Friday, May 20, 2022

Looking Back on the May 17th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the May 17th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting 

Last minute announcement before this week’s meeting called for wearing masks again inside the meeting place. Luckily the weather was nice and so we set up outside the entrance and the chorus stood on the steps facing the street. All chorus work was done outside even though it was getting dark before we ended.


At some points during the night, small groups were inside and masked.


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the outside warm ups at 7 pm while the choreo review session with Turner Arndt continued in the auditorium. Director Joe Cerutti was in Nashville for a BHS staff meeting.


Music team admin helper Terry Reynolds was in Europe and so he had assigned about a half dozen guys to manage the many tasks he carries out each week. Mike Kelly was on hand to do all the tech tasks for sound and hybrid Zoom connections.  Ian Poulin reported via Zoom that he is being treated for a detached retina. Chuck Hunter was in town from Chicago and visited the chorus.


Membership chairman Jacob Broude met with several of our newer members in a sort of Boot Camp effort to prepare them for “how things will go” for contests and shows and uniforms.


Tony started the music work session for several parts of “42nd Street” and then did a whole chorus choreo review, with Turner.  Turner has provided a written version of the choreo plans for chorus members. Also just before the meeting, a message was send to all members with a video message from visual coach Cy Wood.  This includes the rest of the choreo plan for 
“42nd Street.”  The chorus members are expected to have studied it and to be prepared to execute it next week when Cyis with the chorus at Scottish Rite Temple.


The business meeting was conducted by communications director Sam Whiteoak. President Noah Van Guilderreviewed the chapter’s latest COVID measures such as the wearing of masks inside. He remined members that if they are exposed, if tested positive or if they have any sickness signs, they should report it to covidinfo@harmonizers.org.


Next the chorus members were assigned to small groups that met inside the building with the following small group leaders for this week to work on the music: Randy Lazear, Ben Watsky, Lance Fisher, Jason Lee, Turner Arndt and David Breen.


When those groups finished, the chorus reassembled outside to work with Tony on “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” Members were reminded that David Wright, who arranged this song for us, will be at our May 31st meeting, and therefore, singers should be able to self-assess at a level of 5 or higher in order to be on the risers when David is here.


Our traditional chorus retreat before going to an international contest will be June 3-4-5 at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. Coaches for that weekend will be Jim Henry and David McEachern


Starting times for the retreat have been announced so guys can plan ahead.  Friday night June 3 will not start until 8 pm so guys have time to get to Westminster, get some dinner, check into their hotel room,  and be ready to work on campus at McDaniel College.  Housing for the retreat will be at the Best Western Hotel. 


Saturday June 4th breakfast will be free at the hotel, then retreat will continue on campus at 8:30 am.  Both lunch and dinner will be on campus followed by an afterglow and “party” time. The Sunday June 5th session starts after guys check out of the hotel and eat breakfast there and get back to campus from 9-11:30 am.


For sure, guys should start organizing car pools – there will not be a bus or group transportation provided.  And for those who will arrive early on Friday evening, we have often found a lot of our fellow Harmonizers having dinner at O’Lordans, a restaurant offering Irish dishes, at 14 Liberty Street in Westminster.


At the afterglow this week, there was birthday cake for our monthly BirthdayGlow in honor of Jorge Acevedo, Scott Beach, Geoff Berman, Dave Branstetter, Vinny Capaccio, Will Cox, Mike Geipel, Mark Klostermeyer, Nick Murane, Craig Odell, David Reno, Bob Rhome, Dean Sherick, Bob Sutton, Tessa Walker, Johan Westberg and Doug White.


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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Looking Back on the May 10th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the May 10th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting 

This week’s meeting was a busy work session on the contest songs and in preparation for the retreat on June 3-4-5.


Associate director Tony Colosimo started the work for the singers with a good warm-up period. Then artistic director Joe Cerutti welcomed everyone, gave a brief overview of the schedule for the night, and shared some info with the chapter. His first point was a calendar item - in two weeks we have Cy Wood with us to work more on choreography for the contest package (thus all singers were encouraged to do their homework and review the videos showing Cy’splans for “42nd Street”). 


