Stumbling across a brother-and-sister barbershop quartet is one thing; finding a barbershop quartet of 16-year-old quadruplets is quite another.
That's the story behind Vintage Mix, three sisters and a brother from Milwaukee who found their voices performing "The Sound of Music" at a fourth-grade talent show. Nowadays, they criss-cross the country belting out '40s-style barbershop hits at conventions and gigs.
The group will guest star at two performances by America the Beautiful Chorus called "If I Could Write a Song." The shows are Saturday at Sunrise United Methodist Church.
Kelsey Shoppach, the second oldest and the oldest sister, sings lead and loves the tight harmonies of barbershop music.
"When you're singing the right notes, it's so cool to sing that with each other," she said. "We all study with each other, and we're really close because of that. Music has helped that, too. We're all completely different. When you have something that needs to be done, we can all bring our different personality traits to the table."
The Shoppach siblings grew up listening to their parents' favorite music - Frank Sinatra, the Andrews Sisters, Danny Kaye. So naturally, that's whom they turn to when it's time to find a song, though they are branching out into more contemporary hits. Right now they're busy transforming Justin Timberlake's pop anthem "Can't Stop the Feeling" into a barbershop piece with the hopes of appealing more to audiences their age.
"It's been our norm, something we listened to our whole life," Shoppach said about their favorite style of music. "We're learning about '40s music in World War II. It was so powerful for people who had to send off loved ones serving in the war. We have a soft spot for the '40s because we sing for lots of veterans."
The high school juniors haven't dropped out of school to pursue the celebrity life, though they do travel and perform during the school year. Their teachers help them stay ahead of the game. One of their next big performances is at The Open, an international a cappella competition in August.
For those wondering how the young kinfolk get along, Shoppach claims it's quite famously.
"We don't really have full-out fights," she said. "We're so close that if we have a disagreement on a song, we get over it because we love each other so much."
JENNIFER MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270, JEN.MULSON@GAZETTE.COM