Sunday, January 29, 2012

Looking Back on the January 24th Chapter Meeting

Amidst the great singing on Tuesday nite, there was a lot of new news about plans and events coming up.

Associate director Tony Colosimo led the vocal warm ups and some fun hand clapping and foot stomping routines.  Director Joe Cerutti, back from Tucson, went right to work on the “Jersey Boy” medley to pick up on our work from last week.  He also invited some guys down front as an octet, had them sing about 8 bars and then surprised everyone by asking those guys (who he figured would know their music anyway) to go up on the risers and tap someone else to come down front.

We are moving into the third song of the medley but the av screen was useful for all to be more accurate and to expand upon their work at home.

Joe also broke the fun news about the patriotic show at the Masonic Temple in Alexandria, Wed. Feb. 22nd.  We are the entertainment for a large conference of General George Washington scholars. AND we will be singing with a leading opera singer from the DC area.  Tentative plans suggest she will sing “Battle Hymn” with us and we might do an opera piece with her.  Stay tuned for final details.

So we worked on “Battle Hymn” and then worked on the visuals for “Great Day” with Joe up front and Chuck McKeever coaching and reminding us.  Joe and Chuck drilled the moves so the many new guys on the risers could catch up.  Chuck is doing his 6 pm review sessions on the stage on Tuesdays now with emphasis on these songs for the patriotic show.

Tony taught another barbershop craft session – a repeat of “tall on the inside and small on the outside” with some new facts and details.

Operations vp Scot Kahler conducted the weekly chapter meeting.  First up was secretary Chris Buechler who invited Tom Kraus, who was back this week to say hi, to help present a pile of plaques and awards.

First, Ross Felker got his new member packet. Randy Elliason got his new member packet and dual member card. Michael Vlcej got his new member materials and Joe Wagovich, who brought Michael, will get a Man of Note award later.  Shawn Tallant got a new member packet last week, with Brian Ammerman getting his first Man of Note pin.

Chris also presented Mark Klostermeyer his 31 year membership renewal card.  Then as a surprise, Chris and chapter president Steve Murane, presented Mark a plaque as 2010 recipient of the Chapter Memorial Award.  The men of the chapter gave Mark the traditional standing ovation for recipients of the major chapter awards.  (Chris explained that the 2010 awards are being given now in addition to the 2011 awards on Sat nite, Jan 28th. Mark is unable to attend.)

Chris and Steve also gave Joe Cerutti the traditional framed photo of the chorus appearance as the past international contest.  Joe will be coaching in Ohio at their district event and was unable to change that date to be at the awards banquet on the 28th.

Next up was membership vp Phil Ashford who welcome more guests – two guys who were first timers and three applicants who are back and working on their auditions. (YeEd heard one of them rehearing in the chapter store room before the meeting.)

Ops vp Scott declared a 15 minute intermission which was used by the guys to meet and greet, sing tags or songs, grab some goodies and buy things.

Scott gathered the troops back on the risers to continue the meeting.

First he reminded all to bring in old uniforms in the next couple weeks.  Special emphasis is being placed on recall of the following items: Brocade vests / bowties / armbands; White / Ivory tux coat; White / ivory tux trousers; Red / black vests; and Gray tearaways. Give them to Tom Kern.  Be sure to include your name on them.

Speaking of uniforms – all those who plan to do Singing Valentines need to see Tom for the black tux outfits and all of the parts to that uniform. 

Singing Valentine chair Ken Henderson had display materials for all to take, and info sheets for quartets to know what to expect on that day.  He promises a detailed email for other matters for the Feb. 14th event.  Be sure you have taken off for that day so you can sing, help drive quartets, take messages or deliver materials.  President Steve also alerts us that the chapter needs someone to take phone orders.

You should also sell some Singing Valentines  – at the office, your carpool, your neighbors, your golf buddies who need to make amends for being gone so much, for your mom or sister or aunt or secretary or waitress or nurse or dental assistant or Starbuck’s worker.  Here is what we are offering – all to be delivered some time on Tues., Feb. 14th:

Love on the Line -- $30 Singing Valentine sent by telephone

The Heartthrob -- $60 Singing Valentine with a personalized card and a single rose

The Romeo -- $75 Singing Valentine with a personalized card and a dozen roses

The Be-My-Valentine -- $90 Singing Valentine with a personalized card, a dozen roses and a box of chocolates.

Valentine hotline is 571-969-1379 or

Scott reminded guys about putting quartets together for the Southern Division contest in Roanoke May 26 and 27.  YeEd knows of three new quartets formed for this purpose in the last week or so – one was a finalist in our put together contest last month.  Contact Eric Wallen or your section leader if you wanna sing.  See Tom Kern to be sure you have uniform parts.  And be sure to see music vp Dan O’Brien or secretary Buechler about getting those quartets registered and entered.  There are forms and stuff to submit.

Scott also followed up on the test of the emergency notification system that sends an email to each member of the chapter.  If you did not get one the other day, you need to be sure you are signed up on Groupanizer.  It is a safety net if we have a serious emergency or cancellation to alert all members about.

Brad Jones gave a brief update on the China trip and announced the good news that more folks can sign up – friends, family and all the new guys who have joined recently.  Up to March 1st.

Membership vp Ashford launched his membership drive for the year.  He announced that Steve White is our lead in the Operation Harold Hill campaign – we participate in the BHS program.  “I SING” buttons were given to each guy to wear as a method of grabbing attention of others and giving Harmonizer members a chance to tell their 30-second elevator talk about being a member of this chapter and the fun and experiences. Shawn Tallant is helping Steve and Phil and he spoke briefly about the passion and attitude of One Heart, One Mind and One Voice. Our goal is to add members to the roster and reunite former singers with the chorus.

Our next guest nite is Tues. March 6th.

President Steve shared how he told a friend about barbershop and after a few years of staying in touch, that man is starting a chapter in Nevada.

Steve also reported on his meeting a Chinese delegation in town and how they received his message about our trip there.

Finally Steve reminded all about the award banquet on Sat nite, Jan. 28th at Durant starting at 6 pm.  There will be drinks from 6 -7 then a potluck with the chapter providing the main dish.  Members are to bring dishes to pass that will serve about 10: basses and baris bring sides like veggies, potatoes, mac and cheese, rolls, etc; leads bring salads; tenors and Friends of Harmony bring desserts.  If you have not told Steve you’d like to come, email him and come join us to honor our fellow Harmonizers for their work and extra effort.

After this meeting period, director Joe went to work on the contest package for Southern Division, and mostly on “Sweet Georgia Brown” to  help us own it both musically and emotionally.

In other news, the Barberpole Cat Program is off to a rousing start and after the first couple weeks of meeting before chapter, a bunch of guys have qualified on singing various parts to those songs.  Come out to meet with Dan O’Brien and crew to get some songs under your belt to sing when you are around other barbershoppers.  We now have learning tracks for all the songs, courtesy of Tim Waurick.

We ended on time and got the hall cleared so guys could go to the afterglow at the Hilton.

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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