Friday, June 13, 2008

Looking Back on June 10th Chapter Meeting and Retreat

Looking Back on June 10th Chapter Meeting and Weekend Retreat

(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.)

The Retreat was at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, over the weekend of June 6 and 6. For those of us who drove up Saturday morning, it was a VERY foggy trip. But as promised the retreat organizer, Chuck McKeever, had things well organized. And the coffee and muffins and juice ready. The Harmo truck was a welcome site and the starting point for registration and getting to the rehearsal hall in a new facility we had not used before. Luckily the AC was working well – some guys were cold but no one complained cause we were glad to have the AC. The rooms this year were new and really nice too.

Coach David Wright made a lot of new barbershop friends this weekend. His advice was easy to follow, it made huge differences in the sound and total package, and it lifted the level of the chorus. Joe and his musical team were busy all weekend too adding, taking notes, asking questions, seeking advice, coaching the visual and helping the chorus members benefit from the experience.

The Saturday morning program started with a check to see that the Class of 2008 had their bandanas. They did! The warms ups were as usual. All tenors were present for the weekend! As is tradition, there were members asked to give reflections – Garling, Fess, Grimes, Sutton and Reynolds. All were different in approach and in message. All were strong.

The Saturday nite party tradition continued, and the Class of 2008 presented a really funny skit that made us all laugh and laugh. Good job guys. The class is Kieba, Kraus, Hughes, Grimes, Kim, Ammerman, VanGilder, Poulin, O’Brien, Kelly, Adams, and Blomgren.

Sunday morning was an early one after such a long day and evening on Saturday, but David did one of his famous warm up sessions (they are often open to the public at International and attract a crowd to see how the Ambassadors do it).

We concentrated on adding meaningful and personal visual plans to the ballad on Sunday. We ended with our usual “Friends” tag – which it turns out was arranged by David Wright.

Tuesday nite the 10th, the gang was ready to go. Many had worked hard to learn and refresh from the Retreat. We met in the school, since Durant was used for a graduation ceremony. The crowd arrived early and eager.

There was a pledge to keep silent and not talk or ask questions and interrupt the musical leaders up front. It worked and was a welcome treat.

Terry “Regular Joe on the Risers” Reynolds extended his challenge to the guys to spend at least 15 minutes on their music and the package. Many hands went up when asked who had done that since the retreat!

Director Joe reviewed the new tag for the ballad and some important spots in the song. Then on to the important reminders for the uptune. There were some good laughs when we worked to recall the new cutoff for the uptune too.

For the chapter meeting period, Bob Blair substituted for Bob Rhome. President Stamps announced no Thursday rehearsal this week (but there will be Thrs rehearsals on the 19 the 26th of this month). There will be NO board meeting this week either.

Terry Jordan is on the mend and sends his regards. He is up and about the house but not out driving just yet. He also has been on the phone a lot – line is always busy!!

Dick Dangel was guest accordion player for Ben Horen’s high school music concert at W.T. Woodson recently. Dick provided background rhythm for one girl’s ensemble number.

Jim Connaughton was quoted and photographed on the front of Washington Times recently as environmental advisor to the Bush administration

Retreat chair McKeever thanked his team: truck driver, Blair; presentation spotters, K Jones and Pitzer; sound, Kahlor; booklet, Pence; logo design, Day; music spotter, Hohl; logistics, Riffer, Eckman, Dornberger; quad leaders, Day, Blair, Cameron, TJ Jones.

Tom Kern has make up kits for sale.

Secretary Buechler offered to order Harmo logo clothing items for the members.

Some one announced the Harmo Send Off on Tuesday nite June 24th at Durant. Usual start time at 7 pm, guests can arrive about 8 pm. No one said, but I bet we have to wear the contest uniform that nite too.

Roger Day announced newest member who passed audition – Ben Nelson (age 14, I hear) and a new bass. His grandparents were there last nite too and his Dad and fellow chapter member. At the end of the nite, he directed KTWWS.

There was a FRIENDS meeting last nite.

Before the break, the CLASS OF 2008 was asked to show their bandanas. Two penalties were issued.

Chuck Hunter taught another tag – “My Love Is Your Love Til I Die.”

Luckily the AC was working in the school. And the strawberry lemonade was a hit too.

After the break, the rest of the evening was used to polish the contest package. There is a huge amount of energy and excitement in the air. Hang on.

Until next time – editorjack!