22nd Annual

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.

2006 Chicago Champions


In the summer of 2000, elmoTHUMM began performing for a few local events to rave reviews. Today, elmoTHUMM’s hard rockin’, high energy, fun filled show is featured entertainment at many of the Midwest’s top fairs, festivals & events. Their arrangements of such classics as “Some Kind of Wonderful”, “Come Go with Me”, “Ain’t that Peculiar” & “America the Beautiful”, using only their voices & percussion, will leave you shocked, amazed & applauding for more. For booking information visit www.elmoTHUMM.com or call Greg at (248)676-0886.

Members: Ed Pendleton, Jason Miller, Paul Ellinger, Greg Vaden, Adam Westmoreland

2006 Results

An Octave Above
Audience Favorite
Best Original Arrangement
"Last Train To Clarksville" Arr. Greg Vaden and Adam Westmoreland -ElmoTHUMM
Best Original Song
"Bring It, Life" - Mariama Torruella - Stripped

2006 Participating Groups

The Carpenter's Tools are from First Baptist Church of Crawfordsville Indiana, under the direction of Joyce Fry, is adult small ensemble with a year-round traveling outreach of testimony and song. The current members are, Dale Thompson, David Kline, Jamie Menard, Kathy Tobias, Linda Wilson, Bronna Utterback, and Julia Fry. The Tool's have been singing for over 20 years, performing at Churches, sporting events, and festivals. The group has performed at State and National conferences for the American Baptist Churches.
For Booking information Contact: Joyce Fry : Minister of Music,First Baptist Church of Crawfordsville Indiana 1-765-362-6504

Members: Linda Wilson, Dave Kline, Kathy Tobias, Dale Thompson, Bronna Utterback, Jamie Menard, Julia Fry

ElmoTHUMM In the summer of 2000, elmoTHUMM began performing for a few local events to rave reviews. Today, elmoTHUMM’s hard rockin’, high energy, fun filled show is featured entertainment at many of the Midwest’s top fairs, festivals & events. Their arrangements of such classics as “Some Kind of Wonderful”, “Come Go with Me”, “Ain’t that Peculiar” & “America the Beautiful”, using only their voices & percussion, will leave you shocked, amazed & applauding for more. For booking information visit www.elmoTHUMM.com or call Greg at (248)676-0886.

Members: Ed Pendleton, Jason Miller, Paul Ellinger, Greg Vaden, Adam Westmoreland

Heart To Heart is a mixed A cappella quartet. Their eclectic mix is often compared to that of The Manhattan Transfer but what sets them apart is their unique personality and presentation, as the group comprises two married couples. It seems as though this group of people was destined to sing together. Kirk and Brad met in high school and shortly thereafter sang together in their first quartet...just the beginning of a long friendship. Kirk and Barb met while singing a duet on a community show. They married in 1986 and have been harmonizing together ever since. Nancy has sung in several vocal combinations and met Brad when introduced by a mutual friend. They married in 2001. All four have sung in vocal combinations that have achieved many accolades over the years. It made sense when the opportunity arose in 2003 that they would get together to sing.....Heart to Heart.

Members: Kirk Hyder, Barb Hyder, Nancy Charles, Brad Charles

In the fall of 2000, the very first incarnation of Home Free was born.  Of course, they weren't called that at the time....actually, they didn't even have a name and thus felt very sad. Their first performance was singing as a quartet for a talent show.  While that was just a swell time, they all felt like they wanted to do more with it. Fast forward to spring of 2001, when one of them decided to give vocal percussion a try and they added a 5th member to the group.  Since then they've kicked it into high gear, rapidly progressing to the group they are today. While singing a wide variety of styles within the all-encompassing genre of a cappella, Home Free is doing what they love, anxious to continue pushing the boundaries of what they can do, both musically and professionally. To listen to their music, purchase official merchandise, watch some videos, or to learn more about the group, please visit their website www.TheHomeFreeGroup.com

Members: Matt Atwood, Chris Rupp, Joe Kent, Joe Fine, Adam Rupp

Four years ago, An Octave Above quickly established themselves as one of the hottest a cappella vocal groups in Chicago. Last year they were named 1st runner up at the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival Chicago Regional. They’ve been featured performers with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra for their annual “Holiday Spectacular” concert for 3 consecutive years. They’ve performed for Chorus America’s annual conference, opened for award winning jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival, sang the National Anthem for the Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field and the Chicago White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field and at the United Center for the Chicago Bulls game.

