Thursday, July 20, 2017

Looking Back on the July 18th Chapter Meeting
There was lots of excitement in the hall as guys were talking about their travel plans or car pools for the trip to Nashville on Sunday for 2017 Harmony University. After warm ups by associate director Tony Colosimo (he spoke briefly about his disappointment in having to miss HU, although he is joyful about the arrival of their new baby during the week), director Joe Cerutti spoke about a lot of exciting things that will happen next week.  
He shared plans for our being part of the 700 members present at Belmont University for the week, about the various coaches we will meet with and some of the work we will be doing, about our part in presenting a class to share with others, about the food and ice cream, and about the many former coaches and friends of the chapter who will be there too.  It will be fun for many guys to meet the staff members who have been so helpful in preparing us for the week.  Thanks too for the work done by chapter chairman Craig Kujawa for getting us there.
With that said, Joe took off right away singing our three possible contest songs we have learned in preparation for the coaching – with a plan to select two for the fall contest.  And we sang thru songs we will perform for fellow students.
Executive director Terry Reynolds and Joe made several announcements about our week at HU.
1. Wednesday during the general session we offered to be a demo chorus for the instructors.
2. After the Sunday eve general session, we will meet outside on the patio for a few minutes just to coordinate and confirm that everyone made it.
3, Saturday’s uniform is the black camp shirt, jeans and black shoes.
4. Joe spoke about the variance in temperatures - outside about 100 degrees F, inside with the air conditioning you might wanna be prepared if you get cold easily, and you might wanna bring a light extra blanket.
Terry announced and thanked Dean Rust for his work in obtaining a grant from the State of Virginia for our work in diversity and inclusion.
Wednesday evening Aug. 2nd, the Washington Men’s Camerata invites us to join for a social and musical nite with other men’s choral groups from the DC area.
Yes, the Harmonizers will do their annual summer outdoor concert at Market Square in Old Town Alexandria, as part of the city’s summer series. Friday nite Aug. 11th.
Ian Poulin has agreed to coordinate our chapter’s hosting duties at the fall district contest in Reading, PA, in Sept.
As a reminder, all of our rehearsals in August and September will be mandatory in preparation for the contest in Sept.
President Randall Eliason reported that Dick Hall has moved back “home” with Carolyn at The Charleston Senior Community, Room 3202, 45 S Patrick St, Waldorf MD 20603, Dick sends thank you to all who have sent cards or called.
Randall also reported that Bob Wachter’s wife, Jean. is facing more surgery.
Terry Jordan is in rehab for a cracked vertebrae at Potomac Falls Health & Rehab Center, 46531 Harry Byrd Highway (Rte 7), Sterling VA 20164, Rm 104.
Secretary Chris Buechler reports the new BHS member site reports that we have 256 members at this time. This is an inflated number they are working to correct. He presented membership renewal cards to Jeff Burkey for 3 years; Elliot Roseman for 5 years; Johan Westberg for 13 years; and Bob Wells for 26 years.
Membership director Dave Kohls introduced some first time guests and welcomed back some returnees!  We sang our Harmonizer welcome song for them as we do each week – usually lead by emeritus assistant director Will Cox.
We took a break for refreshments and then right back to work singing.
Before we left for the nite and the afterglow (a good sized crowd got over to La Porta’s nearby on Duke Street), we sang “There Will Always Be a Place on the Risers for You” for Greg Tepe who leaves soon for Ireland.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Looking Back on the July 11th Chapter Meeting
Fresh back from the International convention and after a break with no meeting on July 4th, this week’s meeting and rehearsal was a busy one.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and then director Joe Cerutti took over and briefed the chorus on some of the highlights from the Las Vegas contest. He congratulated our friends in Hershey for earning their first medal in the chorus contest.  And he was wearing his new #EveryoneInHarmony t-shirt.
He reviewed the four-point goals for members of the chorus and launched work right away then on the three contest songs we will be using for our coaching sessions at Harmony University in Nashville soon.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the chapter meeting and welcomed Greg Tepe, who will be leaving for Ireland in a couple weeks for a two-year tour of duty.
As part of the possible change in meeting location from Durant, we will NOT meet at Durant on Aug 22nd, but instead try out the meeting space at Arlington Forest Methodist Church on Wednesday Aug. 23rd.  The change to Wednesday is a possibility for the future.
Terry announced that the rehearsals in Aug. and Sept. will be mandatory.  Sign up on groupanizer – especially note the extra Thursday rehearsals.
Hint for those flying to HU – be sure to sign up for the return trip bus to the airport.  Chuck McKeever will be video recording the highlights of the coaching sessions for all to review from HU.
President Randall Eliason welcomed Dave Kohls who has agreed to take over the membership director position recently vacated by Rich HewittDave will be forming a membership team and welcome volunteers.
Chris Huber reported on a recent phone conversation with Ms. Peggy Harris in France – the lady we sang too as part of our Normandy Trip.  She is now 94, still sings in her church choir, and says she sees our chorus picture from that wonderful day hanging on her wall every day.
New membership guy Dave welcomed five guests and we sang our welcome song to them. Great to have singers come visit us.
Before the end of the nite, we worked on the “Chicago” medley and the spiritual songs we have learned.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd
Looking Back on the 2017 International Contest and Convention, Las Vegas

