The one question that keeps coming up these days is "how did you find Glenn?".
Last year, we were prepping our big 15th anniversary show and also our Chinatown concert with rehearsals at St. Matthew's Church. In November, as we were tearing down and loading up my car with gear, a gentlemen came out and said "ah you must be one of the a cappella singers, we could hear you". He said he was from the Hillcrest Village Choir and of course I immediately apologized if we had interfered with their rehearsal but he was very polite about it, said not to apologize since they actually enjoyed hearing us, which of course was nice of him to say. We talked a bit and then said our goodbyes.
After the New Year, the search was on for a new baritone in After Hours. Luckily I had remembered that conversation with the gentlemen from the Hillscrest choir and got in touch with their director, Ben. I figured where there was a choir, there would be singers! I told Ben who I was and what the situation was and he gladly invited me to come by to talk to his choir to let them know we were on the search. During their rehearsal they took a break and I met and spoke with some of the guys in the choir. Glenn was one of those guys and he told me I looked familiar, turns out he had been a guest at our 2012 show at the Winchester Theatre and really enjoyed us! Small world.
After rehearsal was done, I asked Glenn to stick around. I asked him to sing Stand By Me, a song he wasn't too familiar with but that didn't stop him. He grabbed the lyrics off his phone, I sang the bass line and he sang the melody and just blew me away with his powerful voice! Our harmony together sounded nice and natural.
We invited him out to an audition soon after that and then the job was his, pretty much instantly. Not only is Glenn a great singer but he's just a natural fit with the other guys in After Hours and an all around gentlemen.
Thank you Hillcrest choir!
Aaron and Claude Morrison of The Nylons. Without Claude, there'd be no After Hours as he and the rest of the original Nylons were the reason Aaron got into a cappella in the first place. Following this photo, the new line-up of the Nylons and Claude put on a heck of a show!
Tonight I'm going to see the farewell concert of the Nylons. Nowadays, the Nylons aren't exactly a household name but if you were alive in Toronto in the mid to late 80's, you knew who they were. They were Toronto's greatest musical export, the voice of the Pizza Hut jingles and Erin Davis at CHFI FM 98.1 helped bring their a cappella sound to the mainstream.
I'm not sure how their first record got into our home but I loved it instantly. To me it was a magic trick, how they made only four voices and some percussion sound like a fully produced and orchestrated song. They were so good at their craft, people would often forget they were only listening to voices. I don't know if they were really the first street corner, doo-wop a cappella group to record an album with percussion but they were the first to market it and give it a name, "Rockappella".
While I've seen the Nylons live a few times, I've never seen the original line-up. I wish I had begged harder for my folks to buy tickets to their Markham Theatre show back in 1990, the one that became their "Live" album, Four On The Floor. Lead singer Marc Connors died shortly after so that literally would have been my last chance to see him; he was my favourite.
The only surviving original member is tenor Claude Morrison. A few years ago, After Hours used to be a regular attraction at the Scotiabank Buskerfest. I'll never forget the day when I spotted Claude in the crowd, checking out our set. After we finished a song, I ran out to him, gave him a big hug and said to him that he was the reason why I did this. He smiled. Their current bass, Tyrone Gabriel, has also been caught dancing in the crowd at some of our live events and we've also sung for their lead, Garth Mosbaugh at the "SING!" event, which tonight's concert is sponsored by. After buying all of their albums and seeing them live numerous times, singing for them has been a great joy for me. It felt like coming full circle in a way.
Tonight will be bittersweet for me. I'm looking forward to hearing them again and I'm sure they will bring back some former guys (especially in Toronto) and have a few tricks up their sleeve for their final show. But it is sad as well. While most of After Hours, former and current, would tell you they got into a cappella because of Boyz II Men, I got into it because of the Nylons. They are my a cappella inspiration and I will indeed miss them.
While we have covered many Nylons arrangements over the years, most have fallen off the ol' set list. However, for as long as I can, I will continue to perform "Up On The Roof", which is pretty much note for note their arrangement, as a dedication to them and particularly to Marc, the original lead on that song. We've been told several times that our version is better than theirs. While that is a massive compliment that I'm happy to take and am always thankful to hear, I know which version I like best. :-) Thank you Nylons, without you, there'd be no us. Looking forward to tonight, break a pitch pipe!
Welcome to our newly updated site! We just did our first photo shoot with our new guy Glenn Sevillo this past Mother's Day weekend at the Underpass Park in Toronto. We had some interesting weather but turned out to be a great shoot with much thanks to photographer and friend, Matt Breakey. Those photos can now be found all over this site.
Check in often for more updates from me. I promise to share trade secrets, post gossip and other interesting tidbits about the strange world of a cappella!