Wednesday, December 13, 2017




Looking Back on the Dec. 12th Carol Crawl in Old Town Alexandria
There were over 50 of us in Santa hats strolling thru the streets near the riverfront area to stop in and sing two or three carols in several popular restaurants and bars.  Mark Klostermeyer and Ryan Kasperski went ahead of us at about 6:30 pm to alert the managers that we were coming to sing for their patrons again this year.
It was really cold and windy, but the Santa hats helped and guys came prepared.  We assembled at Durant to organize, announce how the nite would go and have a brief chapter meeting. Associate director Tony Colosimo was director for our carol crawl.
There were many extra copies of “Yuletide Favorites” for all to use including any and all former or inactive members. Several guys came to sing with us who are not active on the risers: Matt Kahn, Joe Wagovich, Lew Klinge, Joe Cerutti Sr., Keith Jones and Alan Wile. There were a couple guests too: Brian and Carter.
Highlights from the meeting:
1.  Turn in your checks for registrations for the International convention next summer in Orlando to Craig Kujawa tonite, 12/19 and 1/2.
2, The next chapter meeting and rehearsal will be Jan. 2 at Durant. On the second we will have a state of chapter session including the exciting news about 2018 and 2019 events and opportunities. All meetings in Jan. will be back at Durant.
3. The Whiffenpoof show time has been changed to 3 pm on Feb. 4 at the Washington Masonic Memorial.
4. President Randall Eliason reminded members of his request for end-of-year contributions.
5. On Dec. 19, we will have a Heat Glow (an afterglow in the winter) at the home of Jack and Pat Pitzer, 7801 Suffolk Ct., Alexandria VA 223155, for singers and their significant others.  Near Hayfield Hi School on Telegraph Rd.  Arrival at 7:30 pm. Bring finger foods to share and your favorite drink too.  A holiday grog will be served too that is from the original recipe from Harmonizer Heat Glow events begun in the 1960s when the chorus sang for the annual burning of the greens (discarded Christmas trees) in the City of Alexandria. Car pools would be a good idea since the parking will be a little tight or you could walk from one of the nearby schools. The house is not far from the Franconia Metro.  Jack’s cell is 703-627-9424.
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, December 12, 2017


