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Phyllis Lee Contestable (Phyl, to her friends) is a walking sit-com! Her life story would easily generate a made for TV mini-series. Her mother insists that it all began with "patty cake-patty cake".


Raised culturally as a card carrying Catholic kid, she attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary and Our Lady Of Mercy High School for girls. Upon graduation, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters' of Mercy. She took her vows and for six years, served as music teacher, Sister Mary Giovanni, R.S.M. (yep, "the singing nun", guitar and all!!)

A frustrated flower child of the 60' s, she left the convent for the lure of Woodstock, hootenannies, Rock & Roll and show biz.

She formed her own rock band and traveled through the 70's with her Janis Joplin sound-alike sister, Andrea.

In 1980, she and friend / teaching associate Alan Jones formed a Cabaret Duo. In 1986 she landed the role of Reverend Mother in the Downstairs Cabaret production of “Nunsense” which she played for three years. The singing nun had become the performing nun and “revmotogo” became a reality.


Phyl lives in Upstate NY. By day, she is a General Music Specialist at Churchville Chili Middle School. She has a Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children and is state certified: vocal music K-12.


Commendable kudos include:


  • Phyl received the 2000 Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Teacher of the Year award for her outstanding contribution to the field of Music Education. She was also featured as a Fox TV Teacher of the Week. The Italian American Community Center honored her with the "2003 Women of the Year in the Arts" award


  • Opening act for Rich Little and Jackie Mason

  • Featured guest artist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Continrntal USA casino circuit tour, Atlantic City, Reno, Vegas and Canada

  • TV, radio, recording credits

  • Three year run: Nunsense (off broadway production)


Her downtime is rare but she enjoys theatre, sewing, taichi, aerobic water exercise, recreational Zen; lakeside convent home; extravagent library collection - CD, DVD, Books and more.


READ: 55 Plus Magazine article and Rochester Magazine feature.

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