Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 13-14th Fall Shows
The Harmonizer fall shows, titled “Rock My Soul,” were great and provided high energy, great music and fun times for the audiences.

The 8 pm Friday night performance was at the First United Congregational United Church of Christ at 10th and G NW in DC. It was a great sanctuary space that was modern and alive; and there was a parking garage connected (or close to Metro for others).

The 2 pm Saturday afternoon performance was back in Alexandria at the Schlesinger Concert Hall on the NVCC campus.

Our audiences were treated to three awesome singing groups that filled the stage with sound and excitement and followed the show theme. The show began with the Harmonizers and TBD setting the stage with both gospel and barbershop songs, followed by the Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University and their 25 voices rocking the stage and getting the audiences up on their feet. Our a capella group TBD, directed by Reed Livergood, prepared two great new songs that fit the show theme – kudos to the guys in the group who sang solos and special parts.

The second-half of the show was all done by the three-time Grammy award winning quartet THE FAIRFIELD FOUR who got everybody all fired up and clapping and having fun.

The finale had quartet and the Alexandria Harmonizers singing “Roll Jordan Roll” followed by all three groups performing “Rock My Soul” and getting the audience to sing along. We had printed the words in the program to make it easier. THE FAIRFIELD FOUR belting out the song and the Harmonizers singing with them and the Howard choir providing the rhythm, clapping as they entered the hall.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups for the shows. Director Joe Cerutti pulled us into formation as we took the stage. The church stage was smaller so we couldn’t do choreography for “Blow Gabriel Blow” but we did the full presentation on Saturday.

Emcee for the shows was our own Ken White. Tony and Clyde Crusenberry sang solos. Mark Klosermeyer helped as usual as our chorus manager. Dennis Ritchey announced one song too.

Also on Saturday, the show was streamed live via FloVoice outside the DC area to that group’s large audience of viewers. This was their first barbershop show broadcast. They filmed segments from warm up and other aspects of the production during the afternoon.

Ken Rub did a top notch job as show producer and manager. Mike Kelly helped with the sound and such. Chorus members helped Matt Doniger unload and set up risers from the truck for the shows. The chorus wore their black suits with narrow tie and a new green pocket stuffer. This was the first show for new member Ben Watsky.

Many volunteers, coordinated by Robyn Murane, staffed ticket tables, will call desks and CD sales for all three groups, passed out the printed programs and helped usher guests. Great to see so many former members, new members and recent singer guests in the audiences too.

There was an afterglow after Saturday’s show at Clyde’s on Beauregard in Alexandria so guys could have dinner and visit more with THE FAIRFIELD FOUR. Thanks to Liz Birnbaum for those arrangements.

Several VIP guests were at the Friday nite show in DC. Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, who has become a friend of the chorus and helped us learn more about singing with others, was there! Her background is singing with Sweet Honey in the Rock. Frank Albinder, artistic director of Men’s Camarata and former director of Chanticleer attended too. And a group of music educators from Nashville who just happened to meet Joe and THE FAIRFIELD FOUR while touring the White House came to the show after an invite from our guys.

An audience survey was conducted at both shows by the membership team headed by Dave Kohls and several plugs inviting men to come sing with us were made by spokespeople.

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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Monday, October 16, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 7th Alexandria festival show and Oct. 10th  Chapter Meeting
The Art on the Avenue show on Sat. Oct. 7th in the Del Ray area of Alexandria was fun for the chorus and our a cappela group TBD.  The roving audience was appreciative and we got in several plugs for our fall show and for recruiting singers.  Sam McFarland staffed a table near our show stage.  The materials for this table were prompted by membership director Dave Kohls with help from the communications director Steve Murane plus Robyn Murane and Liz Birnham.
Associate director Tony Colosimo was director and assistant director Terry Reynolds helped with some of the song introductions as did Randall.  The crowd really responded to an old audience favorite, “Summertime” and also to “Blow Gabriel, Blow.”
TBD sang three good songs and also got the attention of the audience.  Reed Livergood is their director.
Kudos to Mike Kelly for helping with the sound work and Matt Doniger for the Harmo truck and riser set up and reloading. Also thanks to all the men who helped with the riser move in and move out so fast.
The Tuesday nite Oct. 10th meeting and rehearsal were packed full with fall show preparation and the annual chapter meeting. A number of family members were there to watch too.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups after the riser crew got the room set up.  Director Joe Cerutti met with the fall show producer and then came into the rehearsal.  He was full of encouragement and responses from those who have heard us recently (including a youth quartet in CA who heard us do one of the spirituals at HU and decided to learn it too – Joe played a recording of them for us). Joe has actually been under the weather with flu symptoms but is on the mend now.
For the music working time, we went through the show songs in order (and for timing).  Joe and Tony offered some reminders.
When we stopped singing to have our chapter meeting, we took a minute to sing Happy Birthday to secretary Chris Buechler and to Rick Wagner’s brother who was visiting from NY.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the usual business portion of the meeting starting with a reminder that we meet back at First Baptist next Tues, Oct. 17th.
AND note that there will not be a tech rehearsal on Thursday, Oct. 12th.
Anyone who didn’t sing in the fall contest and is planning to sing in the fall show, and who has not asked for a new green pocket stuffer should contact Robyn Murane.
Reminder of the fun evening Oct. 25th at Alfred Street Baptist, hosted by the men’s choir there to bring together the Harmonizers, the Alfred Street men’s choir, the Alexandria Singers (directed by Bill Colosimo) and a Spanish choir.
For those looking ahead, the holiday show music is on the website.
The Veterans’ Day singout is at Oakton Elementary school again – Friday Nov. 11th.  An 8:30 am chorus call – wear a suit and tie or military uniform.
Sandy Stamps is eager to issue White House holiday ornaments to the chapter members and friends – get some before we get involved in our own holiday shows. $25 each.  Get some on consignment.
Fall show producer Ken Rub issued a 5:15 pm arrival time for the Fri. nite show.  The parking garage there opens at 5 pm. Uniform – black suit, white shirt that covers buttons, thin black tie, black shoes. Riser crew at 4:30.
President Randall Eliason welcomed Don Thompson back after knee surgery, reported that Bob Mattes has a compression fracture. And Mike Edison reported talking to Kevin McKenzie who is also suffering from a compression fracture.
As many of you know, the Harmony Foundation offers a Donor Choice program for those who contribute to the Foundation. Donors have the option to designate up to 30 percent of their contributions to be returned to the chapter or district (or both) of their choice. President Randall extended appreciation for the very generous support provided by many Harmonizers and their families, which allowed the Foundation to send the chapter a check for $3,244.70 representing our 2017 Donor Choice proceeds for the six months ended last June. (Donations received in the second half of the year will be distributed to us next March.) In addition to supporting the good work of the Harmony Foundation, this program provides an important source of revenue for our chapter.
The annual chapter meeting was called to order by Randall.  Secretary Buechler declared a quorum was present. The slate was elected by acclamation.
·        President – Shawn Tallant
·        Immediate Past President – Randall Eliason (not subject to election)
·        Secretary – Christopher Buechler
·        Treasurer – Alan Herman
·        Member at Large – David Branstetter
·        Member at Large – Clyde Crusenberry
·        Member at Large – Matthew Doniger
The nominating committee included Alan Wile, chair with Clark Chesser, Bradley Jones, Mark Klostermeyer and Todd Ryktarsyk.