Looking Back on the Dec. 8th and 9th Holiday Sings at Senior Centers
Our holiday season for 2017 included a series of mini appearances at senior centers in the No VA area.  Community service director Clyde Crusenberry helped organize them.
Friday, Dec. 8th about 30 singers assembled at Lee Center in Alexandria to warm up with Terry Reynolds directing.  We sang there for a large holiday luncheon for seniors, then moved to Hollin Hall Center on Ft. Hunt Rd.  We sang several songs from our recent show.  We were happy to see Alexandria’s Mayor at the Lee Center too.
On Saturday, Dec. 9th there were two groups formed from the chorus to sing at centers.  Group 1 was lead by Joe Cerutti and assembled at Sunrise of Alexandria on Duke Street. After singing there, this group made appearances at Woodbine on King Street, Paul Spring Center on Ft. Hunt and The Kensington in Falls Church. Group 2 was directed by Tony Colosimo and assembled at Sunrise of Springfield.  They sang at Spring Hills Mount Vernon, Sunrise of Mount Vernon and The Hermitage. While group 2 was at Sunrise of Mount Vernon, some guys stopped to get Bob Wachter on their way there and Bob joined them for the fun and a chance to sing.
These appearances were fun and of course somewhat emotional as we watched and met older folks who would sing along, clap and keep time to the music, and tease with us.
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 Dec. 2nd and 3rd Holiday Show Weekend
Our holiday show was held at TC Williams High School auditorium on King Street.  It had been many years since we did a show there – in fact there is a whole new school building.  The auditorium and stage were great with plenty of warm up space and dressing space.
The theme was “Peace and Joy – an a cappella holiday concert” and featured the Harmonizers doing 11 songs, TBD doing two holiday pieces, current M-AD district quartet champs PRATT STREET POWER, and a local bell ringer group Virginia Bronze Resonances.  Also Will Cox did his funny and well-liked “The Night Before Christmas” story.
Many thanks from all of the chapter to Brian Ammerman for his leadership and dedication and “push” to make it a successful show for the chapter.  Of course there were lots of other helpers and volunteers.
There was a tech rehearsal on Fri nite Dec. 1 and chorus members were there to help decorate the stage, set up risers, and the lobby for the silent auction and other sales efforts. Mostly we worked on entrances and staging.
The stage set was well done  – snowdrift effect on the edge of the stage (cotton bunting with white lights inside), and many lighted Christmas trees above and behind the risers and on the edge of the stage. 
Warm ups before the shows were in the orchestra room.  We wore holiday sweat shirts with white scarves the first half, and our black suits with red tie on the second half. This was the first show holiday show for new members Chris, Jon, Ryan and BenDean Rust brought waters and snack items for the chorus which was much appreciated by all. Alan Kousen also brought a cake on Sunday to share.
Director Joe Cerutti and associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and helped us prepare for the start of each show. Executive director Terry Reynolds did much to keep things flowing at the tech rehearsal and back stage, plus he served as the major emcee for the show.
At the Sunday show there was a pledge during intermission of a generous gift from chorus fans (Bill and Charli Sowers) if Tony would sing a solo in the second half of the show. So we added “O Holy Night” just minutes before the curtain went up!
The finale of each show was “Do You Hear What I Hear” with PRATT STREET singing the solos and the bell choir coming in on the last verse and the tag.  It was wonderful and the audience jumped to their feet both shows.
Our own SILVER ALERT quartet sang a verse of one song, some guys stepped forward to do the intro of another, and Mickey Robertson sang a solo spot too. Steve White provided the sleigh bells for “Sleigh Ride” – they were made by his grandfather for him when he was little. Always great addition to our holiday show. TBD lead by Reed Livergood did a great song in each half of the show including a Hanukah song.
The printed show program created by Adam Afifi with help from Ken Rub, Jeff Burkey and Liz Birnbaum was also great.
The chapter had a lot of activity in the lobby of the auditorium selling CDs for the guest artists, and a silent auction with all the many items the members of the chapter had solicited or collected or donated. There was a membership table too.
Director of volunteers, Robyn Murane, submits this thank you note to the huge number of members, their significant others and chapter friends who handled all sorts of tasks as part of the show:
Dear Holiday Show Volunteers, -- You are amazing! Thank you all for your hard work this weekend! You rolled with the flow, jumped in wherever you were needed and did everything with a smile.
Saundra, the Silent Auction was a great success, and your work and organization in advance was wonderful! You and Kristen ran a smooth auction, and y'all were a great team!
Rebecca, you sold a lot of CDs, (I had to re-stock Choir of the World for the Sun. show!) and took on the added duties taking on credit card sales for tickets, donations, WHOs and the silent auction.
Ken, your scouting for Donations was a huge success!
Aideen, Litic and Carol F. had the huge job of manning the ticket desk with Jason. Even with the challenges thrown your way Sat. night, you sold a lot of tickets and kept our patrons happy.
Sandy, you bounced from WHO to Silent Auction and back again, and did a great job on both!
Janet, Jessica, Jerrod, and Naida did a great job ushering, handing out programs and getting everyone in their seats and ready for the show.
Aideen, Sam, Judy, Debbie, Will and Kitty did double duty ushering and wrapping up the Silent Auction, and were awesome at both!
Judi and Carol D worked both as an ushers and jumped it to help break down the set on stage while Tracy and Grace helped the Silent Auction winners gather their loot and got them on their way!
Krissi, Rob, Janet and Joe were amazing utility players, setting up trees, running electrical to the trees, ushering, running the video camera, striking the set, and taking on any task I need to have taken care of! I know any task I threw at you would be handled without question!
Thank you ALL!
When I receive a complement of the way we run things, I always say I couldn't do it without you, the volunteers, and it's so very true!
If you can find the time before this all becomes a distant memory, please send me your thoughts on what went well, and where (and HOW) we can improve our systems. I'd love to get us all together for a "lessons learned" session, but with the Holidays approaching, we'll just have to do it via email!  Robyn

Many teams worked behind the scenes to ensure this show would be a success: ticket sales team at the show was headed by Jason Lee; silent auction team was headed by Saundra Deltac; the riser crew headed by Matt Doniger; the show marketing efforts were headed by Steve Murane for ticket sales, Frank Fedarko and Clyde Crusenberry for retirement ticket marketing, Jeff Burkey for the website, and Walt Page for the “Alexandria Gazette” contact; back stage work included Dixie Kennett; and an admin team included Chris Buechler who did the ASCAP paperwork and Carl Kauffmann as treasurer.
Just before the Sunday afternoon show, we sang farewell “A Place on the Risers for You” to Rick and Peggy Wagner. They are moving to Hawaii where they have family.  They say they will only be gone a year!  Both Rick and Peggy have served in leadership positions for the chapter, were dedicated volunteers and are recipients of the annual Wilbur and Ibbianne Sparks Award.
Sunday we learned the sad news that Mark Klostermeyer’s mother had died during the nite.  And then on Monday we got word that Bob Wachter’s wife, Jean, had died.  Details about any arrangements will come from the president.
Our schedule for the weeks ahead do not include an actual chapter meeting on Dec. 5th.  However on Fri and Sat Dec. 8-9, we will sing at a large number of senior homes or facilities.  Watch for details as to meeting places and details. We need more guys to sign  up so we can send two mini choruses around the metro area.
Next event is the annual and fun pub caroling  in Old Town Alexandria on Dec. 12th -  meet at 7 pm at Durant.  The chapter’s Santa hats will be available as well as copies of the music book “Yuletide Favorites” for all to use including any and all former or inactive members.
On Dec. 19, we will have a Heat Glow (an afterglow in the winter) at the home of Jack and Pat Pitzer, 7801 Suffolk Ct., Alexandria VA 223155, for singers and their significant others.  Near Hayfield Hi School on Telegraph Rd.  Arrival at 7:30 pm. Bring finger foods to share and your favorite drink too.  A holiday grog will be served too that is from the original recipe from Harmonizer Heat Glow events begun in the 1960s when the chorus sang for the annual burning of the greens (discarded Christmas trees) in the City of Alexandria. Car pools would be a good idea since the parking will be a little tight or you could walk from one of the nearby schools. Jack’s cell is 703-627-9424.
Then our first actual meeting and rehearsal will be Jan 2nd and Jan 9th. On the second we will have a state of chapter session including the exciting news about 2018 and 2019 events and opportunities.

