Friday, May 30, 2014

Looking Back on the May 27th Chapter Meeting

This was our last time together before gathering for rehearsal again in Normandy France!!

Earlier this past weekend, associate director Tony Colosimo, president Terry Reynolds along with Kellen Hertz and Troy Hillier appeared on the Ch. 5 Fox News morning show telling about our trip to France. Part of the time while they were answering questions, there was footage from our Toronto contest performance, a plug for our Crescendo show, and pictures of us with the WWII Veterans from our recent Tribute in Alexandria.  The four guys sang “God Bless America” before the sign-off.  Good job by all and thanks to them for getting up so early on a holiday Monday, AND wearing the black suit and new tie (which the news broadcaster complimented).

Marketing vp Noah Van Gilder thanked Chris Huber for doing a ton of legwork to help him with this coverage,

The risers were crowded this week at Durant even with some guys already headed to Europe.  Director Joe Cerutti attended the British Association of Barbershop Singers 40th anniversary convention.  He will meet us in France.

The AC was working again this week and then about 7:05 pm there was a huge rain storm with thunder and wind and lightening.  There was even some roof leaks in the stage area in Durant. But everyone had pretty much made it in before weather got bad.

Great to see our friends Ross and Susan Johnson in the hall.  They never miss a show or convention and represent us often.

Chuck McKeever gave the guys one more refresher session for stage moves and then at 6:59 we were welcomed to the risers listening to the Dallas Vocal Majority.  Assistant director Will Cox did the warm ups.  Then Tony and choreographer Carlo Barillo worked as a team to brush up some “busy” spots in some of our major numbers for the trip.   We did some sectional work on “Deep River” and did drills on some parts of songs.

Assistant director Terry Reynolds, the keeper of the riser placement chart, asked newer guys and others not going to France to fill in spots on the risers so we’d be used to the elbow room situation.  (YeEd noticed that many of them couldn’t help but do the moves – seems like a good way to learn a song when you are just getting started.)

Front row guys came early too and frequently adjusted to which guys would do the various routines.

The take-away lesson Tony and Carlos brought to the nite was “it is not about you, but the audience.”  Don’t over sing, don’t create distractions in non-singing time, end songs correctly with body as well as the voice, add facial and body compliments to all of your moves. You get out of it what you put into it – for the audience.

Related to knowing our task in Normandy, Ken Fess and the AV team showed a 10-minute clip from “Saving Pvt. Ryan” which helped us all know, understand and feel what the American soldier endured on DDay!

All evening there was a flurry of effort in the back meeting room for Frank Fedarko to distribute the nearly 40 pairs of shiny new chorus shoes guys had ordered; and for Peter Hubbard to distribute the 200 or so Normandy trip shirts folks had ordered.  Peter had the huge order well sorted and coded and was able to give each guy his order.

There was also the usual flurry of sales efforts for tickets for the June 21st show with Steve Murane and Robyn McQueen; as well as final payments for things for Normandy.

Operations vp Bob Blair conducted the weekly chapter meeting. Shows producer Greg Tepe reviewed the packing list topic and answered questions.  Ken Fess promised more emails about seating assignments for the flights – and he delivered bright and early on Wednesday.

Shows vp Nick Leiserson spoke about some new details for the Crescendo show.  Note there will be some detours of streets and roads in the area that weekend. Stay tuned. There will not be an official afterglow. We will wear the Toronto chorus outfit and the tails.  Ticket sales are from IS.GD/CRESCENDOTIX.  Chorus call on the 21st will likely be 1pm.  Stay tuned for a FlashMob event at the WWII Memorial on the Mall on June 2oth while we are hosting members of the AOH in the DC Metro area.

President Terry Reynolds reminded those folks not traveling to France that there will not be a meeting at Durant June 3rd nor June 10th.

He also sadly reported that Rick Wagner and his family have had to cancel their plans to travel with us.  Rick has developed an infection that makes it too risky to travel. We will be singing for you too Rick!!

Terry also announced again the time for the memorial service for John Pence’s wife, Janene.  It is 2 pm at Unatarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, Hunter Mill Road in Oakton.

Terry reminded the guys about the request from former member George Azzam whose barbershop friend is in serious health condition has a wish list item to go to a Redskins game.  If any of our family can offer some tickets, please contact Terry or Jack Pitzer.

(Terry confessed it was fun to do the TV spot on Ch. 5 – just one more reason why It Is Great To Be A Harmonizer!)

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Michael Gilmore for 22 years; Ike Evans for 27 years and Howard Nestlerode for 39 years.

Rich Hewitt filled in for Jeremy Richardson and welcomed all the guests this week.

We had a good break with time to tend to pre-trip matters, and to enjoy the nifty cake baked by Tommy Garner’s sister in honor of our trip.  She made musical notes in the frosting with M&M candies.  It was a treat and added some variety to all the cookies we had left from the Tribute show!

Music and performance vp Steve White recognzid the quartet and their Harmonizer members who are competing in division contests this year. The Southern Division is the this weekend in Roanoke .  Turns out seven of our guys are competing with their quartets in one of the M-AD four division contests this spring.  At the Southern Division in Roanoke June 30-31: YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Hardman Jones, Vic Owen Jr.;

THE MONORAIL FOUR with Kellen Hertz, Phil Ferguson, Bobby Seay VI, Andrew Havens; and FORCAST with Mike Fitch, Ian Galvin, Travis Murray, Dan Cook.  HANDSOME REWARD quartet with Dave Bonnell, Mike Edison, Vince Lynch, Michael Gilmore sang in the combined Atlantic/Western Division contests in Harrisburg May 10-11. 
The chapter presented each quartet some financial support for their travels.


Following up more on the WWII Tribute event, Shawn Tallant, who connected us with the Sea Cadets, tells YeEd that he provided each student a letter from the chapter recognizing them for their service hours that day.  They were a great help the whole time.


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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