Thursday, July 30, 2020

Looking Back on the July 28th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the July 28th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Virtual chapter meetings continue.  Always fun to have guests from around the country and former members attend. 

Director Joe Cerutti cranked up the start of this week’s gathering at 7 pm via Zoom by welcoming former members and current members who haven’t been on a call in a while – Casey Belzer from TN, Kevin Kaiser from CO, Bob Thames from FL, Mike Fasano from DE, Ian Poulin, Marin Banks, and John Sifuentes.  Calvin Schnure was on the call and reports he is making progress after being struck while riding his bike by a car at 35 mph.  He has a dislocated finger.

Allan Weberg joined the call – he is a former member who brings his music students to the Harmonizer Youth Festival.  He is donating some barbershop song books to the chapter’s history collection.  He also was our performance piano player for “I Am Harvey Milk.”

(Speaking about chapter history, quartet men in the chapter are invited to check out the list of all chapter quartets in our history [at least we hope it’s all of them – let us know if it is not] in Groupanizer.  When you are in Groupanizer, go to Documents, then to Harmonizer Heritage, and then Chapter Quartets.  You should note that Quartets that have won Honors, either at Division, District, International Qualifiers, and/or International Medalists will be found in the file named "Chapter Quartets With Honors", rather than being listed in both the "Honors" list and the other "Quartet" list. A single asterisk after a quartet members name would designate “a person not a member of the Alexandria Chapter while a member of this quartet”.  Bill Colosimo is a good example – he was a member of COPYRIGHT ’86 before he became a member of the Alexandria Chapter.)

 

(The Chapter’s History Team also is calling on all quartet guys to help us make certain we have scanned a photo of your quartet. Quartets for whom the Harmonizer History Team has digital photographs are listed in BOLD type.  If your Quartet is not in BOLD and you have a photo we could scan and return to you, or if you have a digital photo you are willing to share, notify us at history@harmonizers.groupanizer.com. Thanks in advance for the help.)

 

Joe invited any member who wants to do an elective or mini session during a future Zoom call to let Terry Reynolds know. It doesn’t even have to be about barbershop.

Future guest presenters include Steve Tramack and his family (an arranger of many Harmonizer songs and singing with other members of his family for us); Cindy Hansen (our successful performance coach during the last several years); and Charlotte Murray (director of Vocal DX chorus from New Zealand).

We moved right into warm up time with associate director Tony Colosimo.  This week Tony had asked the guys to do movements and physical movements on their own before the 7 pm start.  The pre-meeting invites sent by Terry suggested links to previous Zoom instructions for this.  That left more time for Tony to concentrate on vocal matters to warm up the voice for the nite. 

The chapter’s business meeting was brief with no major announcements. We were reminded to promote supporting the Choruses for Care and Compassion campaign (the Harmonizers are one of the 31 choruses working to support the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB). Chapter coordinator  Matt Doniger will send out “easy instructions for donating” so more of us can chip in.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler reminded everyone to update their contact info in Groupanizer.

Steve Murane suggested that was great idea as the recent order for new uniform parts and masks with our logo on them will be delivered soon and uniform chairman, Robyn Murane, will need correct info to get things delivered.

Membership chairman Jacob Broude welcomed Mick Stamps to the call and extended our chapter best wishes to Mick and Sandy during this time of health stress for them.

Bad weather in the area caused some havoc with some presentations for this week, so the Harmonizer Hero interview was moved to another week. And technical difficulties delayed the review session for choreo for “42nd Street.” It will likely be done next week.

These changes left plenty of time for vocal work on “42nd Street”  Joe and Tony working as a team to get more singers comfortable taking their personal breaths and implementing the vocal contrasts as indicated on the annotated music provided by the music team. As has been the custom in recent weeks, Joe asked guys to submit recordings to their listeners – mostly to make certain everyone is using the technology that helps the chorus get better.

There were 58 attendees this week.  Joe welcomed folks on the call to show their stuff and model a favorite barbershop or Harmonizer t-shirt, or actually any favorite t-shirt. There were many fun reminders of former shirts created by Roger Day for contest weeks, of Harmo Youth Festival Shirts, of BHS merchandise wear, and of Harmony College East shirts including the year their shirt had a pix of our chorus after having won the International in 1998. Drew Fuller was wearing one of the famous Aloha Chapter shirts.

 Our special guest this week was Chad Bennett who is on the Outreach Team for the BHS in Nashville.  Chad’s title is Show Producer and he works to make the major events a success for the organization and for us as attendees. As our guest this week, though, he spoke about his 20 years experience with the Dapper Dans at Disney World.