After adjournment, the regular business continued.

Secretary Chris explained he’d be missing the show following surgery this weekend. Take care, Chris.  He presented membership renewal cards and appropriate lapel pins to Carlos Barillo for 6 years; Tim Cash for 19 years; Phil Ashford for 40 years; Dick Dangel for 25 years; and Don Thompson for 25 years.

Membership director Dave Kohls thanked the many men who have filled out the strategic planning survey and asked the rest to do so too. He also asked for non-singers in this weekends’ shows to help staff a membership info table at the two shows. His membership team member Rick Wagner welcomed the guests: Ryan Kasperski, Carter White, Mario Sengco, Cyrus Lawyer (who saw us sing at the Sat. afternoon show in Del Ray), and Jim and Amy Deavers from NY.

We had a nice break with goodies and coffee.  Speaking of break refreshments – when we get back to First Baptist, PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND TIDY so we can leave the church clean after we leave.  We will not be fixing coffee or bringing drinks – bring you own water and such.  Thanks.

After the break, we worked mostly on “Gabriel” for the show – especially considering that the Friday nite show space is smaller and we will only be on five risers that nite.

Throughout the nite, there were requests, suggestions, pleadings for action to sell show tickets.  Here are the facts for your customers.  A major point is to speak in person to people and not count on social media.

Harmonizer 2017 Fall Show
The Alexandria Harmonizers and Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University
Celebrating Barbershop’s Gospel Roots
Featuring Grammy Award Winner THE FAIRFIELD FOUR
Friday, Oct. 13th  - 8 pm
At First Congregational United Church of Christ, 945 G St. NW, Washington DC 20004
General Admission - $35
Saturday, Oct. 14th – 2 pm
At Schlesinger Concert Hall, 4915 East Campus Dr., Alexandria VA (on NVCC Alexandria Campus at the corner of Beauregard and Braddock Rd.)
Orchestra - $45     Rear Orchestra or Box - $35      Balcony - $25
Go to to order tickets
The afterglow was at LaPortas.

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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 3rd Chapter Meeting
This week we were at First Baptist in the music suite again.  Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and filled in for director Joe Cerutti who was not able to get back from Europe in time for the meeting. Technology director Mike Kelly was prepared to project the music for the two holiday songs we worked on – “Little Saint Nick” and “Little Drummer Boy” which we have sung in previous years but not last year.
We also worked on the three spiritual songs for the fall show which is titled “Rock My Soul.” Tony had the chorus form into small training groups for each part of “Roll Jordan Roll” and then come back together to put excitement and authenticity to our performance.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the business meeting.  First – note that next week’s meeting will be back in Durant Center at 1605 Cameron Street.
Many details were announced for the chorus appearance at the Art on the Avenue in Del Ray on Sat. Oct 7th.  We will meet to warm up at Mt. Vernon Community School, 2601 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria 22306.  Casey Belzer suggests parking at George Washington Middle School. Uniform is black camp shirt, jeans, black shoes. Chorus call is 1 pm but allow time for parking at this huge festival.
Singers who didn’t sing in the fall contest and plan to sing in the fall show need to get a green pocket stuffer.  Contact Robyn Murane.
Reminder of the fun evening Oct. 25th at Alfred Street Baptist, hosted by the men’s choir there to bring together the Harmonizers, the Alfred Street men’s choir, and a Spanish choir.
The chorus will sing again this fall for a Veterans Day school assembly at Oakton Elementary as we have done for the last few years. Note that the assembly will be on Friday Nov. 10th. Chorus call is 8:30 am.
The chapter has been asked by the Congressional Chorus to provide an smaller ensemble to sing “You Are Here” from the Harvey Milk Oratorio on Sat. Nov. 19th  in the afternoon. Members should respond to Groupanizer requests and indicate if you are available to sing if chosen.  A dress rehearsal is on Nov. 17th.
Ken Rub, producer for the fall show coming up on Oct. 13th at 8 pm and on Oct. 14th at 2 pm spoke about the show, the venues, and the need to sell tickets. Chorus call is 5:15 on Fri and 11:15 on Sat.  Be sure to note the two different locations for the two shows.
Everyone is encouraged to get their family tickets for the fall show, AND to sell some to neighbors, co-workers, former show patrons, and prospective members.  Be sure to explain the times and show locations.  The tickets can be ordered from
Brian Ammerman gave a passionate pep talk suggesting members contact churches in their areas and ask for help in promoting this gospel event with THE FAIRFIELD FOUR.  Johan Westberg also demonstrated on the screen how to use FaceBook to promote audience sales.
Here are the facts about show tickets.  YeEd sent this to about 150 folks.
Harmonizer 2017 Fall Show
The Alexandria Harmonizers and Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University
Celebrating Barbershop’s Gospel Roots
Featuring Grammy Award Winner THE FAIRFIELD FOUR
Friday, Oct. 13th  - 8 pm
At First Congregational United Church of Christ, 945 G St. NW, Washington DC 20004
General Admission - $35
Saturday, Oct. 14th – 2 pm
At Schlesinger Concert Hall, 4915 East Campus Dr., Alexandria VA (on NVCC Alexandria Campus at the corner of Beauregard and Braddock Rd.)
Orchestra - $45     Rear Orchestra or Box - $35      Balcony - $25
Go to to order tickets
TWO SHOWS: Dec. 2nd – 3 pm and Dec. 3rd – 2 pm
Both shows at T.C. Williams High School, 3300 King St. Alexandria VA 22302
Also go to to order tickets

