Well the Harmonizers were in tall-cotton last nite as they prepared for their show at the incredible National Building Museum in DC. (More about that later in this article.)
The show was actually for the 60th anniversary meeting of the American College of Trial Lawyers. YeEd calculates there were about 1,500 attendees in tuxes and banquet finery.
But for the Harmonizers, it was a challenge to work around all the security and back-stage conditions since four justices of the Supreme Court were attending. Director Joe was teasing that the “supremes” would probably be expecting “God Bless the USA” since we have sung that several times for them. But this time they got “Stars and Stripes Forever” as the finale number.
Chief Justice Roberts attended as did Associate Justices Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayer.
We had a great chorus of 80 (some of the early-in-the-week worries about numbers were unfounded). We actually started rehearsal at 7 after everyone found a parking place or walked from the Metro. Joe was really tickled by that and thanked the singers over and over for working hard and making this show.
When YeEd arrived, he found the front row huddled in a hall way and being moved about by the security team. Eventually they went outside and practiced by the Metro station (which of course attracted a bit of a crowd.) They were eager to practice the contest set as it has been a few weeks since they have been able to do it with the chorus.
We shared a dressing room with the Herald Trumpets who actually did fanfares as each dignitary arrived at the dais. One of them told YeEd, “Wow, you guys are really a great singing group.” And I of course suggested he come join us!
Tony Colosimo and Will Cox had warm up duties. Director Joe had trouble containing his excitement and pride of doing this gig for one of the top audiences in the Nation. You could tell the guys were under pressure from the crowded dressing/rehearsal room, competition of sound when the trumpets warmed up, security guys everywhere wired for sound, and a certain amount of being starstruck.
Joe worked thru each song from the bottom of the show up and decided to drop the ballad since the crowd was so huge and spread so wide they would miss the emotion.
YeEd and Keith Jones left when the rehearsal ended and the guys started getting into the black suits with yellow shirts under the tear-aways.
Word is that the show went just as planned. Hard to see the audience because of bright lights and the huge hall. Many audience members congratulated the guys when the chorus exited the dining area.
Loading the risers in the truck was hectic as we had to compete with the caterer for space on the loading dock. But in true Harmo fashion, we worked around it. Thanks as always to the riser crew and truck crew, chorus manager K12, and our MC guys. Congrats to Greg Tepe, show producer, for another successful show.
Another Moment in Harmo History for the record books.
About the building. For many many years it was known as the Pension Building in DC. It was built to house the Veteran’s records from the Civil War. One myth about the place is that those wide steps up from the first floor were designed so solidiers could ride a horse into the building and up onto the upper floors to check on their benefits. You might have noticed that the stairs are wide and low and have evidence of being used a lot. Who knows if that is true.
DON’T FORGET: we are gonna try a new Afterglow spot next Tuesday nite after chapter. Ernies’ Crab Shack – across street from King Street Metro and Joe Theisman’s, next door to the Hilton – AND close enough to leave your car at Durant and walk around the corner. They are staying open for us with no other noise to fight. Should be fun. Easier for us all to hear. Maybe a place for some tag singers. Guys who use the Metro can walk across the street to head home. And guys who have a long drive to get home can come over for a while and still get home before breakfast. Thanks Ken White for finding the place. Let’s all go next week to show the owner/manager we appreciate his staying open for us.
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 with the Alexandria Harmonizers. —Ye Ed.)