They’re not your grandmother’s barbershop quartet.

February 8, 2011

They’re not your grandmother’s barbershop quartet.

After Hours, the premiere men’s barbershop quartet comprised of current and former Bradley University students, is celebrating its fifth year with a Midwest tour, recording time, and many local performances. Senior sports communication major Kevin McClelland says Bradley’s president Joann Glasser is a big fan of the quartet. “She has hired us for alumni and Board of Trustees dinners,” McClelland said. “She also feeds us. Especially for the two of us still in college, free food is the best food.”

After Hours is comprised of Tim Beutel ‘09, Dan Wessler ‘08, Ben Harding ‘11, and McClelland ‘11. The four students met through the Bradley University Chorale. After Hours was created when the first three members “needed a spare baritone”—McClelland.

Formed in 2006, After Hours began competing in 2009. Since their first event, the group has claimed several honors, and are the two-time Illinois College champions, and the 2010 Illinois District Champions. They have received coaching from Vocal Spectrum, past winners of the International Barbershop Quartet Championship, an experience the group says is incredibly unique. “They, like us, started singing in college,” McClelland said. “Not only do they coach us, we also talk about how barbershop plays into their lives. It’s life-coaching, too.”

Though “barbershopping” is a true passion for the group, members are quite diverse in their interests; Beutel started at BU as an engineering major, and McClelland spent summers interning with several sports organizations. “We’ve got some similarities, and some differences,” McClelland said. “Dan is a big Monty Python nerd. We’re all sports guys, so we talk about the Bulls. The thing that unites us is that we have a passion for making good, quality music; we also like to spread ‘barbershop awareness’ to inform people about the art form and how it is a relevant part of the American culture.”

To listen to a sample of their music, click > After Hours