A Cappella Finals at Harmony Sweepstakes

Lift your voices in song, or listen as others do it on Saturday, May 12 for the "Harmony Sweepstakes" in San Rafael.

The will be presenting its National Finals on May 12th at the Marin Veterans Auditorium in San Rafael. It's thought to be Marin’s longest running music festival and the nation’s leading showcase for vocal harmony groups.

The Harmony Sweepstakes began in 1984 with the weekly sing-a-longs that were held for many years at the British-themed Mayflower Pub in San Rafael. Several singers from those evenings formed small ensembles with the idea to compete with others for fun.

The event was first presented at the annual In Performance at Forest Meadow series in San Rafael where is soon become one of the festival’s most popular events. It then moved to Angelica Hall at Dominican and after a few years also outgrew that venue.

The 2,000 seat Marin Veteran’s Auditorium has been the home of the Harmony Sweepstakes for the past two decades and the show sells out regularly. The event continues to grow in popularity with this year’s first day ticket sales being a record (almost half the venue sold on the first day).

The Harmony Sweepstakes was the inspiration for the hit NBC series "The Sing Off" which been broadcast in prime-time for the past three years. The Harmony Sweepstake’s executive producer is a consultant on the show and also receives a royalty for each season’s episodes.

Neal, a 25-year resident of San Anselmo, is a nationally recognized expert on a cappella music who also owns Primarily A Cappella Records (singers.com), a leading vocal harmony label, which has been in the same San Rafael warehouse for the past 15 years. The label is home to groups such as The Swingle Singers, King’s Singers, The Bobs, Naturally 7, Rockapella and many other top a cappella artists.

Winners of seven regional competitions are flown to the Bay Area to compete in the Finals with the winners being crowned National Champions. From vocal jazz to doo wop, barbershop to pop and all styles in between audiences are always amazed at the versatility of the human voice on display in this most exhilarating evening of vocal harmony singing.

Performing groups: Audiofeels, Down 4 The Count, Foreign Exchange, GQ, Rooftop Rhythm, Sing Theory, Six Appeal. Last year's winners, Da Capo from Washington D.C., will be on hand to host.

will be held Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. in the Marin Veteran’s Auditorium in San Rafael. Tickets are available at Marin Center Box Office, 415-499-6800 or Ticketmaster


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