The Chicago Symphony Chorus claims four of the members and the St. Charles Singers claims two; they've earned degrees in music and vocal performance from Elmhurst College, Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University, Bradley University, and the State University of New York (SUNY). Inspired by The Real Group, The Swingle Singers, Manhattan Transfer and The New York Voices. An Octave Above is versatile, eclectic and always wonderful. Listen once and you’ll be transposed… An Octave Above!!  

Members: Jennifer Gingrich, Meredith Morris, Melinda Voss, Debra Wilder, Nick Falco, Andrew Dahan, Kris Monn

Moosebutter. So Weston (who was once called "A Mexican John Belushi," which is weird because he's not Mexican OR Italian) once did an interpretive dance, at a company party of very stern-behaving rural firemen, of birth. Acted it out - really gorgeous, actually - but the firefighters didn't think too highly of it. Chris is cultivating a hair farm. Ron is 3-time winner of the "Most Likely to Undergo Appearance-altering Surgery in the Next Six Months" award at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot, ND. Tim has graciously had his house arrest relaxed so he could attend this event. Glen gets angry if you approach his computer.

Members: Tim Y. Jones, Glen Sawyer, Chris Harris, Ron Gilgamesh, Weston Wride

Stripped: is a vocal band that continues to stretch ideas about what a cappella music can be. Their concerts are highly focused on improvisation, audience participation, and making music that moves the spirit. The voices gathered here have blend and unity, but frequently remind the listener that individual expression can flourish within the context of a group sound, like a single flower enhances the garden with its own particular bouquet and color.

Stripped has performed throughout Chicago, singing original vocal jazz music at the Green Mill, HotHouse, Fitzgerald’s, Lyon’s Den, Uncommon Ground, Beat Kitchen, and 4th Presbyterian Church. Stripped received awards at the Chicago Cultural Center Cx2 competition and the 2004 Harmony Sweepstakes Regional competition. Stripped opened for jazz and R&B legend Patti Austin in summer 2004. Keep your eyes open for performances coming your way, then open your ears and prepare to be Stripped! 

Members: Mariama Torruella, Amanda Crumley, Leslie Beukelman, Sean Archer, Tim Reid

Vocal Chaos is one of Chicago's most exciting and unique a cappella bands. Always fresh and fun, their arrangements include classic rock songs from artists like The Jackson 5, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Costello, as well as hits from current groups like Tonic, *NSYNC, Counting Crows and The BoDeans. Celebrating their 10-year anniversary in 2006, this semi-pro group of actors, consultants, marketers, students, computer geeks, a playwright and a cartographer performs throughout the Chicagoland area at sporting arenas, corporate events, school assemblies, charity functions, a host of other public venues and even on the big screen. You might have seen them performing at Soldier Field exclusively for the Chicago Fire (Major League Soccer team), entertaining at SeptemberFest in Schaumburg, IL, or singing the National Anthem for the World Champion Chicago White Sox. (If you look quickly, you can even see some of them in the upcoming Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn movie, "The Break Up.")  These guys live to sing the songs you know and love, in a way you've never heard before! It's all you would expect from your favorite band, minus the instruments!

Members: Anthony Roberts, Jeff Swearingen, Karl Solis, Paul R. Peterson, Tim Gallagher, Jordan Stoner, Sean Gorecki, Johnathan Hawkins

2006 Judges

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.

