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Harmony Sweepstakes National Champions

The nation's largest, oldest and most prestigious a cappella competition for all styles of unaccompanied vocal harmony music is now in its 4th decade of discovering and showcasing the most exciting and talented singing groups. Many of the winners have gone onto to successful careers in the music business with some still performing after 20 plus year together. Up and coming groups seeking exposure and opportunity are very much advised to participate in the annual event.

Displaying 1 - 33 of 33 items.


2017 : Sound Exchange

From soulful ballads, to blistering rock anthems, from jazz standards to chart-topping singles, The Sound Exchange does it all. Based out of the Twin Cities, this group brings dazzling harmonies and wisecracking audience interaction to every show and do it with it with joy and humor. Get ready for the hijinks and harmony of...The Sound Exchange.


2016 : Stiletta

Stiletta is a NYC-based, all-female sextet combining pop leads, dance beats and hip-hop choreography. In 2016, the ladies of Stiletta were crowned National Champions at the 32nd Annual National Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, winning in every possible award category: First Place, Audience Favorite, Best Arrangement, and Best Original Song. This enormous accomplishment came on the tail end of having won First Place and Audience Favorite at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic and 2016 New York Harmony Sweepstakes competitions, as well as Best Vocal Percussion and Best Arrangement. These ladies have the moves, the grooves and even the shoes. So get pumped!


2015 : Straighter Road

Singing is one of the purest art forms. Nothing man made between the artist and the audience. Straighter Road was formed as a Gospel vocal group first, with a band back-up, and recently has ventured down the Acapella Road. The challenge of acapella sing is without edges and joined with the charge of spreading the Good News of the Gospel, keeps Straighter Road striving for excellence.


2014 : Women of the World

Women of the World was formed to bring women musicians from across the globe onto a common platform to collaborate and create, not only through the sharing of music, but also to explore and celebrate the differences in ideologies, and cultural tenets that exist in the daily lives of women all over the world.

Honoring global folk traditions, their repertoire spans music in 29 languages. In many ways, the ensemble is a microcosm of the world, with members working closely together, not just to create and perform music, but also learning about each other's countries, cultures, languages, beliefs and practices.

2014 Harmony Sweepstakes champions, nominees for the 2013 Boston Music Awards and 2014 Independent Music Awards, Women of the World has toured North America and Asia, having collaborated with many industry legends including Grammy-award winning vocalist, Bobby McFerrin and African vocal icon, Angelique Kidjo. Women of the World continues to serve as cultural ambassadors of peace and unity through music and has delighted audiences at venues like Carnegie Hall, Blue Note Jazz Club, Boston Symphony Hall, as well as through collaborations with the United Nations, amongst others.


2013 : Honey Whiskey Trio

Honey Whiskey Trio blends sounds and styles from folk, bluegrass and jazz. This trio found its roots in the vocal jazz department of CSU Long Beach where the members all studied with Christine Guter, though at different times. Years later, well into their own careers as musicians and educators, the need for a new outlet for musical exploration brought Courtney, Ann and Christina together and the Honey Whiskey Trio was formed.


2012 : Six Appeal

Is Six Appeal a comedy group, a vocal ensemble, or a rock band? Audiences have been trying to answer that question for years. Swearing off instruments, Six Appeal uses a cappella singing to span decades of classic oldies, current chart toppers, and catchy original tunes. Featuring vocal dexterity and adventurous song selection, the group explores all genres with a far-reaching repertoire that will surprise and captivate audiences regardless of the setting. Despite their cheeky group name, the antics of these six young gentlemen provide a good natured atmosphere for their electrifying performance. A Six Appeal show will split your sides, feed your musical sweet tooth, and leave you wondering how in the world they pulled it off just with voices.


2011 : Da Capo

The da Capo Vocal Band Born out of the Binghamton University a cappella community, da Capo is a high powered, raucous male vocal band founded in the fall of 2000 committed to bringing professional a cappella to central New York. Literally translated, da Capo means "from the beginning" and the group aims to stay true to its roots: award winning groups with an emphasis on entertainment and fun for their audience while expanding their sound to creative new heights. A full, rich sound, intense percussion, outstanding vocalists and an eclectic repertoire make da Capo a group to look for in the future.


