Looking Back on the Jan 28th, 2020 Chapter Meeting
This was the third week into the new Harmonizer rehearsal variation pilot plan – this week was labeled “Small Groups.”
Because the heat was not working in the main hall at SRT, we met in the lodge room and used break out spaces all around the whole building.
After a warm up, associate director Tony Colosimo invited the men to form into groups - two to seven men. Those groups were dispersed to spaces in the building and each group followed the detailed work plan that had been sent out to all members in the weekly HarmoGram published by Dave Branstetter. The plan was prepared by the music team to concentrate on “42nd Street.” The groups did not need any particular combination of singing parts – could have been all tenors, or no baritones. A reporter was chosen by each group to submit results and how it worked via an online survey. But it was apparent to all viewers that it worked. (And the comments when the singers regrouped into the Lodge room confirmed success too.) Music team members did float about the building to help if needed.
The groups worked on certain measures, compared their work with a metronome (lots of new apps were obtained by members), and there were times when some listened and some sang. There was also the possibility that a small group could have been formed someplace away from the Scottish Rite Temple (SRT). (Altho it was not confirmed, the guys from up by Ft. Meade were not present – so YeEd guesses they formed a small group there and followed the same format.)
After the small groups work, chapter executive director Randall Eliason conducted the brief chapter meeting and made the announcements. He began with the reminders about the 46th annual Presidents’ Banquet which is Sat. Feb. 1. (Event chairman Clyde Crusenberry reports to YeEd that there are 120 attendees signed up as of this point.) The event will be at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St, Alexandria VA. Cocktail hour begins at 6:15, dinner served at 7, and the program will begin at 8, including installation of our 2020 BHS Chapter Officers, followed by the presentation of the Chapter's 2019 Chapter Distinguished Service awards. Dinner will be catered by Maggianos, a popular Italian restaurant in the area! There is plenty of free parking. Dress code is dressy casual
Next Randall reminded members about the combined show with The Yale Whiffenpoofs on Fri. Feb. 7 at George Washington Masonic National Memorial, 101 Calahan Dr. in Alexandria. The Harmonizers will sing five songs to open the 7:30 pm show. Tickets are $30 – members are encouraged to promote this event to their own patron list. Robyn Murane will coordinate volunteers to help with ushering, welcoming, ticket collection and the like. Watch for a pre-event email with details for arrival, parking and uniforms.
Next week’s chapter meeting will center around a full chorus rehearsal and include a visit from our coach Cy Wood from Ohio to prepare for the Feb. 7th show. Again, the complete details for next week’s meeting will be in the weekly HarmoGram to all members.
The Feb. 11th meeting nite will include the fun of our annual Wilbur Sparks Memorial Put Together Quartet contest. Matt Doniger is Dr. Put this year again – which translated means he will help guys find three other parts to form a quartet. Or he might even create the name of a foursome! Comedy numbers or regular songs are in order. Guests and family members are encouraged to join in the fun and refreshments. Winners of the contest get trophies! Judges will be a surprise this year.
Membership director Jacob Broude is eager to hear from any members who wanna participate in an organized effort to get rides to and from the chapter meeting place – especially to and from DC. He wants to hear from members who need rides or transportation or members who can help or provide it.
Randall announced that BETTER TOGETHER, a mixed quartet with Tony and Elizabeth Colosimo and Andrew and Heather Havens, will be competing at the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweeps A Cappella Festival on Sat. Feb. 22 at the Birchmere starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets are going fast, and are available online now at Ticketmaster. All seats are General Admission, first come-first seated. The competition is always intense but having a house full of fans always makes a positive impression on the judges! Besides – those of us who have gone in other years will confess it is a fun nite for all who attend. The Birchmere is at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave. in Alexandria 22315.
Music team admin guy Terry Reynolds reviewed the continuing process for personal interviews for each member with the director or the section leader.
Jim Kirkland, who is also president of the Harmony Heritage Singers (HHS), invites any fellow Harmonizers to make a donation in honor of Michael Everard to Harmony Foundation International (HFI) for the “Keep A Melody Ringing” program. Donations may be submitted directly to HFI, as long as you indicate your donation is in honor of Mike. HFI address is 110 7th Ave. N, Nashville, TN 372103.President Stan Quick reinforced the need for men to sign up to sing Valentines messages –Calvin Schnure is coordinator. (from Calvin - we are lining up appearances for quartets on Valentine's Day. All we need are singers--and we need you! If you love singing, and can perform "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and "Heart of My Heart" in a quartet, and would like to take part, please let me know. All parts are needed! firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stan also asks everyone to be prepared to sign up and register to go with the Harmonizers to Harmony University at Belmont College in Nashville this summer. You will need to do it as part of the chorus registration – watch for emails and plans, then take action.
Secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal card to Gary Cregan for three years.
Ben Watsky welcomed a singing guest for the nite – Michael Berkson who has moved to DC for a new job and comes to us from the Voices of Gotham. He will sing baritone.
The second half of this week’s meeting time was divided four time periods. Members could attend any of the four options or repeat one of them, or drift from one to another. Repertoire review was conducted by Jason Lee on songs for the Feb. 7th show. Tessa Walker and John Sifuentes presented “barbershop performances not to miss” from SAI, HI and BHS (with help from our tech guy Mike Kelly). Tony taught basic music theory. And the section leaders were present for “office hours” to meet one-on-one if needed.
The 50/50 drawing winner Brian Ammermann directed “Keep The Whole World Singing” to wrap up another great Harmonizer session.
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 71st year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd