JUDGES SAY "LET'S
*FACE* IT" ...AND THEY DID!
Saturday in Denver provided an evening of a cappella variety, with seven quite diverse groups taking the stage at Ranum Auditorium for the 18th annual Rocky Mountain Harmony Sweepstakes. Close to 900 fans of western style a cappella enjoyed the diversity and were receptive to everything they heard, from pop and jazz to gospel to 70s rock parody, with more than a little humor catching them off guard as 'bookends' to the competition.
When it was over, however, the audience and judges seemed to agree that this was the year of the “face” and they joined in tribute to a group that has grown over the last five years to become a powerhouse in Colorado a cappella. The male septet “face” seems perfectly positioned to dominate the national scene by the time the groups from seven other regions join them to vie for the Harmony Sweeps national championship in San Francisco on May 5.
This is not the same group who won the 2005 Denver Sweeps and went on to cop a national runner up prize. Yes, the name is the same and most are the same guys, all of whom have paid their dues in learning what it takes to win an audience (although their forte has always been the way they capture their crowds), but are now skilled in about everything needed to win bigger titles and take home substantial fees for solid shows. They are, hands down, the most exciting pop ensemble in the Rocky Mountain area, with excellent stage smarts supported by a larger range of material and a blend, balance and intonation that should be the envy of any group out there.
Result? Face won an astounding five of the eight awards offered on Saturday, including Champion, Audience Favorite, Best Stage Presentation, as well as Best Original Arrangement and Best Soloist (Ryan Driver for “Home”). Watch out, San Francisco. These seven guys are up to the task and will be a force in national a cappella – one the Harmony Sweeps judges will just have to ‘face’ up to.
Other winners included Tim Y Jones for Best Original Song (“9:15” sung by “Vocality”) and masterful Mark Murphy for his astounding Best Vocal Percussion on behalf of group “Placental Armageddon.” The overall Runner Up winners were the excellent vocal jazz group, “Vocality.” Other groups included a remarkable variety, including many time participant high school group “Raging Harmonies,” the first RMHS college competitor “UCD 7,” comedy trio “Plumbers of Rome,” and nationally known gospel ensemble “Cross Examined.” 2006 Rocky Mountain Champs "Curious Gage" hosted the 2-1/2 hour program and performed an excellent set for the happy crowd while the four esteemed judges selected the honored award winners.
A happy afterglow party followed the show Saturday night and a celebratory “Winners’ Circle” party held sway on Sunday evening at Redfish in Boulder, CO, now known as “face’s” home town. It was quite a weekend.
ROL SHARETTE REPORTS ON THE COLORADO
HARMONY SWEEPSTAKES AUDITIONS
It's that time of year again. Time to begin preparations for the most exciting a cappella performance all year! Visit the Sweeps page to learn more about this exciting event, or download the pdf application to enter your group today!
NEW GROUP UPDATES
New bands and ensemble data have been added to the Groups link, as well as a new "look." Check back often as we continue to update the database to make it the most complete resource on the web.
BARBERSHOP TAKES THE WORLD!
Colorado can be proud of all of its Barbershop Quartets,
including "Ignition" who placed 2nd in this
year's Harmony Sweeps and quartet "Nexus" who placed 25th
overall in Salt Lake City, but especially three, count
'em 3! top ten placements in the Annual
International Competition of Quartets and Choruses of
the Barbershop Harmony Society (aka SPEBSQSA).
WELCOME TO THE NEW
As you may have noticed, there have been a few changes to the website. Along with a face lift, you'll now be able to access group bios, find local shows, and even contact your favorite ensemble right from the comfort of your own chair.
Keep checking back over the next few month as we finish implementing all the new, snazzy features of the website. With updates coming almost everyday there should be something new to shock and amaze you at each visit.