President Randall Eliason encouraged all members to fill out the email survey from the chapter’s strategic planning task force.
He too spoke about the importance of ticket sales related to our financial needs!
He reminded everyone that the annual official chapter meeting and election is next week. The BHS Chapter Nominating Committee had previously presented the following named members for election as officers of the 2018 Alexandria, VA Chapter Board of Directors at the fall chapter business meeting:

·        President – Shawn Tallant
·        Immediate Past President – Randall Eliason (not subject to election)
·        Secretary – Christopher Buechler
·        Treasurer – Alan Herman
·        Member at Large – David Branstetter
·        Member at Large – Clyde Crusenberry
·        Member at Large – Matthew Doniger
The nominating committee included Alan Wile, chair with Clark Chesser, Bradley Jone, Mark Klostermeyer and Todd Ryktarsyk.

Sandy Stamps was at this meeting to issue White House Ornaments for members to sell.  Our selling price is $25.  WHOs can be issued on consignment to sell.

Holiday songs are on Groupanizer – repeating songs and a new one.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Casey Belzer for 2 years, Steve Sparr for 3 years,  Alan Wile for 36 years, and Randy Lazear for 46 years.

Membership director Dave Kohls also prompted members to complete the survey.  He also needs some volunteers to staff a table at the Sat show at the arts festival.  Rick Wagner presented this week’s guests: Ryan Kasperski, Carter White, George Fineberg and Mario Sengco.

After a break, the chorus rehearsal continued on show music.

A good crowd ventured over to Ramparts for an afterglow.

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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Monday, October 2, 2017

Looking Back on the Sept. 26th Chapter Meeting
There was no meeting on Sept 19th but Matt Doniger, Ian Poulin, Craig Kujawa, Bob Blair, Don Dillingham, Nick Murane and Steve Murane off-loaded the risers back into Durant
Also Bob Eckman reports that Dave Welter was elected district treasurer at the House of Delegates meeting in Reading. Keith Jones is staying on as district secretary until a successor can be found. Yes, with Dennis Ritchey as president, that makes four Harmonizers on the district board!!
YeEd got word that Dick Hall called director emeritus Scott Werner in FL and learned that he and his wife Linda are doing fine after the bad hurricane weather. Also heard that Terry Jordan has been in the hospital with a stomach issue but is home now.  He was at the fall contest in Reading and was looking good.
(YeEd thanks Dave DesPortes for taking notes for this report on the Tuesday nite Sept. 26th  chapter meeting in the third floor music suite at First Baptist Church on King Street in Alexandria.)
Reed Livergood did the vocal warm ups this week.
During the first half of the nite, assistant directors Terry Reynolds and Chuck Hunter with help from choreographer Carlos Barillo, worked on songs for the upcoming fall shows.

During the business meeting, there were several important announcements about future meeting places: remaining rehearsals this year will be at First Baptist except Oct. 10 and Nov. 28 which will be at Durant so we can set up risers in the final rehearsal before each show.

Also note – the first Tuesday in December there will be no meeting.  

The FAIRFIELD FOUR were in town for their appearance at the Kennedy Center on Wednesday Sept 27th - the free concert was at  6pm on the Millennium stage. They also appeared at the Library of Congress. The Harmonizers were invited to attend and wear their black camp shirts.

Make plans for singing at the 2 pm performance Sat. Oct 7 at the Arts on the Avenue event in the Del Ray area of Alexandria.  We will sing the same repertoire as Carnegie Hall plus “Armed Forces Medley” and the “Chicago” medley. Membership chair Dave Kohls has organized a Harmo information table for this event.

DA CAPO and Top of the Seventh performed on Sept. 30th at an a cappella fundraiser event in Silver Spring.

Sandy Stamps announced White House ornaments are for sale and available on consignment.

Tickets for fall show are available. Everyone is encouraged to post the fall show on Facebook. Ads for the fall show printed program are also on sale. See Ken Rub.  There is also a need for Harmonizers to help making a presentation to plug our fall shows at other chapters in the DC metro area.  If you live near another chapter, please help by taking flyers to and talking up our show.

