New York, NY (September 21, 2000): The Harmony Sweepstakes, a nationwide a cappella festival, returns to Symphony Space for its 10th annual New York Regional competition on Saturday, February 17, 2001 at 7:00 PM.


The Harmony Sweepstakes brings the best aspiring vocal groups in the country together for musical camaraderie and friendly competition. Winners of regional competitions held in New York and around the country go on to compete in the National Finals in San Rafael, California on Saturday, May 5, 2001. The spirit and philosophy of the Harmony Sweepstakes is to promote “harmony through harmony,” and although it is a competition, the events are always amicable and supportive, with an emphasis on creating memorable evenings for performers and audience members alike.


Past winners of the New York Regional include Naturally Seven (1999) and The Accidentals (1995), both of whom went on to become National Champions. This year's New York Regional will be co-hosted by 2000 winners The Ex-Boyfriends and emceed by Jeff LaGreca of the group Minimum Wage. New producer Townsend Belisle is excited to spearhead the event, bringing on board a behind-the-scenes staff that includes local luminaries from the a cappella, events and music industries. Notes Belisle, “We look forward to hosting a very entertaining evening, celebrating this music and all those who enjoy it.”


A cappella groups of any genre with three to seven members are welcome to audition for spots in the competition. Interested groups should contact Townsend Belisle as soon as possible at or 917-975-8686.


About the Harmony Sweepstakes


Founded in Northern California in 1984, the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival was originally developed as a casual get-together for Bay Area singers. From those modest beginnings, the event has now grown to become the premiere showcase for a cappella groups from around the U.S. The Festival embraces all styles of music performed a cappella, from the traditional forms of doo-wop and barbershop, gospel and jazz to the exciting and innovative new directions of contemporary vocal music.


Participation in the Harmony Sweepstakes has bolstered the careers of many acts over the years. Not only do winners of both the regional and national competitions gain attention for their accomplishments, but the steady rise in a cappella's popularity has drawn numerous music industry scouts to these gatherings, all searching for undiscovered talents.


Harmony Sweepstakes, PO Box D, San Anselmo, CA 94979


About Townsend Belisle


Townsend Belisle has been producing artistic groups and events for a decade. An award-winning arranger, he is also the founder and producer of acclaimed summer entertainers The Hyannis Sound and The Vineyard Sound. Formerly of the William Morris Agency, he has produced events with Merv Griffin, James Taylor, Tony Bennett and Gladys Knight. He enjoys managing and producing such local vocal groups as Naturally Seven, 10fm, The Ten and The University Glee Club. His firm, Haystack Needle, represents artistic entities in advertising, events and multimedia presentations.

Haystack Needle, Park West Station Box 20200, New York, NY 10025


About Symphony Space


Since 1978, Symphony Space has offered its stage and facilities to 30,000 performing artists. Over the past 20 years, 1.6 million people have attended 4,000 programs. Annually, Symphony Space attracts more than 100,000 people a year to an extraordinary selection of more than 200 performances by internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles. Programs include music, dance, theatre, film, readings, fundraisers, performance art, children's events and more.

Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025-6947