Friday, September 17, 2021

Looking Back on the Sept. 14th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Sept. 14th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

When the Harmonizer gang arrived at Scottish Rite Temple, they gathered out front of the building facing Braddock Road to visit and catch up.  Then at our 7 pm start time, associate director Tony Colosimo was in charge of a good solid warm up period for all singers on the steps of the building.

 

Dennis Ritchey was in charge of the tech support this week – with some sessions outside and some sessions in two different rooms inside the building.  Then on top of that, there was another outdoor session a while after it got dark outside, so the challenges of lighting added to the task. Artistic director Joe Cerutti expressed his joy to have the members work so hard and even in the dark to stay safe and still enjoy the harmony. In addition to the holiday music, Joe did a couple runs of “There Must Be a City” which we will sing at the Sandy Stamps celebration of life.

 

About ten members were on the Zoom link, including a guest, Ken Doyle. New member Donnell Torres was present in the chorus.

 

Dave Welter’s sister, Susan Manthey, was with us for the evening too. She is a barbershop singer in TN.

 

Artistic director Joe Cerutti explained to the attendees the plans this week’s sessions for work and programing. Basically, the signers were divided into two equal sized groups with parts and they met in two different room inside the building.  Joe and Tony took turns changing rooms so that everyone got all the same coaching, announcements, and opportunity to sing.  

 

One special aspect of this week’s work was to allow interested guys try their hand at singing one of the solo verses for “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

 

One major session for both the “blue” group and the “red” group was with Joe explaining the details song selection, expectations, and fun for our holiday show that will be Friday, Dec. 10th at 7:30 pm, in Schlesinger Hall. The plan includes some quartet opportunities and VLQ (very large quartet) selections. Anyone interested in forming a quartet or VLQ to sing one of the songs chosen by the planning committee for the show should speak with Joe or Terry Reynolds

 

The Harmo family is reminded of the Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  

 

In other news,  YeEd receive a nice note for the whole chapter from the Ginny Shields, widow of past chapter president Jack Shields. He was a notorious community service chairman for the chapter during his tenure and we have a Community Service Award in his name the chapter has presented over the years to outstanding citizens in the area.  She receives Looking Back each week and wrote: “Thanks for the updates on the meetings. I really enjoy the news of the chapter meetings and appreciate you sending them to me. It’s been a long time since Jack was in attendance!  I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading them and I wish I were in Virginia to attend the concerts. – Ginny.”

 

 

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, September 10, 2021

Looking Back on the Sept. 7th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Sept. 7th 2021 Hybrid   Chapter Meeting

 

(For historians sake, there was no meeting on Aug. 31st so the chapter member could have a summer break.) 

 

(Thanks to Jerry Jayjohn for taking noes this week for YeEd!)

 

 

We had about 30 guys in attendance. Associate director Tony Colosimo did a warm up outside for about 20 minutes. Then we went into 30-minute sectionals to review “White Christmas” and “Carol of the Bells.”

 

Then back outside.  There was no business other than artistic director Joe Cerutti introducing us to Donnell Torreswho has moved here from Florida where he was active in the Sunshine District. He is joining the Harmonizer Chapter.  

 

We then reviewed “Carol of the Bells” and “ White Christmas” as a group. Plus we reviewed “There Must Be a City” for Sandy Stamps’ celebration of life in October.

 

Following that,  the tenors and leads worked with Joe, and the basses and baritones worked with Tony to work on some spots for both holiday tunes.

 

About ten members attended via a Zoom link. The sectionals were broadcast over Facebook. The chapter is working on a new plan to adhere to CDC guidelines – two groups of 25 singers are invited each week and there will be movement from rehearsal spaces every 30 minutes.  The next few weeks, the meeting spaces will all be at Scottish Rite and there won’t be a need for being outside.

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on Sept. 14th, 2021 at Scottish Rite   Temple on Braddock Rd. in Alexandria and will be a hybrid meeting again. 

 

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, August 26, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 24th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Aug. 24th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 

The Harmonizer family gathered at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria this week to share some songs, meet and greet, and catch up – all in an outside setting.  The chapter brought snacks and waters for all plus many folks brought picnic or other goodies to enjoy. It was great to see everyone again – without masks too.  Especially fun to see so many of the new members there for their first Fort Ward event.  And this time – NO RAIN.

Operations manager Gary Cregan had the Harmo truck there for the sound equipment and such which Mike Kelly andDennis Ritchey managed. (Fun to see Mike’s grandson, Owen, age 3 testing the mic for his grandpa!). The tech team also was able to connect with all the members who attended via Zoom! There were about 10.

Membership chairman Jacob Broude and some helpers hauled all the snacks and drinks to a table up by the stage for all to enjoy. 

There was lots of visiting and catching up among the Harmo family and then a little after 7 pm, it was Tag Time With Tony – associate director Tony Colosimo taught everyone “Johnny Doughboy Found a Rose in Ireland.” 

Then artistic director Joe Cerutti welcomed everyone including some guys we have not seen for a while including Walt Page plus all those on the Zoom link. And he welcomed our newest member, Lance Fisher, who sings lead.

