Looking Back on the Dec. 20th 2020 Virtual Holiday Show
This year’s Alexandria Harmonizer holiday show was a huge success. Virtual and co-presented with Northwest Sound from Bellevue, WA, Chapter, the free event was broadcast on the BHS YouTube Channel and watched around the world. Theme for the show was “Christmas Coast to Coast – a celebration of singing and family!”
The Harmonizers themselves had a watch party that started at 6 pm – about a half hour before the show went live at 6:30 pm EST on Dec. 20th 2020.
Director Joe Cerutti was at his home, with his parents Joe Sr. and Janet watching, and took a minute to kick off the watch party to explain how it all came to happen. He also shared how we happen to connect with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), a non-profit in VA that provides benefits for the families of service members who were killed in the line of duty. Leaders of that organization joined us during the watch party too including founder Bonnie Carroll (who joined the call from Alaska). The Harmonizers encouraged viewers of the show to donate to TAPS and before the show ended, nearly $5,000 was donated. The Northwest Sound Chapter encouraged donations to Hopelink.
President Stan Quick shared in the show program that the first decision during the collaboration was that the show would be a gift. No group appearing would make any money. Rather, each chapter selected their charity to support.
The show was also sponsored by both the Evergreen and the Mid Atlantic Districts of BHS. Evergreen president (former Harmonizer) John Rettenmayer and MAD president (and current Harmonizer) Bob Eckman both brought greetings during the show.
Much appreciation to those who made the show possible because of technology. Mike Kelly and Joel Golden get top billing for their hard work, long hours and technical expertise as Harmonizers. Director Joe Cerutti, associate director Tony Colosimo, and assistant director Terry Reynolds provided significant musical and administrative leadership to get the chorus ready to do their recordings and to keep the communications flowing. Bruce Roehm, president of AH Inc., and Matt Doniger, chapter communications director, were also on the production team. That team included an equal number of men from Northwest Sound including their director Ken Potter and their president and emcee on the show, Bill Hickman. The BHS staff in Nashville provided major project management as well, including promotion to the family of singers we call barbershop.
Before the show launched on Sunday evening, Bruce dedicated the show to the three Harmonizers who died in the year from Covid as well to those Harmonizer families who have had health issues, job changes, weddings, funerals, and new babies. We yearn for more “Harmonizer Breathless Moments” in 2021.
The two-hour show was truthfully a holiday variety show with lots of great graphics, photos and videos and glimpses into homes and lives of fellow barbershop singers around the globe. There were youth quartets, mixed quartets, family groups, dads and their kids, small break-out groups from both chapters, top ranking quartets from all barbershop harmony organizations, some comedy with Will Cox doing his traditional “Night Before Christmas” routine, and a greeting from BHS CEO Marty Monson and his family on their front porch after a snow there.
Our Alexandria chapter was well represented with several groups on the show in addition to the virtual chorus songs by themselves and with the Northwest Sound chorus. Our own a cappella group, TBD, donned Santa hats, with black masks to film a number outside our chapter meeting place. Great hit on “Here Comes Santa.”
RIPTIDE – a rock band, which includes Joe Cerutti Sr., Chris Huber, Kellen Hertz and Joel Golden from the chorus) entertained on the show with “Santa Is Coming to Town.” They had some fun scenes too – one when Joe Jr. was given a gift box filled with lumps of coal. The list for Santa to check twice include several Harmonizers as well, such as Sam McFarland who was on the “nice” list.
Always great to hear BETTER TOGETHER sing for us – perfect for a family show with Tony and Elizabeth Colosimo, and Andrew and Heather Havens singing together.
Tony and Andrew also appeared with their relatively new quartet, FIRST TAKE, with Drew Wheaton and Alex Corson.
Our guys in SILVER ALERT modeled the epidemy of ugly Christmas sweaters and sang about it on the show! This Harmo quartet includes Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, and Steve Murane.
When word was out that this show was being planned, the task force was inundated with offers of assistance and ultimately there were 22 groups appearing on the show. Some of the groups have been part of the Harmonizer year of Zoom meetings, some been on our shows, some have come to help with our Youth Harmony event, and some welcomed us for shows in their world. No wonder it was called a “Christmas Coast to Coast – a celebration of singing and family!”
For the history, here are the groups that did a song on the show:
MITCHELL FAMILY SINGERS
PRATT STREET POWER
VON TRAMACK FAMILY SINGERS
Plus the two men’s choruses – Northwest Sound and the Alexandria Harmonizers.
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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)