23rd Annual

Boston Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival acapella singing competition

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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.

2007 Boston Champions

Men In Black

Men in Black is a young quartet bringing a fresh youthful sound and personality to barbershops classic standards and drawing appeal to its ever evolving sound in today's world. Their passion for the barbershop style was rewarded in July of 2005 when they were awarded he 2005 gold medal as the MBNA International Collegiate Quartet Champions. Once winning at this level, they immediately began to take on "the big boys" and in October of 2005 they were crowned the best in the Northeast.

2007 Results

Men In Black
Audience Favorite
Men In Black

2007 Participating Groups


The idea of 5-Alone was conceived in the fall of 1999. I approached four students about starting a jazz a cappella quintet with myself as the fifth member. Encouraged by the succss of our first performance, we continued singing throughout the spring and debuted officially as 5-Alone at the Iron Horse in June, 2000.

Now 5-Alone is an accredited performing arts class at PVPA. We've come a long way from the days of rehearsing at lunch and after school. 5-Alone has gained a considerable amount of attention in a very short time. Awards and honors have been piling up from DownBeat Magazine, C.A.S.A., A-Capella.com, The National Harmony Sweepstakes, R.A.R.B., Primarily A Cappella, Berklee College of Music, and the I.A.J.E. 5-Alone has performed all over the world, including New York, California, and The Netherlands, and has turned the world of high school a cappella upside down.

Members: Daniel Plimpton, Emily Yaffe, Olivia Littell, Isaac Richardson, Rose Whitcomb-Detmold, Andrew Lederman

Downtown Crossing
Downtown Crossing is an established Boston vocal band specializing in original songs and innovative, high-energy covers of alternative, modern rock, and R&B tunes. Past performance venues include the Somerville Theater, Ryles Jazz Club, Cantab Lounge, New Song Arts Center, Wellesley College, Tufts University, and WERS Radio (live and recorded). Four years strong, DTX is proud to be considered a mainstay of the dynamic Boston a cappella scene.Members: Ariel Glassman, Reena Freedman, Edwin Johnson, Bradford McKeown, Kiel Mitchell, Jonathan Spring

In the early 1990s, a group of talented women saw a void in the Tufts vocal scene. As Black women, they felt that they, and the music they enjoyed singing, was absent. So, in an attempt to remedy this, and because of their general love of song, they came together to form a group called Spice. Spice sang together for a few years before becoming Essence in 1994. Over the years, the character of Essence has changed many times. Not only has Essence been through a musical make-over, some also see a shift in the purpose of the group. When it was first founded, Essence was intended, or perceived to be, only for women of color. But now we are proud to be one of the most diverse incarnations of Essence ever. The thing that will always link together every member of Essence, past and present, is our love of the music of the African Diaspora. We will always keep this meaning in our hearts out of respect for the founders of Essence.Members: Faith Cummings, Angela Anderson, Melodie Eastmond, Kimberly Mitchell, Ursula Randolph, Mariel Montuori, Sharon Taylor, Rachel Engelberg, Kate Beal

Firedrill! stepped back, got a big running start and LEAPED... And made a big splash at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps by winning the Boston regional. When the finals came around, though, the group bellyflopped. Two years later Firedrill! is back with bright-red bellies (see for yourself!) and the same disregard for what contemporary a cappella is supposed to be. Since its last appearance the group has stepped up its repertoire and performance schedule, appearing at SoJam in North Carolina and agreeing to host the ICCA Finals at Lincoln Center this April. Firedrill! even released its first EP, Rock Paper Scissors. Thanks for having Firedrill! at the Boston Harmony Sweepstakes!Members: Fozz, Wrobz, Judd, Mark, (Mailman), Vic, Mikey B, Nate

Men In Black
Men in Black is a young quartet bringing a fresh youthful sound and personality to barbershops classic standards and drawing appeal to its ever evolving sound in today's world. Their passion for the barbershop style was rewarded in July of 2005 when they were awarded he 2005 gold medal as the MBNA International Collegiate Quartet Champions. Once winning at this level, they immediately began to take on "the big boys" and in October of 2005 they were crowned the best in the Northeast.
Listen to: Sugarcane Jubilee | Listen to: Run Around

Members: Ray Johnson, Karl Hudson, Tony Nasto, Oliver Merrill

Second Verse
Founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 2005, Second Verse is proud to be the second Pittsburgh vocal group ever to compete in the Harmony Sweepstakes, and are excited to make their first appearance in the Sweeps here in the home of the world's best a cappella scene -- Boston. They blend contemporary a cappella with the popular Pittsburgh area traditions of doo-wop and barbershop with the mission of creating performances that are as fun for audiences as they are for the singers. Second Verse has enjoyed performances in such venues as Pittsburgh's Benedum Center, KDKA Television, and PNC Park. The core of the group (Michael, Mike, and Eric) went on a year later to found contemporary sextet DoubleShot!, but still love to sing together in smaller groups -- and thanks to the addition of their newest fourth man, are able to come together for a unique reunion of sorts here at the Harmony Sweepstakes. Second Verse would like to thank their family and friends (especially the ones who are housing them here in Boston!) and the staff of the Harmony Sweeps for another great year of a cappellaMembers: Luke Clavey, Michael Bodnar, Eric Manalo, Mike Yanchak