President Randall Eliason offered the chapters’ appreciation and thank you for all the hard work by so many for the fall contest and Carnegie Hall appearance weekend especially Ian Poulin, Matt Doniger and Bob Rhome.

The burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery for past president Burt Stueve will be Thursday Sept. 28.

The slate for next year's officers was officially announced by the nominating committee in advance of the annual meeting and election in October. Additional nominations can still be made with chapter secretary Chris Buechler.

Private voice lessons can be scheduled next Tuesday nite with Vicki Dennis.  Contact Keith Jones to make an appointment.

On Wed., Oct. 25, the Harmonizers will join a men's chorus sing at Alfred Street Baptist Church.

Congressional Chorus has requested a small group to sing Harvey Milk music, Nov. 19 – watch for more details.

Membership chairman Dave Kohls welcomed guest Ryan.

During the second half of the rehearsal there were sectionals working on show music.

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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Looking Back on the Sept. 17th Appearance at Carnegie Hall
The bus loads of Harmonizers stopped outside of Carnegie Hall in New York City late Sunday morning, Sept. 17th after driving several hours from Reading, PA, and their contest and convention weekend.

The chorus was hired to appear on the 10th annual Circle Wind Concert – a Japan-U.S. Chorus Festival at Carnegie scheduled for 5 pm.  These concerts help raise funds for world tragedies such as 9/11 in NYC, the Tsunami in Japan also in 2011, and now the Hurricanes in Texas and Florida in the US.  The chorus appeared on this festival one other time right after the Tsunami.

This year’s concert featured a group from Spain, Japan Choral Harmony; a Circle Wind Boys and Girls Choir;  a Japanese girls’ choir; Tohoku University mixed chorus and the university male chorus; and the Harmonizers, who sang last.  The Alexandria chorus sang Neil Diamond’s “America,” “There Must Be a City” spiritual from THE FAIRFIELD FOUR, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “All You Need Is Love” and “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” When the cheering audience and other performers called for an encore, the Harmonizers performed “New York, New York” as we had done on the 2011 show.

The concert began will all countries represented on the stage and each country’s singers sang their National Anthem.

The busses had left Reading at 7:15 am with a stop for lunch en route. After a solid rehearsal in a sixth floor rehearsal room in Carnegie, there was a break for dinner and changing into the black suits with tie.

Terry Reynolds and director Joe Cerutti spoke during the Harmonizer segment of the show.  The entire show lasted about two and a half hours. We also all sang a song in Japanese (which we had learned on the busses en route.) that was the finale of the show.

There were a number of Japanese folks that had been with us the first time and so those musical friendships continued.

After the successful show, guys changed back into casual travel gear and many loaded the first bus to head back to Maryland and Virginia. The remaining 30 or so singers and family members went to Applebee’s for an afterglow with other performers.  There was a lot of singing –each group taking turns singing another song.  Since nearly no one could communicate in words, we sang to each other.  When we sang “New York, New York” again, our new friends came and did the chorus kick line too! We sang part of the “Chicago” medley and that really got the young Japanese singers excited, as they knew the songs from Chicago! When we sang “Keep The Whole World Singing,” there were no dry eyes - the essence of the song with singers from around the world. We had to rush to our bus parked outside! A fond farewell to all.

The afterglow gang got back to Virginia about 3 am.

This event was certainly one more “Breathless Moment” for Harmonizers and especially for the many men who had not been on the Carnegie stage before.  Twelve year old Micky Robertson certainly had a milestone moment.  He was interviewed by Japanese media.

Luckily we did not have to do risers, sound or such in this famous theater. YeEd hears from members that the venue was beautifully renovated since our last appearance there.

Shawn Tallant deserves much credit for the success of this event having worked for months as our primary contact with the Japanese organizers of the concert, plus working on all communications, organizing, arranging busses and coordinating hotel payments for our singers.

Also credit is due to Bob Rhome who did amazing work in helping the members prep for packing, bus departures and scheduling. His bus co-captains were Steve Murane, Clyde Crusenberry and Rob Barnovsky. Craig Kujawa collected for the afterglow. Certainly director Joe Cerutti and associate director Tony Colosimo and choreographer Carlos Barillo helped get the chorus up to their peak after a long bus ride! Chorus manager Mark Klostermeyer helped get the large chorus from point A to point B on 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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Looking Back on the Sept. 15-16th Fall M-AD Contest
What a busy weekend for the Alexandria Harmonizers chapter and its family!
Just looking at the grid of bus schedules and reporting times and duty rosters and charts related to our chapter hosting the district contest would wear out most barbershoppers, let alone preparing for competition and then doing a show at Carnegie Hall on Sunday evening.
This was the first time for the M-AD fall contest and convention to be in Reading PA.  The headquarters hotel was the Doubletree where some of us stayed but the bulk of the chapter was at the Crowne Plaza, several blocks away.  About four blocks from the headquarters was the contest venue – the Santander Performing Arts Center which had been a stage and auditorium for vaudeville. It was a grand old theater with huge ornate lobby, many rehearsal and warm up rooms and lots of steps.
The chorus finished in second place with a score of 88.7 percent with 82 men on the risers.  We sang a lovely ballad arranged by Brent Graham with two songs intertwined – “The More I See You/There Will Never Be Another You” and a rousing fun uptune arranged by Rasmus Krigstrum – “Blow Garbiel, Blow” with classic Harmonizer Broadway-style staging created by chapter choreographer Carlos Barillo. The chorus wore their black suits with narrow black tie and a new blue pocket stuffer prepared for each man by Robyn Murane.
Director Joe Cerutti and his team including associate director Tony Colosimo, assistant directors Terry Reynolds, Chuck Hunter and Mike Kelly, section leaders Brian Ammerman, Reed Livergood, Chuck Hunter, Andrew Havens and Tom Jackson, plus video recorder Chuck McKeever worked hard on introducing this package to the chorus and helping them prepare for this contest in just a few months.  The choreography was added after the chorus returned from Harmony University in Nashville at the end of July.
The chorus assembled early Saturday morning at the contest venue for a warm up session with TonyJoe then worked on reviewing and getting the chorus onto the stage.  This was the first contest appearance with the chapter for Litic Murali and Adam Afifi.
Our second place was sandwiched between our Hershey Parkside Harmony friends who won first with a score of 91.2 percent and our Hells Kitchen Voice of Gotham friends who won third with a  score of 86.7 percent.
Besides the chorus contest described above, we had a lot of guys singing in the quartet contest.  Many of them also worked to help with the convention and take on other tasks.  Ending in seventh place after the finals round was CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB with Mario Sengco, Jordan Headtler, Chuck Hunter, Ken White.  Ken was emcee for the chorus contest on Saturday too.

