four members of On Q also harmonize with the Pacific Empire Chorus, a 125 woman Barbershop chorus based in Petaluma, which will be competing as a Region 12 Champions in the Sweet Adelines International competition this fall in New Orleans. When not singing, they manage to find time for theirs and families.
Members: Debi Thomas, Barbara Harp, Donna Spitzer, Leah Brooks
| Pinay Divas|
Formed in May of 1993 by Maylene Briones, Irma de los Santos, Angelica Abiog and Jocelyn Enriquez with the original intent of performing for a U.C. Berkeley campus organization, the four vocalists realized their music was an essential part of their lives, and they decided they would continue to sing together…as the Pinay Divas. Now, Maylene, Irma, Angelica and the newest member, Loredie Reyes are ther Pinay Divas. With their message of peace and cultural pride, the Pinay Divas will use their artistic talent to gain visibility for talented Asian musicians and give voice to Filipina women. Because of the important role education and community service has played in their lives, they hope to serve as positive models for youth.
Members: Maylene Briones, Irma de los Santos, Loredie Reyes, Angelica Abiog
| Screaming Divas|
"The Screaming Divas totally blew me away…I hooted and applauded and pumped my fist in the air…" was Jon Carroll's response to the Screaming Divas' 1994 Harmony Sweepstakes performance (San Francisco Chronicle 2/23/94.) It's been quite a year since then: debuting at the Paradise Lounge and the Fillmore, singing for Dianne Feinstein and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and winning a SF Weekly Whammie award in the Beyond Category. These gals redefine a cappella with a Harmony Sweepstakes award for the best original arrangement of Ravel's "Bolero."
Members: Danielle Nice, Pamela Nissley, Lilli Oldfield, Mary Ann Boyd, Tina Osinski
| Vocal Underground|
"A cappellafunksoulrockingospeljazz" is the only word that describes the VU, short of "amazing". Since 1992 this 6 person vocal ensemble has seamlessly blended their individual voices to create the unique sounds that set them apart from all other vocal groups. The diversity of the singers is immediately apparent just by looking over their song list. It features contemporary tunes and familiar favorites with a new twist. By the end of each set, you have been taken on a musical journey. Members include: Paul Culala, Brady Fishler, Sally Jackels, Andrew Smith, Amy Williams, Marcia VanDerVinne.
Members: Brady Fishler, Sally Jackels, Andrew Smith, Paul Culala, Amy Williams, Marcia VanDerVinne
||Sandy Cressman |
Professional singer, instructor, composer and arranger Sandy Cressman began her professional career with the acclaimed vocal trio "Pastiche", who won the Harmony Sweepstakes back in 1987. After recording and touring with Pastiche, Sandy branched out, following her love for Latin music, and forming a new group, "Homenagem Brasileira", who have been performing in major festivals and venues since 1997. She will release her second Homenagem Brasileira CD on August 1 of this year. As a session singer, Sandy has recorded with such diverse artists as Eddie Money, Jonathan Cain (Journey), Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo and Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra. Sandy is a Governor of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy, and teaches private lessons and classes at Cressman Studios, Blue Bear School, and the Music Center of San Francisco.
Phil has directed the Chorus of the Golden Gate since 2007, and served as a Barbershop Harmony Society contest judge from 1993-2013. DeBar has hosted local a cappella radio shows on KRCB Santa Rosa ('95-'03) and KKUP Cupertino ('85-present); and was co-founder (with Deke Sharon and Buddy Saleman) and host of CASA's "A Cappella Radio International" from 1996-2002. He also hosted the week-long video-webcasts of the BHS International Contests from 2000-06). Phil started in a cappella with the Stanford Mendicants ('78), subbed in Chanticleer in '84, earned 3 Down Beat jazz "dee-bee" awards in the Foothill College Fanfairs ('86-8), and has sung in five NorCal champion barbershop quartets. This is his fifth appearance on the Harmony Sweepstakes panel.
||Jerry Friedman |
Jerry Friedman is a leading Bay Area reviewer who has been the entertainment critic for the market leader KGO radio for twenty years. He is president of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle and president of the Palace Of Fine Arts League. He has produced shows for Harrah's in Lake Tahoe and Reno and has been a comedy writer for years.
Known on air as "Laura in the Livingroom", Laura is a veteran of Bay Area radio. She has had a show for 20 years on UC Berkeley's KALX (90.7 FM) Radio, one of the nation's most influential college radio stations, where she did an extended stint as music director. Laura has a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science specializing in Music Librarianship. As an undergraduate, Laura studied voice and percussion at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Il. An avid music lover with a seasoned and critical ear, Laura enjoys all types of music from Ayler to Zappa.
||Ralph Pavone |
For the past eleven years, Ralph has been Artist Representative. He currently represents composers Gordon Getty, vocalist Weslia Whitfield, the hit musical revue Party of One and, those bad boys of a cappella--The Edlos.
Complete list of 1995 participants
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We are always seeking groups who would like to participate
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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