In three weeks, David Wright will be with us to work on our contest ballad, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” which he arranged especially for us.  Another great session working with the arranger of the song!  AND, there is a strong possibility that Jim Henry will be in town early ahead of the chorus retreat and thus able to attend the chapter meeting. Jim and his family are coming to DC and the chapter leadership has arranged for them to have some great tourist experiences.


Speaking of the chorus retreat, stay tuned for other details from contest/retreat organizer, Craig Kujawa.  Some guys still need to submit their payments.  Joe announced starting times for the retreat so guys can plan ahead.  Friday night June 3 will not start until 8 pm so guys have time to get to Westminster, get some dinner, check into their hotel room, and be ready to work on campus at McDaniel College.  Housing for the retreat will be at the Best Western Hotel. 


Saturday June 4th breakfast will be free at the hotel, then retreat will continue on campus at 8:30 am. 


 The Sunday June 5th session starts after guys check out of the hotel and eat breakfast there and get back to campus from 9-11:30 am.


For sure, guys should start organizing car pools – there will not be a bus or group transportation provided.  And for those who will arrive early on Friday evening, we have often found a lot of our fellow Harmonizers having dinner at O’Lordans, a restaurant offering Irish dishes, at 14 Liberty Street in Westminster.


Joe announced that Chuck Hunter will be in town to be the final coach for the chorus on June 21st which is the week before the traditional sendoff performance on June 28th when family and friends can come see the contest package. 


Next Joe invited Tony to continue work on vocal placements for all attendees (each man sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”). That lead to getting the singers onto the risers based on the vocal placements.


The first chorus work was to review choreo plans for “42nd Street” that have already been presented to the chorus with Turner Arndt as demonstrator. Joe asked the men to sing the music as well as perform the plan. 

 

Following that, there were full-length sectionals on “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” Before dismissal to other rooms in the building, Joe reminded singers that next week the music team will work with the chorus in small-group sessions. And the singers will have an opportunity for feedback since singers will need to be self-assessed at level 5 or higher to be on the risers when David Wright is here.


Tony had prepared the section leaders for what they needed to cover, so when the chorus regrouped on the risers there was consensus the sectionals were really beneficial. Joe thanked Tony and the section leaders (Rick Savage for tenors, Tessa Walker and Ben Watsky for leads, Jason Lee for baritones, and Ryan Mextorf for basses)  for their work and professionalism.


When the chorus returned to the risers, the chapter business meeting was conducted by communications director Sam Whiteoak


President Noah Van Gilder encouraged all members to observe our COVID policies reminding anyone exposed or testing positive should report to the chapter and follow guidelines for their return to the meetings. Masks are optional. 


Secretary David DesPortes presented membership renewal cards to celebrate members David Breen for 11 years; Kellen Hertz for 14 years; and Howard Nestlerode for 47 years.    


With everyone back on the risers, the chorus worked more on both the ballad and uptune. 


At the afterglow this week, there was a good crowd on hand again this week and the weather was great for some to gather outside on the deck.


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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Looking Back on the May 3rd 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the May 3rd 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting 

The successful Spring2ACTion (STA) event last week (April 27th) was a big topic for all the Harmonizers as they arrived at Scottish Rite Temple. 


We hit our public goal of $30,000 around dinner time on the 27th,  and then increased it to $35,000.  As of the start of this week’s meeting,  we have gone over that figure to $35,090 - that's great news!

 

In addition, we won two prizes: $750 for the mid-size organization with the second-highest total number of donors for the day (343 donors), and $500 for raising the most money during the 3-4 "Power Hour."  (Each Power Hour gives out two $500 prizes, one for the most donors during the hour and one for the most dollars. We actually were first in BOTH - but they will only give one award per organization in the same hour. So they gave us the "most dollars" prize and the organization that came in second on number of donors got that prize.) This is the sixth year in a row we have won that Power Hour - no one can touch us in the 3-4 time slot!

 

When you add the prize money to the total donations, this will end up as one of our top 2 or 3 S2A days ever.

 

What's really impressive is that more than fifty members raised at least some money by using their personal donation page! A huge thank you to Ken Rub who is the new development officer for the chapter and added the personal goals idea for this year.  New chapter general manager, Susan Fitzpatrick, also helped Ken.  They were joined by Randall Eliason who has been STA chairman for us and helped us get a good system in place to use every year!

 

The top ten STA fundraisers in the chorus were Randall Eliason, Joe Cerutti, Jason Lee, Jim Kirkland, Dean Rust, Brad Jones,  Ken Rub, Jacob Broude, Michael Schwartz, and Dave Welter.


For our rehearsal on May 3rd, there was also energy among the attendees to get to work on the two contest songs after last week’s significant coaching session on “42nd Street.”


Associate director Tony Colosimo was at the helm this week as artistic director Joe Cerutti was in Sweden as a judge at the European Barbershop Convention in Helsingborg. After Tony conducted the warm up session for the singers, he did a vocal placement for all attendees (each man sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and Tony placed the singers with like-sounding voices.  Members were asked to remember who they were standing next to and around, plus music team admin manager, Terry Reynolds, filmed the final lineup.  Likely this work will yield new riser placements soon.


Tony welcomed Rusty Orvik who was in town from AZ and Paul Grimes who was on the risers to sing the contest songs.  


The first chorus work was to review choreo plans that have already been presented to the chorus with Turner Arndt as demonstrator. Tony stressed the importance of everyone reviewing the videos showing the choreo as taught by coach Cy Wood at previous meetings.  Following that, there were full-length sectionals on “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.”


When the chorus returned to the risers, the chapter business meeting was conducted by communications director Sam Whiteoak. First up was president Noah Van Gilder who reported on the recent M-AD House of Delegates meeting that he attended.  He announced that the district is eager to fill some leadership positions and Noah invited anyone interested to speak to him about the openings.


Noah also encouraged our members to consider attending the M-AD Harmony College East that will be June 16-17 at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD.  Two Harmonizers are deans of that event – Bill Colosimo and Sheryl Berlin. You can register at midatlanticdistrict.com – deadline in June 9th.


Finally Noah reminded all members about our COVID policies and that anyone exposed or testing positive should report to the chapter and follow guidelines for their return to the meetings.


Secretary David DesPortes presented a membership renewal card to Steve White for his 45 years in the chapter.  


Terry announced that next week singers could sign up for quartet singing of “Beautiful Morning” the following week. (An effort to give more notice to the singers and listeners.)


Jack Pitzer welcomed Mark Wheeler, a bass singer who was with us for this second visit.  He sang barbershop in WI and resides in Fredericksburg, VA.


With everyone back on the risers, Tony asked the chorus to sing parts of the song that had been worked on during the sectionals.


He wrapped up the evening with a return to “Chorus Line Medley” and “Help from My Friends.”


At the afterglow this week, there was a good crowd of tag singers in the basement at Harmo House.  There was also some chatter about guys who are using scrip cards to earn monies to cover their tickets for the Togetherness Dinner in Charlotte.  We learned that Terry and Joe have scrip cards that they use to order the pizza each week – they earn about 8% on each order. And another afterglow-regular told YeEd that he has added a scrip card for Panera where he often has breakfast before work.


These scrip tales made Craig Kujawa smile as he is coordinator of the scrip fundraising program for the chapter.  Craig is also contest director, and that means he is coordinator of the upcoming chorus retreat.  He urges all members to settle their account for fees as attendees for the June 3-4-5 weekend in Westminster, MD. This year we will be sleeping at the Best Western which is very close to the McDaniel College campus where the coaching sessions will be held and where we will have lunch, dinner and the afterglow on Saturday.  Breakfasts will be at the hotel. For sure, guys should start organizing car pools.  And for those who will arrive early on Friday evening, we have often found a lot of our fellow Harmonizers having dinner at O’Lordans, a restaurant offering Irish dishes, at 14 Liberty Street in Westminster.


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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Looking Back on the April 26th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the April 26th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting 

This week the Harmonizers were ready to sing their contest up-tune for arranger Kevin Keller, our coach who came to our meeting place this week.  A good sized chorus was on the risers and nearly all had self-evaluated to be well prepared based on a scale established by the music committee.  It was awesome and Kevin continued to thank the chorus for confirming his ideas for the song. 


Artistic director Joe Cerutti was equally pleased with the chorus who proved they had been working on their music, and with the chorus who displayed their skill at accepting Kevin’s suggestions and implementing them immediately. 


Joe conducted the warm up session this week before he made a few announcements including an alert that next week the chorus would begin the 7-Step Harmonizer Learning Scale – that means sectionals next week for “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin.” 


He was also eager to welcome Terry Jordan to the meeting, Ross Felker who was in town for work from TX, and a good group of men on Zoom. As the night went on, more and more folks arrived and Joe couldn’t help but cheer to see all of the members coming back such as Tim Cash from KY and Andrew Havens.  Dennis Ritchey’s Mom, a loyal Harmonizer fan, was also in the hall. 


Then it was time to have the chorus present their first run-through of “42nd Street” for Kevin.  He thanked the chorus for accepting and performing his arrangement and said, “Let’s have some fun!”


Midpoint in the evening, there was a brief business session conducted by communications director Sam Whiteoak.  He gave a plug for guys to consider attending Harmony College East.  Secretary David DesPortes presented a 4-year membership renewal card to Ryan Mextorf.


Development director Ken Rub encouraged his fellow chapter members to take action for Spring2ACTion with the note that this event is an “every man in” effort.  He played a newly developed video with Joe as the spokesperson and with inserted comments from Jacob Broude, Ben Watsky, Steve White, Randall Eliason and Tessa Walker.  The piece was created by Mike Kelly and included the chorus singing at various venues.  Here is the link for it - https://youtu.be/B_JLaRLh57c


Ken stressed the need for everyone to promote donations during the power hour of 3-4 pm on Wed. April 27th – we earn a monetary prize if we have the most donors during that hour among the other groups participating in Spring2ACTion.  He and Randall also thanked the board and leadership team for their combined matching grant funds for this effort. 


NOTE to Looking Back readers from YeEd: if you have not donated to the Harmonizer Spring2ACTion effort yet, here is that  https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/alexandria-harmonizers

 

Then it was back to work with Kevin on his arrangement.  Before the night ended, the chorus sang “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” the contest ballad, for him.


During wrap-up moments of the night, it was announced that the chapter had gotten word of the recent death of former bass singer, Doug Abt.


At the afterglow this week, there was birthday cake for the April BirthdayGlow. A large crowd, including a number of birthday guys, made it to Harmo House this week to enjoy chocolate mocha cake, pizza and cold beverages.  Of course there was tag singing and many guys got to visit personally with Kevin


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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Looking Back on the April 19th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the April 19th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting 

This week the Harmonizer meeting space at Scottish Rite Temple was a beehive of activity, and crowded with members.  The numbers were over 60  before the night ended. Clearly some singers are back on the risers or at least on Zoom as we start the serious work for contest in July and for the fall show. But tonight’s music plan was to work on the contest songs.


Great to have Andrew Havens, Craig Kujawa, Duncan Peacock, and Jake Fry back on the risers; and great to see Adam Afifi, Ian Poulin, Phil Ashford, and Paul Grimes on the Zoom call. Chris and Dixie Buechler were at the meeting for a while; Steve Armstrong from Toronto stopped by as did Chuck Hunter who was able to get to the hall before we left. New chorus general manager Susan Fitzpatrick was on hand and Randall Eliason prompted guys that she was willing to help guys who wanted assistance in connecting for Spring2ACTion.