Amazing numbers of current and former members of the Alexandria Chapter were at the 79th annual BHS International Convention and Contest in Las Vegas NV, July 2-9, 2016. Although the Harmonizers did not compete this year, and none of our quartets were able to compete, the Alexandria crowd was there to sing, work and volunteer, attend meetings, cheer for our friends from M-AD, meet old friends and hang out with each other.

Early arrivals volunteered at the convention such as Alan Wile and Keith Jones. Some folks came on to Vegas from a convention trip such as Jack Pitzer and Bruce Roehm.  And some guys came later in the week to join in the fun such as Craig Kujawa and Ken Rub.

The quartet gold was won by MAIN STREET with one of our chapter’s great coaches, Tony DeRosa, as their lead.  SIGNATURE quartet from FL who has been here in Alexandria a couple times to help us promote singing for youth was second. Third was AFTER HOURS from Bloomington, IL, who had won a collegiate contest some years ago.  Fourth was THROWBACK with former Harmonizer Sean Devine as lead.

The chorus gold was won by the Masters of Harmony, having scored 96.4% over the Dallas Vocal Majority who scored 96.2%. Central Standard was third. Toronto Northern Lights was fourth.  And our fellow M-AD friends from Hershey PA, Parkside chorus, won the fifth place medal with a 92% and Hell’s Kitchen from M-AD placed tenth with a score of 87.8%.

The contest venue was the Axis Theater in Planet Hollywood where Britney Spears appears.    .  It was a great place for the contest audience members. Attendees were mostly staying in Planet Hollywood, Bally’s and Paris hotels as the three are all connected.  The temperatures outside were over 110 degrees every day, so folks were glad to be inside.   A major water main inside Planet Hollywood burst on Saturday just before the grand spectacular and finals session.  It closed many paths to the venue and to the stage but it all worked out.  YeEd saw Sam McFarland leading some of the group singing as we waited for permission to go into the venue after security had to close parts of the place.

The contest judging panel included former coach Steve Tramack and our former director Richard Lewellen who was named head of the singing category of judges during meetings at the convention.  His wife, Christina, was present to represent Harmony Inc. as she is their president.

The contest and judging committee honored former member David Binetti for his work on new scoring software and our chapter secretary Chris Buechler was given an award of excellence by the C&J Committee for his career-long support and dedicated service on behalf of the judging program.  It is the highest award given by that committee.

Several former members sang in competing quartets in the contest: Scott Disney in ROUTE 1; David Ellis in THE HEMIDEMISEMIQUAVER 4; Sean Devine in THROWBACK; and Mark Rodda in ZERO HOUR.