He shared lots of details about the fun and the work of that job such as the nine shows a day for 365 days a year, and the very specific costume or uniform responsibilities each singer has.  We learned how the men in the barbershop quartet on main street at Disney were auditioned and then learned their huge repertoire of songs (probably 60 songs plus some songs for Christmas and Halloween seasons), as well as the specific dance steps that are part hoofing and part tap.

Chad also shared a lot about the organ chimes the quartet uses as part of their set each day. These instruments are old and rare, so they are protected by the singers/players with care.  They were invented in about 1900 by the J. C. Deagan Co.

One particular aspect of the experience of a Dapper Dan is to sing with barberhoppers who come to the Park and stay to say hello and to “sing one” with the quartet.  Several members of the chapter indicated on the call that they had done that and were quick to display the card they were given at the time, as proof.

Chad was willing to answer several questions from Harmonizers – some of whom are huge Disney fans – before we let him go. We also enjoyed the videos he shared of various versions of the quartet over the years and some of the fun shows they did.

As is the case each week, a bunch of guys stayed past the closing time of the Zoom meeting for an impromptu afterglow. Next week’s meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details.

(YeEd just noticed that he was still using “71st year” in the statement below – but our anniversary for chartering as a chapter is in June – thus the change to 72nd year!! Congrats to all!)

 

Until next time – editorjack!

 

(This message is prepared for your review if you were there, for your information if you had to miss, and as a historical record of the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Looking Back on the July 21st, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the July 21st, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Virtual chapter meetings continue and just over 60 folks attended.  Always fun to have guests from around the country and former members attend. 

Associate director Tony Colosimo hosted the start of this week’s gathering at 7 pm via Zoom Director Joe Cerutti was finishing up a directing class for Harmony U when we started (actually the bad rain storm that came thru the area gave him some trouble with wifi, but he was able to finish the class.)  Terry Reynolds and Tony have also taught classes for HU.

It was great to have some Harmonizer folks with us this week we haven’t seen for a while including Bill Colosimo, Dave Kohls, Liz Birnbaum, Mike Kelly, and Tessa Walker. Great to see Calvin Schnure on the call – with his hand/arm bandaged after being hit by a car on his bike.  He is in pretty good shape considering.

Tony spoke about next week’s special guest, Chad Bennett (currently a staffer at BHS and former performer with Disney Dapper Dans).

Future presenters include Steve Tramack and his family (an arranger of many Harmonizer songs and singing with other members of his family for us); Cindy Hansen (our successful performance coach during the last several years); and Charlotte Murray (director of Vocal DX chorus from New Zealand).

Tony also invited members to submit ideas for electives – even some you’d like to present. And the music team would invite anyone of us who are interested in creating videos of folks singing.  Let him know. 

We moved right into warm up time and went through some physical exercises (this week Tony had the guys do movements while creating a variety of emotions such as holding a new baby, or yelling out to an old friend), and then concentrated on vocal matters to warm up the voice for the nite. 

Next all the singers at home in their own spaces worked in sectionals with their section leaders  on parts of the ballad we are preparing for future contests. Then it was back together for the whole chorus to work on the uptune.

Terry shared a Harmonizer Trivia game and we could all cast our vote and he could show us what percentage of us got it right.  Like one question was “which of these men has not been chapter president.” The correct answer was Steve White.  Another question was which of these men are not in the BHS Hall of Fame – Dean Snyder, Wilbur Sparks, Bud Arberg, Darryl Flinn, and Scott Werner.  The answer was Scott.  It was fun and helped new guys tap into our chapter leadership history.

Unfortunately, we had to bid farewell to Adam Shepard this week – he and his wife are moving to the state of Washington and departing at the end of this week.  Joe said it best – “Adam left a mark on the chapter!” He had new-guy energy and ideas and was willing to share them with the chapter leaders and music team. We bid him farewell with our traditional singing of “There Will Always Be a Place on the Risers for You” – these days we sing it along with a recording.

There were 61 attendees this week. Terry Reynolds used the Zoom system to randomly divide all attendees on the call into a small group of five to share “what ideas do you have for the theme of a future Harmonizer show?”  Reports from the groups were recorded for the music team to consider when we do get to produce a show again. Here are some of the ideas suggested: western, comedy, patriotic, Cole Porter songs, Lift Every Voice and sing with Alfred Street Baptist Men’s Choir, and another American Icon Show.