Lead section co-leader Tessa Walker took the chorus through their warm up session and then turned the chorus over to associate director Tony Colosimo. He welcomed the brand new members we added in the last couple weeks up onto the risers including Zak SandlerCy Shuster, Michael Pugh and Andrew Wu.


He announced that next Tuesday there will be a BirthdayGlow for April birthday celebrants.  Make a plan to attend if your birthday is in April!


And he spoke about the review process for singers who wanted to be “listened” to after chapter tonight. The listeners were Randy Lazear, Tessa, David Breen, Lance Fisher, Jason Lee and Ryan Mextorf.


Then Tony began using the significant amount of time set aside to work on “Oh What A Beautiful Morning,” and that was followed by another chunk of time to review choreo for “42nd Street” with Turner Arndt provided prompts. The arranger for this song, Kevin Keller, will be with us on Tues. April 26th.


During the business meeting portion of the night, Ken Rub urged guys to work on their efforts to solicit donations for Spring2ACTion which is next week on April 27th. 


Immediate past president, Stan Quick, presented the last 2020-21 chapter award.  Joel Golden was given a Meritorious Service plaque for his work in creating the virtual performances for our chorus during COVID.  (A complete report on those awards was published as a Looking Back report on Wednesday, April 20th.)


Membership chairman Jacob Broude welcomed a new singing guest, Ben Pagliaro, who is a friend of Michael BerksonJacob also presented name tags for the new guys who have joined the chapter recently.  Will Cox directed the “Harmonizer Welcome Song.”


Then it was back to work on the contest songs for the rest of the evening. 


As attendees made their way into the meeting space at 7 pm, Alan Wile and Walt Page promoted purchases of 50/50 tickets.  


An invite was extended for an afterglow at the Harmo House at 3916 Stevens Street in Alexandria. Pizza, snacks and drinks were enjoyed by all.  It was fun to visit with Steve Armstrong who many members recall being with us for our 70th anniversary event, and the tag singers were quick to invite 

Chuck Hunter down to the tag singing room. 


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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Looking Back on the 2020-21 Harmonizer Awards Presentation

  Looking Back on the 2020-21 Harmonizer Awards Presentation

The 47th Annual Alexandria Harmonizers Presidents’ Awards Ceremony was conducted in March and April 2022 by immediate past chapter president, Stan Quick.  Usually this is part of our Presidents’ Banquet and Officer Installation, but when the Board was planning last September, there was no confidence that we could meet in-person as we are now.  This presentation was made on the behalf of all former presidents, especially those still active in the chapter  – Jack Pitzer, Alan Wile, Terry Reynolds, Brad Jones, Steve Murane, Chris Buechler, Mick Stamps andRandall Eliason. This tradition was started 48 years ago by then-president, Jack Pitzer.  

 

Stan presented the awards at several chapter meetings until all recipients received their awards. He thanked Alan Wilefor his extra efforts in ordering the plaques and helping with the presentations. 

 

The chapter has six Harmonizer Distinguished Service awards traditionally given out each year.  The award candidates can be nominated by any member of the chapter, and are voted on by the BHS Chapter Board of Directors.  Since we had the “Covies” last year, the qualification period for all of these awards is 2020 & 2021. A seventh award was created this year. 

 

NEW NOTE AWARD

Given to a Harmonizer who has contributed outstanding service to the Chapter in his first year of membership.  Attendance, attitude, and accomplishments of duties, both volunteer and assigned, shall be considered.

 

In early 2020, this recipient volunteered to help with the teaching of choreography.  He stepped up frequently during our virtual meetings to provide the bass part during breakout sessions and as part of our work with Jamulus.  He is almost always in attendance and is always ahead of schedule learning music.  He volunteered for and sang in one of the VLQ’s on the Holiday Show.  And he does all this in a low key manner with no agenda other than contributing to the team effort.  This year’s recipient is Turner Arndt.

