23rd Annual

New York 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 New York Champions

The Fault Line

AfterShock is a five person a cappella band based in Albany, NY, that takes traditional a cappella and smashes it against the wall. The remains are rebuilt into AfterShock's funky musical style for all the world to enjoy. These five musicians come from a variety of musical experiences, but are drawn together with an incredible passion to bring the funk and soul to the a cappella world.

2007 Results

The Fault Line
Invisible Men
Audience Favorite
The Fault Line
Best Original Arrangement
"You're Daddy Don't Know / 80's Medley" Arr. Nicholas Fox

2007 Participating Groups

The Fault Line
AfterShock is a five person a cappella band based in Albany, NY, that takes traditional a cappella and smashes it against the wall. The remains are rebuilt into AfterShock's funky musical style for all the world to enjoy. These five musicians come from a variety of musical experiences, but are drawn together with an incredible passion to bring the funk and soul to the a cappella world.
Listen to: Rock Around The Clock | Listen to: Some Kind Of Wonderful

Members: Jeff Bratz, Justin Adams, Adam Decker, Matt Olmstead, Josh Logan

Invisible Men
Invisible Men (IM) is a vocal band based in Manhattan, dedicated to performing tasty and propulsive arrangements of the choicest pop, rock and R-'n-B morsels.Coming out of the underground contemporary a-cappella scene, IM uses its voices-- including vocal percussion, well-amplified bass and the occasional audio effect-- to create performances as exciting and energetic as an instrumental combo. While most pop groups in the college a-cap scene (in which the IM guys honed their chops) are large and have the luxury of being able to literally recreate popular recordings using complex arrangements, IM and small bands like it are looking to create the excitement of popular music with efficient but powerful arrangements, so that while you know you're listening to voices, the sound is so full and convincing that you simply don't care. Invisible Men played its very first show on Feb. 26, 2005 at the New York Harmony Sweepstakes at Symphony Space, and took the metro vocal harmony scene by storm that night, winning Audience Favorite honors. Members: Warren Bloom, Oliver Libby, Angel Rufino, Tyler Pennock, Justin Blanding

Mystery Date
Award-winning a cappella sensation Mystery Date sings to entertain and inspire. This gay male a cappella group has roots as diverse as rock and roll, classical music, musical theater, soul, and collegiate a cappella. They delight audiences with their jazzy sound and sweet, sassy ( and sometimes irreverent) stage presence. Their repertoire defies categorization, ranging from Spike Jones and Gershwin classics to the B52s and contemporary songwriters like Alanis Morrisette and Desiree. They have performed nationwide sharing stages with a cappella legends “The Bobs”, Sweet Honey and the Rock’s Y’saye Barnwell, Lea DeLaria, The Persuasions, Kate Clinton, and Naturally Seven, among others. From New York cabarets and concert halls to theaters and arenas across the country, their performances are fueled with uncompromising musicianship, explosive energy and offbeat humor.Members: Jeff Domoto, Ken Browne, Joshua Koffman, Bill Poock

Nu Millennium
Nu Millennium is an R&B a cappella singing group from Brooklyn, NY.? Their sweet, irresistible, street corner, gospel flavored, Doo Wop style harmonies and soulful melodic interpretations of groups like the Drifters, Temptations, Limelites and the Dells are winning fans world wide. Performing at street festivals, weddings, corporate events and benefits and opening up for legends of music from Bo Diddley to The Delfonics, Nu Millennium has dazzled audiences young and old who are swept away by their sweet soul music and Doo Wop style harmonies. Currently recording an album of original songs in the style of our favorite artists of yesterday fused together with today’s hot new sounds, Nu Millennium is also quite content performing and singing at events up and down the east coast. With a class act and years of musical experience, these four guys are forever ‘looking for an echo'.? They’ll bring you back to an era of great music and take you with them on a journey under the stars and through the Nu Millennium.Members: Bobby, Lenny, Henry, Mike

