35th Annual

Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, acapella singing competition, illinois

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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.

Saturday March 30th, 2019 - 7.30pm

WENTZ CONCERT HALL

171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville IL 60540

Tickets available at the door

Box Office: 630-637-7469

Hosted by

2018 Chicago Champions

Due North

We are Due North. Hailing from the Twin Cities area, Due North is one of the Midwest's newest a cappella ensembles. The name was inspired from Minnesota's formally adopted French motto "L'Etoile du Nord" meaning "Star of the North".

Due North prides itself on being the perfect fit for any audience. Whether the setting is calm and mellow, or energized and wild; Due North will bring a refreshing taste to the music you know and love, while adding new songs to file away in your personal playlist. Available for weddings, corporate events, parties, fairs, national anthems; you name it! With a fresh outlook, immense passion, and a vibrant energy - there is only one direction to go - Due North.



2019 Participating Groups

Counterpoint Loyola

Counterpoint is Loyola University Chicago's premier competitive co-ed acapella group! They personally arrange and energetically perform a diverse range of music to feature at concerts, competitions, and on albums! Counterpoint provides not only a creative musical outlet for members and listeners, but take pride in sharing themselves with Chicago! Beginning as a conversation about the musical opportunities for Loyola University Chicago, a small group of students already involved in the acapella scene at Loyola found that the community was missing one component...competition! Counterpoint was born out of a call for musical excellence, a competitive atmosphere, and a performance like none before it. After hand selecting founding members and an amazing turnout of auditions for new members, Counterpoint fought for and won recoginition with the Student Activities and Greek Affairs board. Now, they are on a mission to continue the momentum they started with and provide a great experience for audiences and members. They have lofty goals that will most definitely be met with a "Get It Done" attitude for competition, recording, and arranging like never before.

Members: Rachel Groth, Daria Derda, Reese Bailey, Leah Tan, Taylor Beck, Joey Delaney, Michael Ghuneim, Sophia Manternach , Adeline Azungue

Vocal Chaos

Vocal Chaos is in its 22nd year as a Chicagoland a cappella staple. This rotating cast of characters enjoys using the gift of song to force themselves out of the house at least once a week through the 8 month Chicago winter, and has been known to occasionally enjoy a post rehearsal, or mid-rehearsal drink. They may not be in college anymore, but at least they're trying to hang on to their glory days like a high school football player from Texas! Please enjoy the men of Vocal Chaos.

Members: Trent Snyder, Christian Sung, Ross Matsuda, Ryan Naimy, Colin Commager, Mike Novak, Zachary Watts, Laz Estrada, Erik Brand, Jackson Reighard, Owen Stevenson

Vintage Mix

Vintage Mix is an American a cappella group of 17-year-old quadruplets based out of Milwaukee, WI. VM started making appearances at local venues and in 2013 worked with a coach in Nashville. They created their first studio album "Timeless" which debuted in 2018, and they continue to record more projects. VM has toured both locally and nationally to include various International A Cappella Conventions, National A Cappella Shows, Military Events, and performances on Internationally Syndicated TV. Their most recent accomplishment consisted of competing in the World Mixed Quartet Competition in Munich, Germany where they were honored to receive Silver Medals.

Members: Ian Shoppach, Kelsey Shoppach, Anika Shoppach , Julia Shoppach

Deliberate Vibration

What happens when five guys from Madison, Wisconsin get together to move air around? You get Deliberate Vibration! Formed in 2012, Deliberate Vibration combines the vocal talents of Jon Baxter, Colin Gagnon, Ravi Manghnani, Eric Pantano, and Matthew Porcelli. The group's eclectic sound includes classics of the '70s, '80s, and beyond, all without instruments. Whether singing at coffee shops, open mics, or just out on the street corner, Deliberate Vibration puts its emphasis on fun, harmony, and good music.

Members: Jon Baxter, Colin Gagnon, Ravi Manghnani, Eric Pantano, Matthew Porcelli

Harmonium

Harmonium is an a cappella ensemble comprised of a banker, a teacher, a dentist, and an I.T. guy. Party waiting to happen, right? Wait until you hear them sing. In the short 2 1/2 years this quartet of guys have been together, they've reached the levels of 2015 Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) Semifinalist, 2016 BHS Semifinalist, and taken the 2016 BHS Central States District Championship. When they are not competing, Harmonium is busy headlining annual chapter shows, performing at community benefit events and guiding young voices at Youth In Harmony and Harmony Explosions around the midwest. Listeners go crazy for their tight harmonies and entertaining antics. Audiences of all ages always leave with a smile on their face, song in their heart and warmth in their soul.

Members: Micah Jeppesen , Mark Fortino, Michael Troyer, Brian Bellof

Polarity

Polarity, Waverly High School's premiere a cappella ensemble, is excited to return to the Harmony Sweepstakes family! Recently formed, Polarity meets after school once a week to provide a quality a cappella experience to Waverly High School's students. This highly competitive group performs in the community, at school events, private parties, and local competitions. Coming from all paths of the high school, Polarity instantly "clicked."

Members: Camrin Craig, Fabiola Corwin, Mattie Elliott, Kayleah Shiland, Andrew Pfeifer, Jack Pfeifer, Noah Clifton

The Northsiders

Since 2013, the Northsiders have been a staple of Chicago's a cappella scene. They have performed their mix of classic and contemporary barbershop and beyond at chapter shows, street festivals, and TV shows such as WCIU's "The Jam." They have finished "on the podium" at every Barbershop Harmony Society contest they've entered. They have been active with the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes since 2016 and are two-time runners-up.

