Friday, November 27, 2020

Looking Back on the Nov. 24th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Nov. 24th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 

Just a couple days before Thanksgiving, so this week’s virtual session for the Harmonizers was lightly attended. However, the goal was to continue work on future show music and to launch a couple things for the chapter such as a Giving Tuesday campaign. 


Artistic director Joe Cerruti started the ball rolling right at 7 pm with Thanksgiving greetings to everyone. He had some calendar notes for all – the next three meetings (Dec. 1st, Dec. 8th and Dec 15th) will have electives as the final segment for those nites; our virtual holiday show is Sun. Dec. 20th  so stay tuned for details about a chapter watch party event during the show; then chapter leadership has determined we will NOT meet on  Dec. 22nd, Dec. 29th or Jan. 5thbut there may be some kind of afterglow session on Dec. 22nd to follow up on the show. We resume our regular sessions on Jan. 12th.

 

Joe reported news that the flyer for our holiday show is about to be released via social media and via email or other methods. Communications chairman Matt Doniger confirmed these plans. As it turns out, the BHS will be supporting our joint show with Northwest Sound as it will be premiered live on the BHS YouTube channel. The show is also connecting patrons with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and TAPS also will be sharing show details with their supporters and friends. 

 

Our two-hour virtual show will begin at 6:30 pm Eastern time. Joe stressed that we should tell everyone the show is FREE and we should invite friends, family, co-workers, neighbors to make plans to watch the show.  There are over 20 other groups appearing on the show in addition to the Harmonizers and the Northwest Sound.  We got a sneak preview of one guest group, our friends PRATT STREET POWER, during this week’s Zoom call.  

 

Joe thanked Mike Kelly for his major efforts to create the virtual show as well as Joel Golden, Tessa Walker, Tony Colosimo and Terry Reynolds for their various contributions of time and talent and creativity.  We also got a sneak preview of what the chorus performance will look like for “Carol of the Bells” – it was awesome!

 

The chapter should be proud that we have been accepted as one of the 14 performing groups to be part of WETA PBS station’s “Songs of the Season.” They chose our 2019 performance of “Gloria” to be used in their holiday presentations between Dec. 15th and the 25th

 

Associate director Tony conducted a strong warm up session starting with stretching and moving so the singers would be ready for the choreo review later in the evening. 

 

Next, the attendees worked on a run-through of “With a Little Help from My Friends” and the second song in the Chorus Line Medley – “What I Did for Love.”

 

That was followed by reviewing the choreography in the finale of “Circle of Life.”  Here again, Tony demonstrated and/or coached the review points.

 

During our small group discussion this week, we were asked to share thoughts about “Who is your favorite coach that has come in to work with the chorus?”  This time, no one reported from each group.  Instead Joe asked each guy to type his answer in the chat, that on signal, everyone hit return – all the replies popped into view.  Amazing – sooo many duplicates.

 

In the end, we all agreed we benefitted greatly from them all and we are most thankful that the chapter could afford such a good battery of coaching help.  We thank them all!!

 

Joe actually asked the guys to do the same thing with ideas for future coaches.  Good responses for sure and the music team took notes! 

 

Next week the topic will be “What is your favorite TV commercial of all time?

 

During the business meeting, executive director Randall Eliason stressed that we only have a couple weeks to turn in donations for the Silent Auction, which this year will be held online during the two weeks before the show, then closed down during the show.  Confirm with  Kristin Kelly at nitsirk.c@gmail.com if you have donations.

 

Bruce Roehm, president of AH, Inc., walked us through the chapter’s Giving Tuesday promotion blitz materials that will go out to all members, patrons, friends of the chapter, and others on our lists of supporters. Good job, Bruce.

