Business Casual Comes Out On Top At Harmony Sweepstakes Finals

The packed house at Marin Veterans’ Memorial Center and the audience at home were treated to a great night of entertainment courtesy of Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals last night. Bringing in seven regional champions and a swan song appearance for last year’s champions, just about every style and genre was showcased throughout the evening in San Rafael, California. 

Emcee Angie Doctor started things off by bringing 2017 national champions The Sound Exchange to the stage to open the show with an upbeat medley, and introduced their new alto, Christina Case. The Sound Exchange then took over introduction duties and brought a lot of humor to the competition.

Boston Regional Champions, Sound Off, led off the competition with a soulful, pop vibe, singing “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man, “Rise” by Katy Perry, and “Walk On Water” by Thirty Seconds to Mars. Lush chords, fluid movement, and powerhouse solos highlighted a set that was later awarded Best Original Arrangement for “Rise,” arranged by music director Kevin Guest.

Up All Night represented the Mid-Atlantic and was the only barbershop group to make it to finals this year. A quartet out of Vienna Falls Chorus in Virginia, Up All Night sung five songs during their 12-minute allotment: “Let’s Start Tomorrow Tonight,” “I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling,” “If I Had My Way,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” and “Go the Distance.” The set brought everything from a tender ballad to a fun, contemporary style uptune, to a new barbershop classic. Their stellar performance earned them third place overall.

New York sent Feedback as their champions, which, with only three members, brought a unique concept and arrangements to the stage. They presented a particularly strong arrangement on “Wayfaring Stranger” and also treated the audience to a stripped-down version of “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Say You Won’t Let Go,” and “California Rain.”

Business Casual, a Bay Area-based group representing Los Angeles, returned to Finals for their second year in a row. Experience in this competition was evident as they approached their set with confidence-even sass. Opening with “Faith” by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, Business Casual captured everyone’s attention and never let go. They follow that with a Post Modern Jukebox inspired arrangement of “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and closed out with “Yo Vivere.” Excellent stage presence, intricate arrangements, and pure joy earned Business Casual the national title.

The second half of the show kicked off with 20/20 out of the Pacific Northwest. Fresh off their trip to Moscow, where they competed and performed in one of the world’s largest a cappella festivals and competitions, they showcased understated talent with performances of “Honey, I’m Good,” a slowed-down and jazzed-up “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, and “Yet.” They closed out with a cover of Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable.”

Due North of Minneapolis traveled in to represent Chicago and brought a similar high-energy, audience engaging set of their Chicago champion predecessors, The Sound Exchange. With well-known tunes like “Seven Bridge Road,” “Walking on Sunshine,” “Pretty Woman,” and a classic rock medley featuring just about all of your singalong favorites, they had the audience clapping and singing along. Stand out of their set, however, was definitely their soulfully delivered version of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” with Alissa Peanasky on solo.

Closing out the competition, veteran jazz ensemble, Ro Sham Bo represented the Bay Area with strong jazz arrangements, leading off their set with a modern #MeToo version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” complete with extensive props. They continued their story with “Pare Cochero” and closed out the night with “Who’s Lovin’.” A thoroughly entertaining package, the group took home both Audience Favorite and second place.

The Sound Exchange closed outage 34th Annual Harmony Sweepstakes season with a set of highly engaging, upbeat songs prior to the awards being announced.

The 35th Annual event will kick off with regional competitions starting in late winter, culminating with Business Casual hosting Finals in San Rafael in May 2019.



Hot Pursuit Crowned 2019 Harmony Queens

It was a strong afternoon of singing at the Harmony, Inc. Quartet Finals, where Hot Pursuit was named the 2019 Harmony Queens. Scoring an 81.5%, Hot Pursuit now joins the welcome company of the Association of Harmony Queens.

Record Breaking Chorus Contest at Harmony, Inc.

With a score of 83.7% (1507) A Cappella Showcase took home their third gold medal at the 2019 Harmony, Inc. IC&C with the second highest chorus score ever. As expected, the chorus contest was exciting and hotly contested with runners-up Northern Blend finishing just 7 points behind A Cappella Showcase with an 83.3% (1500). It was the first time Harmony, Inc. saw not one, but two scores above an 83% in the same contest. 

Harmony, Inc. Names Top Ten Quartets

The stage lit up all day Thursday in Sandusky with 31 international qualifiers in the Harmony, Inc. quartet semifinals. After seeing a parade of heavy hitters, big personalities, and lots of ringing chords, the coveted top ten were announced. These 10 quartets, plus a mic tester, will take the stage on Saturday at 12:30 pm EST for the quartet finals.

Supporting Barbershop Via Video: An Interview With BHS CMO Holly J. Kellar

Source: BHS.org

Hot Chorus Contest Coming at #HI2019Sandusky

This Friday will be a clash of the titans in Sandusky, OH as the choruses of Harmony, Inc. take the stage.

Unprecedented Quartet Contest Expected in Sandusky

With less than a week to go, the excitement surrounding the 2019 Harmony, Incorporated International Convention & Contests is palpable. The contests kick off on Thursday morning with 33 qualifying quartets expected to take the stage at Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio.

Celebrating 60 Years of Harmony, Inc.

In 1957, a significant shift of needs and ideals in the women's barbershop community led to the creation of second organization. After a struggle of meetings and debate, the Melody Belles of Rhode Island were the first chorus to officially split from Sweet Adelines, followed closely by four more choruses to pursue a different direction. These 150 women propelled the creation of what became Harmony, Incorporated.

FloSports Rebrands, Launches Android App

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You may have noticed something different about FloVoice this week… 

AcaOpen Returns to Carnegie Hall

On October 5, top groups from around the world will head to New York City to take the stage at Carnegie Hall for the third annual International Championship for A Cappella Open, better known as the AcaOpen. The Varsity Vocals contest for all ages will welcome back the 2019 ICCA Champions, the N'Harmonics, and the 2019 ICHSA Champions, InTONEnation to compete against the Open Regional winners.

Two Nights, Two Shows, WATCH LIVE from Harmony University

   Harmony University is well underway in Nashville, TN. Students of ALL ages are actively learning and performing for the best of the best. Honing their skills in singing, performing and leadership. This week brings together barbershop singers, music educators, music students, arrangers, doctors, lawyers and MANY more from all over the world for a once in a lifetime experience. At the end of the week two amazing shows feature performances ONLY to be found at Harmony University.