SILVER ALERT with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane came in fourteenth in the contest, and NATURAL SEGUE with Scip Garling, Noah Van Gilder, Jeff Burkey, Terry Reynolds came in twenty-first.

YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Hardman Jones, Vic Owen Jr. won most improved quartet and were named M-AD seniors quartet representative for the January mid winter contest.

New district quartet champs are GIMME FOUR from NJ who have helped us with our youth harmony camp in the past.
Besides Ken White as emcee, Bill Colosimo was emcee for the first half of the quartet contest on Friday nite, and Tony was emcee for the second half.  They played off of each other the whole time.  District president Dennis Ritchey was emcee for the Saturday nite Jamboree after all the contests ended. The top three choruses sang on that show and each chorus chose not to sing their contest package from the afternoon, so we heard some new music.  Alexandria sang one of the spirituals learned from the FAIRFIELD FOUR (and Joe took time to explain why we learned them and mentioned our show this fall).  (Also great to see the chapter’s advertisement in the convention program announcing the upcoming shows!)
DA CAPO sang on the Jamboree, and then the finale was a moving presentation by the Mid-Atlantic District Association of Quartet Champions chorus and their president Steve White to recognize this year’s new quartet champs.   Several of our chapter men were on the risers for this event.
Mic testers several times over the weekend was DA CAPO with Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer and Andrew Havens who were last year’s district quartet champs. The quartet also made themselves available for a chance for anyone to sing-a-tag-with-the-champs.  This project raised several hundred dollars for youth programs in our district.

Mic testers for the chorus contest was a Joe and Jane Barbershop chorus directed by Bill Colosimo and a couple of our members sang with them – Keith Jones and Sam McFarland.  And great to see our BHS CEO Marty Monson singing on the risers with them too.  Marty was here from Nashville as official representative of the Society board of directors and he was at all the contest events over the weekend and met in an open forum (along with district leaders) with anyone who wanted to chat or exchange ideas.  He also attended the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday morning as did several of our chapter leaders since a number of them are on the board including Dennis as president, Bob Eckman as executive vice president and Keith Jones as secretary. Past chapter president Alan Wile served as our chapter’s official delegate since current president Randall Eliason was en route to NYC to sing at Carnegie Hall.

As if they didn’t have enough to do, several of our members helped other choruses and sang in the contest with them:  John Santora sang with Patapsco Valley, MD; Rick Taylor sang with Dundalk. MD; Mike Vlcej and Pookie Dingle sang with Hershey, PA; Mike Wallen directed Richmond and Bob Wilson, Eric Wallen and Mike Geipel sang with them; and Mike Fasano sang with Queen Anne’s County, MD.

During a break of the chorus contest, the annual naming of the M-AD Hall of Honoree for the year was conducted by this year’s chairman Keith Jones. Besides Keith, other current members in the Hall of Honor include Wachter, Jordan, M Wallen, Wile, S White, B Colosimo, R Taylor, Pitzer, T Reynolds, Kelly and Santora.

Mike Kelly and his crew worked all weekend doing video and photo work so all contestants could have a record of their performance. Mike is on the district events team along with David Welter who is their treasurer.