Spare Parts Vocal Band
Spare Parts Vocal Band produces music using their hearts, souls, and voices. We perform an eclectic mix of pop music from whatever genre may catch our fancy. Spare Parts can perform unplugged for a casual atmosphere, or wired to really rock your house, garage, corporate facility, bar mitzvah, or wherever we happen to play. Spare Parts is always on the lookout for exciting gigs. We once sang outside Princeton University when it was only 10 degrees out (that's Fahrenheit degrees... really!). Please help us by booking us someplace warm.Members: Julianna, Big’ Steve, Jordan, Dr. Mike, Amy, Steve

Tools in a Cab?
Tools in a Cab? is a 7-member co-ed group which formed up in late 2006 as a spin-off group from Emerson College's Noteworthy. Several alumnus and current students alike came back together to sing some sweet tunes and enjoy each others' company. We enjoy good wholesome a cappella music, burritos, and riding around together in taxi cabs at all hours of the night.Members: Sarah Jane Yurek, Caitlin Reid, Rita O'Connell, Jeff Marcus, Adam Shepard, Matt Starring, Ben Stockman

Once upon a time, there were seven New Yorkers who were in the middle of their career and school rat races. During the course of their journey towards fame and fortune, they all recognized that all work and no public singing made both jack and Jill very cranky and annoying to their co-workers and loved ones. Rather than take a vow of silence (or get debarked!), they each decided to go on a covert mission: find people to sing with and make other cool noises. They quickly found each other through pheromones, sonar, and internet boards and formed what is now known today as Undercover New York. There are now many nights where you may walk by an office, apartment, or street corner, and hear their soulful and rocking sound!Members: Tari Suprapto, James Trani, Kelly Goggins, Robert Corradi, Nick Fox, Jennifer Nycz, Di Zhang

Vocal Heights
Vocal Heights is an eight member, co-ed, New York a cappella group with an eclectic style, performing a wide range of music from the 60's, all the way to the 2000's. With a repertoire that is predominantly rock and pop, We also like to mix it up with some doo-wop, jazzy standards, blue grass, non-secular selections, and even the occasional madrigal thrown in for good measure! While predominantly using original arrangements of covers we are psyched to now have several original songs in our repertoire as well. Our mission is simple: to put on a great show with great music!Members: Jim Longo, Ken Brady, Laura Dunn, Erik Levitt, Andrea Levitt, Mindy Gordon, Susan Jeffers, Lauren Kuczala

Wizards of AH
Wizards of AH is a contemporary a cappella group from New Jersey that delivers harmonies that are both soulful and upbeat. Influenced by a wide range of styles and artists, they sing music from such greats as the Beatles, Queen, Indigo Girls, Rockapella, as well as selections from the legendary doo-wop era. The Wizards of AH are vocals...four friends who understand blend and know how to keep it fun for everyone.Members: Ken Hess, Chris Carey, Tom Donelan, Bob Lanza

2007 Judges

Gerard Brown III   

Gerard Brown III is a screenwriter and former writer in residence with the New York Shakespeare Festival. He has written a number of screenplays and teleplays for the likes of Paramount Pictures and HBO among others. However, his most gratifying artistic accomplishment was PBS's Spike & Co: Do it A Cappella which he conceived, wrote, and co-executive produced and shot at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Roger Treece   

Composer, arranger, and singer Roger Treece has spent the past several years developing a new kind of choral music, combining traditional classical elements with jazz, funk, gospel, and the vocal innovations of his frequent collaborator, Bobby McFerrin. Roger has been commissioned by the Danish Radio Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Children's Choir and many others around the world. In addition, Roger has produced and arranged over 30 albums for artists such as the Bobby McFerrin, the Manhattan Transfer, the New York Voices, Mark Murphy, and Janis Siegel, as well as music for film and television, earning him five Grammy Nominations, fourteen downbeat awards, and industry accolades for his music education projects for children.

Roger tours worldwide as a vocal soloist and a member of Bobby McFerrin's 12-piece vocal ensemble, Voicestra. Roger Treece has been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards as an arranger, producer, singer, and engineer, and has won 14 DOWNBEAT awards as a soloist, ensemble member, director and arranger. In 2010, his arrangement of "Baby" (VOCAbuLarieS) was nominated for "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals" : the first time in the history of the Grammy Awards that an a cappella arrangement has been nominated for an instrumental arranging award.

Lisa Fischer   

Brooklyn born Singer Lisa Fischer, featured in the Academy Award-winning film "Twenty Feet from Stardom," is one of the most accomplished, versatile and sought-after singers in pop music today. One can hear her voice on everything from Cool Aid commercials to Saturday Night Live, as well as every ROLLING STONES world tour since 1989 . After attending the Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music and Art and Queens College, Lisa became involved in the NYC session scene and was soon discovered by Luther Vandross, who mentored her and featured her on his tours over the next 15 years. Her expertise and exposure while touring with Mr. Vandross led to a deal with ELEKTRA and a collaboration with producer Michael Narada Walden which culminated in the release of her first solo album, SO INTENSE, which garnered her a Grammy for Best R & B Vocal Performance in 1991 for her hit single "How Can I Ease the Pain".

Since then she has performed with Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Tina Turner, Madonna, Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Seal, and many others, sung on numerous movie soundtracks including “Casino”, “Made in America”, Home alone 2”, and recorded with producers David Foster and Arif Mardin, among others. In addition, Lisa has appeared on the David Letterman show, The Conan O'Brien show, the Kennedy Center Honor's, and the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Awards. Hard at work on a new solo project, Lisa is excited about judging this regional of the Harmony Sweepstakes.

Jonathan Minkoff   

Jonathan Minkoff is the Founder and Executive Producer for the Public Charity, SingStrong (SingStrong.org) and its International A cappella Festivals in NY, DC and Chicago. He performs world-wide and on TV with the award-winning a cappella quartet, Blue Jupiter. Minkoff holds a Bachelors in Music Ed. from Northwestern U., a certificate in voice study from the Boston U. Tanglewood Institute, and a JD from Boston U. School of Law. Minkoff won the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes 1st place and audience favorite and the Chicago & National Sweeps' "Best Original Composition" and "Best Arrangement Awards", shared a "WAMMY" nomination for "Best Album", a CARA nomination for "Best Jazz Album" and a WAMMY win for "Best A cappella Album". Most recently, Minkoff coached Stiletta, the current National Harmony Sweeps champions, and the only group to ever win every possible award at nationals. He has over 300 published a cappella reviews at RARB.org and his articles at ACAPPELLA101.com have thousands of views monthly. After teaching, performing, emceeing and judging at over 40 a cappella festivals worldwide, Minkoff now coaches, composes, records and produces for various a cappella groups in his New York City recording studio.

Judith Douglas   

Judith Douglas is presently Team Coordinator and Assistant Director of Metro Rhythm Chorus, Sweet Adelines, Int.'l. (SAI) She has been a member of SAI for 25 years and has her certification as a "Front Row" Director. Judy's expertise is in the area of vocal training. She Directed Golden Apple Chorus, SAI, in Westchester, NY for nine years. Judy has held positions as choreographer and Asst. choreographer for four choruses in the SAI organization and at present, is working toward her judges certification in the Expression Category for SAI. She is excited about this competition and hopes all the hard work will benefit our fine contestants!

David Buffum   

David Buffum is a producer, arranger and award-winning director of a cappella music in the Philadelphia and DC areas. For eight years, David produced the popular Philadelphia A Cappella Fest, which enables local secondary school vocal groups to sing with nationally renowned collegiate and professional groups. A founding member of the acclaimed a cappella group The Vineyard Sound, David has been singing for over 20 years, has arranged dozens of contemporary pieces, and has performed for and with celebrities internationally and at home. David has served as a judge at the Harmony Sweepstakes New York Regional for three years, and also at the ICCAs.

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 :

Colette Thompson (New York) Colette Thompson has directed or performed in over eleven vocal ensembles, with her group, Stay Tuned, placing 3rd in the 1998 New York Regional of the Harmony Sweepstakes; Colette has performed/recorded with Lukas Foss, Leonard Bernstein, Jesse Norman, Peter, Paul & Mary, and James Levine A billboard-ranked singer/songwriter, she has also managed several events, including, Christmas at NYU, Complex at the Duplex, and An Evening with The Real Group at NYC's Symphony Space. With performances televised via major news programs including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, and NY1, she is a promoter, producer, adjudicator and an ambassador of vocal music worldwide.

128 Fort Greene Place, Suite 1B, Brooklyn, NY 11217
colette.thompson (at) mac.com

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