Thursday, March 11, 2010

Looking Back on the March 9th Chapter Meeting

YeEd got to Durant a little after 6 and the place was almost totally set up – risers and chairs and tables and such. Mirrors were going up still.

Chuck McKeever’s class was well attended again – the stage was full. Good for you guys who are taking advantage of his enthusiastic training and help in learning moves and focals for the new uptune for Philly.

Funny thing – as warmer weather has come on, the tables around the hall are only half full since guys don’t have all the coats and winter gear. But still a lot of computer bags and briefcases.

Good to see Edris back from college tonite.

YeEd saw Ike Evans adding mug shots of 12 new guys on the photo board we put up in the hall each Tuesday nite. Thanks Ike. It is always good for new guys to be able to see pix of the other men in the chorus and learn the names. And this new feature by Ike helps the oldtimers get to know the name and bio of new guys.

Will Cox took on the vocal warm ups and worked the chorus hard. Then Director Joe continued some learning exercises (such as singing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” while going up and down the scale). Kudos for pitchman Dan O’Brien for holding the key during the whole exercise in one breath.

YeEd also noted that the FRIENDS OF HARMONY had their meeting tonite.

Early singing by the chorus was to review repertoire songs. Joe warned that if a song is listed in the Looking Ahead column Steve White sends out several days prior to each meeting, then everyone is expected to be able to sing it in an octet. New guys are allowed to use music, so be prepared and get the music for the songs you don’t know yet.

There was a buzz around the hall about the new hats for the front row!! Just a sneak preview for us. And a secret for the contest. Front row is getting practice hats soon.

Joe took a minute early to remind all that the uptune has five parts – an intro, three choruses and a tag. He expects guys to be able to start on any one of those five parts at any time. For some new singers, this was a great help and learning experience.

For the chunk of time designated to work on the uptune, Tony Colosimo directed and Joe coached, drilled, counted, pushed, helped, corrected, and cheered. It was a Harmonizer meeting nite at its best!

Also the chorus was tickled to see how the front row has continued to refine and own their routine for the uptune. Congrats.

Just before break time, Mark Klostermeyer suggested guys who wanted to get their tickets for the Westminster show should see Steve Murane. Steve stressed that he had some in hand tonite for those guys who were not comfortable in ordering online.

Vocal and visual evaluators were asked to meet during the break.

Secretary Buechler invited guys who wanted Harmo logo items such as shirts and jackets to see him.

Membership VP Dan O’Brien welcome two first time guests and welcomed back some others.

Break time was busy as guys got some coffee, took care of chapter business, make purchases, and visited a little. K12 also asked guys to consider bringing in some goodies to share as the cupboard is bare.

After break, quartet promotion chair, Eric Wallen, announced the chapter reps in quartets that are competing in Mid Atlantic District Prelims this weekend in Harrisburg, PA. Mike Kelly’s new quartet, ENTOURAGE, will sing. His lead is Chad St. John from the Cincinnati area. His bari is Ron Rogers, who lives in TX and is a former Harmonizer. His tenor is Justin Oxley, also from TX. Mike Wallen’s seniors quartet YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT will compete. And Eric himself will compete with CRUNCH TIME at the Johnny Appleseed District prelims.

Eric also offered to help any guys who are interested in finding a quartet – even if you are just one guy and wanna find three parts. Or if your new quartet wants some coaching. The chapter has tons of ways to help, so ask.

Next Ken Fess who is heading up the work for the Westminster show announced late breaking news that we have signed and added MASTERPIECE quartet to the show. They were in the top ten at Anaheim last year. He warmed again, “You better get your tickets for family and friends. Sales are on! Already sold about 500.

Past President Brad presented remaining awards that were reported in YeEd’s previous column that were not made at the recent award banquet.

Terry Reynolds stressed that guys dig in and use the new evaluation system online. He also reminded all: Geri comes next week to work on the ballad, and Cindy comes in three weeks to work on the uptune. Terry also thanked Jeremy Knobel and Brian Ammerman for their technical work on the eval system.

President Newton reported on the recent cuts by our state to cut the financial support for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. The state budget for 2011 will not include funding for the arts!!! Members are welcome to speak up for changing this decision.

Dick also reported some huge shows coming for the chapter in the months ahead including the June show with Westminster. Then a show in Bowie at a new art center there. And a 9th time show in St. Mary’s County, MD, for us. Then the big news – the Harmonizers go back to Carnegie Hall in NYC (for our second appearance there) in spring of 2011. Also word is out that we will be getting Lisner Auditorium for our show in fall 2010.

Finally Dick shared with us that the chapter had turned down two offers to come sing outside the USA. Both gigs did not include payment. But interesting to be asked. Thanks to Bruce Lauther for his work on getting some of these gig lined up and for those members who have signed on to be producer!

Singing for the second half of the meeting/rehearsal was all on the ballad. Like old times, Terry Reynolds was using the projector to show the ballad emotion words while the guys sang. Joe was coaching the chorus to emote musically and vocally. Great learning technique.

The rehearsal was vibrant and excitement high, but we had to quit and put things away at 10. A good crowd came to the 815 for an afterglow too.

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 at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

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