Randall also reminded everyone to take note of the recent email from our chapter conventions chairman, NickMurane, regarding making plans for the chorus trip to and participation in a possible 2021 BHS International Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, which surprisingly is only about a 6-hour drive from Alexandria.  The dates for the competition are from June 28 to July 3.  The Alexandria Harmonizers, along with as many as 30 other choruses, have been invited to compete and we have accepted the invitation.  We have paid the entrance fee and are entered into the competition.  Obviously, things can change due to the unpredictability of the Covid virus and large meeting protocols that might be in place, but as of now we need to start our planning based on the assumption that we will compete.

The key issue right now concerns the purchase of registrations.  Every contest participant must purchase a registration in order to compete.  The BHS website is set up now to buy them.  There is however, a fast approaching 'Early Bird' registration deadline (Nov. 30) and members can save $50 if they get registered now.  

There are several types of tickets that can be purchased, but at a minimum, chorus participants must have a 1-day Registration in order to compete.  If the 1-Day ticket is purchased now, the cost is just $99.  After Nov. 30 it goes up to $149. Just so you know, a one-day ticket only gets you access to the date the chorus competes and to no other events during the rest of convention. You can also purchase 2-Day $169, and up to 5-Day registrations, which is $199 'early bird'.

It is also important that members realize that the tickets are fully refundable at basically anytime, even the day before the contest, no questions asked.  So there is no downside to registering now.  The seating for this year's event will be unassigned (general admission), so there will be no chorus blocks.  

If you are even slightly considering competing this coming convention and would like to save $50 dollars, then get to the BHS site, https://www.barbershop.org/ events/international- convention/register and purchase now. But be assured that if things change and the chorus decides not to attend or if your plans change or if you don't want to take the risk of competing, you can get your money back, no questions asked.  

Information about our recommended "Harmo Hotel" and other details about the competition will be coming soon from Nick.

We wrapped up this week’s meeting with special guest, Dusty Schleier, who is BHS director of events and conventions, to tell us about the Midwinter Convention in Jan. 2021.  It will be virtual and “as close to being there as you could get.”  There is a great video at barbershop.org to explain it all. The actual dates are Jan. 28- Jan. 31.  Dustysuggests this will be great for those members who are “convention goers.”  He also suggested that the first day, Jan. 28th, will be a good time for a person to check it out and get things set up for the virtual experience, then enjoy the first of the big concerts that nite. 

 

Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details.  Volunteers to do electives for future meetings should contact Terry Reynolds if they’d like to present a half hour elective.

 

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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Looking Back on the Nov 17th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Nov. 17th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 

This week’s virtual session for the Harmonizers was used to go back to work on show music that had been started before the covid shut down. 


Associate director Tony Colosimo took the lead for this week’s meeting. He brought us all up to date on plans for the virtual holiday show.  

 

Like last week he was extremely thankful to members for their successful efforts in making recordings for the virtual show.  He confirmed that the show will be at 6:30 pm Eastern time – there will not be two showings. Also he reminded everyone that the show is FREE and we should invite friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and the like to enjoy a great show.  The number of other groups appearing on the show in addition to the Harmonizers and the Northwest Sound is exciting.  In addition to groups from our chapter such as SILVER ALERT, TBD, and Riptide band, some folks we have had as guests on our Zoom calls will be on the show as well as some quartets from around the nation such as MIDTOWN, HALO, PRATT STREET POWER, GQ, and  SIGNATURE.

 

Will Cox will do his amazing and funny “The Night Before Christmas…” routine on the show too.

 

Tony also explained that the show will support TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.  The organization provides support, care and resources to all those grieving the death of a military loved one.

 

Assistant director Terry Reynolds reported that the Harmonizers performance of  “Gloria” will be part of the WETA PBS station’s “Songs of the Season.” 

 

Tony conducted a simplified  warm up session starting with stretching and moving the body – legs, arms, shoulders, ankles, toes, and fingers. 

 

Next the attendees were in small groups to work on their music.  Each small group had a music team rep to keep things going on specific spots in “Never Fully Dress Without a Smile.” Individuals volunteered to sing the spots and others offered positive feedback. 

