Friday, March 9, 2012


Looking Back on the March 6th Chapter Meeting

Our meeting this week was at the new T C Williams Hi School – in the Orchestra Room.  Quite  a nice new facility with its own parking garage.  (That is where the old building was that old timers were in for show for many years!)  Thanks to Bob Rhome for his efforts to get us a good alternative meeting place.

We were there since Durant is voting place for Super Tuesday.  And that allowed us to try this new venue for a recording session. Guess we will get a follow up report next week as to how it worked. There seemed to be some hidden background noises that the recording equipment could pick up.

We worked on “Great Day” and “No More Sorrows” to get them down.  Hope it worked.

Scot Kahler with help from Doug White and Mike Kelly were handling the technical stuff for the recording, tho Joe wore headsets for a lot of the time.  He got a laugh when he looked up to see why he could hear bari out of his right ear and the new they were standing on the other side of the risers – then he discovered he had the headsets on backwards!

Joe did a lot of shifting guys around in their quads or sections to avoid single voices and to improvement total performance.

The riser crew did great job moving in and getting them up in a relatively tight space.  Tho the Harmo truck was parked right outside a level entry way.

Between takes on the songs, various admin things were taken care of since we had to be out of the building promptly at 10. Sometimes section leaders came out front to offer suggestions or fixes that were needed.

Membership vp introduced guests John Greene and Bob Griesemer who are now both applicants. Will Cox was back to direct the Harmo welcome song.

NOTE:  the next big special guest nite for the chapter is March 27th.  Start now in getting your candidate for membership lined up, offer him a ride, take him to dinner before the meeting, take off an hour early yourself so you can get there.  If you ride Metro, ask some of us to come get you both.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented Ken Ives his 27-year membership renewal.

Brad Jones reminded all China travelers to get in their payment this week!!

Craig Kujawa urged everyone to get their room reservation in Roanoke for the Southern Division contest May 25 and 26 at Hotel Roanoke &Conf Center.  Call 540-985-5900.  Mention barbershop convention.

Steve White led the cheers for all our guys that are competing this weekend at the M-AD International Quartet Prelims at the Hyatt Reston.  The quartets gotta earn a score of 76 to go to Portland in July.  We may have a bunch of guys from our chapter and for sure a bunch of guys from our district that will get to go.

Our chapter continues a long-standing tradition of giving each quartet a small financial gift to help cover contest registrations based on the number of Harmonizers in the quartet.  The boldfaced names are current members.

Harmonizer Quartets in 2010 M-AD District Prelims Contest

DA CAPO  – Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer, Wayne Adams

MAD HATTERS  – Rob Seay, Scott Disney, Rick Taylor, Steve White

MAYHEM  – Matthew Fellows, Neil Dingle, Mike Pinto, Ken White

YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT  – Hardman Jones, Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpy, Vic Owen

TOP SHELF  – Brett Thomas, Fred Womer, Jay Butterfield, Andrew Havens

MINT CONDITION  – Bob Rodriguez, Jr., Kevin McKenzie, Drew Fuller, Arthur Louis

As a reminder, the first round of the contest starts at 6:30 Fri. nite. Plan ahead for traffic. There is parking in the Town Center area but often busy on a Fri nite with all the good restaurants there.  Come early and do dinner.  You can get tickets onsite.

Sat am there will be a Youth quartet adjudication at 11 am for 11 contestants. 

Sat afternoon there is a special presentation by fellow barbershopper, Paul Ellinger from the Michigan area, about our personal membership recruitment efforts.  All are welcome.

Then there is a quartet finals round for the top ten from Fri nite and that starts at 7 pm Sat at the hotel again.

There are a number of former member competing, but one, George Azzam, will be there from the Senecaland district to try to qualify in THE GENEVA CONVENTION.  He hopes to see many of the Harmonizer gang.

YeEd found this is BHS email news that came out recently: Looking ahead to our 2013 International Convention in Toronto, Ontario, do you have a passport? Is it current? Do you know you need one to enter Canada? Here's how to avoid the last-minute rush and ensure you have yours in time. Normally you have to make an appointment, but the Department of State Passport Services will open the doors to walk-ins at post offices and clerk's offices on Passport Day, March 10, 2012.

Other news that YeEd can report:  congrats to Rick Savage on his retirement last week after a career in men’s apparel sales.

BHS news is that Masters of Harmony director in CA, Mark Hale, plans to step aside after taking them to do their swan-song appearance in Portland as last year’s chorus champs.  No word on a replacement.  Also word is out about Jim Clancy’s retirement as director of the great Dallas Vocal Majority.  Jeff Oxley is the musical director and Greg Clancy is head of performance or something similar.

Amazing how our chapter members travel so much for work, job and vacation.  Got a text from Ian Poulin who is currently in Honduras for vacation.

Also keep various members of the Harmo family in your thoughts such a Bruce Minnick’s wife, Ginny, who had serious news after a fall recently.

