Beth (“Flip”) Hyland
Flip loves to sing, and she’s been singing all of her life. She comes by it naturally, as her father was a drummer and a singer, in the era where Big Band was king. Flip recalls singing on stage at age four, at her aunt’s wedding, with a full band backing her up. She knew, even then, that she loved the stage. Flip says that singing and performing bring her full being into focus, with a wondrous spirituality. Her earliest influence was her dad, and the music of Count Basie, Les Brown, and Frank Sinatra. She and her dad sang together often, and she remembers learning timing, and phrasing of songs, from him. Her dad always had a band, which sometimes included her uncles, one playing the piano, and the other sax and clarinet. Family gatherings were highlighted by jam sessions.
She grew up in a wonderful little town, called North East, just outside of Erie, Pa. In high school and college Flip became involved in choral groups, performing arts, and musical theater. She began playing the guitar to accompany her singing, and truly enjoyed it. Flip was inspired by the music of The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Judy Collins, and CSN&Y, along with many others. She met Bob “Gib” Gibbons in college, when he was dating her roommate, and they found they both loved to play music. Music was a way to connect with others, express yourself, and to relax and have a good time. All of the parties and gatherings were made even better with resounding and harmonious voices, and foot stompin’ guitar!
Flip moved to Cleveland, Ohio in pursuit of a teaching job, and has lived in the area most of her adult life. Gib also moved to Cleveland to teach. Flip and Gib have been friends, and involved in music during this time, and in the mid ’90’s formed a ‘classic rock’ band called Suitewood. In 1996, Flip began writing music. Her first song, entitled “Elizabeth,” was a tribute to her beloved grandmother’s life. This seemed to open the gates for Flip to continue to combine words from the heart with music of the soul. She feels it is a gift from her grandmother. Then, in 2002, Flip joined forces with a friend to form The Harmony Girls, where she gave voice and performance to original music. She also fronts a blues rock band called Chain Gang.