Members: Noah Miller, Jeff Lathom, Loren Shevitz, Steve Schoultz

2019 Judges

Randy Stine   

After graduating from Indiana University in 2000 and a career working in information technology, Randy was called back to the world of music in 2008 when he posted a video to YouTube. The video, shot in 1998, was of he and his college friends in Straight No Chaser singing the “12 Days of Christmas.” It became the most viral video of 2007, which led the CEO of Atlantic Records to call Randy and reunite the group. Over a decade later, the group has performed thousands of concerts across 48 states and 20 countries, performed on television shows such as TODAY and Jimmy Fallon, sold over one million albums, and has over 80 million YouTube views. Randy and his wife, Lindsey, reside in his hometown of Naperville, IL, along with their son, Henry.

Andrew Berkowitz   

Andrew “Berko” Berkowitz grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota. Berko is the Vocal Percussionist in Six Appeal where he creates dynamic drum sounds and special effects using only his face. In 2012, Six Appeal dominated the Harmony Sweepstakes, winning first place, audience favorite, and Best Original Song (for Berko's own "On Your Love") at both the Pacific Northwest Regional and the Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals. Six Appeal has gone on to be one of the most popular and award-winning groups in the country. Berko reminds you: If your child gets in trouble for constantly making funny noises, then you may be raising a beatboxer.

Patti Lupo   

Upon her graduation from Northwestern University, Patti began performing in theater and joined Actors Equity when she was cast in the original production of Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? Not long after that, she formed her first vocal quartet with Megan Mullally called Colossal Nerve and has enjoyed performing close harmony music ever since. Patti has her own band and musical services company Patti Lupo Music and is the co-founder of Chicago’s busiest Christmas caroling group, The Caroling Party.

Brian Skinner   

Skinner got his start singing barbershop at Fort Atkinson High School in Wisconsin, for solo and ensemble. He then attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where he honed his bass skills with the men's a cappella group "The MadHatters" (BOCA 2002) and his vocal percussion skills with the co-ed group "Redefined". Upon joining the pro a cappella quartet "BC3", Skinner was happily forced to learn how to sing bass and beat-box at the same time. Skinner started The Cat's Pajamas vocal band in 2005 and that journey has taken him to over 30 countries as guest entertainers on board Disney, Norwegian, Celebrity, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The Cat’s Pajamas were also hand picked by Andy Williams to perform at his theater in Branson, Missouri. They earned the award "Branson's Best Group" twice and performed over 200 shows a year for five consecutive years. The Cat's PJs were recently featured on PBS's show "Doo Wop Generations", performed on NBC’s season 3 “The Sing-Off”, and won the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes in 2013. The Cat's Pajamas just finished their annual "Meow-sic in Schools Tour" where they spread the love of a cappella singing to students all over the Midwest and have raised well over $150,000 for vocal music education programs to date! #vocalmeow

Nick Bailey   

Nick Bailey has been professionally performing as a singer and multi-instrumentalist around the world for close to a decade. Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with a BS in Music Theatre, Nick has sung and danced two contracts aboard Holland America Cruise Line’s Maasdam and Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. Along with understudy and supporting roles in Chicagoland musical productions in 2011 and 2012, Nick was also a member of The Merry Maskers, a Chicago-area caroling group. He has also worked with Spotlight Youth Theater (Now CYT) in Illinois, music directing shows in McHenry and Kane Counties. Since 2014, Nick has been music directing, arranging, and singing for one of the country’s newest premier a cappella groups: The Sound Exchange. In 2017 Nick and The Sound Exchange won both the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes (winning Audience Favorite and Vocal Percussionist Paul Donnelly winning Best Soloist) and the National Harmony Sweepstakes (again winning Audience Favorite). Since relocating to Minnesota has deprived him of the cheesy, joyous fun of Christmas Caroling, in 2018 Nick founded The Minnesota Carolers to fill the Twin Cities with the holiday spirit. Nick also does a cappella arranging for college and professional groups around the Midwest.


Complete list of 2019 participants





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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 :

David Wilner (Chicago) David Wilner is a singer, songwriter, pianist and DJ who has been performing in the Chicago area for over two decades. David's a cappella career began with the University of Illinois Xtension Chords where he won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for vocal arranging. David went on to sing professionally with the popular Chicago-based vocal rock band Blind Man's Bluff where he toured nationally for six years and recorded five albums. David competed in the Chicago Harmony Sweepstakes with both Blind Man's Bluff and Fiveplay, winning First Place, Audience Favorite, and Best Original Song with each group. David twice took Third Place at the National Finals, once winning the award for Best Original Song. Today, David is on stage as often as possible: performing as a solo artist, leading events as a DJ, singing in the classic rock quartet Ac·Rock, spreading holiday cheer in The Caroling Party,, and releasing his inner "Jersey Boy" in the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute band The Four C Notes. Outside of music, David enjoys chasing after his two kids, coaching soccer, and cheering for his beloved Chicago Cubs.

P.O. Box 4502, Naperville, IL 60567
847-226-3366
david@davidwilner.com


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Wentz Concert Hall

Wentz Concert Hall is hailed as a gem - the premier destination in Chicago’s western suburbs to appreciate performances of classical, jazz and contemporary music. The acoustics in Wentz Concert Hall are designed by Talaske Sound Thinking, acoustical consultants for Chicago’s critically acclaimed Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. Wentz Concert Hall can be “tuned” through the motorized extension and retraction of sound-absorbing curtains. Two massive sound chambers, one on each side of the stage and invisible to the audience, enhance the audio characteristics and allow sound to bounce off multiple planes as it is directed to the audience.


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