Twenty hardy souls attended the first contest choreo offsite session at the Lee Center "dance studio" on Thursday, February 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. Most of the guys remembered to remove their shoes without being reminded!
Dancemaster, Chuck McKeever, worked the group through the entire visual plan on "What Do I Need With Love?". He concentrated on smoothing out problem areas, making sure that the timing and rhythmics were accurate, and coordinating the moves that involved row-by-row or half-and-half variations. Once the plan was thoroughly reviewed, Chuck drilled the group many times, with each repetition showing improvement. He was aided by Drill Sergeant, Tom Griffith, who barked out row numbers and focals as needed, and by presentation team members Bob Blair, Dean Rust, and Keith Jones. The next session is scheduled for Thursday, February 24, 7 to 9 p.m., also at the Lee Center Dance Studio. (Thanks to Keith for reporting this news to YeEd.)
On Tuesday nite, it was a busy work session. The set up crew had things in order for the guys to get right to work. The visual review session on the stage had a large attendance. Vocal coach Michael Gellert was in the house tonite to conduct voice coaching for members of the chorus.
When the 7 pm start time came, the singers filled the 9 sections of risers. Tony Colosimo took them thru their vocal warm ups and turned it over to Director Joe Cerutti.
Joe welcomed all the gang, set the mood for the work session with coach Kirk Young, and welcomed Special Forces singers present tonite who will sing with us in Kansas City – Bob Wilson and Bill Colosimo.
Joe also took a moment to honor Jere Richardson, our district vice president for the southern division, who died at the hospital. Jere was a friend of the chapter, a popular mc for barbershop events and a major leader in both the Fairfax Chapter and the Mount Vernon Chapter. Details about services will come to all via email.
Before he started the singing, Joe also stressed the need for guys to fill out and sign the forms agreeing to participate in the Cherry Blossom Parade and turn them in to Jack Pitzer or Ken White. This is a television gig and we want a large crowd.
Then the singing began. Kirk expressed his joy at hearing the ownership the chorus has taken for his arrangement of “What Do I Need With Love” and how well things are sounding at this early stage. Of course he was quick to jump in and offer suggestions. And it was great to see and hear how the guys took his suggestions to heart and made a huge difference.
Tony helped by directing so Joe could concentrate on the suggestions and notes from Kirk. Good team work!
Then the chorus worked as sections so that Kirk could give concentrated attention to each one. Started out with basses and baris with Kirk and tenors with Tony and leads with Joe. Then the instructors switched.
Mid evening, ops vp Mark Klostermeyer conducted the weekly chapter meeting. President Steve Murane announced the recent passing of Al Wolicki who was a Harmonizer from 1969-1980. In his later years, he was a member of the Mount Vernon Chapter and served there as treasurer.
Shows vp Ken White plugged the Cherry Blossom gig, noting that we will sing and have a team planning details like how we will get there, what to wear, where to meet. Watch for details.
Music vp Terry Reynolds reminded all that the self-evaluation recording time will be right after the break tonite. And he mentioned the special visual rehearsal this Thursday nite at 7 pm at Lee Center in the dance studio there. (Joe chimed in and asked for a good attendance so more of us can get the contest sp under our belts and then sing and perform with gusto.)
Membership vp Phil Ashford had another large line of guests to introduce this week. There were five applicants in the house. (Several of them passed their audtions, YeEd hears, and so we will welcome them as members soon.) There were also some first time guests including family members of Bob Wachter.
The break was busy with getting some hot coffee, buying things, signing up for things and busting a tag.
After the break, the music team worked on the ballad for contest and invited coach Kirk to offer more comments. The team also spent some time of review for the visuals for the contest songs.
Kirk was very excited tonite and it was contagious with the chorus.
We worked right up til 10 pm and then rushed to put everything away so we could get to the afterglow at the Hilton around the corner.
Other news from YeEd: yes, that was Dan O’Brien on Channel 4 tv news on Monday eve. He got a call from Dave Reyno to help do a quartet gig. It was filmed for the news too – a gent hires a quartet each year to honor his deceased wife on her birthday.
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.)