2010 : Plumbers of Rome

While serving as court musicians/crepe chefs at the court of Charles VII in the 13th century (they were not allowed to serve as the Royal Plumbers, since plumbing was at that time considered to be a form of witchcraft) the Plumbers of Rome invented a device to hurl food and concert T-shirts into the starving peasant section of the King's Concert Hall. Adapted for military use, and named the Trebuchet, this modest invention lead the French army to many victories, as well as adding to the festive atmosphere of French wedding receptions and modern day Renaissance Festivals. While history has all but forgotten the inventors of the Trebuchet, the Plumbers are commemorated in the traditional French carol ballade de l'arme romaine aim'e de plombier.


2009 : MAXX Factor

MAXX Factor was formed in 2004. This current foursome has been singing together since August 2007. Lead Leslie Wodday became a Queen of Harmony in 2000 with Signature Sound Quartet. She joined MAXX in August of 2007. Founder Valerie Hadfield-Rasnake is a barbershop brat. She sang with Region 19 medalist Quartets Ritz Carleton and Vanity Fair. Co-founder Baritone Kim Hudson, also a barbershop brat, has sung with Region 19 medalist quartet Vanity Fair. Prior to joining MAXX in 2005, Tenor Molly Plummer sang with Region 19 multi-medalist quartet RhythmWorks. Molly and Valerie are members of the International medalist chorus Pride of Baltimore. Kim and Leslie, currently Chapter-at-Large, have competed internationally with the Pride of Baltimore chorus.


2008 : Vocaldente

The press is unanimous: vocaldente's "singing technique is professional", their "verve is phenomenal", and they're "sparkling with imagination". Critics say they offer a "high level in singing performance", with their "funny spoken interludes" and "imaginative, passionate choreography" - and that they're known for the "professionalism in their performance": Onstage they're "fitting and harmonic", "witty and fresh", "charming and professional" ...simply "harmonic, funny and good with a refreshing naturalness."

But vocaldente have also impressed on the international stage, convincing jurors from all areas of vocal and a cappella music, from classical style to voice pop, such as John Potter (former The Hilliard Ensemble member), Ward Swingle (founder of The Swingle Singers) and Anders Jalkeus (The Real Group). The quintet have prevailed at the biggest and most significant national and international vocal and a cappella competitions in Asia, Europe and the United States.


2007 : Moira Smiley and VOCO

Moira Smiley & VOCO is a visionary blend of voices - redefining harmony singing with the power & physicality of folksong, the avant-garde fearlessness of Bela Bartok and the delicious, vaudevillian accompaniment of cello, banjo, accordion and body percussion. Moira Smiley leads an ensemble of extraordinary musicians who share a passion for spreading powerful, emotional music with lush four-part vocal harmony, cello, accordion and banjo. Original improvisation-built songs steeped in Appalachia and Eastern Europe.

Named #1 a cappella group in the U.S. in 2007, VOCO is the energy of street singing and the elegance of a string quartet. Recently featured in Dirty Linen and on more than 100 radio stations nationwide on NPR's "Harmonia", VOCO has released two critically acclaimed CDs in '08-'09: "Small Worlds" and "Circle, Square, Diamond & Flag". VOCO is sweet, hard-driving Americana mixed with crooked eastern European dance and dissonance. It's all rounded out with body-stompin' percussive movement and joyous, magnificent, hair-raising harmonies - music that mourns and dances at the same time.


2006 : Hi-Fidelity

Hi-Fidelity is considered to be one of the top a cappella show quartets in the country with a locked sound, creative packages and an extremely unique sense of humor (perhaps twisted?). Hi-Fidelity is the current Champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society's Far Western District. They have also taken top honors at another national "mixed" a cappella contest in 2002 when they were crowned the Buckeye Invitational Grand Quartet Champions. Their CD, "Almost Live" has been a big hit, and one cut (Blackbird Parody) was nominated for a CASA award in 2005. You may have seen them in some commercials too! Either as the Roto-Rooter plumbers or promoting the popular X-Box game "Tao Feng, Fist of the Lotus" (a very "painful" commercial - Check it out at www.hifidelityquartet.com). The guys are also members of the current International chorus champions, Masters of Harmony.


