Looking Back on September 17th Extra Rehearsal
(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 at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)
(Many thanks again to Alan Wile for covering the Sept 17th rehearsal.)
The Harmonizers met at the Jefferson-Houston School (adjacent to the Durant Center) last night -- a special/extra rehearsal with Kirk Young as our coach. Chuck McKeever was busy helping out a few guys that wanted extra reps on the moves to the contest “up” tune and some group of guys put up the risers.
Assistant Director Tony Colosimo warmed us up before relinquishing his position “out front” to Director Joe Cerutti. Joe “kindly” worked us rapidly through the timing of “Scarborough Fair” and then drilled measures 5-27 for about 10 minutes. Next, in 10 minute segments we rehearsed “In Harmony” and “There’s a Meeting Here Tonight.” His conclusion: all need individual attention on words and notes!
Then it was up to Kirk -- also a kindly, gentle sort. He began by exercising our brains, which proved to be a challenge, by having us move our arms/hands in mirror image to his. That didn’t last long and very soon we were immersed in an examination of bits and pieces of the contest ballad. He stressed the constant movement of the song, the “connecting tissue” between phrases, the need for a constant “push” (forward motion and destination), whether breaths are reflective or moving forward, where breaths taken after certain phrases could cause the flow to disconnect, and the need to transition to new thoughts before singing (i.e., we think of something to say before we say it and this needs to be apparent in our singing, as well).
We took a short 10-minute break. VP Ops Mark Klostermeyer reminded us about the rehearsal and show next Thursday at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton (and Terry Reynolds pleaded for those who had not done so, to indicate whether or not they intended to participate). Bruce Minnick sold tickets to the afterglow that will follow our show with Pride of Baltimore (members were urged to buy them as early as possible against the expectation that they will sell out). It was also announced that the Vienna Falls SAI Chorus is having a guest night next Tuesday at the Kena Temple Anek (9001 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax) in hopes that some of the members’ wives might be interested in attending.
Joe C. noted that our position at the upcoming district fall contest in Lancaster is dead last and believes we have the ability for our performance to create a sense of awe for those in the audience. He also announced that a “dessert show” will follow our last regular performance of our holiday dinner show on Saturday night. If there are any comments about this plan, he asked that they be addressed to President Brad Jones (what a chicken, huh?).
He also gave us a “teaser” (i.e., not a lot of specific information) about the ballad that’s been selected for us to sing at the international contest in Philadelphia next July. He’ll give us more information on Tuesday.
Chuck McKeever highlighted and we drilled three or four specific “eye-catching” moves in “Clap Yo Hands” that need to be executed with precision if they are to be effective. In a word or two: we just gotta do it!
Then it was back to work on bits and pieces of the ballad … and then we worked the ballad … and the ballad….. Yes, we also performed the “up” tune and tweaked it a bit but, by far, the evening was devoted to making the ballad even more artistically beautiful.
Finally, Kirk took us out with a rousing rendition, at 10:10 pm, of “Keep The Whole World Singing.” The risers were loaded back in the Harmo-truck and we dispersed.
Until next time – editorjack!