 

MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARDS

In addition to the Chapter Distinguished Service Awards, it is the president’s prerogative to also give Meritorious Service Awards for exceptional service to the chapter for other deserving members or volunteers.   

 

This year Stan elected to award five.

 

Meritorious Service Award #1

The first meritorious service award goes to two individuals who have worked in tandem to create the Harmonizers wall of sound throughout the pandemic.  They created a combined virtual and in-person rehearsal environment that kept us singing together, despite the incredible difficulties in balancing sound and video, placement of microphones and cameras, schlepping all the equipment from one room to the next in a timely manner – it’s exhausting just thinking about the logistics.  Yet those of us rehearsing rarely have guessed how hectic it was thanks to their hard work.  One of them created multiple videos – promotional spots for fund-raising, grant applications, the Christmas Coast-to-Coast show with the Bellevue, WA, chorus, and our July 4 “Stars & Stripes Forever” presentation with the Masters of Harmony. The other spent time with the Harmo truck – driving and planning modifications, as well as building things for the chapter shows and contest. 

 

So, in recognition of their years of musical, logistical, and most importantly through the pandemic, video and audio support this year’s recipients are Mike Kelly and Dennis Ritchey. 

 

"DICK HALL" SPIRIT OF HARMONY AWARD 

Presented in memory of Dick Hall, long-time member (1965-2018), whose friendliness and encouragement inspired all who knew him.  Given to a Harmonizer who during the year best exemplified Dick’s fundamental qualities of congeniality and good character and who worked hardest to encourage participation in vocal harmony by Chapter visitors and members.

 

This nominee is a relatively new member.  He is one of the most enthusiastic and friendly men on the risers. He has served on the chapter board, assisted with the membership team, and currently serves as co-section leader for the leads. His infectious smile, unfailing good humor, and joy of singing exemplify the enthusiasm, good fellowship, and encouragement of other members that this award recognizes.  This year’s recipient is  Ben Watsky.

 

MERITORIOUS SERVICE #2

What do you do when you want to hold a concert but none of the performers can sing in person?  This next meritorious service award is presented to someone who spent many long hours listening to individual recordings and creating more than one virtual singing performance for our chorus. This year’s recipient is Joel Golden.

 

HARMONIZER HONOR AWARD

Given to a Harmonizer for service which is above and beyond the usual service expected of members during the past year.  It is not intended as a reward for discharging a single specific duty, but for continuous service in several activities.

 

Since joining the chapter, this nominee has been a valuable member of the music team, contributing his considerable musical knowledge and experience and serving as baritone section leader. But in the past year he has gone above and beyond by heading up the Harmonizer COVID committee, using his public health expertise and devoting a substantial amount of time to help us develop guidelines for a safe return to rehearsal and performance. His work here has been so valuable that other choruses, the Mid-Atlantic District, and BHS have also relied on his COVID-related advice. For his consistent efforts to keep the whole world singing as safely as possible, this year’s recipient is Jason Lee.

 

MERITORIOUS SERVICE #3 

 

The next recipient is someone who spends countless hours making sure our operations run smoothly, as he has since we first implemented the current Operations Team management structure.  It’s no small feat monitoring and/or mentoring the operation directors. He has conducted three extremely successful Spring2ACTion fundraising campaigns, which is even more amazing when you look at fundraising during a time when we couldn’t get community exposure through our performances.   And lastly, he offered valuable support to the chapter president.

There aren’t many men or woman who are so devoted to the chorus that they dedicate this kind of time and effort - and in this case – as a volunteer. This year’s recipients is Randall Eliason.

 

OZ NEWGARD MEMORIAL AWARD

The Oz Newgard Memorial Award, in memory of our musical director during the 1960s, is given to a Harmonizer who has made a significant contribution to the musical program during the past year.

 

Since joining the chorus, our next recipient has quickly become an invaluable member of the music team. She currently serves as co-section leader for the leads, where her musical knowledge and enthusiasm have made her extremely effective. She participates in all aspects of the music team, including the planning for future shows and for the future development of the chorus. She also has been assisting education director Sheryl Berlin in planning for the resumption of our Youth Harmony Festival once COVID is behind us. This year’s recipient is Tessa Walker.

 

MERITORIOUS SERVICE #4

Our next Meritorious Service award recipient is for a truly overworked volunteer.   He has formerly received the Memorial award in 2002, the Oz Newgard in 1995, the Spirit in 1998, and the New Note in 1993.  He deserves recognition for the tremendous work he does every week to make our chorus run smoothly.  He’s Joe’s calendar and timekeeper, the Music Team’s coordinator, the finance committee’s “chief budgeting officer” with a giant spreadsheet to keep all the account lines.  He is also the corporate knowledge for our organization, knows who and what and when and why we are where we are. 

 

Now, add to that the incredible challenge of trying to create the weekly rehearsal schedule when the COVID committee is changing the rules of the game with a minimum of notice, and you have the makings for a real big headache for the average person – but not him.

 

We all owe this Harmonizer a huge debt of gratitude for his unwavering dedication to each of these projects, which he champions for all of us. This year’s recipient is Terry Reynolds.  

 

IBIANNE AND WILBUR SPARKS AWARD

Given to recognize the important contribution of Harmonizer family teams to the success and well-being of the Chapter.  The award will be made only to a truly outstanding team which has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a period of time.  The team can be a Harmonizer and any family member or significant other.

These two honorees were director of shows for a number of years, and as such were our biggest cheerleaders – calling us “Rock Stars!” to let us know we were better than we realized. In addition, they volunteered countless hours making items we needed on stage or off, such as the welcome bags we gave to each member of the Toronto Northern Lights when we hosted them for our 70th anniversary show. This year’s recipients are Joe and Janet Cerutti.

HARMONIZER MEMORIAL AWARD

Presented in memory of those men who died while members of the Chapter.  It is the highest recognition which the Chapter can bestow on a member.  In many other Chapters this is equivalent to their “Barbershopper of the Year Award.  It is given to the Harmonizer who, during his entire period of chapter membership, has devoted himself most unselfishly in rendering outstanding service to the Chapter.  The award is made only to a truly outstanding member who has regularly attended Chapter activities and who has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a long period of time.

 

Breaking with tradition, there are two members receiving this year’s Memorial Award.  Both have been essential in helping our chorus navigate challenges of the past two years with creativity, dedication, vision, and hard work – Anthony Colosimo and Joe Cerutti.  

 

Tony’s contributions to the improvement of our rehearsal structure have spanned the years he has been with us, including the most recent moves to changing how we do music learning and performance feedback.  His pioneering into the use of Jamulus allowed us to try to overcome the many failings of Zoom when singing together.  

 

Joe’s years of guiding this chorus, not just artistically, but as an organization focused on making a real impact in our community and the world at large, has helped make the Harmonizers a known leader in the Barbershop Harmony Society.   His vision and approaches to handling the many challenges of staying together as a chorus are responsible for making us the world-class “Average Person’s Chorus” that we are today.

For their years of devotion to the chorus, but most especially for bringing us out of the pandemic years as a stronger, admired chorus, the Harmonizer Memorial Award recipients for this year are Joe Cerutti, Jr and Tony Colosimo

A New Award Added – SANDY STAMPS “OPEN ARMS” AWARD

The chapter board of directors also created a new, seventh,  Distinguished Service award for this year and the future.

 

This award recognizes an individual (member or not) who promoted, by words and/or deeds, the Harmonizers’ value of a welcoming and inclusive environment for all singers. It is named for the long-time and beloved member of the Harmonizer family, Sandy Stamps, who always had a smile and a kind word for anyone. Examples may include a welcoming and encouraging attitude regardless of demographics, finding ways to remove barriers to participation (such as economic, physical, cultural, etc.), or perhaps providing training for chorus members to accommodate those with physical disabilities. 

 

 

The first recipient of this new award was presented to Sandy posthumously.   Mick Stamps received the award on her behalf.