Joe did review some calendar items for the weeks ahead: there will be no meeting on Aug. 31st; the Sept. 7th meeting will be at Scottish Rite Temple on Braddock Rd. – stay tuned for word about who will attend (and be certain you have alerted the chapter leadership via Groupanizer of your attendance plans).  All members are also expected to respond to the monthly survey coming to members.

At this point, Joe invited all singers to come up onto the stage to sing.  The guys spread out and formed a chorus.  Some folks used their cell phone for a song or two they needed help on. The little package show included “Never Fully Dressed,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Help from My Friends,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

Tony taught a second tag, “We’ll Just Be the Same Old Friends,” and explained it was not the same tag the chapter usually sings at our annual retreat but from a different arrangement that has a Colosimo family connection. It was sung by past International quartet champs, THE AUTO TOWNERS.

Joe invited folks to come back to the Harmo House for an afterglow and reports are that the tag singing guys were doing before they left Fort Ward continued in Joe’s basement!

The Harmo family is reminded of the Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  

 

In other news, the Barbershop Harmony Society Board of Directors elected the officers and directors during its annual meeting on Sunday, August 15, 2021including Harmonizer John Santora who was elected treasurer for a one-year term. Another Harmonizer, Bill Colosimo, was on the nominating committee for the election.

Also the Barbershop Harmony Society lost a giant in the barbershop world recently when Joe Liles died at his home with his wife Kay by his side.  He had been Society executive director, a song writer and arranger of volumes of songs for all singers, and was in the Society Hall of Fame.  He was a friend of the Harmonizers and appeared with us at one of our post-gold-medal Masters’ Classes.

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on Sept. 7th, 2021 at Scottish Rite Temple on Braddock Rd. in Alexandria. 

 

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, August 19, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 17th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Aug. 17th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 

This week the chapter leadership, including administrative and musical leaders, called for another virtual Zoom meeting to go over plans for the meetings, shows and events coming up in the months ahead.

A good number of Harmonizers were on the call and many stayed for an informal afterglow too.

Artistic director Joe Cerutti welcomed everyone back and including several folks who are members but live far from our meeting place and can only attend via Zoom.  Great to see them all. Don Thompson spoke up early in the call to salute and share the good feelings of fellowship and comradeship among the Harmonizer family. 

The first announcement was to remind the family of the Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  

 

Joe confirmed the news that the fall show originally set for Sept. 11th was cancelled.  Mostly this change was made because of the restrictions imposed by the venue.  The chorus was totally ready and a large number of other ensembles were in the que to be on the show with us.  Joe assures all that as soon as we can reschedule, we will do so.  It might be next year though, since we will try next to have our holiday show in December 2021.

That prompted Joe to share that the chorus would start work on holiday music before long as well as continue work on “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.”  

The Aug. 24th event at Fort Ward Park will not be a performance event but a casual one with tag singing and fellowship.  The chorus will likely sing through some songs too. Guests are welcome.  Likely many will bring picnic, snacks or goodies. It’s all about being together!!  Of course we all will be keeping an eye on the weather!!

The August 31st chapter meeting has been cancelled so everyone can have some rest and recouperation after lots of work on their music in recent weeks.  September meetings/rehearsals will be planned as the precautions for Covid safety emerge.

At this point, the Mid Atlantic District convention is still scheduled for Oct. 1 and 2 in Lancaster, PA.  If it does indeed happen, we will make our plans based on the number of singers available and then choose one of the songs we have been working on to sing at the contest.

Finally, Joe was able to welcome Bob Rhome and his wife Anne who have begun their move to the Atlanta area.  They were on the Zoom call from Georgia and Joe was able to pay a farewell tribute to Bob for his years of dedication to the chapter and his support of the chapter’s leadership teams. He has been the operations manager for many years – every time there was need to fill the slot, he was willing to step in again.  He has been a vital member of the chapter’s history team especially keeping the inventory.  He was a cheerleader for the uses we could make of Groupanizer and posted a chapter events calendar every year.  Bob was presented the Chapter Honor Award in 2007 and then was named recipient of our highest honor, the Chapter Memorial Award, in 2011.

And who could forget Bob’s part in the colorful costumes for holiday shows with him as one of the Crayons!!

We did sing “A Place on the Risers for You” to Bob and many members expressed thanks and tributes in the chat feature.

Bob and Anne say they will be checking into the barbershop world in the Atlanta area after they get settled.

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on August  24th, 2021 at Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304.

 

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)

 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 10th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Aug. 10th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 

True to form for the chapter, the heavens dumped rain on Alexandria Tues. night. Aug. 10th just minutes before 7 pm.  Not good for an outdoor rehearsal at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria.

So leaders sent an email to cancel.  Many of us were anticipating that so kept an eye on our phones for a message.  And the old timers were especially ready for bad weather in lieu of the many times in our chapter’s past that we got rained out for Fort Ward events.