Finally, how to recognize all the work done by the chapter in hosting this big event?  Likely the best way would be to print the chapter membership roster of all the guys and include all of the significant others and family friends. There were black Harmo camp shirts everywhere you looked in the Performing Arts Center.  Key players were Ian Poulin, along with Shawn Tallant and Bob Rhome. Ian thanked Carl Kauffmann for his guidance and support as previous contest chair for the chapter. Steve Murane published a convention book for chapter members with useful info for planning their trip to the convention. YeEd was proud to see many men taking on the responsibilities to make things flow well this first time that the district used this venue! Thanks to all of the members who contributed cookies and snacks for hosting the judges at the contest during the weekend. Thanks to Matt Doniger and the men who help move risers around all weekend too!
Though many Harmonizers drove to Reading, one bus load left at 7:15am on Friday from the Scottish Rites Temple parking lot in Alexandria. This bus got work crews to the contest site for helping with set up, contestants there for the contest and other leaders there for their duties. A second bus load then left about 2:30pm. The busses also stopped in Maryland to get some members who live far away from Alexandria.
NOTE: Details about the Carnegie Hall appearance Sunday Sept. 17th, and the afterglow in New York City will be in a separate Looking Back report.
Because of all the hard work the chorus has been putting in as preparation for the contest weekend and Carnage Hall appearance on Sunday, Joe has cancelled rehearsal this Tuesday, September 19th. We will be meeting next on September 26th at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Looking Back on the Sept. 12th Chapter Meeting
There was an extra rehearsal on Thursday, Sept. 7th at Plymouth Haven at which there was vigorous drills on the contest set.
In other news from that meeting, president Randall Eliason reported that Steve and Jerri White and their families want to thank the Harmonizers for their many condolences and contributions to the Harmony Foundation in memory of Ben Smith, Sr., Jerri's father and a former Harmonizer. Randall noted that they are just a bit short of the $1,000 goal for contributions to the Harmony Foundation "Keep a Melody Ringing" program to have Ben's name inscribed on the wall at BHS headquarters is a little short of the $1,000 goal. So if any Harmonizers were still considering a donation in Ben's memory that would be greatly appreciated."
Tuesday nite Sept 12th was another great rehearsal session at Plymouth Haven. Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and brought our coach, Kevin Keller (sporting his own Harmo shirt!)  from the Ambassadors of Harmony.  Tony and director Joe Cerutti worked with Kevin to polish the contest songs even more.  Kevin continued his terrific work started at HU to motivate the singers and his help to the musical leaders on their role up front.
They worked on the ballad the first half of the nite and the uptune after break.
The hall was full of guests and friends.  Some guys from other chapters.  Many family members. Two guests from Savannah, GA here to escape Hurricane Irma stuff - Colin Harrison who directs the chorus down there and sang with Adam Afifi, and Colin’s dad, Goeff. And some guys we have not seen for a while – Bob Wachter, Mike Schwartz, Nick Murane and Jeff Taylor. Mike Everard was present too and Joe presented him his 50-year membership pin from BHS. In that presentation, Joe shared remarks about Mike’s years of service as a barbershop leader, quartet man and communications worker.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted a chapter meeting and reminded everyone that there is a rehearsal Wed nite, Sept. 13th at Plymouth Haven (YeEd will not publish a Looking Back report for that meeting.) AND we will be back at Durant on Sept. 19th for one nite.
He reminded all to post the afternoon gig on Oct 7th.  And reports that tickets will be on sale for our “Rock My Soul” shows Oct 13 and 14.
Sandy Stamps has brought the White House Ornaments in for the start of the sales this year.
Terry also prompted all members to read carefully all the email messages about the busy weekend ahead of competition, hosting the fall district contest and the appearance at Carnegie Hall. Ian Poulin, Bob Rhome and Shawn Tallant are key players in this weekend’s schedule.
Terry reports that we will have new pocket stuffers issued in Reading for the contest.
Finally, Terry reminded all that the first chorus gathering time in Reading will be rehearsal at 10:15 pm Friday nite in the Crowne Plaza Dior Ballroom.
President Randall Eliason encouraged the chorus singers to support our quartets at the competition on Friday evening.  That contest starts at 4:57 pm at Santander Performing Arts Center. Mic testers will be our own DA CAPO with Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer, Andrew Havens.

As is our chapter’s tradition, Randall presented a check of support for our chapter-member quartets:

Singing 12th - CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB with Mario Sengco, Jordan Headtler, Chuck Hunter, Ken White

Singing 21st - SILVER ALERT (seniors quartet) with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane

Singing 22nd - NATURAL SEGUE with Scip Garling, Noah Van Gilder, Jeff Burkey, Terry Reynolds

Singing 23rd - YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT (seniors quartet) Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Hardman Jones, Vic Owen Jr.
Note also that the following chapter members who are District Quartet Champions will be performing on the Saturday Night Show with the Mid-Atlantic District Association of Quartet Champions . Bill Colosimo, Tony Colosimo, Will Cox, Andrew Havens, Mike Kelly, Rick Savage, Rick Taylor, Mike Wallen, Ken White, and Steve White.
Joe asked all the members to wear their Harmo black camp shirt for a quick video shoot Wed. Sept. 13th for our possible making contact with CHICAGO when they are performing in DC.
Membership director Dave Kohls reported that Ben Watsky   and Will Theuer passed their auditions last Tuesday nite. Congrats to them.  He asked for the section leaders to audition another prospect tonite.  Welcome to guests this week – Nick F, Jon, Collin, Goeff and Bill.
Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Don Dillingham for 8 years; Todd Ryktarsyk for 12 years; Ken Henderson for 14 years; Randall Eliason for 22 years; Tony Colosimo for 23 years; Jeff Taylor for 25 years plus his lapel pin; Mike Geipel for 26 years; Chuck McKeever for 31 years; Terry Reynolds for 33 years; Mike Kelly for 36 years; Mick Stamps for 37 years; John Santora for 40 years plus his lapel pin; Carl Kauffmann for 45 years, and Jack Cameron for 48 years.
After the break there was a quick review of “New York New York” for the Carnegie Hall show. 
Then CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB SANG their two contest songs for us and earned loud cheers and applause from the chapter. 
The second half of the nite was used for work on the uptune and then a run-thru of the whole set.
Coach Kevin gave final remarks and we closed the hall and loaded the truck.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Looking Back on the Sept. 5th Chapter Meeting
This week’s meeting was back at Plymouth Haven Baptist Church on Ft. Hunt Road where we had met years ago when the Durant Rec Center was under reconstruction.  According to executive director Terry Reynolds, the Rec Center was not available for our use. 
NOTE that we will be at Plymouth Haven for the extra rehearsal Sept. 7th, for Tuesday Sept. 12th and for the extra rehearsal Wed. Sept. 13th. We are back at Durant for at least one week on Tuesday Sept. 19th.
Lots of extra group meeting were at the church at 6 pm – basses with director Joe Cerutti, front row dancers outside on patio drilling their routines, and then tag singing with associate director Tony Colosimo.
Tony did the vocal warm ups and also conducted a silent drill with visuals of uptune.
Then with trumpet fanfares from the loudspeaker, he introduced director Joe to take over!
With the fall contest so much earlier this year (Sept. 15-16 in Reading PA) Joe worked hard to help the singers prepare for that performance. He also was preparing the chorus for the coaching session with Kevin Keller on Sept. 12thJoe also thanked all the men who came to the Dog Days event in Manassas and those who came to the extra rehearsal last week with Joe and choreographer Carlos Barillo.
Terry conducted the chapter meeting. 
To confirm, the uniform for contest is black suit, thin tie, black shiny shoes.
President Randall Eliason reported on a number of members health situations:  Kevin McKenzie is recovering from some serious back issues but happy to report a no-cancer test result; Brad Jones had a bad shoulder issue; Bob Mattes has back issues; Don Thompson is recovering from knee surgery; and Bob Wachter and Jean are both in the hospital – he at Mount Vernon and she at Alexandria. Word is that Bob was due to go home on Wed. 6th.
Randall also spoke about our busy weekend with hosting the district contest, competing early Saturday morning, and then the appearance at Carnegie Hall in NYC.  And then home again for our fall show weekend!
Carnegie Hall tickets are available from Walt Page.
Secretary Chris Buechler reported that all members have paid their dues and eligible for competition.
Membership chairman Dave Kohls remarked about his request for helpers in various membership duties – he is working hard to create a team instead on one many doing it all. Then he welcomed Nick Murane, plus guests Nick, Will and Ben.  During the break, a learning quartet worked with the guests preparing for their auditions.
After a break, Joe worked with the chorus to revive “New York, New York” for Carnegie Hall.  The front row guys who had done the chorus line routine stepped up and performed it too!
Then after confirming riser positions, and the correct spacing on the risers, Joe had the chorus perform the contest set several times.
Ken Rub directed “Keep the Whole World Singing” and we adjourned.  A group of guys went to Southside 815 on South Washington Street for an afterglow. 
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Looking Back on the August 29th Annual Dog Days Multi-Chapter Event
The annual gathering of Northern Virginia choruses to sing for each other and share a nite of fun barbershop was hosted for the 37th time on Aug. 29th by the Prince William County Chapter at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manassas.

