Looking Back on the Feb 10th Chapter Meeting and Tribute to Will Cox
Durant was a hubbub of activity last nite with many guests coming to honor Will Cox, special set up details for that event and the usual chapter operation, a visual review on the stage, a front row work session in a meeting room, and coffee refreshments on this cold nite. (Thanks to the many members who have contributed goodies over the last couple weeks – keep em coming.)
There was an accident on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge from MD into VA and that delayed a lot of members and guests. But soon the backlog let loose and they arrived.
Choreographer Carlos Barillo did a visual warm up session and then director Joe Cerutti did the vocal warm ups. We worked on show songs and did a warm up with a Valentine song.
It is Singing Valentine season – so we called Peggy Harris in Vernon, TX, and sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” When we reached her by telephone, she seemed to be waiting for our call since she said she had the picture of us singing for her in Les Ventes France on her lap. No doubt Chris Huber, the organizer for that great Harmonizer event, had called her to be sure she was home. She spoke fondly of all the men she met and how much we have come to mean to her.
In other Singing Valentine news: congrats to our own John Hohl that the BHS Marketplace promoted one of his arrangements to barbershoppers to sing for Valentines events this year – “Can’t Help Falling in Love/Love Me Tender.”
Joe took a chunk of time to revise riser placement so that when Carlos starts teaching the moves for the contest uptune, we will learn them close to where we will be on the risers for contest. He introduced Mike Geipel who will be a special forces singer with us in Pittsburgh.
At eight pm, we did a little set up change and began the tribute to Will Cox in honor of his 34 years as assistant director for the Harmonizers. His wife Anna Ruth was with him tonite as she has been during his many years as a chorus director, quartet guy, and particularly as the guru for vocal warm up sessions. They were given seats of honor upfront.
Will served under five chorus directors during his years: Scott Werner, John Hohl, Terry Reynolds, Richard Lewellen and Joe. There were video messages from Scott, John and Richard as well as from Marty Monson, CEO of the BHS, and fellow assistant director Chuck Hunter in Istanbul. Joe spoke for all of us in his thanks for and recognition of Will’s years of dedication and service to the chapter and chorus.
We also got to relive, via video, some of the great and humorous moments of Will’s show appearances – especially his uproariously fun rendition of “The Night Before Christmas…”
There were gifts: to Anna Ruth (a quilt made by Kim Fess); and to Will - a framed memento of Will with all the directors; a notebook collection of email messages compiled by Dean Rust from many; and finally a “director’s chair” with the Harmo logo on it and a plate on the back:
Willard “Will” Cox
In recognition and appreciation for
Over 30 years as Assistant Musical Director
Steve White, a long–time front row guy with Will and quartet singer with Will, gave a genealogy of Will’s barbershop career such as district champ quartet lead, front row for many years in the chorus, section leader for lead or baritones, and recipient of several of the chapter’s major awards.
Chris Huber and his wife Judy headed up this tribute event. Ike Evans was photographer, Mike Kelly did a lot of work on the audio visual shows, Bob Blair and others set up the room with chairs for guests, Doug White and crew worked on sound for the event. Chapter historian Martin Banks prepared a very interesting and thorough display honoring Will’s years of service.
There was cake and soda and coffee for all to enjoy. Thanks to Chris and Judy Huber and Sam McFarland for getting the supplies in and helping to serve along with Kevin Kaiser and Jack Pitzer.
After the celebration time, it was back on the risers to work on our music – especially several times thru “Thriller” with the stage plan. The front row is doing some great work on this song too!!
Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted a brief chapter meeting since president Terry Reynolds was on travel.
Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Peelee Clark for two years; Aaron Simoneau for two years, Jacob George for four years, and Chuck Powell for 21 years.
Music vp Steve White alerted everyone that “Happy” is available online. He also alerted us that we will be making recordings on upcoming Tuesday nite sessions – all at First Baptist Church in the main hall where we have our holiday show. Mike Kelly asked for members who have a large piece of carpet they can bring to cover the floor in front of the risers during recordings to let him know.
After such a great meeting, rehearsal and celebration, there was a good crowd for the afterglow at LaPorta’s at 1600 Duke. Come join the fun next week.
Will Cox directed KTWWS to close out the meeting at Durant.
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.