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

Friday, April 15, 2022

Looking Back on the April 12th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the April 12th 2022 Harmonizer Hybrid Chapter Meeting 

This week the Harmonizer chorus members seemed to be ready to work on the contest package and they got a good dose of both songs during the night.


There was the usual important vocal and physical warm up lead by associate director Tony Colosimo.

But before the men could get into the auditorium, Alan Wile and Walt Page were right there to “encourage” them to purchase 50/50 tickets.  (Wouldn’t you know this would be one tradition to return after COVID.) Half of the funds raised each week goes to the chapter and is donated to the M-AD Endowment Fund in the chapter’s name.  The other half goes to the member with the lucky ticket drawn at the end of the meeting.


It was great to see some folks on the risers we have not seen for a while like Nick Murane.  Joe shared a Harmo Hero Factoid about Nick – he sang with the Aloha Chapter and filled out his Harmo Hero form for our Groupanizer page 12 years ago!


Tessa Walker’s parents were visiting from Atlanta and came to watch for a while. Our chapter general manager, Susan Fitzpatrick, was also in attendance. Several guys were on Zoom including Bob Rhome in NC and Jack Cameron in SC. Our DE guys were present too this week – Mike Fasano and Mike Edison


Artistic Director Joe Cerutti could hardly wait to applaud the chorus for an unbelievable performance for the Rappahannock Concert Association (RCA) last Saturday. Audience comments were rich with compliments as was the chairman for RCA in her letter to the chapter. He recognized several folks for their efforts including Doug White,shows chairman; Gary Cregan, operations manager; and Robyn Murane, uniform chairman.


Right away the chorus began review work on “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin.” 


Then Turner Arndt helped Joe with the review of choreography for “42nd Street.”  The main points for this work was the reminder that the singers are portraying people on a street, that the choreo is not meant to be uniform, and that the choreo should not hamper the singing.  Turner was helping the men interpret the previously recorded coaching for this song with Cy Wood


The arranger for this song, Kevin Keller, will be with us on Tues. April 26th.


A big chunk of the evening was used for sectionals on “42nd Street.”


There was a business session conducted by communications chairman Sam Whiteoak.  


Past president Stan Quickpresented one more of the Harmonizer Service Awards. This week he announced the recipient of the Oz Newgard Memorial Award that recognizes a member who has made significant contributions to the music program over the year.  The winner was Tessa Walker, recognizing her work on the music team as assistant lead section leader. 


New chapter development director, Ken Rub, launched our efforts for Spring2ACTion with a plan that every member’s goal will be to raise $250. Donations can actually start now. Ken confirmed that the big day for Spring2ACTion is April 27th.


Chapter secretary David DesPortes presented a membership renewal card to our newest member, bass singer Michael Pugh, for three years in the Society.


Membership chairman, Jacob Broude, welcomed four guests back to sing with us this week – Zak SandlerCy Shuster and Andrew Wu. (YeEd understands that all three passed their auditions to join the chorus after the meeting! Hurray and welcome.) A. first time guest this week was Mark Wheeler who has sung barbershop in WI and MO and competed in a quartet at the district level. Assistant director Terry Reynolds directed the chorus to sing the “Harmonizer Welcome Song.”


Joe directed Happy Birthday for Rob Barnovsky and Bruce Roehm – both celebrating today.  


Bob and Mary Blair are mourning the death of their daughter Molly.  She has battled cancer for a while and lost her life in early April in England where she lived.  Bob asked us to share this news with the Harmonizer family via this column as it is still a tender topic. There will be a service at their church near Mount Vernon at a later date. She was 54.  We offer our support to the Blair family. 

The remainder of the evening was for musical work. 


An invite was extended for an afterglow at the Harmo House at 3916 Stevens Street in Alexandria. Pizza, snacks and drinks were enjoyed by all along with yummy chocolate cupcakes. The 50/50 winner this week was Clyde Crusenberry!


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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)