Barbershop music with its close four-part harmonies was very popular in the first part of the 20th century. You can still find barbershop quartets performing today but few are as unique the teen quadruplets from Waukesha known as the Vintage Mix Quartet.
Anika, Julia, Kelsey, and Ian Shoppach first sang at a fourth grade talent show but really didn’t start singing together regularly until seventh grade when they began working with a vocal coach. The group performs standards, show tunes, and barbershop.
“We listen to 40s music and music from the past as children and we really love that music,” says Ian.
Among their favorite singers are Frank Sinatra, the Andrews Sisters, and Danny Kaye. Part of what they like is the history of the music.
“Back in the 40s was when the war was going on and people really turned to the music to escape from all that,” says Kelsey.
Barbershop came into their repertoire about a year ago.
“Once you sing barbershop you get the barbershop bug,” says Anika.
The group performs for Stars and Stripes Honor Flights, where veterans fly out to Washington D.C., and in retirement homes. Their audiences often sing along. Some even start dancing.
“People will tell us they haven’t heard these songs in such a long time,” says Anika.