 

That was followed by work on “Chorus Line Medley” with Tony leading the work and singers volunteering to demo.

 

This week’s small group discussion topic was “What’s the best sports movie of all time ?” “Field of Dreams’ and “Rudy” were multiple top choices from the 10 breakout groups. Some others were “Remember the Titans,” “Caddyshack,” “Ice Castles,” and “Mighty Ducks.”

 

Next week the topic will be “Who is your favorite Harmonizer coach and why?” Plus who else should we have as a coach for the chapter.

 

 

During the brief business meeting, executive director Randall Eliason reminded everyone that it's time to start gathering donations for the Silent Auction, which this year will be held online in the days leading up to our virtual holiday show. If there is a merchant you have received a donation from in the past, please be sure to reach out to them again this year. In addition, if you have provided a gift certificate for a personal service in the past, or have an item you believe would be appropriate that you would like to donate, please reach out to Kristin Kellyat nitsirk.c@gmail.com to discuss it with her.

 

Chris Buechler, chapter secretary, thanked all the members for their renewals in recent months. Membership director Jacob Broude welcomed Clyde Crusenberry back to the fold.  It was good to have Phil Ashford on the call too. 

 

Bruce Roehm, president of AH, Inc., presented an overview of the fundraising efforts of the AH, Inc. chapter for 2021.  It is clear we can’t rely on dues income nor even ticket sales (especially now during this covid crisis). He reported that only 18% of the membership donated to the chapter last year.

 

There was a lot of discussion about how to give and why to give and of course some questions as to the current situation between BHS and HFI. 

 

In the near future, chapter giving levels will be acknowledged and a Harmonizer Heritage Society will be created for members who designate the chapter as a beneficiary of a gift.

 

Bruce’s briefing will be posted on Groupanizer for those want to clarify, get more detail and/or for those members who were not able to be on the call Tuesday nite. 

 

Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details.  Volunteers to do electives for future meetings should contact Terry Reynolds if they’d like to present a half hour elective.

 

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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Looking Back on Nov 10th Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the Nov. 10th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting 

 For the record, the chapter did not meet on Nov. 3rd. Many guys remarked that it sure seemed like we were missing something with that week off. But this week’s virtual session for the Harmonizers was jam packed with singing and sharing and stories.

 Director Joe Cerutti shared that he had reviewed all the submissions from members for the virtual holiday show – and he was thrilled with the quality and good work. And also, he was really happy with the number of men who made the effort to be a part of the show. He encouraged more guys to submit – late is OK, but you must let Joe or associate director Tony Colosimo or assistant director Terry Reynolds know that you intend to submit and when you will do so. 

Tony conducted a useful warm up session starting with a reminder that guys should do some physical warm ups before 7 pm – stretching especially. Tony was excited to share that he was now moved into his new house but has lots of boxes to unpack! 

This week, the music team launched work on show music for our first live concert in the future. There were sectionals to work on “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Joe shared that this song will have lots of audience participation and be fun. 

After the sectionals, those on the call were sent to small groups and each group had a music team member to help the singers work on specific spots in “Never Fully Dress Without a Smile.” The music team leaders invited individual guys to unmute and sing the section. They could do it a couple times if they wished. Then other guys in the small group offered notes about what was done well. Then the singer got to share what he’d like to do better or work on more. 

Alan Wile did the 13th interview of Harmonizers who have submitted their Harmo Hero form to be posted on our Groupanizer page. This week’s interviewee was Mick Stamps – a 41-year barbershop singer. Mick was born in Texas and like many of us, he was singing a youngster. He graduated as valedictorian in his high school class at age 15. During high school he was invited to write a class play – which must have been the start of his show production work over the years in our chapter. 

Mick gives lots of credit to his wife Sandy for encouraging his attendance at a barbershop event. Mick has been an active singer and leader in Fairfax, VA; Davenport, IA; and Centreville, VA, besides the Harmonizers. He has been a member of our chapter for 37 years. 