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.)

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Looking Back on the February 28th Chapter Meeting

Back to Durant this week, but a work-crew took action to switch new risers to the truck from under the stage so they could be used next week for the recording session.

Early in the evening we heard from Paul Dolinsky with the Masonic Foundation, and our host for the George Washington Birthday celebration and our concert in the theater at the Temple.  He repeated his enthusiastic appreciation for the chorus work and effort to give a great performance on the 22nd.  He also reiterated his proposal that his group will want to cooperate with the chapter for future appearances at the Temple and an effort to create our own local venue.  And on top of that he presented an additional cash contribution from the guys in the Federal Lodge #1 for our use with our Youth Harmony Festival work.

Also Director Joe Cerutti was back from serving as instructor/leader at youth festival in another district. He thanked all for their good work for the show.  Then he paid off the $5 he owed Scipio Garling as a result of Scipio knowing the answer to a music question at a recent chapter meeting – HEMIOLA!  Google search says “in rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats.”  Who even remembers the word, at this point, but at least all financial matters were settled!

After musical warm ups by associate director Tony Colosimo, the chorus went to work on the contest package for Southern Division contest in Roanoke, Saturday morning, May 28th. (There will be a quartet contest on Friday evening with a crew of our guys involved too.)

Geri Geis and Royall were with us and Geri worked to renew the visual plan for “Sweet Georgia Brown” from 1995.  Before we sang, the music team repositioned the chorus on the risers.  Goal was to get the mini-choruses close to each other on the risers.  Those mini choruses will often perform, will be the qualifying units for contest packages, and have their own music team coach. Detail-guy assistant director Terry Reynolds headed up this task.  He will also be adding a bunch of new men to the riser chart.

It went well and with a number of drills, most guys were getting the new visuals.  (Guess it helps that about 30 of us [that is YeEd’s guess] performed it before.)

Joe also had the chorus perform the contest ballad for Geri too. 

Next week the chapter meeting and rehearsal will be a recording session at TC Williams Hi School, 3330 King St. in the Orchestra Room D106.  We can park in the new parking facility that is where the old school was.  We should use Entrance No. 1 and security staff will direct us.  Riser crews will be there at 6:30, chorus at 6:59. Thanks to Bob Rhome for getting us all these details in advance since the school is a completely new complex that most of us have not been in. Metro riders need to plan ahead and get a ride.

Goal is to record “Great Day,” “No More Sorrow” and “Ob La Di.”

We reviewed those songs or at least some “hot spots” that Joe pointed out as needing our attention before next Tues. nite.

Ops vp Scott Kahler conducted the weekly chapter meeting.  His announcements included details as above about next week.

Secretary Chris Buechler announced he has provided renewal cards to guys who are not regular singers but continue membership: 51 years for Ron Rich and 58 years for Bob Bowman.

Membership vp Phil Ashford welcomed a group of guests.  First there was a welcome to Joe’s parents, Joe Sr. and Janet Cerutti; Jim Lake’s friend from MI; Dean Rust and Chris Yates back with us. Other singing guests included David Des Portes, Doug White and Tom Fredericks – all applicants.  First-time guest was John Plotts who is a member of the BHS in Georgia.

Jack Cameron was quick to step up and director the Harmonizer welcome song since Will Cox was not present this week. Thanks Jack.

The chorus then took a 10-minute break for coffee and goodies, quartet planning and organizing (word is out that a bunch of quartets are forming for the Southern Division contest mentioned above), scrip and 50/50 sales, and some applicants making a test run with three other guys in order to be ready for their audition.

After break, Nick Leiserson, spring show producer, announced the theme for that show – Gold Medal A Cappella. Our guest quartet to be OLD SCHOOL.

Then Tony conducted this week’s craft session – “lay it on top of the shelf” concept to improve our singing.

Next Joe and team lead us thru a hard work out session on “Jersey Boys” medley.  YeEd thinks you can tell the guys are lovin this new tune and eager to perform it for a crowd. Wonder if we will do its d├ębut at Southern Division?

Gotta give a shout out to TBD with congrats for representing us in fine style at the recent Harmony Sweeps at The Birchmere on Sat. Feb. 25th.  Jeremy Richardson, Tom Kraus, Noah Van Gilder, Ken Rub, Scipio Garling, Josh Roots, Chris Clark and Nick Leiserson were the eight guys on stage. About 45 folks from the Harmonizer family were on hand to cheer and yell for our guys. Thanks to Craig Kujawa who helped organize a large ticket purchase for our chapter members.

 It was also great to have DA CAPO there as last year’s winner and host for the nite – Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer and Wayne Adams.  Tony reports that they will also be going to CA to host the finals as last year’s winner of that event too. Contest winner was GQ – Katie Gillis, Katie Macdonald, Amanda McNutt and Ali Hauger girls quartet.  Another competitor was EPIC quartet with Christina Lewellen as tenor in a Harmony Inc. group.

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.)