Monday, January 21, 2008

Looking Back for Jan. 15th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on Jan 15th Chapter Meeting and YMIH Event

(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 at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Editorjack was in Indianapolis for work on the 15th, so Alan Wile took notes for at the chapter meeting and at the high school event later in the week.

Tuesday nite, Jan. 15th news:
Tony Colosimo warmed us up. Director Joe was sick this week.
Then Craig Kujawa really warmed us up.
Will Cox rehearsed us on “God Bless The USA, the Ed Sullivan Show, Kiss The Girl, and Music of the Night.” Tony chimed in now and then to improve the vocal and emotional effect.
Chuck Hunter introduced "woodshedding," demonstrating first with a "pick up" quartet and then gave the chorus a chance to try their hand ... er ... their ears.
Gary Plaag & Chuck McKeever reviewed chorus focals and three basic moves.
At the break,
President Mick asked us to hold Bruce Minnick and Dick Weick close.
Terry Jordan gave an update on the Presidents' Ball/Award Banquet coming up on Saturday. Now we're up to over 120 attendees -- 40 more than the last several years.
Secretary Chris gave out two membership cards -- Vince Cazenas (21 years) and Keith Jones (30 years).
Sandy Stamps reported the results of our VERY successful White House Ornament sales -- over 3000 sold. She gave out "prizes" to the top five salesmen: Jerry Eiler, Burt Stueve, Roger Day, David Reyno (631), and Skip Coburn (632). Sandy claimed that both our top sellers vow to sell over 700 WHOs next year.
VP-Membership Roger Day welcomed eight great guests and Scott Nessler (visiting from Hawaii) and Rick Wagner (who we have not seen for a few weeks). He also reminded us that February 19th will be a guest night and asked the members bring guests.
Tony brought us back to the risers by directing “My Wild Irish Rose.”
Then Gary and Will went over the plans for the visit to the West Potomac High School tomorrow (Wednesday).
Our assistant directors rehearsed us on “Clap Your Hands, Drunken Sailor, Ave Maria, and Happy Feet.”
All this time Scott Kahler kept us on schedule by reminding those up front how much time they had left for their part of the program.
The 50-50 went to Rick Wagner, who then took us out with “Keep The Whole World Singing.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 16th, about 25 or so of us joined Director Joe, Will and Gary to demonstrate and sing for and with Ernest Johnson and "the West Potomac Guys" (I think that's what he called them). Ernest is the choral director for the school and the WPGs number 26. Before class, Will warmed us up while we stood in sections. Once the students arrived we sang “I've Been Working On The Railroad” (melody unison). We sang it a second time and Joe asked the boys/men to harmonize, explaining that's how barbershop first began. We did some drills, singing straight beat and then with interp using “If I Ruled The World.” Will demonstrated (with out help) the four parts of barbershop harmony using ‘My Wild Irish Rose,” one part at a time and then in combination until all four parts were sung. Then we sang it all the way through.

Joe explained that we are a competitive chorus and talked a bit about the three elements on which we're judged. Then Gary explained the presentation category and, using “Great Day” and now in our regular chorus positions, we demonstrated singing with stone faces, mouthing the words, with emotion, and, finally with the choreography. Will taught them the tag "When it's sleepy time down south" and we all sang together.

All this time, of course, our directors explained various facets of barbershop harmony, etc. When a faculty advisor came into the room, we'd been pre-warned that today was her 50th birthday, so we sang Happy Birthday to her -- with appropriate word response (she sang for years in all sorts of groups and appreciated us and the young men). Finally, we switched places and, with the guys now on the risers, we were treated to a rendition of “Holly Jolly Christmas.” A quartet (can't recall the name) sang a couple of songs for us. We were taken by the overall quality of the singing and the self-confidence of all of them, especially the four guys in the quartet. These guys are good! A goodly number of them indicated they want to attend our Youth Harmony Festival at the end of March ... and one man had his application and money with him and wanted to turn it in right then. We were there for an hour and a half and had a ball. Sure looked like Ernest was very pleased with our being there -- gave a real boost (I hope) to his program which is growing.

AND you need to know that it all came about through Howard Nestlerode's missionary work. Evidently some of the boys sang at his church and that led to today's visitation.

Til next time - editorjack.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Are you familiar with "Pandora"?

It's a free on-line music-streaming service from the good folks at the Music Genome Project.

Their goal is to analyze music by its components and elements of style, and to help people find new music to enjoy by extrapolating from their current tastes.

For example, if you go to Pandora and search for, say, the Oriole Four, it will start playing lots of barbershop music for you!; it's free, fun, and musically educational!


Hello, and welcome to the new Harmoblog.

We've set up this blog in the hope that it will make easier for chapter leadership to communicate with the chapter and vice versa.

Posted on here you may find many different types of notices. Notices about performances and rehearsals, personal and "sunshine" news, synopses of recent events and prospectuses of upcoming ones.

For those of you already familiar with blogs, this should be ready to use. For those who are new to blogs, we think you'll soon get used to the convenience of one. Used well, the Harmoblog may be able to cut down on chapter use of email and business announcements at chapter meeting.

Note that the blog is term-searchable (there's a little search window up top there) and keyword-searchable. But that will become important only later, as the blog grows so we can talk about that later.

Meanwhile, welcome to our latest step forward in chapter communications!