Friday, February 1, 2008

Looking Back on Jan. 29th Chapter Meeting & MidWinter

Looking Back on Jan 29th Chapter Meeting and MidWinter Convention

(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.)

Tony worked hard with the chorus during warm up helping them learn to coordinate good breathing and support with good singing. It was working too. There was a lot of action around the hall, too, prior to the Harmonizers-on-the-Risers call at 7 pm. Quartets were being formed or were practicing for the big event tonite. Plus there was the usual selling of script and raffle tickets and all.

Director Joe thanked Will, Tony and Chuck for keeping things rolling while he was (1) out sick one Tuesday and (2) at the MidWinter convention in San Antonio a second Tuesday. Rumors are he did a great job as MC of the new youth chorus event. Gary Plaag was one of the three judges for that event too.

The visual team worked hard tonite to reinforce riser and chorus basic moves. It was a review for long-timers and useful info for the newer performers. All from the Primer given to each member in their mail slot recently.

There were plugs for quartets to be forming to fill the requests for Singing Valentines including those for soldiers on active duty who might want to send a greeting to someone here in the DC area. A contact friend of Mike Schwartz is telling his buddies in his unit about the offer.

Also there is a contest going on for the Harmonizer who creates the prize winning message in the Valentine card we deliver with our songs and candy and roses. Entries go to right away.

Bruce Lauther announced a newly signed contract for a show in St. Mary’s County, MD, for Sept. 13th. Good paying job too. Our 8th time there he reports.

Dick Weick is some improved and hoping to get to a rehab area out of cardiac care area. Bruce Minnick’s operation is on Friday of this week. Bede Bender had a hand operation recently. Ross Johnson suffered a ruptured appendix while at the MidWinter and thus was unable to go on the post convention cruise. All the best, men.

Tomorrow is the singout for music students at West Potomac High School. Thanks to those going. There is an urgency for bari and tenor singers to come help.

During Tuesday nite breaktime during the chapter meeting, the chapter tech crew will be showing performances of other International chorus competitors for all to compare and to see.

Secretary Chris, also fresh back from MidWinter, presented membership cards as follows: 8 years, Rob Nutt; 12 years, Scip Garling; 32 years, Bob Caldwell.

Roger introduced 9 guests tonite and reminded all of the Feb. 19 formal guest nite for the chapter.

After break, the annual Wilbur Sparks Memorial Put Together Quartet Contest was staged in our meeting hall. By time it ended, we had 18 entries. There were lots of laughs, some good singing and some guys got up for their very first time to sing in front of the chapter. Several guests even got in the act, as did some of our brand new members.

Trophies were presented to the top three quartets in each category. (The quartet members listed below are not in order of part sung.)

Winners of the Traditional Category: third was Mercury (Sutton, Colosimo, Schwartz, Louis); second was Blue Notes (Reynolds, Day, Brad Jones, Ken White); and first was FRiDAYS (Caldwell, Steve Murane, O’Brien, Ives).Winners in the Comedy Category: third was Cane Less (Kauffmann, Cerutti, Schwartz, Rust); second was Trading Places (Colosimo, Wallen, Kahler, Cerutti); and first was Mama’s Boys (Reynolds, Garling, Richardson, Ken White).The overall winner was FRiDAYS.
CLASSIC CONNECTION quartet (Danny Smoot-Wood, Ed Shaw, Bob Mattes, Sam McFarland) judged the contest and sang while the scores were tabulated. Master of Ceremonies was Terry Jordan. Sound set up was done by Dennis Richey, Scott Kahler. Photographer was Ike Evans. Contest Administrator was Jack Pitzer. Backstage Assistant was Dick Hall. A big thanks to overall chairman and Dr. Put, Joel Golden.

The following info about the MidWinter was prepared by Dixie Kennett, who was our reporter on the scene.

The MidWinter convention held in San Antonio, for most, is a much more relaxed convention that Internationals. The attendance in San Antonio of 1,335 was the second highest for a MidWinter. For many there was time for group tours; others toured on their own by foot, trolley and river taxi – El Mercado, The Alamo, historic hotels and numerous restaurants.

The Municipal Auditorium was only three blocks from the headquarters hotel and was a wonderful venue – great sight lines, good sound, good lighting (and shuttle buses for those who didn’t want to walk). The auditorium was said to seat 5,000.

However, for many Harmonizers, the convention consisted of daylong meetings that continued into the evening.