Of course, some folks were on their way like Mike Fasano and Mike Edison who were driving from DE.  They came on to VA and joined a good crowd of guys who went to the Harmo House to start the afterglow early.  Actually some guys had missed dinner, so they were hungry.

Also the riser crew and sound crew was ready at 6:30 but fortunately had not set up anything.  So they too headed for the Harmo House. 

Mark your calendars for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th  at Fort Ward. This event may include some food and fellowship.  

 

YeEd received the following note to include in this week’s Looking Back report: A Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on August  17th, 2021 at the Scottish Rite Temple.

 

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, August 6, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 3rd 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the Aug. 3rd 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

(A thank you to Jerry Jayjohn for taking notes for this report of the Aug. 3rd meeting. – YeEd)

 

The rehearsal started in the auditorium, with baritone section leader, Jason Lee, leading the warm up session. His focus was to get the chorus to always be in motion.  

After warmup a good friend of the chapter and former community board member of our AH Inc. corporation, Paul Dolinky was introduced.  He represents the DC Scottish Rite Temple and reports they have refurbished their performance space in DC.  Our chapter has accepted his invitation to be one of the first performance groups in their refurbed space. We will do a holiday show on December 5th.  He has been a long-time supporter of the Harmonizers.

After that introduction, associate director Tony Colosimo continued with rehearsal starting with the beautiful ballad “Remember Me.” Then he moved on with “You’re Never Fully Dressed” with choreo review. 

After that the singers moved to the cafeteria and continued working on “Sing a Song,” and “Little Help from My Friends” – also with a choreo review. Many thanks to Turner Arndt who demonstrated during the choreo reviews.  The members appreciated his help!

We then sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and finished up formal rehearsal with “Impossible Dream.”  

After rehearsal, operations team leader Gary Cregan asked for helpers to load risers onto the Harmo truck since we will be at Ft Ward Park next week, and also asked volunteers to be there early next week to help set up the risers. 

A head count was taken for pizza at the chapter’s new afterglow location, the Harmo House at 3916 N. Stevens St. in Alexandria; then we ended rehearsal with “Keep the Whole World Singing.”

There are some inputs needed from chapter members for the fall show. Members will be invited to suggest VIP officials who might speak; to suggest names of first responders or groups of them we should honor (and invite to the show); and finally to organize a singing ensemble for the show to do a song that fits into the show theme – can be a quartet, or octet or mixed gender group or family group (there will be the need to apply and audition or such). Membership director Jacob Broude especially asks members to report names of anyone in the Harmonizer family who may have died during the Covid pandemic. Send those names and information to Jacob at membership@harmonizers.org

 

Mark calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on August  10th, 2021 on the stage in Fort Ward Park at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304. 

 

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, July 30, 2021

Looking Back on the July 27th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the July 27th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

This week’s Harmonizer in-person meeting started just after the CDC announced some changes in mask wearing policy on radio and tv.  Our president Stan Quick issued this message earlier Tuesday afternoon: “I write this as I wait for a CDC briefing to begin in 10 minutes.

I'm not sure what they'll say, but I'd like to ask you to bring your mask with you if you're coming to rehearsal tonight.  Due to the spiking delta-variant COVID cases reported across the country (including our own area), I expect the guidelines to possibly include wearing masks indoors in an effort to reduce the viral transmission rate. I know this is a frustrating, fluid situation for us - but we want to do our best to stay together singing in the safest environment we can provide. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

 

So the first item of business was a report from Stan that our chapter’s Covid Committee will monitor the situation.  Most of the men present this week wore a mask during the evening.

 

There were about 60 chorus members present this week. Director Joe Ceruitti welcomed our newest member Tony Schepers in the tenor section; welcomed back Don Dillingham and Tyler Carpenter to their first in-person; and welcomed guests Lance Fisher for his second visit in the lead section, Matthew Pearce for his first visit since Covid also in the lead section, and Harry Bickford in the bass section who is a friend of Michael Berkson; and Melody Hine who sings with Tessa Walker in HOT PURSUIT.  Joe also thanked the several members who joined via Zoom.

 

We started the session in the auditorium with Joe conducting a warm up session.  Then the evening evolved into sectionals followed by reforming the chorus in the auditorium to sing the same songs.  There was a choreo review of the material taught last week by Cy Wood for “Never Fully Dressed” and  “Help from My Friends.”  Turner Arndtwas tapped to demonstrate the moves for those guys who had forgotten or didn’t review the videos that are available of Cy teaching. 

 

There are some inputs needed from chapter members for the fall show. Members will be invited to suggest VIP officials who might speak; to offer names of any friends or family who have died during Covid for us to recognize; to suggest names of first responders or groups of them we should honor (and invite to the show); and finally to organize a singing ensemble for the show to do a song that fits into the show theme – can be a quartet, or octet or mixed gender group or family group (there will be the need to apply and audition or such).

 

Mark calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304. 

 

There was another large crowd of folks at the afterglow at the Harmo House, 3916 N Stevens St., Alexandria 22311.

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 7 pm on August  3rd, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation. 

 

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)