Sentinel started out as an in-house church quartet which a few years ago decided to go public. Members are now from three churches in the Syracuse area who sing for the love of music and as a type of ministry. We mostly do church concerts, services, benefits for charitable organizations, and visits to senior homes. You'll find some traces of barbershop harmony in our arrangements as we sing hymns, spirituals, gospel songs, and an occasional classical piece.Members: Archie McEvers, Steve Arnold, George Carruth, Joe Browne

2007 Judges

Jamshed Bharucha   

As Provost and Senior Vice President of Tufts, Jamshed Bharucha is the Chief Academic Officer of the university, overseeing the seven schools, Tisch College, and cross-school programs. The provost is responsible for driving institutional and budgetary priorities, and for academic planning. Dr. Bharucha also holds faculty appointments in the departments of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Music. His own research has focused on the cognitive and neural basis of the perception of music, using perceptual experiments, neural net modeling, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Penelope Bitzas    

Mezzo-soprano Penelope Bitzas has performed in the United States and abroad in opera, oratorio and contemporary music and Greek music. She has sung as a soloist under notable conductors including Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Luciano Berio, George Tsontakis and others. She has performed as a soloist in the New England area with Back Bay Chorale, MIT Chorus and Orchestra, Boston University Chorus and Orchestra, ALEA III, Just in Time Players and the Bangor Symphony. Her students are successfully singing in major summer opera apprenticeships and in opera houses throughout the United States. Ms Bitzas has been on the faculties of Gustavus Adolphus College, Ithaca College, Wagner College and is currently an Associate Professor of Music in Voice at the School of Music at Boston University.

Joey Blake   

Joey is one of the founding and current members of Voicestra, the a cappella ensemble created by Bobby McFerrin. He was also a founding member of Sovoso the group that spun from Voicestra. Joey has recorded & produced five albums for this group, ( Precious - a European release, Bridges and Seasonings for the US, as well as Crack the Nut and Then and Now). He also holds numerous arranging credits to his name, including his work with SoVoSo. His discography includes recordings with McFerrin (Medicine Music, CircleSongs), Kenny Loggins, Dianne Reeves, to name a few.

Joey is currently on the faculty of Berklee College of Music in Boston, as an Associate Professor in the Voice Department. He continues to tour with, Sung Deep, Back To The Band and Bobby McFerrin, while pursuing his solo work and teaching career.

Jennifer Chada   

Jennifer Chada’s musical style would best be described as eclectic. She’s been singing everything from jingles and jazz to pop and cabaret over the last 15 years. In addition to major roles in Chicago area musicals, she has sung alongside Patti Austin and jazz legend Jack Sheldon in Cy Coleman and Alan & Marilyn Bergman’s premiere collaboration, “Like Jazz” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She is an award winning cabaret artist with two critically acclaimed shows under her belt and she has recorded two albums with "TONIC", Chicago’s premiere Vintage Jazz Vocal Quartet.

Amy Malkoff   

Involved in a cappella since college (Kenyon College), Amy Malkoff was a founding member and bandleader of the award-winning groups All About Buford and Deadline Poet, and she has appeared on stage and in the studio with such luminaries as Wayne Brady, Jonatha Brooke, The Persuasions, Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert, GrooveLily, Patty Griffin, and Dar Williams. She has a degree in music from Kenyon College, with music studies at Youngstown State University and masters-level coursework at the New England Conservatory of Music. She is currently Media Director for the Women's A Cappella Association, as well as being on the board, and the Marketing Director for the A Cappella Education Association (presenting the first National A Cappella Convention in Memphis next week!). Amy served on the board and was the Web Content Director for CASA (Contemporary A Cappella Society) and is a longtime judge for the International Championships of Collegiate and High School A Cappella. She is a writer, designer and runner of social media campaigns (www.amymalkoff.com), as well as a singer/songwriter. Amy's music has appeared on both the Rounder Records and Hear Music/Starbucks labels. @amalkoff

Complete list of 2007 participants

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 :

Dan Campagna (Boston) has been a part of the a cappella community for over 10 years and is the co-founder and business manager of the Boston-based group, Fermata Town. Behind his leadership, Fermata Town has released two award-winning albums, performed at international festivals and appeared on network TV. In 2013, Fermata Town captured the Boston Harmony Sweepstakes championship before placing third overall at Nationals where they took home "Best Original Song" honors. He is a founding board member of the Contemporary A Cappella League and voluteer program manager for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA). An active member in the Boston a cappella community, Dan enjoys attending local shows and volunteering for Varsity Vocals during ICCA season.

Prior to Fermata Town, Dan sang collegiate a cappella at Emmanuel College in Encore!, the college’s first-ever coed group which later changed its name to In Good Company.

Outside of a cappella, Dan works fulltime at Emmanuel College as the Director of Athletic Communications. Dan is also an Assistant Coach to the University of Massachusetts Boston Women’s Soccer Team and an adjunct professor at Lasell College where he teaches a sports journalism course.


Our Hall of Fame - The Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions

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Cohen Auditorium, Tufts University

Cohen Auditorium is the largest auditorium/lecture hall on the Medford Campus at Tufts University. The house seats 616 with 486 seats in the orchestra and 130 seats in the balcony. Located in the Aidekman Arts Center, it is a multi-use facility serving as a classroom from morning through mid-evening, Monday through Thursdays, and a performance or conference space on weeknights and weekends. Cohen Auditorium is located on the Medford campus at Tufts University, Cohen Auditorium is inside the Aidekman Arts Center on Talbot Avenue, near College Ave. There is plenty of free parking.Directions -

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40 Talbot Ave, Medford, MA 02155

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