2005 : Groove For Thought

Infectious grooves, stunning arrangements, and electrifying solos are just some of the phrases used to describe Seattle based vocal group Groove For Thought. Since 1998, GFT has brought their unique brand of jazz and R&B infused tunes to festival, concert, school, and nightclub audiences throughout the United States and abroad.


2004 : Chapter 6

The group's boundless range and appeal has resulted in one of the most diverse touring schedules in the music industry. Whether at an opera house, symphony hall, campus, church, corporate or community event, or aboard a cruise ship, Chapter 6 is right at home. Opera houses are often repeat clients, while the Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities' audiences named Chapter 6 "Entertainer of the Year" (2005). Chapter 6 has performed theatrical pops programs with over ten major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with The Symphonic Pops Consortium, yet returns to the intimate classroom where the group has conducted over a hundred master-classes for high school choirs. Finally, their Christmastime concert is a favorite among churches and arts venues offering holiday programming.


2003 : Idea of North

The Idea of North defies categorisation. As a quartet of musicians, their voices are their instruments: soprano, alto, tenor and bass, with a bit of vocal percussion thrown in. Their sound and style is distinct, yet they cross many musical genres: jazz, pop, folk, gospel, even comedy.

Their arrangements are extraordinary. They take songs you know and songs you don't and create songs you'll love. But it's not just about the music:

"A pitch-perfect ensemble negotiating complex modulations with ease, constant seamless transition between lead and accompaniment parts, and the whole thing strung together by low-key, humorous conversational patter..." The Courier-Mail


2002 : Perfect Gentlemen

The Perfect Gentlemen provide the perfect blend of harmony and humor harkening back to the days of Vaudeville. Preserving America's great vocal sounds from a time when music was music, The Perfect Gentlemen recreate the close harmonies of such legendary groups as The Ink Spots and the Pied Pipers, while including the era's great comic songs made famous by the likes of Louis Jordan and The Hoosier Hotshots.

A typical performance by The Perfect Gentlemen includes marvelous melodious music mingled with masterful mirth, mischief, and merry-making. The group's versatility allows for effortless shifts between vocal styles with an air of ease, whether singing a cappella or accompanied by guitar or ukulele. Their signature piece, Salute to the 20th Century, is a humorous take on the de-evolution of music over the last century, illustrated by singing the same song in the style of Barbershop, Dixieland, Blues, Big Band, Doo-Wop, Bluegrass, Disco, Techno Punk, and Rap, complete with visuals that delights audiences of all ages time and time again.


2001 : Sixth Wave

January 2005 brought on a season of change for us, as Amy Fogerson left the group and was replaced by Jennifer Barnes. Shortly thereafter, both Gerald White and Gary Rosen also made the decision to leave the group to pursue other ventures, which created openings filled by tenor Greg Whipple and baritone Greg Jasperse. This 50% new group is now eagerly working towards the goal of being a powerful and cohesive musical unit, adding exciting new repertoire while maintaining the spirit and integrity for which Sixth Wave has always been known. Please keep checking back for new and exciting news and updates as things progress.....


2000 : Toxic Audio

In 1998, Toxic Audio launched its quirky show in an abandoned storefront at the Orlando International Fringe Festival. To their amazement, people began cramming into that storefront to see them. The show caught the attention of Disney executives who hired them as featured performers at the Disney/MGM Studios. Soon after, the group was crowned champion at the National Harmony Sweepstakes in California.

In the year 2003, Toxic Audio's album, Chemistry was named "Album of the Year" by the Contemporary Acappella Society of America. The group has made national TV appearances with Ed McMahon and Wayne Brady, and even got to sing a reggae-style weather report on ESPN2's morning show "Cold Pizza". Toxic Audio won the 2004 Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" for their Off-Broadway Show in New York's John Houseman Theatre where they continue to electrify audiences by exploring the boundaries of the human voice.


1999 : Naturally 7

The origins of the group date back to New York City in 1999 when Roger Thomas started the group with his brother, Warren, and five other talented singers they had come to know over the years from singing around the city. Having been in and out of several traditional male groups over the years, Roger developed an affinity for a cappella sounds and a unique ability to create distinct harmony arrangements. When invited to sing at a major a cappella competition in New York, they won the competition, moved onto the nationals and took away two more wins.

Riding the wave of this newfound success and still unable to decide if Naturally 7 were going to be an a cappella group or a traditional band, Roger had a novel idea: they could be both.


