HomeBlogsMister Tim's blogInside View: Harmony Sweepstakes Finals pt. 1 of 2

Mister Tim's picture

 Official results HERE

Sometimes the cards play out right.  Sometimes they play out weird. 

Chatting with John Neal outside the stage door just before Mouth Beats went on, this past Saturday night in the beautifully balmy Marin County air, he mentioned that most years the cards (meaning the various regional competitions) deal out a nice variety of groups and group styles.  Some years, you get an unbalanced seletion, like a few years back when there was a glut of hip edgy trendy vocal band pop rock whatevers, wearing the same costumes, singing essentially the same songs.  They all melted into a faded-Jean-and-fauxhawk-puree, so that by the end of the show the audience couldn’t remember which was which. 

This year, as luck and/or judging would have it, there were 4 Barbershop groups, 3 pop rock groups, and a vocal percussion… thing.  For some people, the balance of 4 barbershop to 4 contemporary groups is refreshing.  Me, I like a more eclectic mix - no vocal jazz, no world, potential for a lot of same same at the show.

Much to the credit of the competition, there is no manipulation of the groups: what comes out of the regional rounds is what comes to the finals.  If that’s 6 pop groups, okay.  If that’s 4 Barbershop groups, so be it. 

The selection of the group order is also legitimately random.  As drawn, the order of the show ended up: barbershop, barbershop, barbershop, Beatbox (?), intermission, poprock, poprock, poprock, barbershop.  Sometimes the cards play out right.  Sometimes… huh.

(if I were producing, this is one year I would have, for the audience’s sake, exercised executive control to avoid this kind of result.  I would have had three drawings: one for the order of barbershop, one for the order of non-barbershop, have those alternate, then a  third drawing to determine if barbershop or non-barbershop went first.  For the sake of the audience).

But, the show went on.

Let me say this: I love Bay area Harmony Sweeps audiences.  Just love ‘em.  Smart, appreciate good music, loyal, love to enjoy the show.  Not to mention, and this is a quality I value more and more as I get older, they have the capacity to genuinely, rabidly love more than one group.  They can watch a competition, whole-heartedly vote for a certain group for audience favorite, and _still_ like other groups in the competition!  If all the groups are good, they might even like them all. 

Let me say this, also: I love the Harmony Sweepstakes Finals.  Hanging out with all them great people… it’s amazing.

I’ve actually already blogged about the wonderfulness of the Harmony Sweepstakes: READ IT.

The groups were great.  They were all great.  Congrats to all the winners.  The show was wonderful, I feel like the audience had a great time.  VocalDente were talented and charming hosts.  Loved the show!

That’s all for pt. 1, because I’ve got a pt. 2 coming up.

I love the Harmony Sweeptakes.  Seriously.  It’s an amazing thing.  I was at five regionals this Spring, including the finals.  I would do it again.  Next year, if scheduling and availability allow, I might.  Maybe it’s time to see the East Coast regionals?