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, December 4, 2017


Looking Back on the Nov. 28th Chapter Meeting
The meeting was back at Durant this week so we could use risers to practice for the holiday shows. It helped us get used to a new chorus line up and to perform the great staging plan created by choreographer Carlos Barillo.
We worked hard after warm ups by associate director Tony Colosimo.  Director Joe Cerutti pushed us hard to be at our best, or even better, and to capture the holiday excitement in our performance.
We went thru every song just in the order they will be on the show.  That included a quartet appearance for one song, a small ensemble for a verse of one song, and a soloist in another song.  You gotta come to the show to see who they are – Sat. nite Dec. 2 at 8 pm at TC Williams on King Street and Sun afternoon at 2 pm Dec. 3 at TC Williams.
There were a number of show related items of business during the nite – holiday sweat shirts and white scarves issued to new singers; White House Ornament sales wrap up (Thanks Sandy Stamps!); silent auction collection of packing materials and new donations. Call time for the tech rehearsal on Fri. Dec. 1 at TC Williams is 6 pm; 5 pm for the Sat nite show; and 11 am for the Sun afternoon show. Bring your own dinner items for Sat nite – no break for leaving campus; and same for lunch on Sunday.  Also, bring two white shirts for the show – one long sleeve to wear under the sweat shirt and one to wear with the uniform.
Ticket sales are going good – but of course there are lots of seats available. So don’t let up on your push to attend.
After the show we are gonna get a break – no meeting or rehearsal on Dec. 5th
Over the weekend of Dec. 8 and 9, we will form up into two mini choruses and entertain at several senior centers in the area. All details will be provided soon via email.
And on Dec. 12th we will assemble at Durant at 7 pm in room 3 and 4 and then adjourn to Market Square in Old Town for our annual Pub Caroling event.  We will sing from BHS published “Yuletide Favorites” books – some will be provided but you could bring your own. Sixth Row singers are invited to join in this fun nite.
On Dec. 19, we will have a Heat Glow (an afterglow in the winter) at the home of Jack and Pat Pitzer, 7801 Suffolk Ct., Alexandria VA 223155, for singers and their significant others.  Near Hayfield Hi School on Telegraph Rd.  Arrival at 7:30 pm. Bring finger foods to share and your favorite drink too.  A holiday grog will be served too that is from the original recipe from Harmonizer Heat Glow events begun in the 1960s when the chorus sang for the annual burning of the greens (discarded Christmas trees) in the City of Alexandria. Car pools would be a good idea since the parking will be a little tight or you could walk from one of the nearby schools. Jack’s cell is 703-627-9424.
Secretary Chris Buecher presented new member materials to Ben, Jon and Nick. And a seven year membership renewal card to Gary Fuller.
Guests this week included Chef, a friend of Duncan Woodbury; and Carter, a friend of Jeff Burkey.  Steve White reported news that the widow of former member Alan Durick, Lois, passed away recently.  Alan was gold medal senior quartet champ in REMINISCE and district champ with ALEXANDRIA’S RAGTIME BAND.
Before we adjourned, Joe formed a chorus huddle and shared some exciting plans for 2018-2019 including a plan to prepare for our 70th anniversary show in 2018 with a plan to sing the Top Ten songs from our past as voted on my patrons and members.
In other chorus news, thirteen guys sang with the Congressional Chorus on Nov. 19th at Church of the Epiphany in DC. They sang “You Are Here” from the “I AM Harvey Milk” oratorio and Tony Colosimo sang the solo.  The concert was a multisensory experience to celebrate the human spirit and power of people to rise above oppression.  The accompanist for our group was with the Congressional Chorus.  Others on the concert included a dance group, an orchestra and the another chorus DC area chorus.
The afterglow was back at LaPorta for a fun crowd.
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, November 23, 2017