1998 : Metropolis

Formed in February of 1994, Metropolis has come to the attention of national television audiences within the past few years, beginning with their appearance on the pilot episode of Four Floor Show on E! Entertainment Television in June 1995 and the filming of a national Dr. Pepper commercial later that same year. They continue to make appearances in various media, most recently singing jingles for radio commercials and having appeared in the limited release film entitled "Pacino is Missing." The members of Metropolis have performed in a cappella groups on national and local television, film, radio, and in 28 different states and provinces including Florida, Michigan Minnesota, Hawaii, Alberta, Ontario, California, Arizona, and Nevada. They have competed in numerous different vocal styles encompassing Jazz, Doo-Wop, Broadway, R&B, Dixieland, Madrigal, and Opera.


1997 : SoVoSo

SoVoSo is a highly imaginative a cappella ensemble that sings a unique, rhythmic mix of jazz, gospel, world and R&B music, all rendered in their trademark improvisational style.

The SoVoSo repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective, from Afro-Latin idioms to traditional funk and jazz arrangements. Two SoVoSo members (Joey Blake, past member, and current member David Worm) are current members of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella group, Voicestra, performing with him from 1993 to present.Currently you will see David Worm, Sunshine Becker, Bryan Dyer and Zoe Ellis in this vocal band line-up, along with other great singers such as Nicolas Bearde, Ashling Cole and Vernon Bush. The SoVoSo family of singers continues to expand as this one of a kind musical project grows and flourishes.


1996 : m-pact

Hailed "one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world" by the San Francisco Chronicle, m-pact is respected worldwide as a cutting edge trailblazer in the realm of vocal music. Emerging from an age of auto-tune and overproduction, this Los Angeles-based ensemble has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the fresh, raw power of nature's "first instrument" - the human voice. Their sophisticated sound & accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, from Vocal Group of the Year (the LA Music Awards), an Indie nomination (the Independent Grammy), & Artist of the Year (Seattle Music Awards), to Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition.


1995 : Accidentals

A unique mixed voice octet, The Accidentals are known for their sophisticated harmonies, off-beat sense of humor, and an eclectic repertoire of original songs and distinctive arrangements. Their many awards include MAC and Back Stage Bistro Awards for Best Vocal Group. They were also the 1995 National Champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes. The Accidentals' CDs have won several Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, and their songs have been included in feature films and on television.


1994 : Coats

The Coats vocal band started on the street corners of Seattle, Washington's famous Pike Place Market. Singing for tourists, locals, fish vendors, and fellow buskers, their humble ambitions of earning a few clams to fight off the tuition bills quickly evolved into a full-time international performance career. They've since won national vocal competitions, sang for the President of the United States, and have been fortunate enough to share the stage with such talented fellow entertainers as Ronnie Milsap, Trisha Yearwood, Montgomery Gentry, The Beach Boys, Tanya Tucker, Billy Dean, Crystal Gayle, and Colin Ray, just to name a few, all while continuing their tradition of outreach performances and workshops supporting music in schools throughout the northwest.


1993 : 17th Avenue All-Stars

The 17th Avenue Allstars are celebrating 20 years as one of Denver, Colorado's top musical acts singing contemporary a cappella. The Allstars have performed across the United States and opened for National Acts such as: BB King, The Temptations, Mel Torme, and Robert Cray. Named the official anthems singers of the Denver Broncos they've experienced a wide range of a cappella performance opportunities including shows for US Presidents and Governers, corporate events and product launches, outdoor festivals and concerts and large charitable fundraisers. Book the Allstars today for your concert or special event and experience the a cappella magic that is The 17th Avenue Allstars.

From the Doo-Wop favorites from the 50's to Contemporary A Cappella; straight ahead rock tunes or a cappella vocal jazz, the 17th Avenue Allstars will put on a show for any audience!


1992 : Acme Vocals

Acme Vocals performs a wide variety of musical styles - bluegrass, gospel, folk, pop, heavy metal, and rap - and combine a comedic flair with incredibly rich sounding vocals. Their performances have produced critical acclaim and a national following. Their credits include performing on "CBS this Morning" and on Garrison Keller's American Radio Company.