The chapter’s business meeting was brief with no major announcements. We were reminded to promote supporting the Choruses for Care and Compassion campaign (the Harmonizers are one of the 31 choruses working to support the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB).

President Stan Quick reports that Rob Barnovsky’s dad is on the road to recovery. 

Secretary Chris Buechler encouraged guys to be sure to submit new addresses or contact info to him since this is the season for moving and changing locations.  Chris is willing to accept the info and pass it on to the BHS office for you.

To wrap up the evening, we welcomed Clay Hine, gold medal baritone of FRED, and prolific arranger including some songs for the Harmonizers. Clay lives in the Atlanta area but was reporting from Panama City Beach, FL. He also was excited to report the good news that his daughter, Melody, just accepted a contract as a middle school music teacher in our area and is moving soon.

Joe asked Clay how he got started in barbershop and how he developed such a passion for the art form.  Clay shared the story of his parents involvement and his finally getting to join his dad’s chorus when he was 14.  His dad was very active in the Detroit area. Both parents were in quartets.

To understand Clay’s passion, here is his message on the bottom of the TTBB arrangement of his song he has given to the world this spring.

May 10, 2020

It's the Music That Brings Us Together

Words, Music, and Arrangement by Clay Hine, copyright Clayton B. Hine, May 2020

For as long as I can remember (literally), music and barbershop have meant a lot to me. To my whole family, to choruses I’ve sung with and directed, to quartets I’ve had the privilege of singing with, to barbershoppers I’ve sung tags with and had the amazing opportunity to meet from all over the world, and to folks who love music who I hope to meet someday: this is for you...make as many copies as you want...and thanks for sharing music with friends.

 

But we also asked Clay about how comedy evolved into his barbershop world. Certainly singing with the guys in FRED had to progress to comedy.  Clay shared some times when things didn’t go “right” on a show, and the next best thing was to have fun. That approach yielded many laughs for the audiences of FRED over the years.  And Clay built a similar plan with the Big Chicken chorus he directed in the Atlanta area. Many Harmonizers recall the fun moments when that chorus took aim at us and other choruses during their contest sets!

It was particularly fun to hear stories about show appearances over the years when FRED was in the gold medal year and the pranks that happened to them and were caused by them.  We sent Clay off with our thanks for all he has done for the barbershop hobby.

As is the case each week, a bunch of guys stayed past the closing time of the Zoom meeting for an impromptu afterglow. Next week’s meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details.

 

Until next time – editorjack!

 

(This message is prepared for your review if you were there, for your information if you had to miss, and as a historical record of the great things going on each week during the 71st year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Friday, July 17, 2020

Looking Back on the July 14th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the July 14th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Again the chapter has suspended in-person meetings of the chorus, boards and committees until further notice as well as for any small group, quartet, or ensemble gatherings. Chapter leaders are discussing and considering how to move into the next phase of openings for groups – especially singing groups. The operations team has also started to budget planning for the next fiscal year trying to guess how it will unfold!

However, there was not a regular in-person meeting of the Alexandria Harmonizers on July 14th   2020.  

Associate director Tony Colosimo hosted the gathering at 7 pm via Zoom video meeting this week to continue learning more about our chapter and our fellow members, learning about the barbershop hobby in general and meeting guests from around the Society. Plus we continue to work on our music.

It was great to have some Harmonizers with us this week we haven’t seen for a while including Paul Grimes, John Santora (recently reelected as BHS treasurer), and Keith Jones again from his home in FL. Membership chairman Jacob Broude welcomed our newest Harmonizer,  Yuhan Roh.

Tony spoke about next week’s special guest, Clay Hine from the Atlanta area. Clay earned a gold medal with FRED in 1999 and more recently sang in the International contest with CATEGORY FOUR (you could always count on good laughs with Clay’s quartets).  He has done several arrangements for the Harmonizers too.

Future presenters include Chad Bennett (currently a staffer at BHS and former performer with Disney Dapper Dans); Steve Tramack and his family (an arranger of many Harmonizer songs and singing with other members of his family for us); Cindy Hansen (our successful performance coach during the last several years); and Charlotte Murray (director of Vocal DX chorus from New Zealand).

Tony Colosimo moved right into warm up time and took the men through some physical exercises (this week he had the guys mimic riding a motorcycle with lip trills and handlebar movements!) and then concentrated on vocal matters to warm up the voice for the nite. 

Then all the singers at home in their own spaces worked on sections of the uptune and ballad we are preparing for future contests. Tony worked on specific rhythm hot spots in the ballad.