Looking Back on the Nov. 21st Chapter Meeting
The traffic was hectic again this week – people leaving the DC area for the Thanksgiving holiday. But we had a good sized chorus to arrive by 7 pm at First Baptist. Everyone knew we had plenty of work to do on our songs for the Dec. holiday shows.
Early arrivals found a sort-of holiday market scene – 50/50 sales, CD sales from Carnegie Hall, WHO sales, Harmo Heroes on display; and a refreshments spread. There were several meetings in break out rooms – mostly regarding for the show and up-coming events in Dec.
Tag singing fans were working in the back hallway with leadership from associate director Tony Colosimo. Director Joe Cerutti did the warm ups using segments from the show songs.Then we did run thrus of each of the 11 songs for the show.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the chapter meeting. First – the Nov. 28th meeting will be back at Durant Rec Center, 1605 Cameron St. in Alexandria. Make note.
A big push was made for guys to sign up for the Dec. 8th and 9th sing-with-seniors projects. More guys need to sign up on Groupanizer so we can form two mini choruses on those days visiting senior citizen facilities.
It was confirmed that the annual holiday pub crawl sing in Old Town Alexandria, set for Tues. Dec. 12th, is another event when Sixth Row guys are welcome. Groupanizer says we will assemble at 7 pm at Durant Rec Center, then go into Old Town. We will sing holiday songs from the Society’s book “Yuletide Favorites” – extra copies will be available to use that nite for new members and others singing with us that nite. Joe has chosen the following songs from that book that we will possibly sing: “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” “Jingle Bells,” and of course “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” If members have a copy of Favorites, take a look at some of those songs, and bring the book along on the 12th to share.
Producer Brian Ammerman gave a few updates about the holiday show: ticket sales growing, but still lagging behind – we have 10 days to boost the number sold for the Dec. 2, 8 pm show and the Dec. 3, 2 pm show, both at TC Williams on King Street.
Correct call times for the chorus are: 6 pm for Tech Rehearsal on Dec. 1; then 5 pm for the Dec. 2 show; and 11 am for the Dec. 3 show. Note that non-singer helpers (family members, friends or chorus members not singing in the show) are needed on Friday evening for decorating the stage, also at 6 pm.
Continue collecting items for the silent auction such as gift cards. Give the items to Randall Eliason or Don Dillingham. You can even give things to them as late as Friday, Dec. 1 at the rehearsal. The committee needs bubble wrap and bags to use in sending purchases home with customers.
Chorus issued holiday sweatshirt and scarf is required for each singer on the show. If you don’t have one, quickly contact Robyn Murane.
Please use FaceBook a couple times a day to stimulate interest in the show. BUT more importantly, ask someone to buy a ticket. OR AT LEAST BUY ONE YOURSELF FOR YOUR FAMILY, SIGNIFICANT OTHER, AUNT OR YOUR CO-WORKER!
Casey Belzer did a little contest to see which section of the chorus could raise the most money in a donation jar. The basses won! And they will get a large ad in the show program.
President Randall alerted everyone to save the date for the Presidents’ Banquet which will be held on Sat. Feb. 3.
He also reported that Alexandria Chapter members were elected to head up the district’s honor club – DELASUSQUEHUDMAC (named for the four rivers in the district). Mike Kelly begins a term as president, Keith Jones a term as secretary and Mike Fasano a term as treasurer. The club’s annual meeting was in Ocean City, MD, over the Nov. 17-18 weekend.
Secretary Chris Buechler reminded folks to get their end of the year dues payments in.
Rick Wagner welcomed our guests: George from Maine (and member of the recent NED fall contest champ quartet; Carter (who has been with us the last few weeks); and LeAnn (Terry’s friend and frequent visitor with the chapter at International contests).
After the break, we were right back to work on the songs. There were auditions for a small group to sing part of one song, and a quartet to sing in a spot.
A big crowd of singers made it to the afterglow at Ramparts. Everyone is welcome to come to the afterglow which is an informal gathering most weeks. Likely next week we will be going back to LaPorta’s since rehearsal is back at Durant on Nov. 28th.
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, November 16, 2017