1991 : North Shore A Cappella

For the last 26 years, North Shore Acappella has entertained and excited thousands of listeners throughout the Boston area, adding an experienced blend of harmony, rhythm and tempo to songs from the 40's right up through today. This special art of delivering music without instrumental accompaniment is what North Shore Acappella is all about. The award-winning group offers a continuously fresh repertoire of hundreds of popular hits that cover the last five decades. Each number and performance is arranged in a way that showcases each member in a role of lead singer - a trait that very few acappella groups in the country can claim.


1990 : Knudsen Brothers

SIX are six real brothers. They actually come from a family of ten brothers, no sisters and are the six oldest in the family. Apparently their mom and dad (Arnold and Joyce Knudsen) wanted a girl.

Barry Knudsen is the eldest and was born in Davenport, Iowa. Kevin Knudsen is second and was born in Farmington, New Mexico. Lynn Knudsen is third and was born in Mesa, Arizona. Jak Knudsen is fourth and was born in El Paso, Texas. Owen Knudsen is fifth and was born in Seattle, Washington and Curtis Knudsen, number six, was born in Seattle as well. Their father worked where he could to support his family which explains their nomadic beginnings.

The four younger brothers are a huge support to their six older performing brothers and play an important part behind the scenes.


1989 : Edlos

The EDLOS, you might ask? Four guys who sing without instrumental accompaniment... A Cappella. What's with the name? The story they tell is that the name is an acronym for Excessive Decibel Levels from Outer Space and that they're refugees from the planet "A" which circles the star Capella in the constellation Auriga. The story goes on, but let's cut to reality here for a minute. These four classically trained guys; Eric, Larry, Ed, and Craig were destined to take their schooling, talent, and juicy voices into the 21st century, always breaking new ground in their never ending pursuit of A Cappella diversity and originality. Speaking of diversity, the EDLOS have three shows to offer. Their critically acclaimed Popourri Show, which consistently draws standing ovations, is made up of eclectic originals and familiar favorites.


1988 : Finesse

Finess'e is a SF based group formed in November of 1985. Since then they've been delighting audiences statewide in such clubs as the Sweetwater, New George's, Offpaza, Waterloo and Rathskellar's in Las Vegas. Their range of music is unlimited (R&B, gospel, jazz and classical) which makes them available for any and all occasions. Special award winners in Harmony Sweeps '87, they have recorded in Las Vegas and worked with Maxine Howard.


1987 : Pastiche

Over the years, jazz has seen its share of talented vocal groups --New York Voices, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Andy Bey & the Bey Sisters, and Beachfront Property are among the names that immediately come to mind. All of those groups had two-gender formats, and rarely do you find a jazz-oriented vocal outfit with an all-female lineup; Pastiche is such a rarity. Consisting of singers Jenny Meltzer, Sandy Cressman, and Becky West, the female trio brings a jazz foundation to this self-titled debut album. But having a jazz foundation doesn't necessarily mean being a jazz purist or a jazz snob, and Pastiche is an appropriate name for the Bay Area threesome because Meltzer, Cressman, and West obviously have a variety of influences -- not only jazz vocal outfits like Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and New York Voices, but also everything from soul and pop to Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and Caribbean music. Stevie Wonder has influenced some of the writing, and so has the Manhattan Transfer.


1986 : Flips

In the pantheon of a cappella, The Flips are considered amongst the vanguard of groups that emerged during a cappella's "new wave" in the mid-1980's, paving the way for a cappella's current popularity. Founded by Kevin Carter, Patti Lesser, Kirk Livingston and Shanna Strassberg in 1984, while studying musical theater at San Francisco State University, the group honed their vocal talents singing at keg parties, in stairwells, back alleys... pretty much anywhere anyone would listen. Their unique alchemy of demented humor and gorgeous harmonies quickly turned them into the darlings of the San Francisco/Bay Area and Los Angeles comedy and cabaret scenes.


1985 : Just Friends

Just Friends- a jazz octet based in San Jose, CA - 1981-1986 - playing jazz and some Motown classics in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Darryl Rowe has been a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area Jazz scene for two decades. In 1992 the "Darryl Rowe Trio" was featured at the Monterrey Jazz Festival. He has appeared at Keystone Korner, The De Anza Hotel, Yoshi's, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He has worked with Woody Herman, Dexter Gordon, Sergio Mendez, Bobby McFerrin, and Patrice Rushen.


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