Several current members and many former members sang with one of the 30 competing choruses. Two current members sang in Hershey Parkside Chorus – Michael Vlcej and Pookie
Dingle along with former members Sean Devine, Jay Butterfield, Scott Disney, Ed Schubel, Kenny Toula and Fred Womer. Members Sam McFarland and John Adams sang with the Carolina Vocal Express chorus and former member Mark Rodda did also. The following former members sang in the chorus contest: Michael Gilmore sang with the Alliance chorus from OH; Joe Kane and Lynn Hineman sang with the Harolds of Harmony from FL; TJ Donohue and Kevin Kaiser sang with the Colorado Sound of the Rockies (Kevin was even in the front row!); Lou Bergner sang with Toronto Northern Lights; Ray Johnson and Jim Haggerty sang with the Masters of Harmony;  Ben Luttge sang with the Men of Independence from IN;  Ken Potter was director of the Northwest Sound from WA; Spencer Wight sang with the Voices of Gotham; and Jack Stevens sang with the chorus mic testers The Marcsmen from TX.

Former member Jay Butterfield served on the judging panel for the Youth Quartet contest (formerly called the Collegiate Quartet Contest). John Santora was contest administrator for that event.  As part of the convention (actually mic testers for the second half of the chorus contest), a reunion chorus of youth quartet participants sang and former Harmonizers Joe Eckert and Ed Schubel  were on the risers. Ed, who sang with last year’s youth champ quartet PRATT STREET POWER from M-AD, also competed in the main quartet contest and placed 18th. One of Joe Cerutti’s major duties at the convention as a BHS staffer was the youth program and he sang with the reunion chorus as a former collegiate quartet contestant.  

The Saturday nite spectacular, which preceded the quartet finals, was awesome and featured a 350-man chorus of Ambassadors of Harmony and Dallas Vocal Majority, with quartet appearances with them in combined music from SPECTRUM and CROSSROADS, plus GQ, a popular SAI quartet from our area.

A major announcement at this convention was the roll-out of the new strategic vision – EVERYONE IN HARMONY.  You can access a video and details about it at www.barbershop.org/everyoneinharmony. It is exciting to see how well current efforts by our chapter fit into this new direction.

The BHS board meetings held early in the week saw our own John Santora elected as incoming treasurer. Several of our former members were at the convention as past BHS presidents including Daryl Flinn and Alan Lamson.

Terry Reynolds, John Santora and Jay Butterfield taught classes during the week as part of the Harmony University sessions during the convention. 

Gary Smith was present to receive his 50-year membership pin at a breakfast function hosted by Rick Taylor as emcee (and part of his duties as Harmony Foundation staff).  Mike Everard and Alan Kousen also were announced as 50-year members and Alan Wile accepted on their behalf.

Chapter president Randall Eliason attended the convention as did former presidents Dwain Chambers and Gary Plaag. Other current members in Vegas for the convention included Chuck Hunter, Ross Johnson, Tom Gannon, Jordan Haedtler, Eric Wallen and Mike Wallen.  Former members present included Jim Lake, Larry Silva, Steve Matuszewski, Dan Cook and Bob Hirsh. Associate members Ellen Dellert and Dixie Kennett attended too. Dixie was also a volunteer and helped with judges hospitality.

Thanks to Dixie and Alan for helping collect names of current and former members at the convention.

It is Great to Be a Harmonizer!

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 during the 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Looking Back on the June 27th Chapter Meeting
(Thanks again to Don Harrington for reporting on this meeting while YeEd is in Alaska.)
After a great warm -up, we jumped right into our newest song, "Blow, Gabriel, Blow." Good thing the All Sections rehearsal last Saturday was well attended, because the pace is accelerating and the excitement is building. Next, we worked on "The More I See You."
Special guest was Doug Carnes, director of the BHS Great Northern Union chapter, in town to join Joe, the PRATT STREE POWER quartet and others to promote singing at several venues, including the U.S. Congress this week. We enjoyed singing with other guests, including two first time guests.
Chapter Secretary Chris Buechler delivered membership renewal cards to Ike Evans (30 years), Ian Poulin (17 years) and Steve Szyszka. Last week, Stan Quick received his card for 6 years.
EDITOR NOTE:Â The following bulleted announcements were also distributed by Stan Quick through groupanizer.
· No rehearsal/ chapter meeting next Tuesday (July 4)
· If you are going to HU, be sure you have signed up for classes. Lots of information is being sent out by email from the various instructors and coaches to help you prepare.
· Watch your email Thursday - the BHS is preparing to send a big announcement.
· Operations Director, Mike Edison, is trying to find a new, permanent rehearsal space instead of Durant. Please contact Mike if you have an idea.
· A group of 8-10 alumni of Vickie Dennis's private vocal instruction (PVI) got together to do a brief progress & feedback session with Vickie. She ended by having the group sing 30 seconds in their old way, then had them sing using the suggestions she had given each guy individually. The result was a much improved unit sound. If you're wondering if a PVI session may help our chorus, the answer is a resounding "yes".
Congratulations to Josh DesPortes who was back on the risers after his recent wedding. Bob Rhome was the lucky winner of 50-50. Thanks, Alan Wile and Walt Page. You are doing s superb job collecting contributions! Thanks to also to Jeff Burkey, Sandy Stamps, Kellen Hertz and others who stepped up to provide refreshments in Jack Pitzer's absence, and thanks to Jack, who takes the lead on this week after week.
After substantial work on 'I Was Here" and the Chicago medley, which will be performed, but not rehearsed, at Harmony University, Â the meeting ended with the guests being called to the front and treated to a performance of "There Must Be a City."

In other news - Alan Wile reports these Harmonizers and former Harmonizers were at this year’s Harmony College East, held for the first time on campus at McDaniel College in Westminster MD, June 16-17: Steve Guy, Joe Cerutti, Gary Plaag, Mike Louque, John Santora, Drew Fuller, Dean Sherrick, Mike Fasano, Mike Kelly, Bob Hirsh, Bob Eckman, Gary Bibens, Bill Colosimo, Dennis Ritchey and of course Alan.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Monday, July 10, 2017

Looking Back on the June 20th Chapter Meeting
(Thanks to Don Harrington for reporting on this meeting while YeEd is in Alaska.)

Heavy traffic notwithstanding, the weekly rehearsal started on time with Director Joe Cerutti teaching us a couple of tags and then helping us improve "A Place on the Risers for You," the beautiful, bittersweet song composed and arranged by the late John Hohl and words by another Harmonizer, Bob Bates, that we sing to departing members.
Standing in the center, Joe placed the chorus in various configurations without risers involving circles, marching, clapping, humming, and listening to introduce and begin working on our new up tune, "Blow, Gabriel, Blow."   Next, we worked on the Chicago medley, which we will debut in Nashville in July at Harmony University. 
Executive Director Terry Reynolds thanked the eight guys who represented the chapter at a singing gig at the Masonic temple in honor of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Masonic Lodge.  In attendance were many notables including the Duke of Kent, who congratulated the group for its rendering of "God Save the Queen."  In a related note, Harmonizer supporter Paul Dolinsky presented the chapter with a check for $3,000 on behalf of the Masonic Lodge. 
Terry announced that Rich Hewitt is stepping down as Membership Director, after having served in this position and similar ones for many years.  Rich was honored with a round of applause and members were encouraged to consider serving as Rich's replacement. 
Terry announced that the Harmonizers will continue meeting at the Durant Center while continuing to pursue other options.  Give your suggestions to Mike Edison.  At least one alternative under consideration would require us to move weekly meetings to another day of the week.  A show of hands indicated that Wednesdays would be workable for most members present.
President Randall Eliason echoed thanks for Rich's service, then shared a note received last week from Marty Monson, BHS Executive Director.  Responding to last week's Weekly Notes reporting on the Harmonizer's 69th birthday celebration, Marty said how great it is that the Harmonizers celebrate our history.  Kudos to Jack Pitzer!
It was great to welcome several guests, including at least two returnees.
After break, we split into sections, including one for men who had committed to learn "I Was Here" by today, then returned to rehearse with everyone on both new potential contest songs.  Ike Evans, the lucky 50/50 winner, directed us in "Keep the Whole World Singing" to finish the night.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Looking Back on the June 13th Chapter Meeting and 69th Anniversary
Besides being an important rehearsal, this week we celebrated our 69th anniversary as a chapter.