Looking Back on the Nov. 10th Veterans’ Day SingOut and Nov. 14th  Chapter Meeting
The chapter sang again at the school assembly for the Oakton Elementary School Veterans’ Day event.  It was so exciting for the students and a joy for the Harmonizers to see the students exhibit their pride and to hear them sing with us. Terry Reynolds did the warm ups for the 35 singers which included a number of “sixth row” guys. Chuck Hunter and Terry directed songs; we sang the “Armed Forces Medley.” “God Bless the USA” which featured a quartet of Rick Savage, Frank Fadarko, Chuck and Terry, and “God Bless America” when the students sang with us.
The Tuesday Nov. 14th meeting was all work on our music for the holiday show.  About 6:30pm a about a dozen men met with director Joe Cerutti and associate director Tony Colosimo to prepare singing “You Are Here” from I AM Harvey Milk Oratorio.  The group will be part of a concert Nov. 19th. at Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW at 4:30.  The Harmonizers are cooperating with the Congressional Chorus and several other groups for a themed show:  “We Will Rise, The Search for Equality, Justice & Freedom in Song, Poetry & Dance.” There is a 20% discount for Harmonizers to this show – just use harmonizers in the discount code field.
Then Tony launched warm ups for the whole chorus. Joe worked on one song after another in a fast pace, sometimes doing a three song set.  The music leaders did conduct sectionals for work on spots of various songs.
Director Joe has put out a call for interested members to audition for a couple small ensembles for the holiday show.  Interested singers should let Tony know by emailing him and be prepared to audition over the next 2 rehearsals.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted a chapter meeting.  He expressed the chapter’s appreciation for the 35 men who sang on Fri. Nov. 10th for the Veterans’ Day school assembly at Oakton Elementary.
Dave Branstetter expressed his appreciation for all the cards and messages from chapter members at the time of his father’s death.
Dec. 8th and 9th, the chapter singers will entertain at 11 different senior facilities.  We will form into two choruses for those gigs to cover all the places in a few hours. Fri, the 8th, we will be singing from 9:30-1:30; Sat the 9th we will be singing from noon til 4:30.  Thanks to Clyde Crusenberry for organizing these gigs.  Watch for instructions as to where to meet and what to where and what we will sing!?
Holiday Show producer Brian Ammerman push for more one-on-one ticket sales; and asked for some help behind the scenes.  Also he suggested guys who wanna put an ad or can sell an ad for the printed program should let Adam Afifi know.
Volunteers are needed for show weekend. This can be members who are not singing the show, or family members or friends of chapter members. Help is needed for decorating the stage on Fri. nite during the tech rehearsal, for staffing membership and donation tables and helping with the silent auction during the Sat nite or Sun afternoon shows.  Contact Robyn Murane if you can help: rlmurane@aol.com. BTW – volunteers get a free ticket.
President Randall Eliason reported that Terry Jordan has been moved from a hospital to Heritage Hall Leesburg Rehab, 122 Morven Park NW, Leesburg 20176. 703-777-8700 to call the facility.
All donations for the silent auction should be passed on to Randall or to Don Dillingham.
Ryan Kasperski was a guest again and word is he passed his audition for membership after the meeting this week!! Congrats.
Kudos to Martin Banks for his participation in the reading of 58,318 names as highlights the 35th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. He was honored to read 30 names on Wednesday morning, Nov. 9th.
See Alan Wile if you wish to purchase a Harmonizer lapel pin, tie tack or cuff links.  The lapel pin is only $2. Cuff links are $10 and tie tack is $5.
Afterglow was at Ramparts.
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, November 9, 2017

Looking Back on the Nov. 7th  Chapter Meeting
Despite the awful traffic and bad rain, and some folks being delayed so they could vote before they arrived, there was a big chorus for director Joe Cerutti to take thru their warm ups. Also there were a number of committee meetings before the start of the rehearsal
We (including 6th row members) began Tuesday's rehearsal with the Patriotic Songs for the Friday Nov. 10 Veteran's Day performance:  “Armed Forces Medley,”  “God Bless America” and “God Bless the USA.” We will sing at Oakton Elementary School for a school assembly as we have done for several years.  Call is 8:30 am.  Dress is suit and tie or military uniform. A quartet will sing the verses to “USA” and we will tag it out.

Joe was excited about the quality singing for the holiday show but passed along a hint that we need to help our audience experience the holiday music, not just listen to the songs. Joe got the idea from Dallas Vocal Majority director emeritus Jim Clancy last weekend.  Joe and president Randall Eliason reported to us about their time in Dallas attending a workshop session for seven large choruses from around the BHS.  The VM hosted the event; Randall got to sing on the risers; and Joe even got a lapel pin for having directed their chorus. Randall shared with us, “After attending the VM rehearsal on Thursday eve, we spend all day Friday and Saturday morning in meetings with representatives from five other top choruses and representatives from the BHS, talking and sharing information about common issues and best practices.”

Joe also shared a letter he got from last week’s music educator guest thanking us for the inspiration and fun of our music.

During the chorus work on Tuesday, we had a sectional on “Mary Did You Know” and choreographer Carlos Barillo reviewed the performance plan for “Text Me Merry Christmas” for all those who missed it last week.
President Randall shared news that Dave Branstetter’s father passed away the other day.
And Randall reminded guys to solicit gift cards and significant items for the auction at the holiday show.  We are not looking for flea market or white elephant items.  Gifts should be turned over to Randall or Don Dillingham.
Executive director Terry Reynolds reminded everyone that we will be in First Baptist two more weeks, and then back at Durant on Tues. Nov. 28th just before the show weekend so we can use the risers.
Private Voice Instructions resume next week with Vickie Dennis.  If you are interested, contact Keith Jones.
Chapter contest director Craig Kujawa reported that we are making plans for our trip to compete in the International Chorus contest in Orlando in July.  We were officially invited and currently rank fifth based on fall contest scores. Craig announced that members of the chorus will need to be purchasing their early bird contest registrations before Dec. 21st.  $249 each – a chapter member can buy two in the chapter block of seats.  Or you can get your own family group or such – same price and about the same deadline. Finally, Craig said we will need to know our room needs in Dec. too. So be ready to sign up.
Terry asked everyone to check the printed lists on the table in the break area regarding holiday sweatshirt info.
Also the chapter needs everyone to be sure their address and contact info is correct on Groupanizer cause we will soon stop using a Yahoo group for messages.
Chapter quartet MISFIRE is singing on a Maryland chapter show this weekend.  Their lead, Brian Ammerman is also our holiday show producer.  He spoke about the many ways to get out the word for tickets sales.  He reminded everyone to mark their calendar for the tech and dress rehearsal on Fri. Dec. 1st. He also thanked the following men for helping put up flyers in Old Town Alexandria over the weekend: Steve Spar, Dean Rust, Alan Wile, Frank Fedarko and Matt Doniger.
Chapter secretary Chris Buechler  presented membership renewal cards to Clark Chesser for 8 years; Shawn Tallant for 11 years; Antony Takahashi for 15 years; Bob Blair for 17 years; Troy Hillier for 27 years; and Jack Pitzer for 52 years!!!
Membership director Dave Kohls and Rick Wagner welcomed Nick Frederick and Carter White back as potential member guests.
Thanks to the several folks who brought extra goodies to share at break.
After break we worked more on the holiday songs.
The afterglow gang went to Ramparts.
In other news, the DC Chapter had its 70th annual Harvest of Harmony, Sat. Nov. 4th at American University’s Greenberg Theater at Wisconsin and Van Ness.  It was the 25th and final show for their director Bill Colosimo.  The chorus sang the first half of the show along with some chapter quartets (including one with Fred Peters, age 100). Guest artists included our own CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB, Knock Out – a SAI quartet from the area and DA CAPO.  Turns out this was the final performance for DA CAPO, also.  A good number of Harmonizers were in the audiences of their two shows in the afternoon and at nite.
And thanks to Don Harrington for taking notes for YeEd on Oct. 31st!
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 Nov. 7th  Chapter Meeting
Despite the awful traffic and bad rain, and some folks being delayed so they could vote before they arrived, there was a big chorus for director Joe Cerutti to take thru their warm ups. Also there were a number of committee meetings before the start of the rehearsal
We (including 6th row members) began Tuesday's rehearsal with the Patriotic Songs for the Friday Nov. 10 Veteran's Day performance:  “Armed Forces Medley,”  “God Bless America” and “God Bless the USA.” We will sing at Oakton Elementary School for a school assembly as we have done for several years.  Call is 8:30 am.  Dress is suit and tie or military uniform. A quartet will sing the verses to “USA” and we will tag it out.

Joe was excited about the quality singing for the holiday show but passed along a hint that we need to help our audience experience the holiday music, not just listen to the songs. Joe got the idea from Dallas Vocal Majority director emeritus Jim Clancy last weekend.  Joe and president Randall Eliason reported to us about their time in Dallas attending a workshop session for seven large choruses from around the BHS.  The VM hosted the event; Randall got to sing on the risers; and Joe even got a lapel pin for having directed their chorus. Randall shared with us, “After attending the VM rehearsal on Thursday eve, we spend all day Friday and Saturday morning in meetings with representatives from five other top choruses and representatives from the BHS, talking and sharing information about common issues and best practices.”

Joe also shared a letter he got from last week’s music educator guest thanking us for the inspiration and fun of our music.

During the chorus work on Tuesday, we had a sectional on “Mary Did You Know” and choreographer Carlos Barillo reviewed the performance plan for “Text Me Merry Christmas” for all those who missed it last week.
President Randall shared news that Dave Branstetter’s father passed away the other day.
And Randall reminded guys to solicit gift cards and significant items for the auction at the holiday show.  We are not looking for flea market or white elephant items.  Gifts should be turned over to Randall or Don Dillingham.
Executive director Terry Reynolds reminded everyone that we will be in First Baptist two more weeks, and then back at Durant on Tues. Nov. 28th just before the show weekend so we can use the risers.
Private Voice Instructions resume next week with Vickie Dennis.  If you are interested, contact Keith Jones.
Chapter contest director Craig Kujawa reported that we are making plans for our trip to compete in the International Chorus contest in Orlando in July.  We were officially invited and currently rank fifth based on fall contest scores. Craig announced that members of the chorus will need to be purchasing their early bird contest registrations before Dec. 21st.  $249 each – a chapter member can buy two in the chapter block of seats.  Or you can get your own family group or such – same price and about the same deadline. Finally, Craig said we will need to know our room needs in Dec. too. So be ready to sign up.
Terry asked everyone to check the printed lists on the table in the break area regarding holiday sweatshirt info.
Also the chapter needs everyone to be sure their address and contact info is correct on Groupanizer cause we will soon stop using a Yahoo group for messages.
Chapter quartet MISFIRE is singing on a Maryland chapter show this weekend.  Their lead, Brian Ammerman is also our holiday show producer.  He spoke about the many ways to get out the word for tickets sales.  He reminded everyone to mark their calendar for the tech and dress rehearsal on Fri. Dec. 1st. He also thanked the following men for helping put up flyers in Old Town Alexandria over the weekend: Steve Spar, Dean Rust, Alan Wile, Frank Fedarko and Matt Doniger.
Chapter secretary Chris Buechler  presented membership renewal cards to Clark Chesser for 8 years; Shawn Tallant for 11 years; Antony Takahashi for 15 years; Bob Blair for 17 years; Troy Hillier for 27 years; and Jack Pitzer for 52 years!!!
Membership director Dave Kohls and Rick Wagner welcomed Nick Frederick and Carter White back as potential member guests.
Thanks to the several folks who brought extra goodies to share at break.
After break we worked more on the holiday songs.
The afterglow gang went to Ramparts.
In other news, the DC Chapter had its 70th annual Harvest of Harmony, Sat. Nov. 4th at American University’s Greenberg Theater at Wisconsin and Van Ness.  It was the 25th and final show for their director Bill Colosimo.  The chorus sang the first half of the show along with some chapter quartets (including one with Fred Peters, age 100). Guest artists included our own CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB, Knock Out – a SAI quartet from the area and DA CAPO.  Turns out this was the final performance for DA CAPO, also.  A good number of Harmonizers were in the audiences of their two shows in the afternoon and at nite.
And thanks to Don Harrington for taking notes for YeEd on Oct. 31st!
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, November 4, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 31st Chapter Meeting
The Harmonizers gathered at the First Baptist Church this week, where we will rehearse for the next three weeks.
The primary focus for the evening was the Holiday Show, December 2nd and 3rd. Director Joe Cerutti thanked all the guys who turned out for the community singing event last Wednesday at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. It was a great event made possible in large measure by Dean Rust and John Oswald Green. Joe read parts of an email from Joyce Garrett, the church's Director of Music and long time Alexandria community supporter. She was so thrilled with the event she wants to make it an annual event.
Terry Reynolds conducted this week’s business meeting, reminding members of important information about upcoming shows. On November 10, we will again be participating in the Veteran's Day salute at the Oakton Middle School. Call time is 8:30 am. Dress is coat and tie or military uniform with patriotic ties encouraged. This is always a fun event and a great opportunity for our 6th row guys to perform. We will be singing the “Armed Forces Medley,” “God Bless America” and the tag to “God Bless the USA” (a quartet will sing the rest).

It's time to sell tickets for the Holiday Show. If you have not done so, FaceBook users should follow Steve Murane's instructions to locate the events on the Harmonizer FB page and indicate you are going, then share the announcement with a personal note. Brian Ammerman is organizing a Paint-the-Town event Saturday, November 4 to help spread word and have some fun. Contact Brain if you can participate.

For the holiday show and other events, we will be wearing our holiday sweatshirts and scarves. Guys were encouraged to make sure they can find them and that they are in good condition. If you do not have them or they need replacement, please report back next week.

 In addition to the Holiday show December 2-3, we will be singing at senior centers during the day on December 8 and 9.

Terry announced that the yahoo groups will be discontinued as a means for chapter communications and replaced with Groupanizer. To prepare for this, guys should log on to Groupanizer and make sure their primary and secondary email addresses are updated.

Liz Birnbaum, president of AH Inc., reported on recent donations of gift cards and other valuable merchandise for the Holiday Show silent auction. Steve Sutton, another AH Inc. board member has donated some valuable, eye catching items. Rob Barnovski received facility passes from the Fairfax County Parks Authority. Johan Westberg secured valuable donations from IKEA and several guys received gift cards, just by asking businesses they patronize. One out of two businesses will make a donation if you ask. Where else can you beat those odds? Liz encouraged everyone to do their part and ask. Liz also announced the need for a laptop or Ipad. If anyone would like to make a tax deductible donation of one of these items, please talk to Liz.

Al Herman, chapter treasurer, told us about a great opportunity for those of us in retirement to help the chapter and reduce taxes at the same time. Look for more information in your mail box. Chris Buechler, still recovering from surgery, presented Jim Kirkland with his eight year membership card.

Membership Director Dave Kohls announced that Chris Leyen and Mario Sengco had passed auditions and introduced guests Brad Jayne, Nick Fredrick, Shelly Reagan, and Carlos Barillo's family members Susanna, Connie and Maria.
After break, we worked on Holiday songs and “God Bless the USA” in preparation for the Veteran's Day program. Carlos taught us slightly revised choreography for “Text Me Merry Christmas.” Joe thanked the guys for the great progress being made on the holiday music and challenged us to be ready to take it to the next level next week.

A good group enjoyed the afterglow at Ramparts.
(Thanks to Don Harrington for taking notes for YeEd.)

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

                                                                                                                      

Friday, November 3, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 25th Community Sing
The Harmonizers participated in Chorus Meetup—“Sing for Joy” at the 214-year-old Historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Old Towne Alexandria.
Members arrived starting at 6 pm, received by greeter/ushers and were in place in the sanctuary, not quite warmed up as director Joe Cerutti had instructed so he turned the reigns to Will Cox. Shortly thereafter a compliment of 54 men were ready to enchant.
The program opened with greetings from Dr. Joyce Garrett, Director of the Music and Arts Worship Ministry, and was emceed by Matthew Stensrud, Chair, Alexandria Commission for the Arts. The performers were Male Chorus of Alfred Street Baptist Church, Directed by Melvin E. Bryant, Jr., with co-director Carl Cragway teaching the aggregation a gospel selection. The Alexandria Singers followed them, under the direction of Bill Colosimo, who also shared a selection to be performed collectively by all assembled.
Next up were the Harmonizers who performed the gospel “Roll Jordan, Roll,”  “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and the latest contest up-tune, “Blow, Gabriel, Blow.”  Next a quartet of section leaders (Brian Ammerman, tenor, Tony Colosimo, lead , Chuck Hunter, baritone and Andrew Havens, bass) taught everyone the David Wright “Friends” tag.
Next up was the Hispanic Choir of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church which included a compliment of instrumentalist and vocalist. Their collective was a Spanish language of the popular gospel selection, “Lord, We Lift Your Name on High” with those familiar singing the English along with the Spanish.
The evening ended with refreshments served in the church’s fellowship hall. Special thanks to The Alexandria Commission for the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Saundra Deltac for assisting the church’s kitchen coordinator (Verna Payne)  with the refreshments, and a BIG thank you to Dean Rust for all of his “blood, sweat and tears” coordinating the many particulars.
A wonderful program that highlighted people of diverse musical styles & cultures experiencing the transformative power of music.
(Many thanks to John Oswald Greene for taking notes for YeEd.)
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 Oct. 24th Chapter Meeting
The chorus members were back at work on Tuesday nite in the music suite at First Baptist with more solid work on our holiday music for the shows and singouts during the coming season.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and used the quartet teaching method to help us learn a new tag for “Caroling Caroling.” Director Joe Cerutti worked on the show songs then and Mike Kelly projected the music for the songs. Before he started, Joe paid special tribute to Dean Rust for the many behind-the-scenes tasks Dean does for the chapter – particularly submitting grants for our chapter. The chorus gave Dean a standing o in appreciation.
Joe also explained the plan for the sing out and fellowship we are co-hosting tomorrow nite at Alfred Street Baptist Church on Wed. Oct. 25th. The event is being co-hosted by the men’s choir and us. It will bring together the Harmonizers, the Alfred Street men’s choir, the Alexandria Singers (directed by Bill Colosimo) and a Spanish choir from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Start time is 7 pm. Joe wants our chorus there at 6 pm. We will wear black camp shirt and jeans outfits. Singing should be finished by 8:30 and then refreshments. Invite guests to this incredible combination of very diverse musical groups in our city.
The sanctuary of the church is at 301 S. Alfred St. Alexandria, Va. Church is on the corner of Duke and S. Alfred St. Entrance to sanctuary is on Alfred Street. Plan ahead, allow extra time. On the street there is both metered and non-metered parking, but it is limited to two hours during the week up to 11:00 PM. Enforcement after dark may be spotty, but… Private lots may be your best choice. They are owned by businesses in the area, but available to the church at no cost after 5:00 PM.
All during the day on Sat. Dec. 9th the chorus will be singing at a number of senior centers around the area – likely smaller groups each singing at different ones. Clyde Crusenberry is organizing this event.
Sandy Stamps was at the meeting to distribute White House Ornaments for members to sell.
Brian Ammerman is producer heading up the holiday shows Sat. Dec. 2 at 8 pm at TC Williams on King Street, and Sun. Dec. 3 at 2 pm also at TC Williams. He spoke about the projected ticket sales campaign to retirement and senior centers. THE TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE. He spoke about the need for all members to sell tickets and promote the show. The flyers are available. . President Randall explained that there will be a senior discount of 20 percent and a student discount of 50 percent. He also reminded guys to get gift cards for the silent auction at the show.
The Veterans’ Day sing at Oakton Elementary is on Friday, Nov. 10th.
Note that all the chapter meetings will be at First Baptist for the rest of the year except Tues. nite Nov. 28th. There will be no meeting on Dec. 5th. The Dec. 12th meeting will be the annual pub crawl and sing in Old Towne – all Harmonizers are welcome. And the Dec. 19th meeting will be the traditional Heat Glow Harmo Holiday Party at the home of Jack and Pat Pitzer, 7801 Suffolk Ct., Alexandria, VA 22315.
Randall introduced a member of the DC Chapter who was present to encourage our chapter to attend their annual Harvest of Harmony on Nov. 4th. It will be the last time DA CAPO sings, and Bill Colosimo’s last show as director with the DC Chapter. CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB will also be on that show.
Rick Wagner introduced the guests: Brad, Chris, Ryan and Carter. Secretary Chris Buechler was back to chapter meeting and presented a renewal card to Michael Schwartz for 23 years. It was also good to see Michael back, plus Kevin McKenzie and Brian Miller.
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