He has been in a number of quartets but the longest run was in 50% OFF with Geoff Berman, Doug Smith, and Steve Guy. They were doing gigs for 19 years! 

This week’s small group discussion topic was “How did you find barbershop?” It seemed that every guy had a story – so it took a while. But it was fun. The reasons seemed to group into a few common stories – an individual invited me, I heard a quartet or the chorus sing and wanted to be part of it, my family encouraged me or my Dad took me as young lad, I sang in college and wanted to keep singing more, I was stationed overseas and we wanted to sing and so formed a quartet, or my high school music teacher promoted quartet singing. A lot of men started singing in other chapters and then moved over to join the Harmonizers.

 Next week the topic will be “What is the best sports movie of all time?” 

During the brief business meeting, Randall Eliason reminded everyone that it's time to start gathering donations for the Silent Auction, which this year will be held online in the days leading up to our virtual holiday show. If there is a merchant you have received a donation from in the past, please be sure to reach out to them again this year. In addition, if you have provided a gift certificate for a personal service in the past, or have an item you believe would be appropriate that you would like to donate, please reach out to Kristin Kelly at nitsirk.c@gmail.com to discuss it with her. 

Bruce Roehm, president of AH, Inc., reported that their board had elected Mark Klostermeyer to fill a board vacancy. The operations team for the chapter also is named by the AH, Inc. board and Bruce announced the appointment of Doug White to be Director of Shows replacing Joe Cerutti Sr. Thanks to Doug for agreeing to fill this important job and thanks to Joe and Janet Cerutti for their work as a team on behalf of the chapter. 

Bruce asks the members to watch for information about future fundraising efforts on Giving Tuesday events that will be held on Dec. 1st in our Nation. 

Chris Buechler, chapter secretary, thanked all the members for their renewals in recent months. 

There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting. The first was “Birds – Why I Love Them and Why You Should Too” taught by Noah Van Gilder. Most of us have heard his two male cockatiels during a Zoom call. They are Max, age 13, and Joey, age 4. As a kid, he signed up for a class at the Natural History Museum in NYC where he lived and went with the class to Central Park which opened his eyes to the many birds in nature around us. 

The second elective was “Military and Music through History” taught by Rusty Orvik. He played a number of clips showing ceremonial events (including his retirement when we sang the National Anthem). He also shared aspects of a variety of instruments such as drums, bugle calls and included some fun for the guys on the call to imitate a bag pipe off mute!! 

Joe reminded everyone to consider volunteering to do an elective in a future virtual meeting – the offer still stands for anyone that has a passion about any topic – including family or friends. Volunteers should contact him or assistant director Terry Reynolds if they’d like to present a half hour elective. 

Next week’s Tuesday 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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

Friday, October 30, 2020

Looking Back on the Oct. 27th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the Oct. 27th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting 

 This week’s chapter meeting was another virtual session for the Harmonizers and director Joe Cerutti joked that it seemed like this must have been our 76th virtual meeting!! He thanked all singers who have worked to record both singing and performing in the correct costume for the virtual holiday show. He encouraged more guys to submit – late is OK. And if anyone needs any kind of help making the recordings, contact him or associate director Tony Colosimo

 He did announce that there will not be a meeting on election night, Nov. 3rd but that on Nov. 10th the chorus would being working on our chorus repertoire for after the holiday show. The goal is to return to working on new music to build up the repertoire for a possible live show, and to be back in shape for participation at the Cleveland International contest in 2021. 

 On Nov. 10th the music team will launch work on a Beatles’ song, “I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends” – it is not the arrangement we sang previously. He also announced that new music will begin to appear on the Harmonizer’s Groupanizer page. 

