Groups By Region
In the pantheon of a cappella, The Flips are considered amongst the vanguard of groups that emerged during a cappella’s “new wave” in the mid-1980’s, paving the way for a cappella’s current popularity. Founded by Kevin Carter, Patti Lesser, Kirk Livingston and Shanna Strassberg in 1984, while studying musical theater at San Francisco State University, the group honed their vocal talents singing at keg parties, in stairwells, back alleys… pretty much anywhere anyone would listen. Their unique alchemy of demented humor and gorgeous harmonies quickly turned them into the darlings of the San Francisco/Bay Area and Los Angeles comedy and cabaret scenes.
Billed as “Off-the-Wall A Cappella,” The Flips refused to be categorized. Their theatrical stage shows incorporated skits, monologues, satire and sight gags, sets, props, lighting and sound effects, all woven around their signature four-part harmonies in wide range of musical tastes - from do-wop to new wave, jazz to country, gospel to pop, and even rap. In 1986, The Flips won the coveted Harmony Sweepstakes and then went on to win back-to-back San Francisco Cabaret Gold Awards for Best Musical Group in 1986 & 1987. Featured on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment (Pink) section, and named “Comedy Pick of the Week” by the LA Weekly, the band’s popularity sky-rocketed. As frequent guests on the TV and radio talk show circuits in both Northern and Southern California, some highlights include performing live on NPR’s West Coast Weekend, and as regular guests on Live 105 with Alex Bennett and Lori Thomson..
Although The Flips officially disbanded in 1989, its members continue to sing together in various configurations for special projects… or when begged... or when free cocktails are involved… or, well, pretty much any time they're all together in the same room..
Their album, What's In The Bright Pink Box, was recently reissued and can now be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and many other online music websites.
Members: Kirk Livingston, Patti Lesser, Shanna Strassberg, Kevin Carter
| A Little Bit of Everything
A Little Bit of Everything’s talent includes members from the San Francisco, Berkeley, and Marin counties. Specializing in a free-wheeling country style, the group sings and plays for all occasions, even though their focus is on events of a political nature. Transformation Through Musical Regeneration is their motto.
Members: Elllen Stapenhorst, Barbara Saunders, Maria Stark, Sandy Schoenfeld
| Alchemy (86)
Alchemy’s repertoire reflects their social, political, and spiritual values: their commitment to peace, equality, and the earth as a healing force. Influences as varied as Eastern European fold songs, Renaissance, contemporary classical music, and the works of performers such as Holly near and Sweet Honey in the Rock can be found in the music of Alchemy. In the Summer of 1987, the trio will embark on a peace tour of Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R. To finance the venture, performances throughout Northern California are being scheduled and the group has released a new cassette tape of their most popular songs.
Members: Sharon Hansen, Cynthia Frank, Jess River
|The Baby Boomers
Kept together by a common love of Food, Money, and Sex, the Baby Boomers return to the Harmony Sweepstakes. Be sure to see the movie version of their meteoric ries to fame, starring Diane Keaton, at a theatre near you. Prepare to meat your “BOOM-BOOM.”
Members: Catheryn Zaro, Robin Lewis, Laurie Tvedt, Bill Bramblett
| Dotes Sisters
The delightful “Dotes” feature lots of original, funny tunes as well as some beguiling vocal blends. The Dotes have been seen at Buckley’s Bistro, Big mama’s, The Plush room, Ristorante Vanetsia, and Wolfgang’s. Combining pleasing music and comedic timing, the “dotes” are great entertainers for any occasion!
Members: Annette Altrogge, Stephanie Feyne, Kate O’Neil
| Full Swing
Full Swing is a vocal jazz quartet comprised of two men and two women performing a variety of jazz-influenced material -- standards, doo wop, contemporary, and Latin music. Original arrangements by Robin Lewis give Full Swing a unique style. Their music is at times humorous, at times sophisticated, and always enjoyable. Backed by guitar, bass, and saxophone, Full Swing presents a sound that is well rounded and appeals to a variety of audiences.
Members: Donna Spitzer, Robin Lewis, Bob La Rosa, Laurie Tvedt
| Girls’ Night Out
These three sisters-in-song have dazzled audiences for six years. Perennial favorites at such events as the Sausalito Art Festival, they also appear regularly at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley.
Members: Carol Joy Harris, Maggie Catfish, Cici Dawn
| Lip Service
Lip Service is a semi-professional vocal quartet comprised of two men and two women. Originally formed for the purpose of performing Christmas music for private parties and public holiday events, the group has expanded its musical repertoire to include jazz, swing, pop, contemporary, and classical styles.
Members: Mary Beth Halsing, Grant “Buzz” Halsing, Annette Lindemann, David “Woody” Woodford
| Notes of Interest
Notes of Interest is a quartet composed of members of the San Francisco Chapter of the Barbershop Society and is proof that this unique American art form is alive and well. They have been together less than a year and are becoming a popular act for private parties, specialty shows, conventions, and tourist attractions, and have competed at various Barbershop competitions.
Members: Rob Gorlin, Alex Aikman, Ron Losk, Tom Shipp
The Teddies got started in February 1985. Since that tie they have been welcomed at The Sweetwater, Uncle Charlie’s, New George’s, The Stone, Last Day Saloon, Beaux Arts Ball at City Hall in San Francisco, the New Varsity Theatre in Palo Alto, and many other Bay Area clubs. Sharing the stage with such greats as Jesse Colin Young, Maria Muldaur, Jerry Garcia, Danny O’Keefe, Donovan, Taj Mahal and the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra, The teddies provide an interesting and delightful performance of unique vocal arrangements, choreography and lighthearted fun.
Members: Ro Rigney, Bonnie Gardner, Susan Snow, Melissa Phillippe
| The Accidentals
... are no accident this year. We first got together for last year’s Harmony Sweepstakes and had such a good time that we kept at it. We’ve tripled our repertoire and performed fo such Gala events as the Point Reyes Bird observatory’s Oplen House, Bob and Zoe’s weeding, and the annual Bolinas Labor Day Extravaganza. DLave writes our sharp arrangements, Steve’s a natural dentist in lagunitas, and Liz and Susan make tea in no time flat.
Members: Liz Tuomi, Dave Murray, Susan Goldhaber, Steve Boughton