Friday, December 2, 2011

Looking Back on the November 29th Chapter Meeting

This was third busy Tuesday nite meeting in a row with concentration on preparations for the holiday shows Dec. 2 and 3 at First Baptist in Alexandria.

And again, lots of guys arrived early to get in line to buy and pick up tickets from our ticket chairman, Ian Poulin. Any readers of this column who don’t have tickets should go online and see if they can still get seats for Friday nite. The two Sat shows are sold out.

Roger Day was set up to sell raffle tickets and to remind the guys to wrap two boxes for the show. He even brought in a half dozen empty boxes for guys who didn’t have them yet. Chuck Harner was set up to sell new Entertainment coupon books. We make good money on each one we sell, so help out. Take them on consignment.

Vocal warm ups were conducted by Will Cox. Then he introduced director Joe Cerutti. Joe thanked guys for all the behind-the-scenes work on the show and music. He was pleased with the huge leap on “Drummer Boy” and “Hallelujah Chorus” which we have added to our show this year.

Before the meeting started, music vp Terry Reynolds met with a group of volunteers (many of them family members, recent guests and applicants) to work on the special card flipping routine for the show. These folks will appear as Monks in the show. They did a fantastic job for their first try at it with the chorus, and got into the fun of the act. Scott Kahler gets credit for inventing the gizmo for Nick Leiserson and Terry Reynolds to use with their foot to flip up an extra card. You gotta see it to understand!

Speaking of behind the scenes: there was continual work on gathering the many little props for this show (visual cues as introduced by Jack In The Box). Steve Lingo is coordinating that job.
Lew Klinge has received the huge pile of boxes of paper plates and napkins and such and will haul them over to the church. Another crew has ordered food and contracted with the cooks at the church for food preparation. There are tech folks at work for sound and lights. And the helicopter pilot has gotten in some extra flight time to be ready for the show.

The evening’s rehearsal included walk and talk thru of script with the actors and quartets and TBD doing their parts. Many guys remarked this was one of the smoothest last rehearsals before a holiday show ever.

Ops vp Mark Klostermeyer conducted the chapter meeting period, as usual. Sandy Stamps, FRIENDS president, reminded everyone to grab some of the White House Ornaments the chapter is selling. Get them on consignment, as well. Make some sales. We need the profit and sales are low this year, so far.

Looking ahead, the FRIENDS group will only be selling bottled water beginning in January. Thanks to all of them who worked on the sodas sale for the last year or two.

Membership vp Phil Ashford welcomed back Jacob George who made a trip to India. Also good to see Dean Rust and Martin Banks in the hall. Phil introduced a crew of guests again. Great to have them come sing – most have applied for membership.

After break, Mark reminded everyone about several show matters: sell tickets to fill out Fri nite; bring in two big boxes wrapped in shiny paper; bring 4 dozen holiday cookies; respond to Drew Fuller’s request for items for the silent auction at the shows; and offer to bring in show props that are still needed – see Steve Lingo. Phil Ashford is coordinator of the crew of waiters and needs everyone to sign up if you really wanna serve a particular table (or he will assign us to tables). Show producer Bob Mattes spoke briefly and alerted all to watch for his detailed email about times and schedules. A crew of helpers was recruited for Wed morning at 8:15 to meet Bob Blair at the church to unload risers and then go get a couple truck loads of decorations and such from our storage unit.

The annual Put Together Quartet contest is Dec. 13th – a chapter contest for fun. There will be judges and an emcee and photographer and all – just like a Society contest. You would not expect the Harmonizers to do it any other way. Key is to form a quartet now. Work up some nutty parodies or get some fun costumes or at least an outlandish quartet name. Eric Wallen is Dr. Put and thus he is ready to help guys put-together a quartet if they wish. There are even trophies for the winners! There are two Tuesdays left to snag a good lead or one of the tenors!

Music vp Terry Reynolds reported that music for “Sweet Georgia Brown” is now on the website. We will start working on it the week after the show in preparation for our return to the contest at Southern Division in Roanoke, VA, the weekend of May 25 and 26, 2012. Plan ahead to take Fri afternoon off so you can get down there in time for an early morning rehearsal and prep for the chorus contest on Saturday.

President Steve Murane invited everyone to submit nominations for the 2011 chapter awards that will be given to members at an event the last weekend in January (probably). Stay tuned for details. This will be our chance to resume the Presidents Ball that was not held last year.
After the announcements, it was back to hard work on the songs for the holiday show.

Mark your calendar too for the Tues nite BASH in Glen Burnie, Dec. 27th. It’s an annual bash to celebrate the hobby with guys from all the chapters around the DC region. Usually some top quartets make the stage plus a bunch of put-together type quartets. Maybe our chapter winners will go represent us. There’s no Harmo meeting that nite, so form a car pool and lets all go. Last few years a huge crowd of us took in the fun, chow and cold drinks. Ask Steve White or Jack Pitzer about going.

A good crowd of us went to the afterglow at the Hilton across from King Street Metro station and we laughed and laughed about some of the corny gags in the show.

For chapter history, the memorial service for Alan Durick on Sat. Nov. 26th in Charlottesville was attended by 18 Harmonizers who worked with Alan in our chapter, sang with him in quartets and knew him as a friend. 4 MAN VOCAL BAND with Randy Lazear, Bob Bates, Larry Walker and Dave Cureton, sang. ALEXANDRIA’S RAGTIME BAND sang with Barry Galloway doing the bari, with Mike Wallen, John Adams and Craig Odell. In addition the Harrisonburg Harmonizers sang as did their quartet BLARNEY BROTHERS with Mike Calhoun, Gary Bibens and Dewey Feuerhelm. To close the celebration, all the barbershop singers sang “A Place on the Risers for You.” Alan his wife Lois were married 62 years. He was 82 and joined our chapter in 1974.

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.)

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