Director Joe Cerutti is a member of the Chorus Director Development Committee that met on Tuesday and Wednesday. Society Board Member Alan Wile had board discussions and meetings on Thursday and Friday. Chris Buechler is a member of the Governance and Bylaws Committee and serves the Society Board as assistant parliamentarian at meetings. He also represented Mt. Vernon president Mike Everard at the chapter presidents’ meeting on Thursday evening.

Gary Plaag represented District President Joe Stangl at the meetings for district presidents and also served as a moderator for an evening meeting of both district and chapter presidents. He also was a judge for the youth chorus contest.

Anthony Colosimo is a member of the Youth Activities Committee and sang with ROAD TRIP on both evening shows and at the youth chorus competition.

There were many current and past Harmonizers in attendance:
Keith Jones, Sam McFarland, Dick Newton
Ross Johnson and Susan Williams (Ross had appendix surgery on Friday while in San Antonio)
John and Jean Adams (performed with AISQC [association of seniors quartet champs] chorus)
Alan and Lois Durick (performed with AISQC chorus)
Tom and Marilyn Gannon (from South Dakota)
Alan Kousen (competed in seniors quartet contest representing the Dixie District – finished 11th)

Til next time - editorjack.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Looking Back on Jan. 22nd Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on Jan 22nd Chapter Meeting

(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.)

This week there were a number of guys already in San Antonio for the Society’s MidWinter convention. Director Joe was there for committee meetings and to prepare to serve as MC for the first Youth Harmony Chorus contest. Other folks were leaving tomorrow morning for TX.

Will, Tony and Chuck (our assistant directors) took turn up front with warm ups, craft, song run-throughs. Chuck McK and Gary worked on several SP things. And Craig did the aerobics warm up. There were also sectionals for working on “Clap Yo Hands” and “Ed Sullivan.”

Dick Weick was reported still in the hospital at Fairfax, and Bruce Minnick is waiting for a serious heart operation.

Brad Jones spoke to all about the efforts to get quartets ready to fill orders for Singing Valentines. There are some prospects for doing gigs for soldiers who are overseas and have someone here in DC area we could sing to.

The PUT TOGETHER contest is next week. If you aren’t in a quartet yet, and starting to work on some fun song, you should do so – especially those of you who read this article each week but don’t currently sing in the chorus. Or just show up on the Jan. 29th. I hear the musical leaders will form some quartets on the spot for the contest and have them sing Pole Cat songs. If you want to help with the contest, contact Joel Golden, who is chair this year (you could help escort contestants, set up chairs at break for audience, help sound/tech crew set up mics and such.

Treasurer Eckman announced the good results of our Script sales efforts for last year. Thanks of course to Dick and Carolyn Hall for taking charge each week. We sold $71,000 and netted $5,200 for the chapter!! Fifth place salesman was Harner, fourth was Eckman, third was Ives, second was Fess and first was Rust who sold $8,600.

Ike Evans offered to make a Holiday Show book (like the one the chapter gave Terry Reynolds at the president’s banquet on the 19th). Speak with Ike about your request. It was really a terrific piece.

The technical crew on Tuesday nite set up and recorded a song or two. They will be used by the SP team for training sessions on the stage before chapter meeting on Tuesday nites.

The famous Harmonizer photo board that gets put up each week with mug shots of the members is getting a face-lift. Ike Evans is putting new guys on the board and updating those that needed updating. He is using more technology so that he shoots the picture, and processes it and puts it on the board in a few minutes. Sure looks nice. Thanks, Ike.

The “Riser Rats” for 2007 were acknowledged again last week and given their usual candy, popcorn and movie coupons. Thanks to those guys too.

Secretary Chris offered to order any Harmo logo items for guys – now is the time to get in on the order. Jackets, shirts, caps, etc.

He also presented membership cards for Mark Klostermeyer – 27 years, and Rick Savage – 34 years.

Roger Day, our membership VP, reminded us that Feb. 19th is the formal guest nite for the chapter. We continue to welcome guys back to the fold who have been out for a while like Paul Grimes, Bill DePuy and Arthur Louis.

Reminder—there will be sectionals this Saturday at Durant at 9 am. All come.

There were handouts in each guy’s mailbox regarding a fundraiser show for Nancy Sterling who is battling ALS. Show is Feb. 24th, 3 pm in MD at Todd Performing Arts Center. Contact Steve White who has more details.

Lots of guys were off tonite that we know of who are fighting colds and the crud. Heard several guys sharing that they had missed last week because of some things going around.
And we drank 40 cups of coffee and ate a lot of holiday left over goodies – it was darn cold outside too.

Til next time - editorjack.