Friday, January 25, 2013

Looking Back on 2013 Midwinter Convention in Orlando, FL


As usual there were a large number of current and former Harmonizers involved and attending an BHS event such as the 2013 midwinter convention.    And it was a wonderful event.


(YeEd thanks Dixie Kennett for her help as reporter on the scene!)


Prior to the official convention start, a number of Harmonizers were seen at Universal Studios, including Chuck Harner, Keith Jones, Allen and Susan Hanenbaum, Sam McFarland and Chris Buechler and Dixie Kennett.


The first major activity was the Society Board Meeting – with board members Joe Cerutti and Gary Plaag.  Chris Buechler served as assistant p0arliamentarian and presented contest related changes to the board.  Marty Monson, CEO, gave a wonderful keynote address to the board.  One of his lines that really resonated was that “When your mouth is open, you are selling.  When you ears are open, you are marketing.”  Bill Colosimo attended the board meeting as MAD District President. He was also elected as moderator of the district presidents’ council.  Congrats, Bill.


Thursday evening was the first show of the convention.  After a “warm-up” performance from a Dutch women’s chorus, the show opened with the chorus made up of singers from past senior quartet champs, with Scott Werner (looking trim and fit) in the front row.  Later many Harmonizers had the chance to talk with Scott and Linda Werner. 


Joe Cerutti also served as a co-emcee for the Thursday evening show, appearing in a Batman suit and as Zorro.  (This was just a preview of his antics for Saturday night!)  Joe also directed the combined youth choruses on Thursday evening in a beautiful rendition of “The Impossible Dream.”


The show included fifth place Society medalist quartet MAIN STREET and fourth place MASTERPIECE.  The evening ended with the premier a capella group from EPCOT Center, Liberty Voices, under the direction of Tony DeRosa.


Friday was the Youth Chorus Festival, with 19 choruses from the U.S. and Canada.  MAD was represented by the Tri-Star Chorus from northern New Jersey and our own CAPITAL FORCE, under the direction of Anthony Colosimo. 


Singers included Andrew Havens, Kellen Hertz, Edris Qarghah, Adam Bradley, Phil Ferguson, Patrick Kim and Thomas Miller (Alan Wile’s grandson).  As reported at last week’s chapter meeting, CAPITAL FORCE received an Excellent rating with only 12 men onstage.  The festival emcee was Dr. Scott Dorsey, Director of Education for the American Choral Directors Association.  Chris Buechler was the contest administrator and Joe Cerutti was a music judge. 


This year the audience was encouraged to send a text message voting for “Audience Favorite” chorus.  THE RECRUITS from Central States District under the direction of Jonny Moroni (baritone of VOCAL SPECTRUM) was voted the Favorite.


Friday night was a special show with CROSSROADS, GAS HOUSE GANG and THE BUZZ (Sweet Adeline Intl. Queens – their champs).


Saturday morning had some classes and a Gold Medal Hour with RINGMASTERS.  This was followed by the Seniors Quartet contest with Chris and Joe back on duty as judges.  BORDER PATROL was the winning quartet with Al Baker (formerly of the MAD quartet FREE TRADE AGREEMENT on bass) and Bob Fuest (Christina Lewellen’s dad on lead).


Our own Mike Wallen’s senior quartet, YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, placed 13th in the seniors’ competition.


The evening show started with a Michael Jackson “look alike” moonwalking across the stage to “Beat It.”  The “look alike” was none other than Joe Cerutti, and “Beat It” is what his co-emcee Keith Hopkins asked him to do!!  Joe later appeared as Robin Hood, a hula dancer and Mighty Mouse.


THE RECRUITS performed as Audience Favorite and sang “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” and were cheered back onstage for an encore, “Mona Lisa.” 


LEMON SQUEEZY, 2012 collegiate champs, performed a set, followed by medalist quartets from Portland -- A MIGHTY WIND, MUSICAL ISLAND BOYS and RINGMASTERS.


The combined medalist chorus closed the evening with “Once Upon a Time.”  Marty Monson directed “Keep the Whole World Singing.”


Other Harmonizers seen throughout the event but not mentioned above include:  Pete Frank, Mike Kelly (video staff), Darryl and Meredith Flinn (youth festival sponsors), Tom and Marilyn Gannon, Alan and Patty Wile, Bob and Betty Thames, Ross Johnson and Susan Williams, John Hohl, Terry Reynolds, Phil Stern, Bill Ward, Richard Lewellen, Joe Kane, Dwain Chambers, Larry Deters, Will Winder, Dale Houser, Lee Hanson, Thom Faircloth and Harold Nance.


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 in the lives of members of the  Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)



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