 Joe reminded everyone to consider volunteering to do an elective in a future virtual meeting – the offer still stands for anyone that has a passion about any topic – including family or friends. Volunteers should contact him or assistant director Terry Reynolds

 A new event on the chapter calendar is the Veterans’ Day celebration, Nov. 11th, with the Friends of Rocky Versace who hosted a similar event last year. This year they want a quartet (wearing masks) at 1 pm that day at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church (which is across the street from the Scottish Rite Temple). Volunteers to do the quartet gig should contact Terry ASAP. They requested “Armed Forces Medley.” 

 Tony conducted another good warm up session starting with a reminder that guys should do some physical warm ups before 7 pm – stretching especially. He stressed body alignment too and he included our familiar exercise “You Could Go All Night – Morning,” and “We Sing Late at Times – Canned Goods.” 

 The plan to use Zoom differently for getting attendees into their sectionals didn’t work as planned (last week we were told to make sure we had updated Zoom), so Terry sent each of us to the correct sectional breakout. 

Section leaders worked again on spots in “Gloria” and “Carol of the Bells.” Individuals were invited to unmute and sing it, then the section leader offered comments. Following the sectionals, there was chorus work on the songs for the Dec 20th virtual holiday show with Northwest Sound and 18 other guest performers from the world-wide barbershop community. 

 Some guests on the call this week included Michael Gilmore, Gene Swartz and Cy Wood

 This week’s small group discussion topic was “What is the best live concert you’ve attended?” There were tons of great concerts including some country including Brad Paisley, a couple guys reported a Weird Al Yankovic concert, military holiday concerts at DAR Constitution Hall and the Army Band concert with the finale of the “1812 Overture” featuring live cannons, some barbershop concerts made the list including a show with the SUNTONES, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Chanticleer, Chicago, and Springsteen. Joe listed attending a Saturday Night Live show. 

 Next week the topic will be “How Did You Find Barbershop?” 

 During the brief business meeting, Randall reported the Alexandria Arts Alliance virtual fund raiser show on Oct. 24th was a good one, but he had not received a report of how successful the fundraising effort had been. 

As mentioned last week, it's time to start gathering donations for the Silent Auction, which this year will be held online in the days leading up to our virtual holiday show. If there is a merchant you have received a donation from in the past, please be sure to reach out to them again this year. In addition, if you have provided a gift certificate for a personal service in the past, or have an item you believe would be appropriate that you would like to donate, please reach out to Kristin Kelly at nitsirk.c@gmail.com to discuss it with her 

There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting. The first was “Phonation and Frequency” taught by Tony. The second elective was a report of the BHS webinar on “Inclusion in Barbershop,” aired on Oct. 11th. It was titled “Gender Identity LGBTQ+ and Barbershop,” and was moderated by Terry Reynolds with other panelists Mo Field, Steve Scott and Mia Baz. Terry shared highlights from that webinar which prompted a good bit of discussion among our members.

 Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details. Chapter leaders are eager to hear from any members who could present an elective in future virtual meetings – something you are passionate about.

 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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Looking Back on the Oct. 20th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Oct. 20th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 

This week’s chapter meeting for the Harmonizers was especially busy with preparations for the virtual holiday show. Director Joe Cerutti thanked all singers who have worked to record both singing and performing in the correct costume for the virtual holiday show. He himself shared that he had set up the equipment and gathered the costumes so that he could do all songs in one session.  He really stressed that if anyone has avoided recording because they didn’t understand how to submit, they should reach out for help to him, to associate director Tony Colosimo or to assistant director Terry Reynolds.

 

Joe also shared that before long the chorus will go back to working on show music - pick up from where we were before we decided to do the virtual holiday show.

 

Also, Joe alerted everyone that there will be some changes in Zoom next week – each member will choose his own breakout room and not be assigned to one by Terry – but you might have to download something – SOOOO watch for word from Terry this week.

 

Tony conducted another good warm up session starting with a reminder that guys should do some physical warm ups before 7 pm – stretching especially.

 

After warm ups, the attendees were sent to sectionals where they worked on “Carol of the Bells,” “Gloria,” and “Caroling Medley” for the virtual holiday show on Dec. 20th with Northwest Sound chorus. (Joe was excited to share that there are 18 guest groups lined up for that show – from all over the world and from all barbershop communities.) 

