“After Four” Concert Moves to Larger Venue

The After Four … Swing into Spring concert, scheduled for Playhouse II, just east of Grand Bend, has been moved to the larger Main Stage venue, thanks to popular demand.  Organizers were very pleasantly surprised when tickets sold out in short order, giving them the “nice problem” of deciding to move.   After Four, an area vocal jazz and pop quartet, was slated to appear at the 300 seat Playhouse II.  But with the high demand for tickets, the concert has been moved to the Main Stage Theatre at Huron Country Playhouse.  Known for their smooth arrangements of popular jazz tunes, After Four is scheduled for Saturday night, April 30th, with 300 additional tickets available in the larger venue.  These are selling quickly as well, reports concert organizer, Carey Eddy.

After Four includes Theresa Wallis, Dave Williams and couple Jenny and Ron Nauta.  The four singers came together in 2002, after performing with various other groups to form this quartet.  While they primarily are known as a vocal jazz group, their four-part harmony translates well to many popular songs.  Starting out as an a cappella group, they found that they liked the rich sound when they added horn players and percussion.  “We got together to sing, and it blossomed”, says Jenny, “We like tight harmonies, in the style of Manhattan Transfer, or putting vocals together with big band sounds.”after-four

Among the many songs they will perform April 30th are the Gershwins’ “I Got Rhythm”, Glenn Miller’s “Moonglow”, and the ever-popular “Route 66”, made famous by Nat King Cole and even covered by the Rolling Stones. The foursome is known for their engaging energy on stage. “We are all here together – After Four and the audience – to have a good time,” Jenny explains.

Theresa Wallis, originally from Watford and now living in Grand Bend, is a well-known soloist throughout the area.  She has been vocalist with the Forest Excelsior Band and sung in many choirs. As well, she has been a guest soloist at Huron Shores United Church in Grand Bend, during their outdoor summer services.  As a hair stylist, she is known as Theresa Kneale at Hair Bend’rs in Grand Bend.

Dave Williams, a popular music teacher at North Lambton Secondary School in Forest, makes his home in Ipperwash Beach. Dave is known throughout Lambton County and the London Area for his music programs.  He plays corporate functions and weddings with the Brennan-Williams trio, and is pianist in the Bluewater Big Band as well as various Sarnia stage productions.

Jenny and Ron Nauta are life-long musicians, living on their tree farm in the Coldstream area. Both have been musicians and singers with various bands and choirs over the years.  At present, Jenny is instructing both classical and contemporary jazz voice, piano and theory at Aeolian School of Music in London. She travels Canada as an examiner for Conservatory Canada.  Ron is the chief adapter and arranger of After Four’s music, although the other three have contributed vocal arrangements on their CDs. He is an accomplished vocalist and keyboard player, and more recently, an active member and composer with the smooth jazz group Parallax.

After Four’s band for the evening includes Sandy MacKay on drums, Larry Ernewein on bass Ken Foster on tenor saxophone, Bryan Gloyd  on piano and keyboards and Greg Mainprize on percussion. Special guest artist appearances at the concert will be made by Fred Blumas and Paul Zubot, both on guitar.

To purchase advance tickets, call Debbie Procter at 519-238-2973. Doors open at 6:30 PM, and the concert begins at 7:30 PM.  Tickets are $25 each in advance, or $30 at the door.  As part of the evening’s fun, there will be a 50/50 draw, a wine raffle, and a door prize.

The concert is in support of Huron Shores United Church’s building renovation project.  Carey Eddy and her team from the church have selected the popular singing group for their fundraiser.

Formerly known as Grand Bend United Church, the building at 25 Main Street is an icon with its solid red brick and towering steeple, set among the t-shirt shops and hamburger stands for which the resort’s main street is famous. The church is in dire need of updates to the heating and ventilation system, renovations and repairs to the interior.

Church members installed a new roof last year, and now want to include an addition with an elevator making the building more accessible. The decision was reached to renovate and repair the 1927 building rather than build a new church on the outskirts of Grand Bend.  Thanks to the downtown location, church members want to open the building as a community centre and have it available for any gathering, as well as a place of worship.

Photo:  After Four, a pop and jazz quartet including Ron Nauta, Theresa Wallis, Dave Williams, and Jenny Nauta, will be performing in concert at Huron Country Playhouse April 30.


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