The fall district contest weekend was in Lancaster, PA, at the Marriott and adjacent convention center. (And by the way, across the street was the Central Market with all the good eats for lunch and breakfast!)
As a little history lesson, the quartet contest started with 23 entries who had qualified at one of the division contests earlier this spring. This was the district quartet contest. All entries sang in the Friday nite session and the top 10 highest scoring quartets sang in a finals round on Saturday nite.
Our guys did great! MAD HATTERS with Rob Seay, Scott Disney, Rick Taylor and Steve White placed first and are the new district quartet champs. The popular district quartet that has helped our chapter with the youth festival, FRANK THE DOG, was second. A new quartet with Ryan Griffith’s dad on tenor, LIMELIGHT, was third. MAYHEM, with Richie Lavene, Pookie Dingle Jr., Mike Pinto and Ken White, was fourth.
YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen was 13th (one of their songs, “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore,” was an arrangement by John Hohl); and ROLL O’ THE DICE with Bill Colosimo was 16th.
The top scoring senior’s quartet was LEGACY and they will go on to represent the district at the Mid-Winter BHS convention in January.
The district chorus contest (and concurrent International preliminary chorus contest) was on Saturday. There were 23 choruses who had scored high enough at the spring division contests to be in Lancaster. District champ and rep to the International chorus contest is Voices of Gotham from Hell’s Kitchen, NY. They had 26 on stage. Second place went to The Big Apple Chorus, Manhattan, NY, with 50 singers; third place went to the Chorus of the Chesapeake, Dundalk, MD, with 73 singers; and fourth place went to Long Island Sound, Five Towns College, NY, with 17 singers.
Several current or former Harmonizers were directors of other choruses and some guys were on stage with other choruses too: Mike Wallen directed Richmond, Mike Geipel and Paul Lensch were on the risers; Rick Taylor directed Dundalk, Sam McFarland, Bob Hirsh and Brad Jones were on the risers; Richard Lewellen directed Fairfax; Steve Guy sang with Patapsco Valley; Bill Colosimo directed Washington, DC, Don Dillingham, Bob Wells and Bob Hirsh sang on the risers; Dewey Feuerhelm, Gary Bibens and Michael Calhoun sang with Harrisonburg, VA; Bob Ulibarri sang with LaPlata, MD; Jim Herrick sang with the host chapter chorus, Lancaster.
Two Harmonizers were guest judges as candidates for the weekend – Tony Colosimo in the singing category and Dan O’Brien in the music category. Chuck Hunter’s dad, Chuck Sr., was contest administrator. Our coach, Brandon Guyton, was a singing judge.
Gary Plaag and Dennis Ritchey were emcees for contest sessions. Both did a great job of keeping the audience entertained and involved in the contest.
Eric Wallen and Joe Sawyer were hosts for the webcast of the weekend. Mike Kelly and Mary Anne Cleaveland coordinated the video filming for the contestants.
Saturday nite the evening began with a tribute to OLD SCHOOL who won the 2011 quartet championship in July and represented our district.
Other events on the program included a chorus of past district quartet champs – Mid Atlantic District Association of District Champions (MADAQC). Bill and Tony Colosimo were directors of that chorus during the presentation to name this year’s new district champs. Jay Butterfield was their emcee. Other guys at the convention representing past district champs included Mike Kelly, Joe Sawyer, Mike Pinto, Gary Plaag, Rick Taylor, John Hohl, Mike Wallen, Wayne Adams, Ryan Griffith, and Steve White.
Always important to recognize our chapter members who also serve our district as leaders: Gary Plaag, immediate past president; Bill Colosimo, executive vp; Bob Eckman, treasurer; Keith Jones, secretary; Dennis Ritchey, board member at large; Chuck Harner, vp chapter support & leadership training, and vp southern division; Gary Plaag, vp youth in harmony; Alan Wile, vp financial development; Mike Kelly, chief information officer; Carl Kauffman, district events team treasurer. Thanks for going the extra mile. They also represented our chapter at the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday in Lancaster. During the chorus contest, Chris Buechler filled in as vp contest and judging for John Santora, who was competing.
For fun, YeEd will take a chance at listing the many other “Harmonizer family” guys who were at the convention and not mentioned above: Tim Buell, Dean Martin, Arthur Louis, Lew Klinge, Terry Reynolds, Terry Jordan, Andrew Havens, Jack Pitzer, Noah Van Gilder and Bruce Minnick.
Thanks to Alan Wile our new CD was on sale this weekend in the Harmony Marketplace.
Next year’s fall convention will be in Ocean City, MD. The headquarters hotel will be The Grand Hotel, 2100 Baltimore Ave.
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.)