 

There was a different approach to the sectionals this time, with the section leader seeking volunteers to sing some spots that were being worked on.  Other guys and the section leader offered supportive comments.

 

Following the sectionals, there was chorus work by the 60 folks on the call on the songs for the holiday show.  Joeinvited singers to share any “best practices” or “tips” they discovered while making their recordings. 

 

Next Alan Wile conducted the 12th interview of a member who has submitted a Harmo Hero form to be posted in Groupanizer.  This time we got to know three-year member, Ben Watsky, better.  

 

Ben grew up in New Haven in the shadow of Yale. He has been a singer since he was a little guy and that continued when he was in school.  At Hopkins Day School he was in a men’s a cappella group. He shared that his high school was noted for its support of the arts like a cappella singing. 

 

Ben went on to Yale, earned a degree in cognitive science, and sang the first three years in a male ensemble Spizzwinks that traveled extensively. After that he took a year off college to sing with the Whiffenpoofs and was their musical director. During the year they traveled to all seven continents including Antarctica.

 

After graduation, Ben interviewed and took a job in Jordan where he was a teacher and was asked to organize a choir group. During that two-year job, he spent a summer in Japan as a camp counselor.

 

He then came to the DC area to join his partner, Samantha, who was working here. Ben works for a consultant firm. He found the Harmonizers when he attended one of the earliest Whiffenpoofs shows we sponsored. He has served a term on our chapter board and has served on several committees.

 

For this week’s small group discussion topics was “What would make the best afterglow after a chapter meeting when we gather in person again?”  Some obvious responses included good food, reasonable prices, easy parking, location close to a Metro stop, be in a private room.  There were several references to the good old days of Geno’s afterglows in Old Town.

 

During the brief business meeting, Randall reported good news that he had been recorded for WTOP coverage regarding our participation in the Alexandria Arts Alliance virtual fund raiser on Oct. 24th.

 

He also announced the chapter’s plans to conduct a virtual silent auction as part of our virtual holiday show. Kristin Kelly is helping manage this activity. All members are encouraged to seek donations for this auction – especially gift cards and certificates. The auction will be held over a two-week period.

 

There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting.  The first was part three of Alexander Koller’s recorded session on “Evaluating Embellishments in Performance Music” He is a member of Barbershop in Germany and a music judge candidate for BHS.

 

The second elective was an encouragement to show your pride for being a Harmonizer – Mark Klostermeyer spoke and showed us ideas and suggestions for framing materials for your home, office, work space, den.  He had great pictures of materials some other chapter members had framed and organized into a collection – contests medals; chorus pictures from contests; show memorabilia such as a program, ticket stubs and photos; or remembering special events like our trip to Normandy. He also noted that you can do more than frame items – shelves or racks or display cases.

 

Mark provided some suggestions on how to organize a collection on the wall.  He spoke about the wisdom of using acid free materials for matting.  His family firm, Design Frames, has been in Falls Church for over 50 years. 

 

Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details. Chapter leaders are eager to hear from any members who could present an elective in future virtual meetings – something you are passionate about.

 

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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. _ YeEd)

 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Looking Back on the Oct. 13th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Oct. 13th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 

This was another busy chapter meeting for the Harmonizers. Director Joe Cerutti launched this week’s Zoom session with a welcome for out-of-towners this week. Then he thanked all those singers who have worked to record both singing and performing in the correct costume for the virtual holiday show.

 

He stressed that if any member is having trouble with the recording process, please reach out to him or to associate director Tony Colosimo. They will help everyone.

 

But several times Joe confessed how much he misses all the guys and of course singing live!

 

Tony conducted a vibrant warm up session starting with a reminder that he hopes guys will do some physical warm ups before 7 pm – stretching especially. (He was truly remote this week – from a rental property at Bethany Beach in DE.)

