MORTON — Tim Beutel is a music teacher in the Morton School District. He's also an international champion who will be performing Saturday, March 30, at Grace Church in Morton.
Beutel sings tenor in After Hours, the reigning international barbershop quartet champion. It will be the headline act at the 15th annual Heidi White Memorial Concert, which honors a beloved former Morton music teacher who died March 10, 2004, at age 27 of complications from childbirth.
Proceeds from the concert are donated to the Heidi White Scholarship and Heidi White Memorial Music Endowment fund overseen by the Morton Community Foundation.
The funds provide scholarships and grants to Morton students for music-related activities like summer camps and to purchase musical instruments.
With nine scholarships to be awarded this year, the total number will climb to 58 since 2005.
"Heidi continues to have an incredible impact on our school district," said Morton Junior High School band director Katrina Fitzpatrick, who worked with White and helped launch the memorial concert.
"Heidi was incredibly energetic, inspirational, passionate and so positive," Fitzpatrick said. "She loved her students and her students loved her."
Beutel said competing is important for After Hours, but not just because the group wants to win.
"We're more about performing, and doing well at competitions gives us more opportunities to do that," he said. "We love using our talents to do good … to brighten someone's day, and in the case of the Heidi White concert, to help students."
Beutel said After Hours plans to perform about eight songs at the concert. Including some chatting between songs, After Hours will be on stage for around a half hour.
After Hours was formed by four Bradley University students in 2007 to sing at a talent show. Since then, the group has performed in 26 states and internationally, including in Holland. It will be in New Zealand this fall.
The only original group members are Beutel and bass Dan Wessler.
Beutel, a 2005 Tremont High School graduate, was an engineering major when he went to Bradley but he graduated with a degree in music education in 2009. He earned a master's degree in music education from Illinois State University in 2015 and is in his 10th year teaching in Morton. He's the choir teacher at Morton Junior High School and teaches music at Grundy Elementary School. He's also the director of Morton High School's male a cappella choir and the junior high jazz choir.
Although Beutel never met White, they share a connection. White, who taught in Morton from 1999 to 2004, also was the Morton Junior High School choir teacher, among other duties.
Wessler, a Peoria native and Bradley graduate, directs the Freeport High School choral program and is director of The New Tradition, an award-winning barbershop chorus based in Northbrook.
Lead singer Drew Ochoa and baritone Bryan Ziegler are the other members of After Hours. Neither a Bradley graduate.
Ochoa lives in Orlando, Fla., and is a member of the Voices of Liberty at Disney World. Ziegler lives in Madison, Wis., and manages a Caribou Coffee shop there.
After Hours will share the Heidi White concert spotlight with Morton music faculty and student groups, including the Bum Bums, the a capella choir that Beutel directs.
Also performing will be the B Naturals, a junior high jazz band, junior high and high school Prelude strings, Limited Edition choir and PB&J. Keaton Weber will be the emcee.
The concert will begin at 6 p.m. Refreshments from Eli's Coffee Shop in Morton will be available in the Grace Church lobby beginning at 5:15 p.m.
Tickets are $5 per person, $20 per family, and will be sold at the door.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.