The Harmony Heritage Singers from Mount Vernon were the first to perform, directed by Drew Fuller. One of their songs was "Old Bones" with Bob Wachter doing the solo that Bix Doughty had sung for many year. Bob received a standing ovation.

Fairfax chorus had Drew Fuller, Art Medici, Bruce Minnick and Sam McFarland singing with them.  Former member Richard Lewellen directed.

Loudoun County followed with a full set of chorus songs and chapter quartets

Prince William County, directed by former Harmonizer Glenn Williamson, performed a set with chorus and chapter quartets. Bruce Lauther sang in both the chorus and one of the quartets. Their chapter provided refreshments.

Our chapter riser crew brought the risers and the host chapter’s crew set them up. Mike Kelly set up and monitored our sound equipment.

Harmonizers were the last group to perform and received a standing ovation at the end of the set.

The group sang "Happy Birthday" to Tony Colosimo at the suggestion of director Joe Cerutti. One of the quartets saluted former member Larry and Cathy Silva on their 37th anniversary (a couple of months in the future). 

We had 57 active chorus members onstage and performed the contest set (without choreo) and two gospel numbers.

Joe also invited any former members interested to join the chorus on the risers to perform the "Armed Forces Medley" and "I'll Be Seeing You." Nick Murane, Keith Jones, Bruce Minnick, Bob Wachter, JT Price, Lew Klinge, Mike Everard and Austin Cotton (hoping we didn’t miss anyone) came up and sang with us.  

Dog Days was well-attended by families and friends of the various chapters.

(Thanks to Keith Jones for reporting the event for these notes.)

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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Monday, August 28, 2017

