(Thanks to Alan Wile again for preparing the column this week while YeEd is in Indy.)
Risers were magically erected by Bob Blair and a team of others. Mike Kelly worked the sound. Carolyn and Dick Hall and Sandy Stamps greeted and sold. Dixie Kennett took attendance. Ken White manned the membership desk ... and the guests (and the four who recently passed their auditions -- Clark Chesser, Chris Clark, Thom Faircloth, and Dave Kohls) kept coming in!! All this while an artist reception was taking place in the lobby.
Assistant Director Will Cox took us through a variety of warm-up vocal and hand-slapping gyrations before turning the chorus over to Master Director Joe Cerutti (who headed off to the SAI convention in Seattle the next morning). Joe introduced “Blue Christmas.” Next it was the two sections of “What Do I Need With Love” (would you believe he actually picked on the baris!). He then turned the sections over to their leaders to work mainly on the latter song. [For the record, Joe picked on the baris a second time later in the rehearsal. What is the world coming to?]
Following, the chorus went rapidly (and not so) through a number of holiday songs (with help from Music VP Terry Reynolds at the projector): “The Chipmunk Song,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Ave Maria” ... with seven remnants of Cameron Station out front singing the counter melody.
At the break, VP Operations Mark Klostermeyer announced two birthday boys -- a pair of Jacks -- neither of whom were in the house: Jack McKendree and Jack Pitzer. Scrip-man Bob Eckman announced that chapter members purchased over $10,000 worth of scrip to pay hotel bills at the district convention in Lancaster ... netting over $800 for the chapter! Huzzah!
Chapter Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership cards to Kyle Blomgren (5 years), Thom Faircloth (12 years), Rob Korsan (5 years), and Josh Roots (4 years). Membership VP Ken White introduced six guests, including Dick Hall's brother Bob (from the Ambassadors of Harmony) and former member Will Mudd-Simmons (who'll likely be in the area for the foreseeable future and intends to re-join). Also welcomed was member Joe Wagovich, whom we've not seen for a while. Joe says he expects to be back full time now, too! Will Cox led us all in welcoming the guests ... and then it was time for refreshment (overseen by Victor Hills and his mother ... many thanks!).
The next round of Harmonizer Hero names were pulled from the boater: Chris Buechler, Brad Jones, Mike Kelly, Chuck McKeever, Brian Miller, and Alan Wile.
Chapter President Dick Newton announced that Noah Van Gilder had been hit by a car while riding his bicycle the previous night. He spent some time in the hospital for tests but they found nothing (you should take that as encouraging, Noah). Steve Lingo whipped up the crowd in anticipation of next week's guest night. Some changes in uniform requirements and other details will be out soon.
Back on the risers, Joe took the chorus through (or over) more holiday music, together with much uncharacteristic levity, including “Let It Snow” (WATCH OUT FOR THE TRIPLETS which Joe insists is the most difficult construction in music ... and wants us to get it right!), “Let All Mortal Flesh” (Joe's admitted favorite carol), “Jingle Bells,” “Do You Hear What I Hear” (for which there are two breaths in the entire song), “Caroling Caroling,” and “Silent Night.” Joe reminded us that our audiences come to the holiday shows to hear music they know and love and it is our responsibility to make each and every performance of every song memorable for them.
Scott Kahler was brought off the risers to take us out with “Keep The Whole World Singing.”
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.)