The chapter was chartered in June 1948 – the charter is dated June 19th and the charter night gathering was June 29th in Alexandria’s Cameron Street Recreation Center.  All 10 men who signed the charter were present. We were the 522nd chapter chartered in SPEBSQSA, Inc. The Washington DC Chapter was our sponsoring chapter.  Their current director Bill Colosimo was present to bring greetings from their chapter and salute the Harmonizers.

Stories were shared about how our co-founders, Dean Snyder and Gene Barnwell, met. Current director Joe Cerutti spoke about the legacy that earlier generations of Harmonizers have passed on to us today. Our Harmonizer name came from an Alexandria Gazette article calling us the local harmonizers. Al Hanenbaum spoke to present Joe one of the Harmonizer watches (Al says he found it in his dresser and had forgotten it but the battery was still good!). Plus Al held up a bag of all of his chorus medals and witnessed that being a Harmonizer all these years were an important part of his life! 

Milestones mentioned include the invention of the term “barbershop craft” and the formal leadership training for chapter officers (then called Chapter Officer Training COTS).

Chorus directors from our chapter include Gene Barnwell – 1948-1950; Werner Paul - 1950-1951; Bud Arberg - 1951-1962; Oz Newgard – 1962-1970; Scott Werner – 1970-1080; John Hohl – 1980-1983; Scott Werner – 1984- 2002; Richard Lewellen – 2003-2006; Joe Cerutti – 2007-present.

Thanks to Martin Banks for a terrific historical display for all to enjoy with our original chapter charter on display; to Clark Chesser for getting the anniversary cake; and to all those who helped haul in supplies for the evening in the music suite at First Baptist, those who helped serve and those who helped clean up. Phil Ashford was official photographer and recorded the historical events.  The chapter informal history committee was recognized too – Blair, Rhome, Banks, Pitzer.  President Randall Eliason planted the seed in announcing major plans for next year’s show in honor of our 70 years of Harmony in Alexandria.

Many former Harmonizer family members were present too including Terry Jordan, Doug Smith, JT Price, and new baby Riley Havens at her first Harmonizer meeting,

The regular chapter meeting was a hard working session on music and other matters.  The chapter board met before 7.  An octet practiced for their appearance at National Cathedral on Friday in a special International event – they were to sing both “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Save The Queen” anthems.

Associate director Tony Colosimo lead a tag sing in the foyer before the meeting too.  Then he did the vocal warm ups for the chorus. When director Joe Cerutti took the helm, he reminded all of the singers that our work on the “Chicago” medley is important in that we will feature it in an appearance at Harmony U.  There were sectional break outs too.

Executive director Terry Reynolds saluted the three chapter quartets that made the cut to sing in the fall M-AD contest – CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY COMPANY, SILVER ALERT and  NAUTRAL SEGUE.  Congrats guys.

Upcoming rehearsal locations – June 20th back at Durant; Saturday sectionals at First Baptist June 24th  from 9-12; no meeting on July 4th.

There will be a softball game on Saturday Aug. 26th with the Harmonizers and Parkside Harmony guys.  Stay tuned for details!!

Thanks to our a cappella group TBD for doing the flash mob gig at the Jefferson Memorial recently.  And thanks to the quartet of Tony, Rusty, Steve and Derrick for singing at the poetry contest recently.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Casey Belzer for 2 years; Tom Jackson for 22 years, and Martin Banks for 34 years.

Before adjourning for the nite we sang farewell and “There Will Always Be a Place on the Risers for You” to Rusty Orvik who is moving to Arizona now that he has retired from the military. 

In other recent Harmonizer news:

Executive director Terry Reynolds and AH Inc. Chapter president Liz Birnbaum represented the chapter at the Greater Washington DC Area Choralis Ovation Awards gala Tuesday nite at 6:30 pm. The Harmonizers were selected from 140 performing groups in the DC metro area and nominated for the Best Specialty Chorus – Barbershop award. The Alexandria Singers, directed by Harmonizer Bill Colosimo, also were honored

On June 7th, about 20 members sang at Alexandria’s George Washington Middle School “Clash Of Chords” for the student contestant groups and their parents and friends who all got into the sing-along with “All You Need Is Love.” Assistant director Terry Reynolds was maestro for the nite.  This event was organized by chapter member Casey Belzer who is the music educator there.      

Members of the chapter were invited by The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington (GMCW) artistic director Dr. Thea Kano to join a festival chorus to sing as part of the Gay Pride "Equality March" on Sunday, June 11. Several members attended a rehearsal Sunday morning and then walked to the National Mall to participate in the march with the other singers – about 400 were expected/.

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 69th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Looking Back on the June 6th Chapter Meeting
(Many thanks to reporter Don Harrington for taking notes this week while YeEd recovered from hand surgery.)
Rehearsal was at the First Baptist Church this week; next week, too, when we will be celebrating our 69th birthday. Please take note. Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm up. Maestro Joe Cerutti welcomed everyone, especially Rich Peyton, Larry Dennis and Rick Wagner who were back on the risers. He encouraged folks to read the announcements, especially Dave Branstetter's weekly email, and use it to help make best use of our rehearsal time. He also expressed confidence in the chorus's ability to learn the three new songs for Harmony University. Coaching is expected to bring about changes in the music, so our goal is to arrive singing notes and words accurately and singing artistically, but not perfection. Joe asked each guy to commit to a date when he will be solid on each song and gave us a paper form to record it.

The guys worked hard on all three songs, focusing on the sections announced previously, then broke into sections and practiced those and other difficult sections further.
Executive director Terry Reynolds and AH Inc. Chapter president Liz Birnbaum represented the chapter at the Choralis Ovation Awards gala. The Harmonizers were selected from 140 performing groups in the DC metro area and nominated for the Best Specialty Chorus award. Congratulation to the Washington Revels Chorus, which took home the award. In Terry's absence, operations chairman Mike Edison made several announcements.

TBD, our a cappella group, was hired to perform this past weekend, singing "America" as a flash mob for a tour group at the Jefferson Memorial, earning $750 for the chapter. Way to go, guys!

Mark your calendar for the All Parts Sectional Rehearsal, Saturday, June 24 9:00 AM - 12:00 noon at the First Baptist Church in Alexandria. Also, don't forget to sign up for Personal Vocal Instruction with Vickie Dennis.

Chapter Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership cards to Kevin McKenzie (18 Years), Larry Dennis (21 years, Ken Rub (26 years ) and Dave Welter (41years).
Mark Klostermeyer introduced our guests and we sang for them before taking a break

We kicked off the second half by listening to our new up tune, “Blow Gabriel Blow.” The amount of toe tapping, clapping and body movements signals we can't wait to wade into this one.

