Saturday, February 15, 2014

Looking Back on the February 11th Chapter Meeting

 The extreme cold on Tuesday nite did not deter attendance nor visitors and guests.  And the stage was packed for the 6 pm choreo review with Chuck McKeever (recovered from his bout with pneumonia).  And 25 or more “floor performers” worked with choreographer Carlos Barillo in the lobby at Durant on their exciting addition to “Miller Medley” package.

Many FRIENDS IN HARMONY members were in the house for their meeting.  Several early arrivals helped decorate cookies for the coffee break period.  Thanks to them for helping.


Speaking of coffee break, we could always use salty snacks like chips or pretzels if you have some to share. And how about bringing in left-over napkins from any holidays.  They always get used.


Assistant director Will Cox did the warm up vocal exercises this week and surprised assistant director Terry Reynolds with a Happy Birthday just for his day!  Associate director Tony Colosimo held a barbershop craft session for us.  Director Joe Cerutti welcomed two BHS staffers to our meeting from Nashville – both work in IT there at headquarters.  Great to have them.


Chapter leaders had a brunch meeting with BHS chief executive officer, Marty Monson, on Sunday, Feb. 9th at Theisman’s.  He was in the area after the American Choral Director’s Association convention that was in Baltimore, and took this chance to meet with a local chapter leadership team.  President Terry and other chapter leaders plus our director Joe attended


Joe had also attended the ACDA convention and got to see the American Boychoir folks again.  Their director was thrilled to see Joe and confessed how much his students wanted to see the Harmonizers again.  Some of their students were “lovin” a look at sample barbershop music in the BHS display booth at ACDA and were heard singing four-part harmony without any urging.


Joe and Tony then worked with the chorus on lots of the new songs as well as the several songs we are bringing back into an active repertoire.


Operations vp Bob Blair called this week’s meeting to order and reminded guys “to wear those name tags.”  Music and performance vp Steve White asked for more singers to sign up for the major shows coming up in a few weeks, especially the Sing Strong show Sun., Feb, 23rd.  He also announced that we would not be learning “Behold Man” as had been on the schedule.


President Terry Reynolds announced that Dick Hall had called him to wish a happy birthday and that is when Dick reported he is suffering from shingles.  (Dick has called every Harmonizer on his birthday for MANY years and continues to do so.  We all say thanks and get well, Dick.) Then Terry invited Rick Wagner to share his difficult news – that a soft tissue sarcoma was discovered in his thigh, that he will have radiation and then an operation to remove the baseball-sized area.  We are all pulling for Rick. 


Terry concluded his remarks sharing about how much our officers enjoyed telling CEO Monson about our chapter – just another example of why “It Is Great to Be a Harmonizer!”


Secretary Chris Buechler presented name tags and Harmon history books to two new members – Ed Schubel and Nathan Ritter; membership renewal cards to Steve Szyszka for two years and Jacob George for four years; and a 40-year membership lapel pin for Rick Savage.


Rich Hewitt, filling in for Jeremy Richardson, introduced all of our singing guests – several of them first timers. In other news about our own Dr. Jeremy Richardson -- he appeared on the MSNC talk show of Melissa Harris-Perry on Sunday discussing the chemical spill in the waters of WV.  The link is


After coffee break with Valentine cookies and coffee, we were back on the risers for work on more of our 2014 package show songs, including putting together the visual package for “Miller Medley” with the floor performers.  Great work by those men.


SingingValentine news was announced before we dismissed: after taking a break from it in 2013, the Alexandria Harmonizers will be performing SingingValentines for selected groups on Feb. 14th and 15th!  As a public service, we are offering them free to Alexandria-area seniors facilities, schools and businesses.

Ninamarie Maragioglio and the FRIENDS IN HARMONY auxiliary, in cooperation with quartet promotion chairman Calvin Schnure, organized the event. This is the first year of our "new" SingingValentines plans. Several quartets were lined up to wear the chorus tux outfits and make the presentations.  (All this was planned before the snow storm that hit on Feb. 13th – stay tuned as to the outcome of the day.)

In other chorus news, our uniform chairman, Tom Kern, has announced the “First and Last Annual Free / Sale / Resale / Clearance Event!”  His goal is to clear out many one-of-a-kind uniform pieces from the past Harmonizer inventory. They will be available free (first come – first served) to a good home…as long as you promise never to bring them back. Some items, mostly brand new in original packaging, will be available for a very low purchase price.


ALSO Tom has made an offer to any members who have Harmonizer logo shirts in their closet that no longer fit or are no longer worn – a table will be available for a barbershop logo shirt exchange to sell, swap, or simply donate. Attach a piece of tape with your name on it, put it on display, and see if you can find a new home for your excess.


The uniform exchange will be on the Durant stage, Tuesday, Feb. 18th  starting at 6pm before rehearsal, during break, and after rehearsal. (The choreo session will be in another room.) Items that don’t go home with a new owner will be donated to AMVETS / Goodwill for other people to love.


In conjunction with this, the chapter history team headed by Martin Banks has collected a few samples of our chorus outfits from Tom’s warehouse to add to the collection of uniforms we have for historical purposes.  (For our 50th anniversary we had them all on display.) Thanks too for the history display Martin brought to Durant this week.


Finally, there is an all-sectional rehearsal on Sat., Feb. 15 in the choir suite at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St., Alexandria 22302 from 9-noon.  There will be coffee for early arrivals. Bring your music and a pencil as per director Joe’s admonition earlier in the evening.


Birthday celebrations for Terry continued at the afterglow at LaPorta’s, 1600 Duke Street.


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 during the 66th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)

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