Arts and Entertainment

New-wave barbershop singers perform

Mirror staff

Four-part a cappella harmony will be featured tonight at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church in Federal Way when the women’s quartet Unplugged hosts its annual Quartet Extravaganza.

The harmonizing will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door.

Unplugged, the ninth-place finalist in an international quartet competition in Nashville, Tenn. last November, designed tonight’s program to highlight the musical genre’s diversity. Other men’s and women’s quartets include By Request, Rain City Slickers, Checkmate, FlashPoint, Rush Hour, Onyx, Vivace, Sugartime, Night Flight and Splash. They hail from Vancouver, B.C., Spokane and the Olympic Peninsula, among other areas.

Organizers said this isn’t your grandfather’s barbershop-style music. Quartets of women, mixed quartets and octets, small and large ensembles or choruses have joined the traditional male quartets in the challenging and uniquely American sound, barbershop afficionados note.

Striped vests and handlebar mustaches have given way to sequins, choreography and new tunes reworked in a cappella.

Lead singer Julie Hagstrom, Teresa McCafferty (tenor) and Anna Chamberlain (baritone), all from the Puget Sound area, and Judy Pozsgay (bass) of Vancouver, form Unplugged. Last year, they were regional champions of Region 13 in the Sweet Adelines International competition and placed second in Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes. They’ll enter another international sing-off Sept. 19 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Hagstrom’s daughter, Megan, recently auditioned her way into her mother’s home chorus, Pacific Sound in Seattle, and will be featured tonight in a new quartet.

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