 

After warm ups, the attendees were sent to sectionals where they worked on “Carol of the Bells,” “Gloria,” and “Caroling Medley” for the virtual holiday show on Dec. 20th with Northwest Sound chorus.

 

Those sessions were important to clarify special spots in the songs and to emphasize the plan to “base all recordings on the learning tracks!”

 

For this week’s check in via small groups, the topic was “What is the most useful non-musical app on your phone?”  One guy confessed he didn’t have a cell phone! There were a lot of app that you would guess – GPS, Google Maps, Google search, Waze, WhatsApp, gas buddy, Uber, Map My Walk, Amazon Smile, and My Scrip Wallet (Randall Elliason gave a quick promo for guys to add this one and help the chapter raise money via its Scrip program. Ken Ivesis the guru to help you learn more.),  

 

During the brief business meeting, Randall reported good news that the Alexandria Arts Alliance (which our chapter belongs to), is having a virtual fund raiser on Oct. 24th and has accepted our two-minute video created by Dean Rust and Joe Cerutti with help from Mike Kelly that tells about our chapter and chorus over a background of a “Circle of Life” live performance. 

 

Chairman of the Harmonizer History team, Jack Pitzer, gave a brief update on that committee’s recent work to add a large collection of things from Wilbur Sparks such as original Echos, show scripts from the original Spring Tonics, and many years of board minutes.  These additions and the materials recently donated by Terry Reynolds, and materials expected from Steve White causes the committee to purchase new shelving for the history storage unit on Dove Street in Alexandria.  They are also working to update the info in Documents on Groupanizer such as the Memorial Roll of men who died while members of our chapter. If you have materials that would help tell the history of the chapter, contact Jack.

 

There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting.  The first was part two of Alexander Koller’s recorded session on “Embellishments” He is a member of Barbershop in Germany and a music judge candidate for BHS.

 

The second elective was “Community Outreach” presented by Joe Cerutti. It was a thorough look at how a chapter can provide specific services to a community without expecting anything in return. Joe was able to use a ton of examples from our chapter to show how it can work.  A few examples included our variation on the Singing Valentines idea with us presenting them for free to community audiences, our collaboration with Alfred Street Baptist Men’s Choir for choral fellowship, and adding inner city school music groups to our holiday show.

 

Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details. The individual break out session will be a time for members to share “Describe an ideal afterglow on a chapter meeting night after we start meeting in person again?”

 

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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. _ YeEd)

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Looking Back on the Oct. 6th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 

Looking Back on the Oct. 6th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

This week’s Alexandria Harmonizers Zoom event was full of laughs and plenty of learning opportunities.

Director Joe Cerutti kicked things off right at 7 pm and he welcomed out-of-towners on the call including Bob Wilson and Scott Kahler.

Even before Joe started things, there was chatter about the terrific YouTube recovery of our chorus singing at Disneyland with Dick Van Dyke and the Dapper Dans of Disneyland. It was a great trip down memory lane for those of us who were there singing, and a great glimpse of one of the terrific performances of the Alexandria chorus from the past.  It was in 1999 and it was our swan song year after having won the gold the year before.  Thanks to Brian Lynch who found it and shared it with the chapter and to Mike Kelly who got it ready for our viewing.

Work by music team and the chorus continues on our virtual Holiday Show that is set for Dec. 20th in conjunction with Northwest Sound Chorus from Bellevue, WA.  Joe thanked the chorus members for their patience during the learning experience; and he stressed that anyone who wants to be in the show can be.  If you are having difficulty with the technology, contact Joe, Tony or Terry ASAP.

Be mindful of the deadlines for submissions. Also note that recordings should be made with the track labeled “reference” on Groupanizer. And finally, also note the suggested attire for the visual recordings you are to submit that have been announced via email.

Our special guest this week to lead us in warm ups was Alex Morris from Australia.  He was with us from his home at 10 am on Wednesday there!