Looking Back on the August 26th Alexandria vs. Hershey Softball Game           
What a day!!  Fun, fellowship, songs, laughter and All-American-Patriotism!!
A huge local home team from Alexandria (26 players) was on hand for the inaugural
Alexandria – Hershey BHS Softball Classic.  The big game was on neutral ground at Centennial Park in Ellicott City, MD, Saturday August 26th.
After leading with their 8 runs til about the fifth inning, the Harmonizers rotated every player onto the field.  The final score was 8 for Alexandria and 16 for Hershey.
Organizer for this event was “Slugger” Steve WhiteJack Cameron helped get the field and park in MD since it is near his home. Steve was sort of emcee for the event and he and Sean Devine from Hershey set the stage for the game.
Surprise umpire for the game was Chip Gallent, COO of the BHS in Nashville.  Chip reviewed the rules agreed upon in advance by the team captains – Don Dillingham from Alexandria and Brandon Brooks from Hershey. Chip was home plate ump and stationed for the softball game behind the pitcher’s mound.  First and third base umpires were BHS contest administrators Chris Buechler and John Santora. Terry Reynolds was score keeper.
The game started about 10 am after the choruses sang the National Anthem together. It was a seven-inning game. The first pitch of the game was delivered by Joe Cerutti who had declared a few months ago that he’d be the quarterback for our team – so accordingly he tossed a football onto the field?!!
Both teams had baseball jerseys for the game with their names on the back, and our guys’ shirts had the new AH logo on the front.
Mike Kelly had brought enough sound equipment for a rock concert and he and game announcer Cerutti had picked out song clips to blast for all to hear each time a new batter came to home plate. The songs were fun and brought lots of laughs all around.  There were many family members on hand for the fun too.
Before the picnic feed, the two teams each lined up at home plate for a team photo and then a combined game photo. The intermingled singers then sang “God Bless America.”
And adjourned to the chow and drinks.  Chuck McKeever was one of the cooks and he had a 100 hotdogs and buns ready to serve – he only had 8 left to take home.  Carl Kauffmann was also cooking burgers and brats on a grill.  YeEd hears there were lots of desserts and plenty of goodies to go around that were brought by the nearly 100 barbershoppers on hand for the event.
Pick up quartets did some singing for sure before folks departed late afternoon.
There were some injuries to report tho!  Steve White a badly scraped knee sliding into first base was first.  Then our first pitcher, Shawn Tallant, who had kept the Hershey team scoring down to a minimum was injured trying to catch a fly and needed to have 911 called for an ankle injury. Ironically, Shawn’s wife was the nurse on hand for the game and had to call for help.
Then our second pitcher, Art Medici, also fell while on the mound and has a messed up shoulder issue!
Dennis Ritchey went to the mound from first base and finished the game without injury!
Tho he didn’t play, Terry Jordan was in the audience after his months of foot and back problems.
Just to make certain quarterback Joe got a chance at bat, both teams took the field and someone pitched to him.  He hit a good ball into the infield, but ran straight to third base from home!!! So much for his baseball quarterback skills!!!!
It was a fun day and a wonderful start of what is likely to become a tradition for the two chapters.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Looking Back on the August 22nd Chapter Meeting
This week’s meeting was held at Durant as usual.  The proposed plan to meet at an Arlington Church was cancelled.
There was a good crowd at Durant on Thursday nite, Aug. 17th for the extra work session with choreographer Carlos Barillo to review and drill the plan for “Gabriel.”
Earlier this year, director Joe Cerutti announced that we would be working harder to find more singing opportunities for inactive and non-performing Harmonizers. He has identified another opportunity and would like to invite ALL Harmonizers (performing and non-performing/active and inactive) to join us at Dog Days.

That event is on Tuesday, August 29th, at the Dog Days gathering hosted by the Manssas chapter at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (12975 Purcell Rd, Manassas, VA 20112), starting at 7pm. We will be ending our performance with a performance of “I'll Be Seeing You” and “Armed Forces Medley.” ALL Harmonizers are invited to join us on the risers to close this show.

Several former singers were at the meeting this week.

All singers should note that we will not be warming up at Dog Days, nor will we be rehearsing the songs before we perform them, so everyone should come to Manassas prepared and warmed up. Uniform will be the black camp shirt, jeans and black shoes. Members who are coming from the city should come on to Manassas even if they can’t get there at 7 pm because our chapter sings last on the program.  Be sure to work out car pools or rides from a Metro if needed.

Beginning August 17 and every Thursday thereafter until June 14th 2018, the Alexandria. Virginia Chapter will be posting a "Throwback Thursday" photo of the Harmonizers on Facebook/Alexandria Harmonizers in honor of and in preparation for our 70th anniversary as an organization. I know you will enjoy these looking back moments and sharing with others!

Thanks to Martin Banks for taking on this idea and making it happen in cooperation with the chapter communications team headed by Steve Murane and the rest of the chapter history committee Bob Blair, Howard Nestlerode, Jack Pitzer and  Bob Rhome.

As you would expect, it was a musical work out on Tuesday nite.  Director Joe Cerutti was back from his vacation and the chorus had done their home work on their music, and on the visual plan for the uptune!  It was a productive nite in preparation for the Sept. 15-16 fall district contest in Reading, PA.

The chapter meeting session was conducted by executive director Terry Reynolds. Details about the Dog Days (a summer gathering of barbershoppers during August each year when most chapters are in a less-busy mode) are listed above.

Chief softball organizer “Slugger” Steve White reminded everyone about the big game on Sat. Aug. 26th near Baltimore with the Hershey Parkside Chapter!  Game is 11 am – 2 pm.  The pavilion area is reserved from 10 am til dusk.  Come make a day of it at Centennial Park West, 4651 Centennial Lane West, Ellicott City, MD 21042. Look for signs – we are at the west entrance of the huge park. Team shirts were issued Tues nite!  But a name tag and Harmo gear is also a good idea. It is a bring-your-own-food-and-drinks event but word is that Chuck McKeever is bringing a hundred hotdogs and will have the grill going to cook them for you. Steve says bring yourself a chair too!

Some details about the fall contest:  our stage time is 9:30 am on Sat. Sept. 16th, so stay tuned as musical leaders decide when we will gather first – perhaps Friday nite. For those riding the bus to Reading, it is mandatory that you have a parking pass in your car window in order to leave the car at the designated parking area.

The uniform for the appearance at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, Sept 17th is the casual outfit with the black camp shirt.

Terry reminded those volunteer singers who know the audition song were reminded to meet and assist the many guest in preparing for their audition.

Co-bass section leader Tom Jackson invited basses to come early to the Sept 5th meeting for some work.

Everyone is encouraged to note the meeting locations on the Tuesday nites in September – many will be at Plymouth Haven Baptist Church on Ft. Hunt Road at 8600 Plymouth Rd, Alexandria, VA 22308.

Secretary Chris Buechler reminded everyone to get their dues paid before contest!

On behalf of the chapter, Terry Reynolds presented Joe a framed picture of the chorus from Harmony U appropriately framed by Mark Klostermeyer.  If you want a print and/or a framed picture, see Mark.

Ken Rub introduced a number of guests present for the evening – welcome to Nick, Will, Thompson, Paul Ritchey, Joseph Ritchey, Nicola and the Payton family.
Thanks to all who brought in goodies to share at break – they are always welcome!
After break it was back on the risers to continue the preparations for district.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd