2014 Participating Groups
SeaNote is an a cappella band that came together in mid-2013 from two different college a cappella groups at the University of Washington in Seattle (Furmata & Awaaz). The quintet strives to put a fresh and unique spin on new and old Top 40 hits through incorporating each members musical niche, whether it be classical, jazz, hip hop, rap, pop, alt-rock, or soul. SeaNote loves making great music, having an awesome time, and hopes to entertain a cappella enthusiasts everywhere! You can catch SeaNote year round performing at local gigs, UW functions and charity events all over the Greater Seattle Area.
Members: Isaiah Lin, Shaheer Aftab, Michael Kibbe, Lucy Liu, Amanda Tran
| Bodacious Ladyhood|
Bodacious Ladyhood is a Seattle-based trio of women who have been singing together since 2002. Carolyn, Loretta and Jenny are excited to be back for their fourth time at Sweeps, having placed in the top three in their prior three appearances! They have opened for The Baudboys and have performed at Chateau Ste. Michelle (and on live, national radio) as guests on "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." They have been called "distinctive", "vibrant-voiced", and "show-stopping." Bodacious Ladyhood is three parts harmony, one part comedy and a whole lot of fun.
Members: Carolyn Hastings, Jenny Buehler, Loretta Deranleau Howard
| Shot in the Dark|
Shot in the Dark found each other by individually answering the same craigslist ad, all with a common love for singing a cappella music. Hailing from all over the US and beyond, this is a truly unique group of musicians, with backgrounds ranging from college a cappella and opera, to touring chorales, barbershop, and musical theater.
Founded in 2012, they hit the ground running, placing as a finalist in the Lady Antebellum A Cappella Cover Contest in their first year. The following year, they received second place and best arrangement at the Harmony Sweepstakes Pacific Northwest Regional. The group continues to evolve, even around careers, families, and busy schedules. Our goal is for you to love what you hear! busy schedules. Our goal is for you to love what you hear!
Members: Ann Trigg, Brett Peach, Gareth Lim, Brian Reznik, Chad Heise, Beth Davis
20/20 is a collection of current and former music students from Centra20/20 is a collection of former college friends who have formed a lifelong bond through sharing their love of music. With their skills from music school at hand, the group combined already has decades of performing experience including leading opera roles, national festival performances, and professional choral recording sessions. Since graduating from Central Washington University they have all taken different career paths but still find time to come together in order to pursue musical excellence and share their passion for performing as 20/20.
Members: Ben Rice, Isaiah Ragland, Jacob Cecil, Matt Mayrhofer, Theo Olson
| Boots ‘n Cats|
Boots 'n' Cats came to be in June of 2013 over a couple of burritos and some jarritoas at Taco Wagon in Ellensburg. Emily Salisbury and Nicole Prigge had a dream to create a small, mixed ensemble of, not only quality singers, but quality people. Over the course of the summer, an a'cappella group was born and so to was a desire to be the best possible.
In October of 2013 Boots 'n' Cats submitted an application to ICCA (the International Championships of A'Cappella) and received notification in November of their acceptance. Boots 'n' Cats is currently working towards the ICCAs in the hopes of placing top two and advancing to the next round of competition. Other than that, Boots 'n' Cats spend their time cooking, singing like Miranda Sings, and laughing uncontrollably.
Members: Ben Lundgren, Antonio Fernandez, Bo Mendez, Emily Salisbury, Nicole Prigge, Sarah Hemenway, Aryn Chatterton
| High Altotude|
High Altotude is a female a cappella group made up of seven members from Cleveland High School. The group was founded in 2010 by a few girls in the choir department at Cleveland who felt there needed to be a female counterpart to the male a cappella group, Cloud Nine, made up of nine young men from different high schools around Portland. High Altotude’s original director gave the position up at the end of last year to our current director, Aranda Furth, who has been a joy to have as a leader. High Altotude performs around Portland at various locations such as Providence Child Center, The Pittock Mansion, and Portland State University.
Members: Laurel Osborne, Molly Carpenter, Maiya Coleman, Leah Brower, Lily Sweeney, Kyla Precourt, Laura Young, Sophie Schoenfeld
The Julians are four of Portland Oregon's finest classically trained female vocalists working together to explore, challenge, embrace, and sing the living daylights out of music that they love. The Julians formed in 2010 with the intention of creating genre-defying programs that seamlessly meld classical, pop, jazz, and indie music. They have performed their original arrangements in a variety of Portland venues as well as on many concert series. The Julians were recently featured as part of Portland Institute of Contemporary Art's 2013 Time Based Art Festival. They collaborate frequently with local artists and are featured on Bryan Free's 2011 album, Red Queen.
Members: Liz Bacon, Kristen Buhler
| Open Bar|
Open Bar is an a cappella group from the greater Seattle area with two things in common: a love of good music and good times. A concoction of scientists, 9 to 5ers and struggling musicians, shaken and served over ice in a fancy glass. We sing tunes that stir up feelings, emotions and memories...songs that just make you feel good! Our goal is to make new and lasting memories with each other and the audience; come along for the ride and we'll take care of you. Choral, pop, barbershop and more...
Members: Melissa Landowski, Allison Cherry, Ian Skavdahl, Sam Waterhouse, Brian Kirkness, Jordyn Meeker
||Jill Barnes |
Jill Barnes is the Executive Director of the Washington Center. She has previously worked in Idaho Falls at the Willard Arts Center/Colonial Theater, John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City, UT. Jill grew up attending and participating in chorus, band, theater, and musicals. She studied vocal performance at the University of Utah and holds a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from Boston University. She moved to Olympia in June with her husband Nathan and 3 curly-haired children. She is an enthusiastic consumer of the arts and is thrilled to be a part of Harmony Sweepstakes.
Scott Farrell, A Northwest native, has been a professional actor, singer, music director and teacher for over 40 years. As a featured singer he has appeared in theatres and nightclubs around this world, including New York City, Miami, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, London and Bermuda, For sixteen years he was music director for Greg Thompson Productions, one of the largest producers of staged revue shows in the world, where he arranged and directed over 50 world-class productions He is a former music faculty member at The Evergreen State college, where he directed the college’s choral group, The Evergreen Singers. Based out of Seattle, with an additional studio in Olympia, Scott currently provides private and group vocal experiences through his company, Harmonic Oasis LLC, helping people connect more deeply with their vocal selves.
||Kevin Kunz |
Kevin studied jazz piano and voice at Central Washington University and studied under nationally renowned director, John Mowad. After college, Kevin jumped into radio jingle and commercial singing, while playing jazz and pop keyboards and singing in clubs and lounges in the 80’s. Kevin joined with his brother in 2000 and formed Groove For Thought, which went on to win the coveted 2005 National Harmony Sweepstakes championship. Groove for Thought has gone on to star in NBC’s The Sing Off Season 2 and continues a very successful musical career.
With numerous songwriting awards, album credits for writing and arranging, including arranging for string ensembles and horn sections, 2 CARA Awards and 3 more nominations for 2107, he is very active in the local music scene.
Kevin formed Straighter Road in 2012. The 6 vocalists of SR come from very diverse vocal backgrounds and experiences and blending them together resulted in being named 2015 Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes Champions, their very first competition ever, and then on to with the National Harmony Sweepstakes Competition award 2 months later in SanFrancisco, competing against the very best groups from around the country, while also bring home the award for Best Arrangement!
Jen Ryle is Olympia Family Theater's co-founder and Artistic Director. She completed her BA at The Evergreen State College in June of 2006, focusing her studies on expressive arts, business and education with the goal in mind of creating a children’s theater here in Olympia. Formerly, she worked for Creative Theatre Experience (CTE) and for 5 years, she was a community specialist at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) teaching classes on everything from music to creative dramatics, puppetry and crafts. In June of 2013, Jen completed a certificate program- “Directing for the Stage and Screen” at the University of Washington. For OFT Jen has directed; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Giver, Rapunzel, The BFG, Winnie the Pooh, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Go, Dog. Go!, and Lyle the Crocodile and three of OFT’s all youth productions including; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth. Jen is living her dream, watching OFT as it grows and flourishes.
Complete list of 2014 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 :
Gary Witley (Pacific Northwest)
The Pacific Northwest Regional Festival is sponsored and produced by Masterworks Choral Ensemble (MCE). Gary Witley is the Artistic Director & Conductor of MCE. MCE is a Southwestern Washington community chorus dedicated to performance, community service, music education and leadership in the arts. Our mission is to perform sacred and secular choral, orchestral and newly commissioned works; to participate in community service activities and to provide a leadership role in developing, sponsoring and broadening the vocal arts.
PO Box 1091, Olympia, WA 98501-1090
info (at) mce.org