Alex was host for the recent Awards Gala for BHS, is a judge, a frequent emcee for BHS events and has visited our chapter.  He was proud to show us his copy of “Breathless Moments” he received during that visit.

He took the singers through a lot of exercises and ended with a karaoke sing at the end.  It was all fun to have him with us.

Alex will be on the panel for the first session of a BHS series on “Inclusion in Barbershop.”  This session, “Gender Identity LGBTQ+ and Barbershop” will be moderated by Terry Reynolds and other panelists will be Mo Field, Steve Scott and Mia Baz.  It will be Oct. 11th at 7 pm Eastern – register to attend the session on the BHS website.

Following the warm ups, Joe invited everyone to attend sectionals to work on some of the holiday music. 

Alan Wile hosted another interview with a Harmonizer Hero from Groupanizer – Ken Rub. Ken joined the Society in 1991 at age 23.  For a long time he was one of the youngest Harmonizers on the risers!

His musical background was rooted with his family in church music.  Ken was pianist at age 10 at church and sang with the Rub Family Singers. In high school he was pianist in the jazz band, sang in two musicals, and played the baritone horn. 

At age 17 he joined the Army  and after an overseas tour was assigned to the White House Communications office. His professional career after the Army started in banking and eventually moved over to real estate where he is a successful realtor today for commercial and personal sales.

He discovered barbershop music here in Alexandria and has been on the front row all these years. He has been in several quartets including BACHELOR PARTY that was successful in the M-AD contests and ended their run as the quartet in a “Music Man” performance at the Atlas Theater.

He is proud to share his story about how he talked the chapter into hosted ROCKAPELLA on a chapter show. It was a huge success, and opened our performances to a whole new audience segment.

Finally Ken was willing to share that he has just a few weeks ago found he birth father and actually talked to him in person (waiting til post Covid to meet in person).

Ken teaches yoga and he and his partner Will are raising a service puppy.

Our chapter business meeting was conducted by communications director Matt Doniger. 

 

President Stan Quick conducted the annual election of the board of directors of our BHS chapter.  Outgoing secretary Chris Buechler declared there was a quorum for the election.  The nominating committee offered  the following slate of candidates which was elected by acclamation:

 

President - Stan Quick
Secretary - David DesPortes
Treasurer - Al Herman
Member-at-Large - Clyde Crusenberry
Member-at-Large - Frank Shipp
Member-at-Large - Devin Gerzof  

 

Many thanks to the nominating committee - Brian Ammerman (chair), Clyde Crusenberry, and Ben Watsky - for their work in creating this list of willing candidates.  Several members lead the thanks to Chris for his 25+ years as secretary for our chapter.  He replied, “I’m looking forward to getting in more singing!”

 

 

Membership director Jacob Broude reported that two men had reinstated their membership – Scott Kahler and Rusty Orvik. Welcome back!

 

The breakout session this week asked the question – “what does it mean to you to be a Harmonizer if we can’t be in the same room to sing together?”

In the reports from the 11 small groups, there were lots of duplicated words: family, brotherhood, fraternity, team work, friendship, “this is my extended family,” it’s continuity for our lives, pride, and finally – this is just a blip in the 75 years of our great chapter.

There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting.

One was presented by Alexander Koller, a music judge candidate from Barbershop in Germany (BING) and a friend of Joe’s.  Alexander first did his presentation on Saturday, then the chapter replayed one part of it this week.  His topic was “Identifying Embellishments.”.  Two more parts will be offered in later weeks for the chapter.

The other elective was presented by Mike Fasano from his home in DE.  His topic was “Collecting Barber Shop Bottles.”  He has a large collection and  shared photos of some various kinds, explained how they were made, and how they were used by barbers in the 1870s-1920s for  witch hazel, bay rum, tonic water, and such.  They are beautiful and who knew!!!  Steve White joined in the fun as he too has a collection of the barber bottles.

Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details. The individual break out session will be a time for you to share: “What is the most useful non-musical app on your phone?”

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