Sunday, January 11, 2015

Looking Back on the January 6th  Chapter Meeting and Other Holiday News

(Many thanks to Peter Hubbard for preparing this Looking Back report for the Jan. 6 meeting and for Sandy Stamps and Kevin Kaiser for making the coffee while YeEd was on travel in CO.)

Amid all the usual preparations for rehearsal on this first Tuesday of 2015, there was a palpable excitement for the New Year and the new program that we are beginning. President Terry Reynolds started us off by playing Thriller as our opening song. Promptly at 7pm, choreographer  Carlos Barillo began the rehearsal with a run-through of some visual exercises to help loosen us up and focus on always being in character. Associate Director (and soon-to-be dad) Tony Colosimo concluded the warm-up with a number of vocal exercises. It’s worth noting that warm-up was excellent!  It was clear that each Harmonizer had come to rehearsal to get some work done!


Director Joe Cerutti then took the reins and welcomed us with a few thoughts. In the New Year, he emphasized how important it is to have the responsibility to master our music. “We’ve always been hard workers. Now we have to work smarter.” In addition, he asked us to look at the calendar, where nearly every 2015 performance is posted, and commit to everything we are able to do.


We then broke into sectionals to run through the first two pages of “Me Ol’ Bamboo.” Sectionals then merged, with the baritones joining the leads in one room and the basses and tenors combining forces in the main room. When everyone had re-assembled, standing in sections, we ran through “Me Ol’ Bamboo” and began learning the nuances and contours of our contest up-tune. Then Carlos led the chorus through the chilling choreography to “Thriller.”


At break, this year’s operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the announcements side of things. President Terry Reynolds mentioned that the Presidents’ Dinner will be held this year on February 7 at Fort Myer rather than at Durant. Sing Strong show will be on Sunday, March 8 and will include “Thriller.” Finally, Terry mentioned an upcoming email to solicit ideas for what we can do individually to make the Harmonizers the best it can be in 2015.


Calvin Schnure made an announcement about the Atlantic Harmony Brigade (August 14-16) – anyone interested in quarteting at this fun event should speak with him. Craig Kujawa took questions on Pittsburgh.


Drew Fuller mentioned that he and three others (Drew, tenor; Bob Blair, lead; Ken Rub, baritone; Bruce Minnick, bass;) rose to the occasion to sing at Al Harmon’s retirement – and grabbed a $500 check for the Harmonizers for their effort. Thank you gentlemen!


Finally, this year’s membership vp Rich Hewitt introduced all our guests. Rich mentioned that we currently have 119 currently committed to sing in Pittsburgh, but now is the time to invite guests and get new folks on the risers!


After the break, Tony had us all listen to a clip of the Ambassadors of Harmony, then a clip of the Alexandria Harmonizers, to compare how well each chorus lives up to “Awesome Breath Equals Awesome Tone.” We spent some time exercising this craft maxim and drilling it into our routine. And remember: A good breath gives a good tone, and a great breath gives a great tone. But only an awesome breath gives awesome tone!


To wrap up rehearsal, we ran through Billy Joel’s “Lullaby” then revisited an important theme from the night. Namely, with triple the music to learn this year, we absolutely must make progress each week. It is everyone’s duty to carve out the time to ingrain each rehearsal into our brains so that we can move forward each week. Always ask yourself: what am I doing to make the Harmonizers the best chorus it can be?


In other holiday news, some Harmonizers went over to Glen Burnie on Tues. Dec. 30th for the annual Blast party and quartet contest, hosted by the Dundalk Chapter.  It is always a tag singer’s paradise with a fun put-together-on-the-fly quartet contest.



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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