Looking Back on the August 20th Chapter Meeting
The big chorus was back on the risers this week and were mostly rested after the trip to Scotland (a good number of men took the extension trip and are only back a few days).
Before the meeting a crew of guys headed by operations guy Gary Cregan with help from Matt Doniger, Mike Fasano and others marked off the floor to indicate where the platforms will be on the stage for the fall show. When guys arrived they were encouraged to check the chorus layout board to confirm where they will stand for the show. It was pointed out that for the show, those platforms will be various heights and thus it will be lots easier to see the directors.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did a great warm up session and then director Joe Cerutti took over directing (he had gone up into the higher theater seats at Scottish Rite Temple so the guys could see him better).
Joe encouraged all members (active singers and any other members) to come to Dog Days next Tuesday nite, Tuesday, Aug. 27th. This is the annual event when Harmonizers join the other area barbershop choruses at the dog-days-of-summer event hosted by the Manassas Chapter. Guests and new members are for sure encouraged to join us. And many members will bring family to enjoy the performances – including our Harmonizer portion. There are refreshments and this year – a time to mix and mingle and get to meet fellow barbershoppers. The event will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church again – 12975 Purcell Rd., Manassas 20112. It’s not too early to organize a car pool, make arrangements for a ride from a Metro stop, or to plan a dinner stop en route (some of us gather at Famous Dave’s BBQ on the Prince William Parkway about 5.). Join us. And if you can’t get there by 7, come anyway, as we sing last on the program. Everyone wear their Harmo name tag too. And Joe says to come warmed up – we won’t be practicing on site. The chorus will sing several of the fall show songs – “Impossible Dream,” “Anything Goes,” “Bright Side of Life,” “For Good,” and “Circle of Life.”
Joe also reported that the songs for the holiday shows are posted on Groupanizer. The songs were chosen by a committee of Steve White, Chuck Powell, Troy Hillier, and Ben Watsky. There will be two holiday shows for the Harmonizers and each will have different guest artists. The first one will be at Strathmore on Nov. 30th at 4pm, with VOCAL SPECTRUM and a youth chorus directed by Sandra Zinkievich. The second will be at Schlesinger on Sat. Dec. 21st at 4pm with PRATT STREET POWER and the youth quartet QUIN-TONES from NJ.
Our fall show is Sept. 14th at Schlesinger at 4 pm. We really need to get serious about selling tickets. Guest artists for this show are INSTANT CLASSIC and GQ quartets. With the chorus performing so well, it would be shame if the house is only partially full. Dean Sherick has tickets. (Consignment tickets need to be turned in Tues. before the show.) Matt Doniger is the new contact for producing a printed program – there is still time to get in another ad that you might sell. Contact Matt or Krissi Folsom. Dress rehearsal for the fall show is on Sept. 12th at 7pm at Schlesinger. Uniform for this show will be the blue suit – anyone who needs any part of that uniform should contact Robyn Murane.
The chorus will be participating in Arts on the Avenue on Oct. 5th. We sing from 1-1:45 pm on the Gabriel Concert Band Stage at the Mt. Vernon Rec Center soccer field.
That same weekend is the M-AD fall chorus and quartet contest in Reading, PA. Many of us will attend that event to support other choruses and our own quartets that qualified to compete there. We have guys singing in six quartets this year – BREAKFAST BLEND with Geipel and Beach; MISS OTIS REGRETS with Sengco, Haedtler, Leyen and Rub; QUIRKS OF ART with Bob Wilson and Mike Wallen; SILVER ALERT with Savage, Edison, Cox, and Murane; TAYLOR MADE with Rick Taylor; and THE UNION with Pookie Dingle and Mike Pinto.
Robyn Murane has assumed duties as Volunteer Coordinator and is looking for helpers from the Harmonizer family to fill several jobs for the fall and holiday shows.
Show chairman Joe Cerutti Sr. is looking for a volunteer to pick up our guest quartets for the Sept. show. Quartets are arriving at National Airport on Friday, Sept. 13th in the evening. Speak to Joe Sr. if you can help.
He also explained the extra benefits for those who purchase Premier Tickets for the fall show – bling and good seats too! There are plenty of flyers for all members to use in selling tickets.
Finally he shared the news about a discount plan for folks who buy a holiday show ticket at the fall show.
President Shawn Tallant reminded chapter leaders about the combined board meeting on Sat. Aug. 24th in Liz Birnbaum’s office for our two chapter boards.
Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewals to Turner Arndt for 6 years; Kellen Hertz for 11 years; Noah Van Gilder for 11 years; Randall Eliason for 24 years; and Jack Pitzer for 54 years.
Ben Watsky welcomed two guests for this week – Chris who heard us at the Whiffenpoofs show and Jake who sang barbershop in Kansas City and is in DC waiting for his job assignment.
This week’s chapter meeting was held in the cafeteria with summer refreshments - lots of watermelon and lemonade. (Thanks to Jim Kirkland, Jack Pitzer, Gary Cregan, Joe and Janet Cerutti for set up and clean up.)
Then we celebrated the wonderful follow up for the trip to Scotland. Director Joe kicked off the reports with some fun stories he had heard as well as a letter from a town leader in Dundee. Several men shared stories as well to include audience reactions, emotions shared, and funny events or moments experienced.
Joe thanked a number of teams of guys who made the shows on the trip so successful – speakers/emcees; script writers; soloists; bus crews; and uniform helpers. Joe declared Brad Jones the Hero of the Trip which prompted a standing ovation and applause from his fellow Harmonizers. President Shawn read a thank you letter from the president of the Cottontown Chorus in UK. We gave them each a Harmonizer logo lapel pin.
After the celebration, it was back to work on the fall show music.
The work took us right up to our 10 pm closing. A crew of guys helped Operations chairman Gary Cretan to move all of our property back stage this week.
Another good crowd adjourned to Ramparts for the afterglow and even some tag singing.
(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