Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Looking Back on the 2011 Southern Division Contest, May 27 and 28

The Harmonizers and their blue teal casual shirts were all over the Reston Hyatt this past weekend as the host chapter for the 2011 Southern Division contest.

Scott Kahler was our chapter’s general coordinator for the hosting operation, and pulled together a working crew to cover all the many tasks needed to make it a great success. Knowing Scott, you would know he used a lot of technology to get the job done such as emails and flow charts and radio communication tools. He had Joe Ceruti as his back up as well.

AND we had a lot of our guys on the stage during the weekend singing in 8 quartets and even directing a couple other chapter choruses.

Ken White and Mike Pinto sang in the division champs quartet, MAYHEM, with Neil Dingle and Richie Lavene who are from New York State. This was Ken’s first time as a division champ.

Bill Colosimo was in the second place quartet, ROLL O THE DICE.

Drew Fuller, Frank Fadarko and Arthur Louis were in the fourth place quartet, DOWNTOWN.

Bob Wilson was in the sixth place quartet, INTERLUDE.

Bob Caldwell, Ken Ives and Steve Murane were in the eighth place quartet, FRiDAYS!.

Gary Bibens and Michael Calhoun were in the ninth place quartet, BLARNEY BROTHERS.

John Grant, Bruce Minnick and Bob Hirsh were in the eleventh place quartet, SURPRISE!.

Mike Geipel was in the thirteenth place quartet, FOUR IN THE MORNING.

Our chorus did not sing in this competition since we had already qualified for the International chorus contest this summer. Bill Colosimo directed the DC chapter chorus and Mike Wallen directed the Richmond, VA, chapter chorus, who took first place in that part of the contest. The new Germantown, MD, chapter was second. And Fairfax, with Richard Lewellen as director, was third. Bob Wachter directed the Harmony Heritage Singers, who were the mic testing chorus. There are a number of Harmonizers who sing in the HH singers too.

Chris Buechler was the contest administrator. Dan O’Brien and Tony Colosimo both did independent work to practice their judging skills in preparation for further training in the judging categories. Altho they did not sit at the judges tables, they were invited into the evaluation sessions with the official judges. Both remarked that is was a great learning experience. Dixie Kennett was in charge of printing the score sheets for the weekend.

DA CAPO was the mic tester for the quartet contest on Friday nite and also sang on the show of champions on Saturday nite, as did the top three quartets and the top choruses. When MAYHEM sang and was presented their champs trophy, there was a lot of teasing with the stage crew and so one of that crew came out and took back the trophy. Soon the audience heard a thud from back stage and sure enough, they had dropped it and the trophy was broken into a lot of pieces. Many in the audience didn’t realize it was the real thing, because over the years there has been a gag when someone came onto the stage and dropped a trophy that was a fake. Not this time. You can bet MAYHEM with have fun with this in the months ahead.

Dennis Ritchey was emcee for the quartet contest and he did a great job using the lavaliere mic and walked all around the hall. He even came and visited with those of us stationed as ushers at the door. Current district president, Dick Powell, was emcee for the chorus contest. Gary Plaag was emcee on Saturday nite for the show.

Saturday nite there was a tribute to Jeri Richardson who died this spring while serving as Southern Division VP. He was succeeded by Chuck Harner.

This was a good contest and at least six choruses will go on to the fall District contest in Lancaster, PA. (There was a lot of hype this weekend about the 2012 fall contest returning to Ocean City.) Next year’s Southern Division will be in Roanoke.

As mentioned earlier in the column, guys from our chapter worked all over the place and all weekend. Scott had the following guys heading up work areas:

Bob Rhome for set up, stage and risers. Bob Blair was our truck driver to bring out our traveling risers that were used for the photo room.

Tony Colosimo and Dean Rust for judges hosting, transportation and hospitality. Several guys had some early morning airport runs on Sunday after an evening of tags and hospitality suites! Audrey Shively worked all weekend to staff the judges’ hospitality room.

Keith Jones for registration, ticket sales and distribution.

Andrew Havens and Jack Pitzer for the usher corps inside the doors checking tickets, giving out programs and helping keep the traffic flowing, and responding to the traditional “please close the doors” call from the emcees.

John Pence for sign creation and distribution.

Carl Kauffmann for the quartet and chorus hosting and escorts so that competitors got to the stage on time from the dressing rooms and ready room.

Mike Gilmore for the hall way monitors trying to keep down the noise outside while the contest was in session.

YeEd figures we had over 50 folks helping which included a number of FRIENDS of the chapter.

Thanks to all who filled another weekend with Harmonizer activity. Mike Kelly and Mary Ann Cleaveland managed the cameras and taping process so that contestants could get a CD of their performances.

There was a lot of buzz around the convention about our Carnegie Hall show too, which made it fun for those who were working for the chapter.

We did have a nice advertisement in the program for our June 26th huge show!

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 with the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)

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