Director Joe Cerutti joined the call after having been a guest presenter for another chorus virtual meeting – in Europe.

Alan Wile conducted the sixth interview of Harmonizer Heroes – based on the forms submitted by members at the urging of Alan over the years (about 250 reports have been submitted and are on Groupanizer for all to see and so they can learn more about fellow Harmonizers).

This week’s interviewee was Noah Van Gilder – a 12-year barbershop singer.  Noah grew up in NYC Upper East Side. He attended one of the eight specialized high schools in the city  -Stuyvesant. That school has been serving youth there for over 100 years.

Noah was admitted to the school after passing mandatory standardized tests and it meant he had to travel 45 minutes or more on the NYC subway system to get there.  He figures he was riding the subway system by himself as early as age 13. He found the school atmosphere a motivator with strong student body achievements.

He especially enjoyed the time spent in Central Park growing up in the city. After high school Noah went to Cornell and majored in natural resources.  He likes birds and sometimes on our Zoom calls we get to see and/or hear the two Cockatiels – Max and Joey – who he has living at his home now.

His current work is in policy analysis at the Department of Interior after having spent some time at EPA working to promote clean water.

During his years as a chapter member, he has become a soloist for shows and events, has sung with the a cappella ensemble TBD, and has served on the board as marketing director. He sang in a campus group at Cornell called the “Class Notes,” and then when friends found out he liked to sing, it wasn’t long before they had encouraged him to find barbershop.  We are all glad Noah found the Harmonizers!

There were 54 attendees this week. Terry Reynolds used the Zoom system to randomly divide all attendees on the call into a small group of five to share “who is the one person you’d like to spend an hour with, one-on-one, and why?” There were a lot of men who wished they could speak with their dad, or grandparents and ask the questions they wished they had asked earlier. Others suggested Jesus, Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jimmy Carter, Ed Waesche, and General Eisenhower – to name a few.

We did learn that Chuck Powell’s father died this week. Thoughts go out to Chuck and the family.

The chapter’s business meeting was brief with no major announcements. There were congratulations and thanks extended to Steve White for the excellent 2019 Chapter Annual Report. 

To wrap up the evening, we welcomed VINTAGE MIX from their home in Waukesha near Milwaukee, WI.  This quartet of college aged quadruplets – Kelsey, Anika, Ian  and Julia – has been making a name for themselves in the barbershop and a cappella world. Fortunately we have had them sing for us on a recent holiday show.

They started singing together in fourth grade, then in seventh and eighth grade they were singing even more. They graduated from high school and are all enrolled and working on associates degrees at a local school. They did share some of their challenges over the years as their voices were changing.

When they started singing together, they often did show songs. Lucky for them, the high school music programs in Wisconsin provided strong quartet contest experiences including some barbershop.  Also when a family friend in the Midwest Vocal Express introduced them to barbershop music, they locked onto our music right away.  They shared that they were totally caught up in our hobby after going to their first BHS International convention and contest is Pittsburgh, The quartet has been to the Mixed Barbershop contest in Germany and was expecting  to go this year too until Covid 19 came along.

Luckily we got to hear them sing some songs for us during the Zoom visit.  To thank them for sharing with us, the chapter pledged to sponsor the next arrangement they have made! And we look forward to having them do another show with us one day.

As is the case each week, a bunch of guys stayed past the closing time of the Zoom meeting for an impromptu afterglow. Next week’s meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details.

 

In other news – did you see that Terry Reynolds and Alan Lamson are on the faculty for the BHS Virtual Leadership Seminar.  There is a fee and the sessions will be offered July 14-25 from 2-3:50 pm Central.

 

And did you notice there were a number of Harmonizer and former Harmonizer names in the Friday, July 10th, LiveWire?  The long piece about the Legacy Quartet Contest lists the 25 popular quartets from over the years that never won the gold medal. Here are the quartets that had Harmonizers in them: BSQ with Rick Taylor; CENTER STAGE with Lee Hanson; RIPTIDE with Rick Taylor and Richard Lewellen; and VAUDEVILLE with John Casey, Scott Werner, John Hohl and Bill Cody. Those members who register to attend/view the contest can vote to help pick a winner.

 

In that same issue there is news about the election of new members of the International Board for BHS. Our own John Santora has been nominated for reelection as treasurer.

 

Until next time – editorjack!

 

(This message is prepared for your review if you were there, for your information if you had to miss, and as a historical record of the great things going on each week during the 71st year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd