Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Looking Back on the April 22nd Youth Harmony Festival
This was the chapter’s 9th festival and we providing singing opportunity for about 50 students – 20  men and 30 women. The all-day event was at Durant beginning at 8:30 am.  There were students from seven schools.
Chapter director education Vickie Dennis was organizer for this year’s festival.  Joe Cerutti was dean of the school and brought opening remarks and welcome to the students, other faculty, guest quartets and school music educators. Tony Colosimo was clinician for the men and Hailey Parks was clinician for the women.  Two guest quartets came to help with the teaching, singing and working with the students: SIGNATURE from BHS coming up from FL (They have been in our area several times to help recruit students and music educators for this event and similar experiences); and CLASS RING from SAI coming from many states in this area including TN. Carlos Barillo was choreo instructor for the youth choruses.
Harmonizers helped with set up on Friday nite and many members brought in snacks, drinks, water, and dessert goodies for the students. On Saturday morning, more guys helped get things rolling, brought in ice to cool drinks, helped with registration, welcomed the students and other guests, and had the coffee on for early morning break. Members of the Vienna Falls SAI chorus also helped with morning set up and kick off.  Tony did the warm ups after the introductions and the two choruses worked on their songs for the Saturday nite show.
Just before dinner and after an exhausting day of hard work on music and choreo, the student’s energy level was getting low.  What better way to spark instant interest than a spontaneous judging event.  The student body was divided into three groups, each containing a mix of young men and women.  The music teachers attending became the judges and each group chose a name and decided what tag they had learned during the day to sing for the contest.  The three groups were vying for a guaranteed place at the front of the dinner buffet line. The competition was fierce for that prize.  After the announcement of the winning group, Joe had one more surprise to up keep up the interest level.  Each group had to meet one more time and decide three things they would do to improve their presentation and a spokesperson from each group reported the results to the audience.  After that, it was a race to get in line for the pizza feed at 6 pm.

During the dinner hour, Harmonizers began to trickle in, students gathered in the hallways to sing and go over choreo, and parents and guests arrived and got seated.  By 7 pm the hall was filled and buzzing.  Joe Cerutti was emcee for the evening’s show and welcomed the guests by describing the day’s events and the achievements the youth had made in the course of the day. 

Three guest quartets sang two songs apiece during the evening show: UP ALL NIGHT (1st place, region 14 competition, SAI) from Vienna Falls chapter; CLASS RING (5th. place SAI International); and SIGNATURE (4th. place BHS International).  The quartet presentations were interspersed with the chorus performances.  The Harmonizers sang “Rock My Soul,” “Summertime,” and “All You Need Is Love.”

The youth women’s chorus and the youth men’s chorus each sang one song for the show. The wore their YHF tee shirts for the show. Before inviting the combined youth choruses to the stage to sing together for the finale, Joe acknowledged all of the people who made the event possible, especially Vicki Dennis, the Harmonizer director of education for all her work in organizing the event.

Harmonizers pitched in to clean up and put things away after the show.  (YeEd thanks Tom Berkey for taking notes for this report).

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 69th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

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