Thursday, May 27, 2010

Looking Back on the May 25th Chapter Meeting

Director Joe said there was gonna be a BIG surprise at chapter meeting. And indeed it was!!

Scott Werner came up from Florida to coach a little, see all his friends, meet all the new guys he did not know and encourage our director.

To pull off the surprise, Joe started the guys working on the contest ballad first thing after warm up. And he invited Geri Geis, who was on hand for the evening, to make suggestions. After about 1 run thru, she said she wanted to do something different and have a closed eye drill. She cautioned several times that guys should not open their eyes during the song, because it would destroy the mood and effect.

Soooo – near the end of the song, Joe signaled a ‘shooosh’ sign with his finger to his lips for all of those watching. And then escorted Scott into the room to stand in front of the chorus.

When Geri released the guys from the closed eye drill, there he was. You should have seen the faces. All the men who knew Scott were beaming and ready to come charging off the risers. And of course their applause and cheering was huge. The looks on the 30 or 35 new guys was also fun – who in the world is this guy and why does he have on the red and black Harmo travel shirt. Joe made the introduction, “Gentlemen, meet the Harmonizer musical director for all four of the gold medals the chapter has earned!” More outbursts and cheers.

Some of you may know that Joe has often mentioned, in a joking way, that he wished Scott Werner could come over and help him with the famous Harmonizer soft singing. So some of the guys in the chapter spoke to Joe and made it happen!!

Right away, Scott jumped in to coach and suggest. And after just a few remarks, the magic was back. Geri was all smiles because much of her work to get guys to sound like they looked happened.

Geri then continued her coaching and Scott offered some more advice. There was a great photo op with Joe and Scott together and then the two of them with Geri. A historical, or Breathless Moment, for the chapter for sure.

YeEd was wondering why so many former members were in the hall, or guys we don’t see often – Everard, Greiner, Abel, Louis, Botts, Levine, Jordan, Galloway. Great to have them all.

As mentioned above, Will Cox took the guys thru a terrific vocal warm up and included some physical movement too. Joe was quick to thank Will for always helping and conducting warm up points that Joe felt were needed. Since Dan O’Brien had a work conflict again, Will was pitchman tonite.

Joe also pushed more on ticket sales and pleaded that if a member has not sold three tickets, he should go buy three himself and give them to Joe to give to youth singers, music educators or other possible supporters.

At the pre-break chapter meeting period, quartet promo chair, Eric Wallen, listed all the quartets that have or will sing in M-AD divisional contests this spring; and as is our chapter custom, presented a check from the chapter to the quartet to help cover their contest registration (the amount based on how many Harmonizers are in the quartet). The line of guys who came up to represent their quartets spread all the way across the building. Congrats to all.

FRiDAYS! sang for the chapter in prep for their appearance this weekend in Roanoke at the Southern Division. YeEd thinks he has the following quartets listed for this weekend: FRiDAYS!, FOUR MAN VOCAL BAND, DOWNTWON, YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, FOUR IN THE MORNING, BELTWAY BLUES, RING OF GOLD, and SURPRISE! (YeEd hopes we did not forget or overlook anyone.)

Secretary Buechler passed out copies of our 50th anniversary history book, Breathless Moments, to the many new men who have join in recent months and have not gotten a copy yet.

Chris also filled in for membership guy Dan. As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of visitors in the hall and forming an audience for the chorus. Ryan Killean from the BHS Foundation staff in Nashville was with us. And Jack Stonesifer, an applicant, was on the risers working to catch up and be ready for Philly.

President Dick Newton shared about Mark Klostermeyers’ father’s memorial service today. Bill Klostermeyer was one of our early Santa Claus guys for holiday shows – with a real beard and all.

Dick also reported that he, Martin Banks and Jim Lucey, attended a reception at Alexandria City Hall tonite and were given word that the chapter will receive another significant grant from the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. The Harmonizers are one of the major arts groups in the city, and likely the only one that spreads the word of our city around the nation.

And Dick asked the chorus to thank Bob Blair and Bob Rhome for repainting the front of the stage area in Durant, which covers the doors to our riser storage area.

Ken Fess reported on ticket sales for the June 27th fantastic show, as well as the almost sell out of the afterSHOW tickets. He mentioned too that there might be a need for some guys to jump in and help with last minute tasks to make this huge effort continue being so successful.

Then it was back to work musically. Director Joe got the men into “Stars and Stripes” again. Phil Ferguson was projector operator. This song along with the contest package and “Summertime” and “Meeting Here Tonight” will be on that show. So guys should get to work on songs they are not familiar with.

The remainder of the evening was used to polish more of the uptune for Philly. Visual team was hard at work helping. New uniform tests were conducted and worked great!

We worked hard til 10:10 pm and then hurried to get the hall back in order and get off to the afterglow at 815 S. Washington. Nice crowd again tonite including Royall and Geri, and Ryan. Fun to see the guys outside singing tags.

Recent report of Men Of Note guys in our chapter is interesting. (When a guy brings in a new member or serves as his sponsor, the Society presents the sponsor with a small 1/8th note pin, or Man Of Note pin.) Several of our guys were in the listing of those with 10 or more: Buechler, 59; Werner, 17; Adams, 14; Everard, 14: Plaag, 13; Wachter, 12; Flinn, 11; Witmer, 11; Harner, 10; Pitzer, 10, Sutton, 10. Good work men.

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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