The second week of Harmo Summer Camp was fun and relaxing and educational. Camp Director Terry Reynolds had things well organized and used several of the music team to help conduct classes. One session was “Ask The Music Committee” which prompted some good questions.
Mike Kelly kicked of the singing with work “Shine On Me” for the new guys (and even some of the guys who have been members a while). Then we had a push out quartet event using the same song. It was fun to see guys singing other parts than they usually sing in the chorus.
Tony Colosimo worked on the Harmonizer song, “Place on the Risers for You” which we sing to any member who departs the chapter, relocates or perhaps even at a funeral. YeEd related the history of why the song was written by Bob Bates with music and arrangement by John Hohl, in 1987.
During the evening there were two periods when the gang had a choice of three breakout sessions. With help from Will Cox, Tony, Mike, Bob Blair, Joe and Terry, these sessions were offered: wood shedding; building a barbershop chord; tag singing; a talk about the “barbershop umbrella” or what makes it barbershop with recorded examples or excerpts; watching contest videos of past Harmonizer and Dallas gold medal performances; and singing polecat songs. The guys from the tag singing session sang one of their sweet new tags they learned for the rest of us to enjoy. (YeEd suspects it was brought back by our guys who went to Harmony University last week.)
In last week’s column, YeEd reported that we sang polecat songs too. And that prompted this response from Bob Caldwell: please refer to those old songs we sing by their complete name, the barberpole cat songs. A polecat is a skunk. Yes, I know, many people refer to them as polecats. but it's a personal pet peeve of mine. Thanks for your indulgence.”
Before break there was the usual meeting of “campers” with important announcements.
NOTE: this Friday, Aug. 12th is our annual singout at Market Square in Old Town Alexandria. It is another of our concerts for the City of Alexandria in appreciation for their support, and honestly it is a good way to recruit singers. See the 8/9/11 email from producer, Greg Tepe, for more details but a few important ones are (1) the 6:30 call, (2) wear the teal shirt with black pants and shoes, (3) if you park in the lot under Market Square bring your parking receipt to be stamped for free parking, (4) if your family comes suggest they bring lawn chairs, (5) plan to go out after the singing to enjoy Old Town, and (6) if you are a new singer you can plan to come and go from the risers in this setting.
Secretary Buechler offered to help members get Harmo shirts. See him if you need some new casual gear.
President, Steve Murane, pleaded with all members to sell tickets for the Sept. 24th show!!!!!!
There is a board meeting next Wednesday at Durant.
Membership vp, Phil Ashford, introduced a big crop of guests. As you might expect, some were barbershoppers from other chapters in town on vacation, tho a couple are here as part of relocation for work. There were a couple applicants too!
The refreshment crew had ice cream bars for the campers this week.
After break, Terry taught everyone the “MICKEY MOUSE” tag; and we watched the video of the 1995 gold medal performance of the Harmonizers singing “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Director Joe Cerutti has already announced that the chapter will be singing those songs for Southern Division when we next compete. Seeing the performance got the current front row guys talking about learning those dance steps!!
Last week’s recap column also prompted this fun email note from George Azzam; “Tell Eric Wallen congrats! One of these days I’m going to make it down there for the put together contest or tag contest and surprise everyone by winning my own award (and sing all four parts in a bunch of quartets). Hope all is well in Virginia. Thanks again for YeEd’s weekly updates…I enjoy reading them and keeping up with my Harmonizer family. All is well up here in the Seneca Land District in beautiful central New York. Chords are ringing. Cheers!” George.
Martin Banks prepared another display for camp this week helping guys see what songs the Harmonizers have sung in the contests over the years. AND accepting this challenge, he not only listed our international contest songs since 1978, but every song the Harmonizers ever sang, with the year we introduced them and the year they were written.
Late breaking chapter news from President Steve: Clyde Crusenberry has agreed to take over from Tom Berkey as Community Service vp for the chapter. Tom and his wife, Ina, are relocating to another state.
YeEd has also gotten news from Victor Hills at West Point. He has competed his first 12-week training for new cadets and is now gearing up to start classes. He is planning to audition for the glee club too. His parents are going up this weekend to see him and celebrate his accomplishment. He can now get mail at Cadet Victor Hills, PO Box 1924, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10997-1924.
As a reminder, Harmonizers should also begin planning to attend the singout on Tues. Aug. 23rd in Manassas for Dog Days. It is a late-summer event hosted by the chapter there and includes a sing by all the Virginia chapters in the area. We sing last. But plan your travel (it is at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 12975 Purcell Rd., Manassas, 20112). A great kick off for our fall season.
Also a good opportunity for former Harmonizers to come and see everyone. Starts at 7 pm.
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. —YeEd.)