Judy Storey began her professional singing career at the age of fourteen, performing at Chicago area clubs with a jazz trio. Over the next few years  she expanded her singing venues to include work with a local big band and various jobbing groups. Then, after a year of touring with Las Vegas show and jazz bands, Judy returned to Chicago and entered the commercial music business. For more than thirty years she has enjoyed a career as a studio singer. Her voice appeared on countless advertising campaigns including McDonald's, Budweiser, Sears, United Airlines, Pillsbury, and Kellogg's, to name a few. Along the way, she has had the pleasure of singing background vocals for performers such as Carol King, Celine Dion, Patti Austin, Vic Damone, and Clay Aiken.  Judy and her family currently reside in the Chicago suburbs, and she continues to perform both live and in the studio, as well as maintaining a private vocal instruction practice. 

Timm Adams has had the honor of conducting the Chicago Chamber Choir since January of 2000, after singing with the group for one season. Adams is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Rockford College in Rockford, IL, where he teaches private voice and music theory, conducts the Women's Ensemble and Regent Singers, and musical directs the Performing Arts Department's mainstage musicals. He holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Liberty University and a Masters degree (M.M.) in Vocal Performance from Baylor University, where he served as Opera Teaching Assistant and directed several operas. A conducting student of Dr. K. Lawrence Renas and a voice student of Dr. John Van Cura, Adams has had the privilege of singing under the tutelage of Dr. Eph Ely, Dr. Hugh Sanders, Dr. Robert Young, and the renowned Dr. Robert Shaw. He also has enjoyed an extensive career in theater, both as an actor and musical director, and has performed throughout the U.S. in summer stock, regional theater, and in numerous revues, including a premier contract aboard Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas.

George Gipp is a Chicago native born and raised on the Northwest Side. His musical roots run deep, stretching back to the mid 1970’s honing his craft as a bass guitarist, arranger and rhythm section leader for several popular Blues Bands playing the “ Lincoln Avenue Circuit”. He then broadened his musical horizons into the world of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). He is an International Champion – 2001 Gold Medalist member of The Northbrook New Tradition Chorus and a Three Time International Bronze Medalist Quartet Baritone with The Chicago Chord of Trade and The Cincinnati Kids Quartets. George has recorded with all three groups and performed around the world including Carnegie Hall in New York City. As a “Certified Presentation Judge” in the BHS, George has judged numerous District and International Preliminary Contests throughout the United States and Canada and at the International level in Jacksonville, Florida last year. He will again judge Internationally this July in Indianapolis, Indiana to crown the BHS Collegiate Champion. George is a sought after Presentation Coach and motivator- “World Wide”!

Daniel Gregerman began teaching at Niles North High School in 1991. He directs five concert choirs, the advanced vocal jazz ensemble, "Take One", and teaches Music Theory. Prior to this he was Choral Director and Assistant Band Director for the McHenry Community High Schools in Illinois. Mr. Gregerman has directed the Midwest GRAMMY® High School Jazz Choir for the NARAS, Inc., and the Illinois Music Educators Association District VIII & II Jazz Choirs. He is currently the Vocal Jazz Chairman of the Curriculum Council for IAJE, the IMEA District VII Vocal Jazz Chairman. He has also been the IMEA State Vocal Jazz Chairman. Active in local community theatre, he has acted as Choral Director and has performed for summer productions in Theatre 219. Daniel has also sung professionally in the Chicago area. He has taught at Vandercook College of Music in their Summer Masters Degree Program, as well as various summer music camps. He has adjudicated contests and has worked as a guest clinician in several states. Mr. Gregerman has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a Master of Music Degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he sang with the internationally acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company. In addition to teaching Mr. Gregerman is actively involved in summer sports leagues and year round weight training. He resides in Glenview, Illinois with his wife, Sandra, and their daughter, Samantha.

Complete list of 2006 national participants


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