We wrapped up the evening applying what we learned on the two new songs until Rick Wagner directed us in “Keep the Whole World Singing.”
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 69th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Friday, June 2, 2017

Looking Back on the May 30th Chapter Meeting
ALERT – the chapter will celebrate our 69th anniversary on Tuesday nite, June 13th!  All current and former members are welcome for the event.  Cake too!! Our sponsoring chapter, Washington DC, will have representatives too.  Also note, the chapter meetings on June 6 and June 13th will be at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. in Alexandria, in the music suite.
This week the come-early-to-tag was at 6:50 with associate director Tony Colosimo teaching.  The crowd continues to be good for that event.
There was some clatter in the hall before our start time as we rented our risers to the DC Gay Men’s Chorus for an event and the risers came out from under the stage in Durant.
At start time, we formed a huge circle in the hall and Tony did the vocal warm ups before turning the chorus over to director Joe Cerutti. Joe was full of compliments and thank yous to the quartets that represented us so well at Southern Division and to the chorus for its work to earn the good score on Saturday, and also to the many men who stayed around for an impromptu rehearsal on our new music.  That session appeared to help many men when we got to those songs this week.
Joe thanked Johan Westberg for the idea to make the extra rehearsal open to all at the convention and reported he had gotten a nice note about it from other chorus leaders. This prompted Joe to revisit briefly the topic of inclusion and diversity and Joe spoke some about next steps, his promise to strive for more open communication, and his desire to create more dialog with members about the topic.
The musical workout sessions for this week concentrated on the “Chicago” medley and new songs for Harmony U. There is one more song to come – very soon.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the meeting and expressed thanks to the chapter quartet, NATURAL SEQUE,  for filling a request from the American Legion to sing at Alexandria National Cemetery on Memorial Day.  Terry also announced an addition to the chapter calendar – an all-sectionals rehearsal on Saturday morning June 24th  in the music suigte at First Baptist.
Ops team chairman Mike Edison recognized and thanked Matt Doniger for his above-the-call-of-duty efforts on the weekend when our truck hauling risers for the contest had a blowout and had to be towed to Reston!!  Matt managed it all and got the risers there in time!!!
Terry encouraged all members to review and note the recent start of communications from events chairman Craig Kujawa for the fall district contest weekend in Reading PA.  See his first edition of “Magic City Countdown” (referring to the run to get to the International contest in Orlando in summer of 2018).
President Randall Eliason reported that Dick Hall is in a rehab facility (Restore Health Rehabilitation Center, 4615 Einstein Place, White Plains MD 29695, his cell 301-928-4379) and eager to hear from chapter members and that Bob Ulibarri is making progress on his heart health issues.
Randall presented another of his Presidential Valor Awards – this time to Jeff  Burkey for his great work on the chapter’s new website.  Congrats and thanks, Jeff.
Ike Evans was taking photos of members for the member photo board that hangs in the hall. All newer members are encouraged to get their mug up on the board!  And old timers who don’t look like their mug, should remake theirs!
Membership director Rich Hewitt introduced guests, and asked for volunteers to work at sending cards to members with health and family issues.
Private vocal lessons will continue to be available with Vicki Dennis on Tuesday nites.
The Chapter Nominating Committee is gearing up to consider individuals to serve on next year’s Board of Directors. To ensure the broadest possible coverage, your input is welcomed for (1) names of individuals you believe would serve the chapter best in a particular position, and/or (2) your own name for consideration. The nominating committee includes Brad Jones, Clark Chesser, Mark Klostermeyer and Todd Ryktarsyk with Alan Wile as chairman.
Everyone sends congratulations to Andrew Havens and his wife on the birth of their baby girl today! Greg Tepe was in the hall this week as was Jerry TePaske.  Great to have Ross Felker in town for a couple weeks from his home in Texas.  Also was fun to hang out with several guys at Southern Division we don’t get to see often like Larry Silva and Chuck BottsTerry Jordan was up and moving and was fun to share the weekend with him too.
No one can believe Will Cox won the 50/50 again this week! So Matt Doniger directed “Keep the Whole World Singing.”
Some new guys made it to the afterglow at LaPortas at 1600 Duke Street – short walk or drive from Durant. Also easy access to the Metro. Plenty of free parking.  Everyone is welcome.  You don’t have to stay late – come for a short stop before heading home.  Late singers manage to get in some tag singing tho.
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 69th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd