Friday, December 18, 2009

Looking Back on the Dec.15th Chapter Meeting & Put Together Contest

Another nite without risers! The set up crew was at work early to set up a theater setting facing the stage for the quartet contest.

Last minute sales of ornaments and scrip cards were conducted. Special orders of scrip cards will be delivered at the Hospital Sing next Tuesday nite.

Many guys were trying to find the guys they were gonna sing with in the competition and checking the Order of Singing posted on the wall by the coffee table.

Will Cox did warm ups and got every one singing. Director Joe made some announcements to recap last week’s word about the busy January schedule with the contest package. He confirmed that guys had gotten the learning materials made available by the music team. He reminded all that Geri Geis will be in to work on the ballad and Cindy Hansen to work on the up tune early in January.

The Abe Lincoln painting made for the chorus during the holiday show dress rehearsal was put out as a silent auction item. It went for a heft sum and included a gift card to sue for framing. The artist made it for the chapter.

Membership VP Dan announced the next guest nite to be January 19th. Start lining up your guests who will want to join this exciting chapter.

Dan also welcomed several guests, several former members in for the contest, as well as some members we don’t see too often who were also singing in the contest. He also welcomed our judges – YOUTH RECLAMATOIN PROJECT, Hardman Jones, Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Vic Owen. They are current district senior’s quartet champs and will represent us at the mid winter convention in FL.

Everyone was glad to hear that Maxx Factor did well the first nite on the TV special. (Word came in at the afterglow that they had made the second cut.)

Secretary Buechler presented a Man of Note award to Dan O’Brien for sponsoring Andrew Plocher. Chris also gave out membership renewal cards to Scipio Garling for 14 years, Vince Cazenas for 23 years, Mark Klostermeyer for 29 years, Steve White for 33 years, and Chuck Harner for 42 years.

Then the gang took a half hour break. The coffee was ready, and thanks to Bob Blair who saved the nite by driving all the way over to the Harmonizer truck parking lot and getting the supply of goodies from the truck to go with the coffee.

At 8 pm, the bell rang and the guys all took seats. This year there was quartet on deck while a quartet sang. So there was always a nice crowd to cheer (and laugh). Lew Klinge kept us all laughing as mc and also kept things rolling. He also presented a lot of great history about the contest and its founder, Wilbur Sparks.

Dr. Put, or event chairman, Eric Wallen, did a great job in promoting to get the 20 entries, and all the behind the scene planning. Thanks also to the sound guys, photo guys listed in the report or score sheet printed here.

Congrats to all. There was some great singing, many great laughs and some good parodies. There were surprises like when a quartet set off a flash or spark and had not told the tenor! Also there were a couple quartets who got to laughing so hard that they almost had to toss in the towel. It was a great nite.

Results of winners are below. Eric instituted a new award to recognize a guy who sang all four parts in the contest. Since no one managed to copy that trend set in the past by George Azzam, we recognized the guys who sang in the most quartets. Joel Golden and Bob Mattes each sang in five! Bob will get his trophy next time.

December 29th there is no a Harmonizer meeting at Durant. BUT all of our chapter, and especially the quartets from our contest, are invited to go over to the annual BLAST hosted by Dundalk. 7 – 11 pm. At Michael’s 8th Avenue, 7220 Grayburn Drive, Glen Burnie, MD. More info from Let’s send at least our winning quartets there to compete. Food and brews included in the small entry fee. Joe gave it a plug last nite too.

To confirm, the chorus will sing carols next Tuesday, Dec. 22, at Alexandria Hospital on Seminary Road. Meet in the lobby at 7 pm. Wear a Santa hat or scarf. New members and guests are welcome, as well as old timers who have not been singing a lot lately. After we sing we will all go to 815 Southside for an afterglow.

Here is the report from last nite’s contest.

Contest Competitors and Scores (names listed tenor, lead, bari, bass):
1. Chopped Liver -- 274
(Colosimo, Grant, Mattes, Yates)
2. Audacity -- 258 Comedy
(Kousen, Dangel, Golden, Wachter)
3. Patapsco 4 -- 213 Comedy
(Cameron, Depuy, Ashford, Kelly)
4. PBQ (Paper Bag Quartet) – 223 Comedy
(Cerutti, Ferguson, Fess, Stamps)
5. Classic Crooners -- 264
(Kousen, Martin, Mattes, Yates)
6. Down Two Wholes -- 284
(Kelly, Caldwell, Cerutti, Ives)
7. Just In Time -- 293
(Savage, Colosimo, Ives, Dillingham)
8. Golden Oldies -- 269
(Kousen, Fedarko, Barnes, Golden)
9. Alien Autopsy Review Board -- 289
(Garling, Martin, Cerutti, Kelly)
10. La-La Land -- 255
(O’Brien, Ferguson, Mattes, McFarland)
11. Four Queens -- 310
(Garling, Van Gilder, Rub, Reynolds)
12. Prince (Formerly 50% Off Quartet) – 279 Comedy
(Berman, Smith, Stamps, Guy)
13. Last Note Singers -- 249
(Kieba, Kahler, Golden, Huber)
14. Atom Smashers -- 30
(O’Brien, Martin, Colosimo, Yates)
15. The Droids – 217 Comedy
(Ritchey, Ammerman, Golden, Wallen)
16. AWOL -- 244
(Fuller, Dangel, Mattes, McFarland)
17. Present Company – 277 Comedy
(Van Gilder, Knobel, Blomgren, Wallen)
18. Classic Connection – 256
(O’Brien, Fedarko, Mattes, Martin)
19. Mixed Nuts -- 232
(Miller, Dangel, Blomgren, Golden)
20. Superbad -- 267
(Sawyer, Ferguson, Cerutti, Wallen)

SPECIAL AWARD: The George Azzam Award -- there was a tie with Joel Golden and Bob Mattes both singing in 5 quartets!

3rd -- Audacity
2nd -- Present Company
1st -- Prince

Traditional Category:
3rd -- Just In Time
2nd -- Atom Smashers
1st -- Four Queens

Judges: Youth Reclamation Project from Richmond (Hardman Jones, Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Vic Owen)
Master of Ceremonies: Lew Klinge
Sound: Dennis Richey, Scott Kahler
Photography: Ike Evans, TJ Jones
Contest Administrator: Jack Pitzer
Dr. Put: Eric Wallen
Refreshments: Bob Blair, Terry Jordan

We all headed over to the afterglow and there was another big crowd to continue the fun we had had at the chapter meeting.

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Looking Back on the December 8th Chapter Meeting

The lousy weather hit again on Tuesday but a good crowd of guys made it to Durant and at 7 pm Mark Kostermeyer called for guys to “take their seats” as chairs were set up for us. It was planned to be a short meeting to warm up, make announcements and take care of business including sales of ornaments and scrip, then head into Old Town to do some Christmas songs.

Tony Colosimo did the musical warm up. He noted that we will be working on new habits for the big goal in Philly. This plan is important since there are so many new singers in the chorus now.

Director Joe took the podium and first off thanked Jeremy Knobel for his hard work, dedication and success in producing and managing a great Holiday Show. Jeremy was organized right to the end including this list of people that he thanked publicly. The guys gave the traditional one-clap salute to each.

VP of shows – Ken
Food - Brad, Mick
Dessert - Jack
Kitchen - Bill S. and sons, Scott , Yaritza, Sofia (and staff)
Script - Scipio, Noah, JP
Actors/MCs - Terry, Tom, Joe, JP, Dennis
Sound - Scott, Dennis, Yaritza
Lights - Dixie, Chris Cunningham (assistant)
Truck - Bill D, Bob B
Props - Dennis, Bill S
Silent Auction - Phil, Mick
Decorations - Roger and Friday volunteers
Raffle and table sales - Sandy, FiH, Joe’s Mom
Video Cameras - Dan O, Mike, Joe Sr.
Photographer - Handan
Tickets - Steve Murane, Keith Jones
Marketing - Scipio, Nick Auito
Photos w/Santa- Ike, Tim Buell, Ken, Bill DePuy, Handan, Emily (Tom's wife)
Guest greeters - Ken, Scipio
Singing Vals - Joel, Ike, Bill Curtis, Randy, Gary
Guest performer - Will Cox
Waiter sign-ups - Ian
Santa and Mrs. Clause – Bruce and Ginny
Chorus management - K12
Maintenance - Archie and church staff
Auction item donors - K-12 for certificates and mats
Volunteers on Thurs, Fri for set-up
Waiters and captains
All the Harmonizers!

The word is that we will do well financially on this show too!!

Joe announced that learning tapes for the contest songs are out. And that on Jan. 12th, Cindy Hansen will be here to help us with the up tune.

Next Joe introduced a special guest for the evening, former Harmonizer and now staffer with the BHS Foundation, Ryan Killeen. Ryan thanked our chapter for being the leading chapter in the Society in gift giving to the Foundation. (There are many members and friends of our chapter who support the President’s Council.) He was also eager to have others of us know the need to support the Foundation and its work in providing support for youth activities in the nation.

Ryan was also eager to sing some tags and went with us to sing later.

Terry Reynolds conducted a contest as to how many songs guys thought were still in our repertoire. It was fun – many of us were wrong on some old songs. In short the list is ever-changing since as soon as some songs are ready to perform, other songs will be taken off the list. See the list on the web or see Terry.

The mic was back to Joe for more important announcements about our contest planning for Philly. He relayed again the plan to have Cindy work on the contest up tune. And he announced that he had met with Geri Geis and invited her to work on the ballad. She will be coming in early January to start the plan in helping us deliver the message of the song. His goal is to be “worthy of a medal” in the contest this summer.

Final announcements included the usual word of lost and found stuff from a show, and then instructions for meeting at 8 pm at Market Square. We sang at four restaurants, as we have the last three years, to cheers and smiling faces. Some places the crowd joined in our singing. The rain was not fun, but the comradeship was! It is a great tradition.

We all headed over to the afterglow and there was big crowd since we had finished singing early.

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Looking Back on the December 1st Chapter Meeting

When YeEd arrived at 5 til 7, the action was well underway at Durant. Everyone was fired up about last minute ticket sales for the show and getting a good supply of ornaments to sell.

Will Cox did warm ups and got the men ready to work hard on the show music.

Props were arriving right and left from those who had responded to Scipio’s email request. Funniest was seeing Dean Martin come in caring a box with women’s legs sticking out of the box! You will have to come to the show if you don’t know why!!

Characters were working their lines and helping the chorus with their timing too. Terry Reynolds in Jack-In-The-Box again. Director Joe is “Junior” and Tom Kraus is Jack’s nephew, “Charlie.”

Producer Jeremy Knobel was busy all evening helping the chorus know when to react and where to be during the package. And he was more than gentle in his nudge to SELL MORE TICKETS. There are some empty tables to fill.

In the midst of the fun, Chuck Hunter arrived to loud cheers from all!! He is back in the US for meetings at State and will head back to Damascus on Saturday. He will get to come to the Friday nite show.

Another part of the evening was coaching and instructions for table servers. And an effort to get a full set of waiters signed up. Before YeEd left the hall, it looked like a bunch of guys had stopped at the sign up table to help. Yeah.

Both of our chapter ensembles sang their show songs – TBD and CAMERON STATION.

There was a strong plug for guys to make certain they have elf or toy costumes for the first part of the show and then caroling outfits (sweater, scarf, etc.) for the last part.

Bob Rhome covered for K12 and ran the meeting. Secretary Buechler gave a 22-year renewal card to Tom Griffith who was back.

Dan O’Brien restated the earlier joyful announcement by Joe that we have 100 singers signed up for Philly!! Then Dan introduced 9 guests – a couple who have filled out applications.

He also welcomed member Roger Day who stopped by to check out things in prep for his annual Deck The Hall gig to turn the fellowship hall of First Baptist into Santa’s workshop.

Bob Rhome reminded all to pay for their Philly tickets right away. And to stay tuned for final details about housing at that convention.

President Brad thanked Mrs. Wilbur Sparks for her recent donation to the chapter and for her purchase of scrip cards for holiday giving. He also welcomed Dixie back after her recent operation.

Brad gave You Make A Difference pins to Tom Kraus for his leadership in forming TBD and for helping with the show. And to Phil Ferguson for his work in managing the silent auction at the show.

Jeremy Knobel ran down a list of important reminders about this weekend’s show. There is a rehearsal Thursday eve at the First Baptist Church on King Street. Singers should wear their elf or toy outfits to get used to them. They don’t need to bring their caroling outfits.

Every member needs to bring two boxes wrapped in shinny paper and four dozen good cookies. Bring them Thursday nite.

Chorus calls are 6 on Thursday; 6 on Friday eve; 10 am on Saturday.

Still some slots open for guys to fill as waiters. Sign up Thursday. Decorating crews are working on Friday – every member can help with this task including non singers and new guests and such. There was also need for a riser crew on Thursday at pm.

Then Director Joe took over again to drill and work on the show songs. But first he called up John Hohl to take the farewell chair and after Joe’s thanks to John for his service and help over the years; we sang “A Place on the Risers for You” as John is relocating to FL.

Then back to work including some visual drill on package show songs. Also the MC guys did their bits for practice, as did the many soloists.

It was hard work right up til time to go to the afterglow. But first the guys had to load the truck for this weekend and put everything away.

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Looking Back on the November 24th Chapter Meeting

More rainy weather made getting to chapter a little crazy. Plus it was the start of the Thanksgiving exit from DC so the roads were packed. But we had a good crowd again and there was lots going on prior to music.

Tony Colosimo did the warm ups for the chorus. As part of it, he introduced a new warm up drill to replace the long-used “may me my mow moo” that lots of us grew up on!

And “Oh my!” The non-durational doots were back.

The whole evening was used to prep the songs for the holiday show coming up fast – Dec. 4 and 5. The characters were worked into the practice. And the waiter operation while singing was rehearsed too. The guys already got into the fun of leading their tables to sing parts of “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

As promised in the pre-meeting memo sent to all members, Director Joe invited 8 guys to come out and sing one of the show songs. When they were finished, he asked them to return to the risers and choose someone to take their place. He did this for about 4 songs. As usual, the tenors got a work out in order to have enough groups have tenors.

Before the membership meeting, Mark Klostermeyer recognized this week’s birthdays. Then Dan O’Brien took the mic. He invited us all to get our supply of Harmonizer business cards. And he suggested to guests present (and to current members who might have guests standing near them on the risers), that if he were busy during a Tuesday nite and a guest wanted to get answers to some questions, they might also speak with Alan Kousen and Phil Ferguson.

There were 9 guests this week including some returning guests, some men from other nearby chapters, first timers, former members and fans. John Hohl was back from Florida after moving there a few weeks ago.

The 30 or so singers who did the show at National Harbor on Monday evening did us proud and helped raise a few bucks for the chapter. A similar gig is set for Thursday, Dec. 17th.

After coffee and snacks, it was back to the risers for our weekly chapter meeting. Chuck Harner alerted all that accounts for sales of Entertainment Books must be completed with him (turn in the unsold ones or you owe for them) by Dec. 8th.

Ever wonder about that big Campbell Soup can on the table in the hall? It is a place to deposit Campbell Soup labels you have collected and brought in. We turn them over to a local school that turns in the labels to earn points for school equipment. Everyone is encouraged to collect the labels.

IMPORTANT announcement: you needed to get a convention reservation and indicate your plans for housing in the Harmo hotel in Philly in July. If you missed that, call Carl Kauffmann. Not sure what can be done, but he will know.

Jeremy Knobel plugged holiday show ticket sales. And he asked guys to sign up for decorating crews for Friday, and for riser set up on Thursday. All singers should mark their calendars that we have a rehearsal on Thursday, Dec. 3 at First Baptist Church. Don’t forget to wrap two big boxes with shiny gift wrap (no bows) and to bring them to dress rehearsal. ALSO bring four dozen cookies at that time.

Eric Wallen invited guys to register a quartet for the Put Together Contest on Dec. 15th!!

Sandy Stamps suggested (a bit in jest) that you should get some White House ornaments in case there is someone you forget for holidays gifting. (Surely Eric would not forget Joe!)

President Brad reminded all to get in their items for the silent auction for the holiday shows. YeEd hears there is at least one tv coming in and a piano – or two.

Brad presented You Make a Difference pins to Bill Stewart for his willingness to take on the tough jobs like set construction and working in the kitchen at the show; and Noah Van Gilder for his creative contributions to the show scripts.

After the meeting time, the chorus worked in sectionals on some of the songs for the show.

CAMERON STATION sang another new song for us that they will do on the show featuring Steve White as soloist. Then we heard the debut performance of a new small ensemble within the chorus, called TBD. The group includes Tom Kraus, Scipio Garling, Eric Wallen, Noah Van Gilder, Myles Glancy and Phil Ferguson.

Soon it was back to the risers for work on the rest of the show songs with the assistant directors up front. It was fun to hear the old standby “Toyland” which Will Cox will direct again for the show..

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Looking Back on the November 17th Chapter Meeting

Members of the chapter arrived early to take care of business matters before the singing started. As soon as Steve Murane sat down, there was a line of folks to take care of Holiday Show ticket sales. And the Halls had customers ready to buy scrip cards too and so they were eager for Bob Eckman to arrive with the new supply. Mick Stamps did a steady business of WHOs too. There was excitement in the hall as everyone was eager to get to work on their singing, help the new guys learn the show music and welcome all the visitors on the risers with the singers.

Director Joe took over after a good warm up and started right to work on the songs for the show. The guys were havin fun with “The Chipmunk Song” but as promised, Joe called several down to sing it in a quartet. There were some red faces but he did not yield. His point – consider this a lesson learned: that the pre-Tuesday nite memo sent from Steve White to all members is a preview of what will be expected at Durant.

Joe also used a lot of techniques to help the singers get into the spirit of these songs and to capture the desire to make them as important as any show songs.

Prior to break, Mark Klostermeyer did birthdays (actually only one – that old guy Terry Jordan) and announced that the board meeting was set for Wed. Nov. 18 at Durant at 6 pm. For some of the newer members, YeEd believes the chapter board meeting is still open to any and all members who wish to attend. Probably good to alert the president you are attending.

Secretary Buechler presented a 3-year renewal card to Jeremy Knobel and a 5-year card to Tim Buell. Dan OBrien invited each of us to stop by the membership station to get a stack of the new chapter business cards. They are not guest nite specific but can be used any time to give to someone you meet who likes to sing. Thanks to marketing vp Scipio Garling for the new supply.

Dan also introduced the two newest members of the chapter – Tim Buell and Kevin Roth. Dan reports there have been 17 new members this year!! Tonite’s guest line up included 8 men who came to sing with us. The list included former members, former guests, a couple first timers and some gents from other chapters.

After coffee and goodies and lots of visiting and business, the program continued. Phil Feguson reminded all guys to get some items to him for the silent auction at the show. And show producer Jeremy reminded everyone to work on an elf or toy costume, wrap two boxes for show decoration and to bring four dozen good holiday cookies. The boxes and cookies should be brought to First Baptist on King Street during the Thursday nite rehearsal, Dec. 3.

Music and Performance VP Terry Reynolds announced two changes in the musical team. Bob Mattes has stepped up to fill the librarian position which Dick Dangel has held for a long time. Thanks to Dick for his service. Terry also announced that Scipio Garling will become presentation leader. He fills the space left vacant when Gary Plaag asked to step out in order to spend more time on his business.

President Brad thanked those who had signed up for the small group gig at National Habor Place. He also presented a You Make A Difference pin to Howard Nestlerode for his detail work on chapter financials. And a pin to Will Cox for his service as a section leader and assistant director.

Then it was back to singing.

A tag or push out quartet fun time was first thing. Always fun to see the expressions of guys faces when they get tapped on the shoulder to move on!

Joe and team did another presentation of the new ballad. This time Joe used Nina Simone’s version for us to hear and enjoy and appreciate. Then there was some time to sing the melody and as a special treat, to hear the intro. Joe thanked the repertoire committee and the music committee for having this material ready now versus in March or something.

CAMERON STATION took the stage to sing two of their holiday songs for us. And then the assistant directors worked us thru more songs for the show.

We ended the rehearsal with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas: which is also the end of the show.

Guys had worked hard and were eager to put things away and head off to the afterglow.

More work next week, for sure.

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Looking Back on the November 10th Chapter Meeting

Another rainy nite in VA, but the Harmonizer spirits were high coming off the fantastic show on Sunday with Pride of Baltimore.

The usual scene was unfolding as men arrived to be early for the 7 pm start time. Sales were fairly strong of White House ornaments, Entertainment books and scrip cards for holiday purchases or gifts prior to the meeting.

After the warm up period, Director Joe praised and thanked the chorus and its many leaders for the hard work in making the show a huge success. He was impressed with the in-tune singing. He was glad the webcast reached out and delivered our product far and wide around the world.

The show was at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the U of MD College Park campus. A nice facility for singing and for watching! Theme of the show was “Take It From The Top” and included three songs sung by both the Harmonizers and Pride of Baltimore Sweet Adeline chorus. For the record, the songs were “All I Ask of You,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “Singing in Harmony.” About 160 singers were on the risers.

Guest quartet was MAXX FACTOR who recently achieved medalist status at the SAI convention. MC for the show was our own Rick Taylor.

Kudos to Brad Jones who did tons of tasks to make it a success and was the “believer” that it was a possibility. Ken Rub was officially producer. A quick run down of folks who did jobs to make it a success: JP for song board; K12 for chorus manager for both groups; TJ for visual cues; B Minnick for ticket sales for afterglow; Scott for sound; Mike K for webcast; Dean Martin for podcasts; K White for afterglow mc; Blair for truck and riser crew leadership; Dixie for lights; Scipio for marketing; FRIENDS for sales in lobby; a long list of soloists; CAMERON STATION for singing their new songs on the show.

Then it was on to work for the next big task in our calendar – the Holiday shows. Joe had his assistant directors work on the songs they will direct that weekend. (YeEd noted that we have so many new guys and guests on the risers we gotta put together more holiday music notebooks.)

After a healthy time for holiday show songs, Joe introduced us to our new contest ballad. He used some new techniques to do this. First we all read and talked about the meaning of the lyrics. Then we listened to a version of the song done by Frank Sinatra. Then we all sang the melody. Then since we were all fired up, Joe played the tag of the arrangement as sung by a demo tape. WOW. Song is “I Get Along Without You Just Like I Should.”

Joe turned things over to operations vp Klostermeyer who announced birthdays include the 234th for the Corps. Secretary Buechler presented a 6-year membership card to Ken Henderson, who is new to our chapter. Ken got the usual packet of neat things including the Harmo history book. [Last week, YeEd missed reporting that Josh Roots was given his 3-year renewal, and that Bill Clark and Neil Bibens, who are not living in this area, have renewed also.

K12 also brought out a huge pile of lost and found things from the show -- funny to see guys reclaim uniform parts and personal things.

Dan O’Brien welcomed Drew Dias back and then invited 12 guests up front for introduction. The group included some former members, guys from other chapters in our district and from afar, several first time guests, and a couple new applicants. As is our tradition, we sang our welcome song to them, directed by Will Cox. While we sing, the president, director and Dan shake each guest’s hand.

During the break, there were lots of goodies to go with the coffee – left overs from the goodies brought to the weekend show for the chorus dressing room and coordinated by one of our guests, Grant Leber.

YeEd also noted that the FRIENDS group was at Durant for one of their meetings. And he heard that Carl Kauffmann will be in Philly this weekend representing us on the BHS “fam” trip that lets each competing chorus send a rep to go to the site of the convention to check out housing options, practices spaces, the contest site, restaurants and transportation challenges. Craig Kuyawa is co-chair for Philly.

Ken Rub, our show vp, invited everyone to come sing on the Armed Forces daytime show at a local elementary school. (It turned out to be another great day and it was fun for the guys to sing for the students and many military vets present. Several of our guys were in uniform too for the event.)

Jeremy Knobel is heading up the Holiday Show and he asked five things from the men of the chapter: (1) sell tickets; (2) volunteer to help on Fri. morning the 4th; (3a) wrap two large boxes, like you buy reams of paper in, with shiny wrapping paper; (3b) bring four dozen good quality homemade or bakery holiday cookies with you; (4) contribute items of value for the silent auction – give them to Phil Ferguson; (5) get your costume ready to be an elf or toy.

President Brad acknowledged a generous gift from Shirley Bolstad to the chapter. And then Brad presented You Make A Difference pins to all the members of the FRIENDS group for their always-willing support of the chapter.

After the meeting portion of the nite, Joe had everyone get into a quartet push out line up for two holiday songs. Then he sent everyone to sectionals in other parts of the building to work on “There Will Always Be A Place on the Risers for You.” That work prompted a Moment In Harmo History about how that song came to be written by Bob Bates and arranged by John Hohl and sung at many important moments in the life of the chapter.

Joe and his musical team also had the singers work on the new “Chipmunk” song.

We adjourned a few minutes early, stashed the risers under the stage and prepared to head over to the afterglow. As usual there were quartets around the hall trying things and helping new guys get ready for their auditions.

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Looking Back on the November 3rd Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the November 3rd Chapter Meeting

It was election nite in Virginia so the chapter meeting and rehearsal was in the adjoining Jeff Houston School. We are so lucky to have it next door, available thanks to our sponsoring group Alexandria Rec Dept., with free parking.

Seems like all the guests and new guys had no trouble finding the entrance around back. And there were a lot of guests again. We set up a guest sign in station and gathered a supply of guest books from next door since we were not in our regular chorus home.

As usual there were many things happening in the hall before the 7 pm singing start – CAMERON STATION practicing; stage presence review on the stage in the all purpose room; sale of holiday script cards for members to use in buying holiday turkeys or hams or gifts or groceries in general (plan ahead to make it easy for yourself this season and help the chapter raise funds); ticket matters for this weekend’s show and afterglow; quartets singing; and leaders taking care of the usual paperwork to keep things rolling.

Tony Colosimo took the leadership for the musical warm up session. Then Director Joe took over to launch work on songs for the show. He welcomed the many guests and applicants and former members, and invited them to sing on the ends of the risers so they didn’t get trampled with the up tune stage moves. He also cheered for the success of the web cast plan for Sunday’s show.

He ran the show from start to finish so production folks could time the songs and know how things will flow on stage. It also was a time for front row to adjust to the available space for their routines. (Speaking of the front row – YeEd noticed the knee pads are back for the many drops to the floor for our new opener!)

Show producer Ken Rub read the mc script for Rick Taylor who will do the honors on Sunday. Hard to read projected adlibs that Rick will likely use and make it funny. Nice try Ken. Great to have fellow Harmonizer Rick to be our mc for this important show.

CAMERON STATION sang a couple of new songs for us as part of the show run too.

Next the musical leaders took time to review and drill “Meeting Here Tonight” so guys could get more comfortable with the flow. There was also time for the front row to practice alone for awhile and then rejoin the riser singers for a final time on it.

Before break, Bob Rhome stepped in for Mark Klostermeyer who was not back from his meeting yet. Jack Cameron offered to get pictures for anyone who wants one and didn’t order one from the district contest – just see him.

Secretary Buechler presented Josh Roots with his 3-year renewal card. And Chris reported that two members we don’t see often had renewed – Bill Clark and Neil Bibbens.

Craig Kujawa reported on the 10 for 10 challenge including that we have lost a total of 188.8 pounds. Some guys lost 20 or more! Congrats to all. Phil Ferguson’s team is in the lead at this point.

Dan O’Brien, our membership guy, welcomed 10 guests!! Tom Hutton, who is leaving the area and moving to Seattle, brought two guests so as to help fill his space on the risers after he is gone.

After break, the chapter meeting included many announcements for the show. First was a reminder of the rehearsal Saturday from 1 – 4 pm at the same place the guys went last week for the combined rehearsal. Singers should see the Performer’s Guide Ken Rub emailed for other details for the show such as parking, meal plans, uniforms.

Then it was back to work on the fall show. Lots of review and work on the songs we sing with Pride of Baltimore chorus. Soloists were auditioned or invited to sing in various songs for that show as well. (Good to see many guys volunteer and give it a try.)

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Looking Back on the October 27th Chapter Meeting

As is the case these days on a Harmonizer meeting nite, Durant was hoppin with action from 6 pm on. A good crowd on stage for SP review. The front row diggin in to polish their SP. Guests pouring in – many from the last couple weeks. There was even a “Where’s Waldo” character who came (actually a returning guest).

It was a rainy nite in Virginia and that combined with the usual rush hour mess caused a lot of guys to be late. (Everyone needs to make the effort to leave earlier for Tuesday nite rehearsal – especially when the weather is nasty.)

After a good musical warm up, Director Joe thanked the good number of guys who made it to the joint rehearsal last nite. (The following paragraph was prepared by Alan Wile to report on the joint rehearsal with the Pride of Baltimore chorus on Monday, Oct. 26th. YeEd.)The Harmonizers showed up in force at Pride of Baltimore's meeting venue in Baltimore, despite the competition with heavy commuter traffic (compounded by those hustling to get to the Redskins game). Initially, we gathered in the church social hall ... where a very large number of risers were set up. We talked with friends and made a few new ones while we waited for others to arrive. By 7:20 or so, we were dismissed to the other end of the building where Assistant Director Mike Kelly warmed us up. Precisely at 8:00 p.m. we joined 80 or so Pride of Baltimore members as they finished their warm-up. Director Joe asked us to take our normal positions on the stage left end of the risers. And then the fun began. We rehearsed each of the three joint songs, bit by bit, as Joe worked sound, vocal production, interpretation, and other issues. Before concluding we sang all three songs in succession, from start to finish. Joe announced that at our next joint rehearsal (on the Saturday before the show) the two choruses will be co-mingled and he'll decide which arrangement produces the best product out front. After the joint rehearsal was over, most Harmonizers headed home but a few remained behind to watch the balance of the Pride of Baltimore Chorus rehearsal (and to join them for the afterglow). They sang and performed five (or so) songs, all but one of which had some pretty energetic choreography. They are going to be fabulous on our show -- the audience will love 'em! And we have our work cut out for us!!

Joe also told us during the Tuesday nite meeting that the chorus is ranking 8th for the contest next summer in Philly based on the scores choruses earned in the International Preliminary Chorus Contests (which is what they officially call the contest we sang in up at Lancaster). Joe says we are within a point or less from 3rd or 4th – that is how close the scores are. So – his point was that we gotta start working and preparing now to make a major run for it in July, 2010.

During this first part of the singing nite, Joe worked with the guys to bring holiday show songs back up to par. He and his team also worked to remind guys of the simple SP things for these songs. Also during the nite, Joe helped the singers know more about using their vocal instruments for better quality and ensemble sound.

The next big singing period was used to continue the work on songs that we will sing with ladies from Pride of Baltimore on our fall show in MD. This week he invited two guys (usually a section leader and one other singer) for comments and suggestions on what needs work.

And then we went to work on review and polish of “Meeting Here Tonight” as our new show opener. Joe stressed the importance of the first notes since it will kick off our fall show; and be the first sounds the many viewers from around the world will hear when they tune in via web cast. (It costs $25 for the viewer and can be ordered via our website, YeEd was told.)

During this work period, the operations team raised the screen we had used for looking at holiday music, so the men could see the wall of mirrors to improve precision of their moves.

Before break, Mark Klostermeyer announced birthdays this week. Secretary Buechler presented a 25-year pin and card to John Pence. Dan O’Brien welcomed another long line of guests and told us of several who had filled out applications.

After the break, there were announcements – as usual. Everyone should know that next week we meet in Jeff Houston School which is adjacent to Durant. (For guests and new guys, drive around to the back of Durant and you will see the entrance to the school cafeteria.)

Jeremy Knobel asked guys to start working on getting out (or for the many new singers – find or make) your costumes for the Holiday show. Elves, toys, or similar characters. Also be looking for items you can contribute to the silent auction – small appliances, tickets to sports or concert events, hotel or resort accommodations, services like a meal prepared by you or a quartet gig or lawn care for a day or car wax. Also each guy is asked to wrap two good sized boxes with bright holiday wrap. They will be needed prior to the show, so get ready to buy the paper and locate the boxes you are gonna bring.

Gary Plaag announced that he is dropping back as visual chairman for the chorus. He has held the position for about 7 years and wants time to be a guy-on-the-risers (and to allow himself more time to concentrate on his business and many other barbershop duties including M-AD president). The chorus acknowledged his support with applause and thanks.

Carl Kauffmann has agreed to be chair for Harmonizer activities in Philly next July. He took a straw poll and determined there was strong interest in having the chapter place an order for convention tickets now, while the price is lower. We will all need to pay for them as soon as they arrive. Everyone was glad to also hear that Bob Rhome will honcho the reservation process for us.

Music VP Reynolds told the guys to be on the lookout for “The Chipmunk Song” to be released to the chorus. The goal is to learn it for the show, YeEd thinks.

President Brad thanked Mick Stamps for donating four Redskins tickets to the chapter which we sold and the money will go to support our musical program.

Brad also showed the nice Harmonizer coffee mugs that each guest will receive at the dessert show on Saturday nite of the Holiday show weekend.

Next Brad honored two guys with You Make a Difference pins – Austin Cotton for his faithful work in packaging and selling CDs at show and events; and Mark Klostermeyer for his many years of service as chorus manager as well as operations vice president and our resident picture or certificate framer.

Back to singing, Joe thanked the guys for accepting the challenge of riser discipline and he remarked how quiet it was when everyone worked at it. He also suggested we don’t all need to be funny and do a comedy routine every time someone up front says something that brings a laugh.

He worked with the chorus to revive our 2009 contest package and then a solid work out on the last song for the fall show. We worked right up til 10:05 pm so everyone had to help load the truck with risers and equipment for use at the school next week.

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 of the great things going on each week at an Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter meeting. —Ye Ed.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Looking Back on the October 20th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the October 20th 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.)

One thing that was different about this week’s meeting was guests kept rolling in. Director Joe was thinking we might need to buy more risers!! And membership vp Dan was really busy signing in, making name tags, issuing guest books and blowing the pitch pipe when needed.

Director Joe thanked him for his good job as pitch man too.

Joe seemed back to good health and was ready for a good workout and rehearsal. It was that and more. He was happy to remind us all that we will have web casting for the fall show. He asked the guys to be sure to plan to attend the joint rehearsal next Monday nite in Baltimore with the ladies of POB. And finally he told the men on the risers that if they were not a guest, zip the lip and be ready to sing, not talk.

First work session after warm ups was for the Holiday show. Good to hear some of those annual songs again and to hear guys step up to do the various solos in the holiday show.

Then it was work on the songs for the join show in Nov. Joe announced we will drop “Summertime” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing” for that show but will do “Meetin Here Tonight” with the new visual plan. So the troops worked for about 35 minutes on that number. Front row worked in the lobby on their part of the plan. (They even planned a prank on Joe when they came in and added a crazy move near the tag.)

Before break during membership time, Secretary Buechler presented a six year renewal card to Dean Martin, and a 35-year pin and card to Randy Lazear.

Membership Dan O introduced all the guests and K12 helped him pass out the many First Time Guest pins.

YeEd was blown away by the birthday surprise for break. Thanks.

During the break there was a plug for all the usual sales. As a reminder, we should all plan ahead to use Script cards for holiday purchases like Honey Baked Hams, Book Stores, Bed Bath and Beyond, or gift cards for stocking stuffers.

Announcements included word that the M&P Committee was cancelled for Wednesday; the board retreat is this weekend; don’t forget to plan ahead and arrange to car pool for the joint rehearsal on Nov. 26th in Baltimore.

President Brad reported that former director Scott Werner was the first one to sign up for the web cast of the fall show. He then presented You Make a Difference pins to Jim Lucey for his dedication and years of service on our behalf in developing and supporting relationships with the Arts community in Alexandria; and to Terry Jordan for his coaching and support of chapter leaders.

Then it was back to work on the music for the fall show especially in preparation for the joint rehearsal.

Joe pleaded for a good crowd next Monday nite!

Until next time – editorjack!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking Back on the October 13th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the October 13th 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’s chapter meeting will go down as another Harmonizer milestone – the joint rehearsal with Pride of Baltimore Sweet Adeline chorus. The hall was really full and all eleven sections of risers were packed too when both choruses sang together. It was awesome.

Both choruses used the first part of the evening for warm ups and preparation for the rehearsal. Many of the POB ladies had driven a long way to make this rehearsal – and it was not even their chapter meeting nite. (It is our turn on Monday, Oct. 26th to go up their rehearsal.)

The Harmonizers worked on “Meeting Here Tonight” new intro and reviewed and then learned the rest of the SP for it. Rachael was back to teach that. Chuck McKeever and TJ Jones were demonstrators, which really helps the guys see it as they try to execute the moves. The front row worked separately on it in the lobby and in fact had Rachael coach them from 6 – 7 pm on their very energetic plan for the song.

The crowd of singers brought a lot of visitors, so some of us added another section for guest seating up front on the right. Had to fit it all in around the screen, av equipment, keyboard and guest welcome kiosk. What a good problem to have!

Before the choruses came together, Ops VP K12 announced that break would be later. Secretary Buechler gave renewal cards to Ryan Griffith for 15 years and Roger Day for 21 years. (Great to see Roger in the hall – he will likely be pushing us to all get boxes wrapped for the holiday show which Jeremy Knobel is producing!!!) Len Dornberger was presented his 25-year pin and card and Jack Cameron was presented his 40-year pin and card.

President Brad announced that the chapter has gotten $1000 as our share of contributions given to the Harmony Foundation. He also plugged sales of the fall show tickets. And he presented two You Make a Difference pins: to Bob Rhome for the many things he does for the chapter including being diligent in scheduling meeting spaces for the chapter and all its many events and meetings; and to Dave Welter for his years of dedication to keeping the chapter calendar up-to-date and published for us all.

Chuck Harner announced that he has Baltimore entertainment books now. He also suggested that last years books are about to expire, so people might want to buy a new one right away.

Bruce Minnick has less that 30 afterglow tickets left for the fall show!

Dan O introduced all the singer guests from where they were on the risers. Another long list!!

Then Director Joe welcomed the ladies of the POB chapter to join us on the risers. He jumped right into three songs the two choruses will sing on the show. The eight-part harmony is something.

After a good solid session of mostly coaching the two groups so they were used to the sounds and volume levels needed with the ensemble, Joe took them on one last run of all three songs. The POB guests were invited to stay or head on back if they wished.

After break, the Harmonizers worked on their other show songs, took time for three holiday show songs and wrapped up a little after 10. A busy and historical nite for the chapter.

A huge crowd was at 815 Southside with many POB folks joining in the fellowship. There was celebration for Tony Colosimo’s recent engagement to Elizabeth! And Eric Wallen was encouraging guys to sign up their quartet for the Put Together Contest on Dec. 15th. (In-active members are welcome to join in this fun nite – get some buddies together and let Eric know you want to be in the contest.)

Until next time – editorjack!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Looking Back on the October 2-3, 2009 District Contest and Convention

Looking Back on the October 2-3, 2009 District Contest and 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.)

This was another great weekend of success for the chapter up in Lancaster, PA. Steve White reports the chorus has won the M-AD contest ten times in a row and a total of 22 times. Wow! So the 114 point victory was a good one for the record books.

And then you gotta extend congrats to FULL TILT (Cazenas, Aiuto, Frank, S White) for their second place finish and CRUNCH TIME (M Wallen and E Wallen - note that Mike filled in for Brett Thomas who was on his honeymoon this past weekend) for their third place finish. We are proud of you guys for pushing the bar high in this year’s district quartet contest. ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT won that contest. (They are the quartet who helped with our spring youth festival.)

Our other chapter quartets did us proud too. DOWN A FOURTH (Sawyer, Cerutti, W Adams, Kelly) came in 11th and so they were named mic testers for the Saturday nite finals round. And if you weren’t there, you should have seen them test the mics!!! They scooted over to the podium, then grabbed the head set off the back stage guy, then went over to the riser area of the stage and focused their voices up toward the mics used for the chorus contest. It was a crazy bit “enhanced” by their outfits – a perfect copy of ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT clothes, such as the argyle sweater of the tenor, hat on the lead with a purple shirt, colorful golf cap on the bari, and shades on the bass [plus a crazy wig to add hair for our guy to sort of look like their guy].

FRiDAYS! came in 14th and DOWNTOWN came in 19th in the contest. YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT and SURPRISE! sang in the contest as senior quartets ranking second and fifth respectively in that concurrent contest. HIT PARADE with some long-time district quartet champ guys combined to take top seniors quartet and a right to go the mid winter in Tampa.

YeEd noticed the great cheering and support from the chapter members and FRIENDS for our quartets when they were about to go on stage.

This was the first time for the M-AD convention to be in Lancaster at the new convention center. It worked pretty well as a venue – always some little things to work on for next year. Thanks to our guys who are in leadership positions with the district for their hard work to make this change such as president Gary Plaag, treasurer Bob Eckman, secretary Keith Jones, board member Dennis Ritchey and their operations team.

MC for the quartet semi-finals was Sean Devine, lead of OC TIMES. Craig Odell had MC duties for the quartet finals round (taking over duties from daughter Erin who has been MC often at contests lately). Bill Colosimo, Tony’s Dad, was MC for the four hours of the chorus contest. The judging panel included former director Richard Lewellen as singing judge, and former member and a current coach Steve Tramack as music judge. Chuck Harner had many responsibilities as district vp for contest and judging matters. Dixie Kennett was lighting coordinator. Mike Kelly managed the video recording operation for the contest.

The Saturday chorus contest was a busy one for all. First story of the morning was that President Brad had forgotten the chorus contest trophy. So he woke up his wife back in Maryland and talked her into meeting him half way with the big wooden trophy box. Thanks Adele!! Guess we didn’t need to present it to ourselves but that might have been a little over confident; and the trophy is used in the chorus pixs!!!

The Harmonizers had their own bus to get us into town from Willow Valley Resort. Great idea and very helpful. Next year we will all know where the heck they will allow the bus to park and wait! Thanks to our chapter leaders, tho, for planning ahead. Bob Rhome was the logistics guy for the weekend and he did a ton of work that made it easy for all to “get into” this new convention location. He produced a great booklet full of info we all needed to navigate. Bill Depuy was Harmo truck driver!

YeEd noticed the Harmo banner up front by the stage! Good work guys!!!

The chorus contest started mighty early on Saturday – luckily the Harmonizers sang last at about 2 pm. It was great to see Kellen Hertz, Edris Qarghah and Pete Frank back on the risers to sing “Clap Yo Hands” and “You Tell Me Your Dream” with the chorus for the contest after their recent departures to college and new job. Also it was neat that the new venue included rehearsal space for all contestants and so our guys were plenty visible in the chapter’s teal blue shirts.

The first place finish in the district chorus contest means the Harmonizers will be the district representatives in the International chorus contest in Philly on July 4th, 2010. Second place chorus was Hamilton Square, NJ, (formerly Easton). Dundalk was third. Manhattan was fourth.

It is always fun to try to spot former members or even current members who sang with other choruses in the contest: Fred Womer in Harrisburg; John Knight with Westchester; Paul Lynch, Mike Geipel and David Wilt with Mike Wallen in Richmond; Paul Laurenz, Bob Wilson and Brian Chopp in James River; Steve Plumb and Joe’s Dad in Manhattan; and then McFarland, Yates, Griffith and Hirsh with Rick Taylor in Dundalk.

The chapter got a couple plugs for their upcoming shows from MCs during the weekend. And then Joe gave the July show with Westminster a plug when he spoke on Saturday nite during the show of champions. We also had some colorful flyers scattered all around the venue promoting our show line up for the months ahead. Again, good work by our chapter leaders.

During the show of champs, the chorus sang “Great Day” and “Ave Maria” and then ended with our classy production of “New York, New York.” Newest member Ken Henderson managed to slip onto stage for one song of the set. Congrats. Gary Plaag was MC for the show part of Saturday nite.

A major honor was bestowed one our guys this weekend. Chuck Harner was named to the M-AD Hall of Honor in recognition for his years of contribution to district matters. He is joined by 15 other of his brother Harmonizers on that list – see page 40 of the recent chapter directory.

Alan Wile, as chair of the district Endowment Fund drive, organized a dinner between Saturday events in the Freedom Center. Over four hundred dollars was collected. Attendees got to hear OLD SCHOOL, second place International quartet sing, as well as our chapter friends, FOUR ACES, back together to sing for us. Ed and Nick were in the contest of course and Richard was a judge. And Scott Risley made it back and they sounded great.

During the chorus evaluation session, all 80 of our guys were there relaxing on the risers to hear judge Joe Connelly say how thrilled he was to speak to men of the Society’s most prestigious chapter! How true!!

Until next time – editorjack!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Looking Back on the September 29th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the September 29th 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.)

Including a report in this week’s column from the package show last week -- (Thanks again to Alan Wile for taking these notes at the package show Thursday, Sept. 24th -- YeEd. I was greeted by Tom Berkey when I entered the Ritz Carlton at about 6:15 this evening. Tom had driven the Harmo-truck and had it positioned at the loading dock. Tom led me to the "Diplomat Room," which was our rehearsal and dressing space on the first floor. There Chuck McKeever was coaching new member Ken Henderson in his up-tune moves ... as only Chuck can and does! To be on the loading dock, we were supposed to get badges (in exchange for our driver licenses) but a lot of guys who came later didn't bother. The riser crew was large and while I may not have captured all who were there, I did see the following: Tom Berkey (of course), Max Keiba, Ken Fess, Ken Rub, Craig Kujawa, Dean Rust, Austin Cotton, Scipio Garling, Chris Huber, and Terry Reynolds (my apologies to those who pitched in but escaped my note taking). We had to set up risers on the first floor for us and a second set on the second floor for the show. Scott Kahler was working sound with the hotel folks. Producer Greg Tepe was there early, working mainly with the hotel staff. Austin Cotton arranged the song board and Tony Colosimo began warm-ups at about 7:30. Director Joe worked on contest prep then til about 8:40 when it was time to change into tux outfits for the show. Some guys forgot black slacks, so there were two sources for replacements – one was from our host for the show, Eric Jackson [he is a long time friend of the chapter and had hired us to help his clients understand another form of team work] who loaned someone a pair of black slacks; and the hotel staff who went into the waiter uniform closet and got some more!!! The chorus sang realllllllly well and the audience gave them a standing O in the middle of the show. The other audience response that was unique was the long silence after “Music of the Night” when the audience was afraid to break the spell and applaud. So cool! Great hit by a little bit smaller chorus of good singers and great Harmonizers!)

Tuesday the 29th the hall was really jumpin at about 6:15 – the usual sales crews , the guest sign in crew, riser crew, training crews.

After a good solid warm up session, the singing work began. Director Joe worked on the new songs being sung with the POB chorus on the Nov. 8th Fall Show. The chorus also worked on the fun stage presence package for “It Don’t Mean A Thing” with Gary Plaag doing the review.

And just to start guys thinking about the Holiday Show(s), the chorus ran thru “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Before the break, Mark Klostermeyer conducted the business meeting. Secretary Buechler presented a 9-year renewal card to Max Kieba. The chorus has returned to a hearty congrats cheer for each guy who renews.

Dan O presented the newest member to be signed up for the chapter – Robb Topolski who came to us from OR where he was a chorus director. Then Dan introduced another line up of guests who all seemed to be in the grove toward membership!

After coffee break and the usual business items and networking, it was back to formal announcements. Bob Rhome invited each man to pickup their district contest booklet which he had prepared and labeled with guy’s names. It was packed with all the info a guy would need for the weekend – uniform list, maps, schedule, contestant list, housing and bus shuttle info. Great job. He made some last minute reminders at the mic tho – especially regarding to the parking challenges expected in Lancaster.

Jeremy Knobel is producer of the Holiday Shows and invited the guys to dig out their costumes from last year. And he announced that tickets are ready to be sold – stay tuned.

President Brad Jones reported on continued sales of fall show tickets. And he presented a You Make A Difference pin to John Pence for coordinating MCs for shows, and to John Hohl, our resident arranger and former director of the chorus.

Joe Cerutti coached the chorus on the importance of cheering and supporting chapter quartets at convention. He invited all of us to come to quartet contest Friday nite (it starts at 6 pm at the Convention Center adjacent to the Marriott).

So we could practice, DOWN A FOURTH sang for the chapter. Good to hear them ready to hit the boards this weekend. Eric Wallen, quartet promo guy, called up for recognition the really long list of guys who will be representing the chapter in the fall district quartet contest. (For new guys, this contest winner earns the right to be named District Champ – take a look in our chapter directory to see all the guys in our chapter are past district champs!) Alexandria guys in quartets this weekend include:

FULL TILT – Ed Casenas, Nick Aiuto, Pete Frank, Steve White
FRiDAYS! – Bob Caldwell, Ken Ives, Steve Murane
SURPRISE! – Bob Hirsch, Bruce Minnick
DOWNTOWN – Drew Fuller, Frank Fedarko, Kevin Flynn
CRUNCH TIME – Eric Wallen, Mike Wallen
DOWN A FOURTH – Joe Sawyer, Joe Cerutti, Wayne Adams, Mike Kelly

Then it was back to work for the chorus and the finished the nite working on the contest package and the songs for the show of champions in Lancaster. They worked hard and did many reps of the songs or at least sections of the song. (It got funny how many times the front row guys had to move the benches!)

A little after 10, Joe told the guys he would see them in Lancaster. And everyone pitched in on loading the truck for the trip to PA.

Until next time – editorjack!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Looking Back on the Sepember 22nd Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the Sepember 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.)

(Thanks again to Alan Wile for taking notes and writing the column -- YeEd!!)

At 6:00 p.m. things are already hopping at the Durant Center. Chuck McKeever is working on the contest set choreography with guys who want to compete with us in Lancaster in a couple of weeks. Bob Blair brought the Harmo-truck and, with help from Ken Fess, Tom Kraus, TJ Jones, Tom Berkey, Phil Ferguson, Victor Hills and others, began putting up risers and mirrors. Mark Klostermeyer (K-12) was busy adding some guys to the riser chart; Terry Jordan was arranging for coffee and edible goodies; Carolyn and Dick Hall were hawking 50-50 tickets and scrip cards; Bruce Minnick, Sandy Stamps, and Chuck Harner were selling afterglow tickets, White House ornaments, and Entertainment Books, respectively; Alan Wile put out the vinyl record collection for anyone interested (to benefit the M-AD Endowment Fund), Terry Reynolds readied the projector for use during the rehearsal; Dennis Ritchey helped with mirrors and sound and, together with Craig Kujawa, arranged all the props for Lady of Spain/Ed Sullivan Show song. All this time, Dan O’Brien was setting up his membership tent and greeting guests while Dixie Kennett busied herself (as she does so well every week) taking attendance. And those are just the ones I recorded in my notes. Whew!

At 7:00 p.m. we were on the risers. Gary Plaag tried vainly to energize our brains with some mirror moves and clap/stomp sequences. Then it was up to Will Cox to conduct a vocal warm-up before turning center stage over to Director Joe Cerutti. Joe introduced “All I Ask Of You” -- a joint number we’ll be performing with the Pride of Baltimore Chorus on November 8th. Then, in turn, he spent about 10 minutes on each of the following in succession: “Scarborough Fair” (to measure 70), “There’s A Meetin’ Here Tonight,” and “In Harmony.”

Because he had difficulty containing himself, Joe let it “slip” (accidentally on purpose, as we used to say) that not only has the new contest up-tune been selected, it has a 16-bar bass solo … and the ballad has been recorded by a number of famous name performers and has never been sung by a quartet. He caught himself before revealing the name of either song, however. [“Boo! Hiss!!” I heard someone mutter.]

Next up was Gary Plaag who reviewed and drilled us on the new choreography for “It Don’t Mean A Thing.” Those who were singing with the chorus a fe years years ago may remember “Four Walls,” which bears some similarity to the moves in this song.

Just before the break, Joe asked Scott Kahler’s father, Ray Kahler, to come off the risers and direct “Silent Night.” Ray is a certified director who directs the Lamplighter Chorus in Mesa, AZ.

VP-Operations K-12 conducted the meeting both before and after the break. He announced that Lew Kling, Joe Sawyer, and Bob Wachter all have birthdays this week: on the 25th, 26th, and 28th, respectively. Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership cards to Chris Yates (10 years) and Mike Schwartz (15 years). Alan Wile invited any interested to pick up a record (or two, or …) -- free except for a generous contribution to the M-AD Endowment Fund.

VP-Membership Dan O’Brien thanked all for a very successful guest night and suggested that “Every Night Is A Membership Night!” He welcomed Pete Frank back from Erie and Ken Henderson as the newest member of the chapter (and a bass singer!). He then introduced a great group of guests. It was great to see Roger Day back for a visit, too.

K-12 introduced Chapter President Brad Jones, who presented a “You Make A Difference” pin to Alan Wile and then turned the mic over to Mick Stamps, the Chairman of the Chapter Nominating Committee, to conduct the election. Mick introduced the slate of officers for next year (which contains quite a number of returning familiar faces):
President: Dick Newton
VP-Chapter Development (Membership): Dan O’Brien
VP-Operations: Mark Klostermeyer
VP-Music & Performance: Terry Reynolds
VP-Shows: Ken Rub
VP-Marketing & Public Relations: Scipio Garling
Secretary: Chris Buechler
Treasurer: Howard Nestlerode
Member-at-Large 2010-2011: Phil Ferguson
Member-at-Large 2010-2011: Noah Van Gilder
Member-at-Large 2009-2010 (not up for election): Bob Blair
Member-at-Large 2009-2010 (not up for election): Scott Kahler
Immediate Past President (not up for election): Brad Jones
He asked the Chapter Secretary whether any additional nominations had been received; none had. That being the case, he moved to elect the slate as presented. The motion was quickly seconded and passed without a moment’s hesitation and without objection. CONTRATULATIONS to all!

Back on the risers, we drilled “Lady Of Spain/Ed Sullivan Show,” “When I Lift Up My Head,” and “Great Day.” The balance of the evening was spent on the contest set, with silent choreography drills, close eye drills, and singing drills. Joe asked Assistant Director Tony Colosimo to direct so that he could coach. By 10:00 there was a distinct odor akin to something you might find in “Stilman’s Gym” -- man, was it hot and were we sweaty!

K-12 reminded us about Thursday’s rehearsal and show at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton; the combined rehearsal with Pride of Baltimore (in Baltimore) on October 26th; and that our own holiday show will have four performances (one on Friday night and two regular dinner-shows on Saturday followed by an extra “dessert” (only) show to accommodate the demand … and limited seating capacity of the hall.

Scott Kahler announced that information will be coming out about the Harmonizer calendar which is now on “Google Calendar,” where every detail about upcoming performances will be easily found in a single, easily updated document.

Gerry Levine was the big 50-50 winner tonight! K-12 thanked the guests for coming invited all to adjourn to Southside 812 for a bit of an afterglow, and then asked Pete Frank to lead us all in singing “Keep The Whole World Singing.”

Until next time – editorjack!

Looking Back on September 17th Extra Rehearsal

Looking Back on September 17th Extra Rehearsal

(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.)

(Many thanks again to Alan Wile for covering the Sept 17th rehearsal.)

The Harmonizers met at the Jefferson-Houston School (adjacent to the Durant Center) last night -- a special/extra rehearsal with Kirk Young as our coach. Chuck McKeever was busy helping out a few guys that wanted extra reps on the moves to the contest “up” tune and some group of guys put up the risers.

Assistant Director Tony Colosimo warmed us up before relinquishing his position “out front” to Director Joe Cerutti. Joe “kindly” worked us rapidly through the timing of “Scarborough Fair” and then drilled measures 5-27 for about 10 minutes. Next, in 10 minute segments we rehearsed “In Harmony” and “There’s a Meeting Here Tonight.” His conclusion: all need individual attention on words and notes!

Then it was up to Kirk -- also a kindly, gentle sort. He began by exercising our brains, which proved to be a challenge, by having us move our arms/hands in mirror image to his. That didn’t last long and very soon we were immersed in an examination of bits and pieces of the contest ballad. He stressed the constant movement of the song, the “connecting tissue” between phrases, the need for a constant “push” (forward motion and destination), whether breaths are reflective or moving forward, where breaths taken after certain phrases could cause the flow to disconnect, and the need to transition to new thoughts before singing (i.e., we think of something to say before we say it and this needs to be apparent in our singing, as well).

We took a short 10-minute break. VP Ops Mark Klostermeyer reminded us about the rehearsal and show next Thursday at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton (and Terry Reynolds pleaded for those who had not done so, to indicate whether or not they intended to participate). Bruce Minnick sold tickets to the afterglow that will follow our show with Pride of Baltimore (members were urged to buy them as early as possible against the expectation that they will sell out). It was also announced that the Vienna Falls SAI Chorus is having a guest night next Tuesday at the Kena Temple Anek (9001 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax) in hopes that some of the members’ wives might be interested in attending.

Joe C. noted that our position at the upcoming district fall contest in Lancaster is dead last and believes we have the ability for our performance to create a sense of awe for those in the audience. He also announced that a “dessert show” will follow our last regular performance of our holiday dinner show on Saturday night. If there are any comments about this plan, he asked that they be addressed to President Brad Jones (what a chicken, huh?).

He also gave us a “teaser” (i.e., not a lot of specific information) about the ballad that’s been selected for us to sing at the international contest in Philadelphia next July. He’ll give us more information on Tuesday.

Chuck McKeever highlighted and we drilled three or four specific “eye-catching” moves in “Clap Yo Hands” that need to be executed with precision if they are to be effective. In a word or two: we just gotta do it!

Then it was back to work on bits and pieces of the ballad … and then we worked the ballad … and the ballad….. Yes, we also performed the “up” tune and tweaked it a bit but, by far, the evening was devoted to making the ballad even more artistically beautiful.

Finally, Kirk took us out with a rousing rendition, at 10:10 pm, of “Keep The Whole World Singing.” The risers were loaded back in the Harmo-truck and we dispersed.

Until next time – editorjack!

Looking Back on September 15th Chapter Meeting and Guest Nite

Looking Back on September 15th Chapter Meeting and Guest Nite

(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.)

(Many thanks to Alan Wile with input from Terry Jordan for gathering the news from Tuesday nite. As many of you know, YeEd had to take off as I got a call that my Mom has passed away in IL. She went peacefully and Pat and I were in IL by Wed nite. I will tell you more later. Thanks too for Terry and Dick and others who put all the goodies away. Sounds like Tuesday was another great Harmonizer nite.)

Harmonizers began arriving and setting things up at the Durant Center at 6:00 p.m. Membership VP, Dan O’Brien put out all sorts of materials (including some attractive folders with music and informational items) in anticipation of a great guest night turnout. Jack Pitzer and others arranged an overwhelming amount of snack and drink items. John Pence and Bill Stewart attacked the risers, in an on-going attempt to make them “squeakless.” Bob Rhome and a host of others set up risers and arranged chairs. Chapter Archivist Bob Blair put together a wonderful historical display for all to enjoy. Chuck McKeever worked with a number of guys on their choreography on the stage. Dan-O and his team greeted and registered guests as they began to arrive. Scott Kahler and Dennis Ritchey set up the sound system and Terry Reynolds readied the projector and screen to display music … when needed. Whew! Durant was really buzzing with activity and good vibes!

At 7:00 or thereabouts the call went out to “take the risers.” Assistant Director Tony Colosimo conducted a vocal warm-up for the assembled members and guests, who were arranged in sections. In turn, he introduced Director Joe Cerutti. Joe welcomed all and explained that we would ALL learn a couple of new songs (rather than work songs already in the Harmonizer repertoire). Charts for the two songs (“I Love To Hear Those Songs” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb”) was passed to the Harmonizers (guests had received it already in their folders) and then we began. Joe worked notes first, then quality, and then interpretation. Truth be told, the result was pretty impressive. Before the break, Presentation guru Gary Plaag taught the moves to the “swing” portion of one of our new songs, “It Don’t Mean A Thing,” to the entire group. That the guests learned it as quickly as the old-timers was a tribute to the quality, interest, and ability of our guests! What a pleasure!! Also, at some point, Joe taught and directed the tag to “Great Day” -- which, ultimately, made the walls resound!

During the break Dan-O introduced the guests. By actual count there were 33 male guests and 10-12 women (some related to Harmonizers … some not). Included were several members of the Pride Of Baltimore SAI Chorus, Catherine Davies from Chorus America, at least six former Harmonizers (Bruce Roehm, Bob Braunstein, Pat Duffy, Barry Galloway, Lynn Dangelmaier, and Steve Guy), one guest from the St. Charles Chapter sporting a gold international champion chorus medal, Bud Arberg’s son Bob, and several guys who have visited with us over the last few weeks, for a total in the room of 125.

Chapter Secretary Chris Buechler presented three members with their renewed membership cards and a 25-year pin to Ken Fess. Catherine Davies spoke to us briefly about Chorus America. VP Ops Mark Klostermeyer (K-12) announced those members celebrating birthdays this week and reminded us all of the special/extra rehearsal on Thursday, September 17th, at the Jefferson-Houston School (next door to the Durant Center). Also, he reminded us of the rehearsal and show at the Pentagon Center Ritz Carlton next Thursday (September 24th) and urged all to sign up ASAP. Note was made that three members (Tom Kraus, Phil Ferguson, and Brian Miller) were recently married (not to each other).

Following the longer than usual break (to permit us to mingle, meet, and talk with guests) the guests were invited to move to another room where Tony Colosimo taught them a tag. During this time, Mark K-12 conducted the business part of the meeting and Will Cox rehearsed one of the songs we were to perform for our guests later in the evening. Joe Cerutti also conducted some brief drills on the other songs.

The guests returned and performed for us -- to wildly enthusiastic applause. They really did a great job. Then it was our turn, and 73 of us performed “Clap Yo Hands,” “Music Of The Night,” and “New York, New York.” In acknowledging that the official name of the Society includes the word “quartet,” “DOWN A FOURTH,” a chapter quartet with Joe Sawyer (T), Joe Cerutti (L), Wayne Adams (Ba), and Mike Kelly (Bs), was introduced and sang one song.

The guests were then invited to rejoin the chorus on the risers. Together we sang through the two new songs, learned the choreography to the “Great Day” tag (demonstrated by Chuck McKeever and Gary Plaag), and mastered another tag (taught by Joe). “Peg” took the mic and invited us and all our women friends to attend the Pride Of Baltimore Chorus guest night on Monday, November 16th. The night concluded with us all singing “Keep The Whole World Singing,” with Peg doing directing honors.

The evening was just great and didn’t vary very much from our usual routine. Joe kept things varied, interesting, fun … and nearly unpredictable.

Until next time – editorjack!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Looking Back on September 8th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on September 8th 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.)

The hall at Durant was full of excitement starting at 6 pm with a work crew busy tightening the riser platforms. Another group of guys were learning their SP with McKeever on the stage. And guests were checking in.

After warm ups, Director Joe went to work. He was full of excitement too as he reflected on the GREAT things coming our way in the months ahead – a big guest nite, fall contest in Lancaster, the huge show with Pride of Baltimore in November, and then the gigantic show with Westminster, CA, chorus in July 2010!!!!!

He hurried thru those announcements so he had more time for singing. First out was “Ain’t Got That Swing”. Gary Plaag taught comedic gesture plans “Swing” too. (The plan reminds YeEd of our funny bit in “Four Walls” in Hartford. Guess that is another Moment in Harmo History some Tuesday nite soon!)

Next up was a solid work session on “In Harmony” that will be sung with Pride of Baltimore at our show in November. And after that, there was no break in the action and Joe had the guys singing and working on the fun new opener, “There’s a Meeting Here Tonight.” He used the screen to point out some rhythm changes and such. Terry Reynolds was back at his station as operator of the projector system.

And before break, there was a review of a couple holiday songs, and some work on “Music of the Night” that will be used on guest nite, Sept. 15th.

In case you didn’t know it, or you have a partner or friend who is interested, there is a FRIENDS support group affiliated with our chapter. They met during the first half of the evening to work on their plans for the fall contest weekend Oct. 2-3.

Secretary Buechler presented membership renewal cards: Bob Mattes for 11 years, Eric Wallen for 12, Dick Dangel for 17 and Mike Kelly for 29. He also presented a card and pin for 25 years to Tom Hutton and a pin and card to Mick Stamps for 30 years.

Before break, Operations VP Klostermeyer gave 50/50 tickets to the guys who came early to help with the riser overhaul. He encouraged everyone to get a ticket as there were three drawings planned for tonite (tickets for the DC Harmony Invitational at the Birchmere, a $50 gift certificate from Design Frames, and then the actual cash from the 50/50).

As a reminder the chapter election is Tuesday, Sept. 22. All members are encouraged to be present to vote for the slate recently announced. Good nite for some members who are not active for one reason or another to come visit and see and hear the excitement. And as usual, if any one wishes to make a nomination to add to the ballot, you must speak with the chapter secretary no later than Tuesday, Sept. 15th.

Membership VP Dan O’Brien plugged the Sept. 15th guest nite with support and much drama by our director Joe! He even demonstrated how to welcome guests using his buddy from hi school who was visiting us as a prop. It got laughs but helped all understand the importance of wearing a name tag, being enthusiastic without pushy, and being careful not to overwhelm the guest with all we do. It was also reported that we will have guests from the City Council of Alexandria, so some guys have been appointed to welcome them.

All of us were asked to bring some goodies to share with the guests (cookies, brownies, fruit).

At break time, the crowd pushed fast to buy White House ornaments from Sandy Stamps (if you have extra plastic grocery bags at home, bring some to her next week to use in filling large orders of ornaments that guys are taking to sell).

YeEd noted that Chuch Harner was not set up selling Entertainment books cause he was out at the Fairfax Chapter doing the official draw for singing order at the fall contest. That is one of his jobs as a leader in our Mid Atlantic District. We sing last in the chorus contest which is so neat cause it means the hall will be packed with barbershoppers cheering and eager to see and hear us do our “stuff” on stage.

After break, there were announcements by Eric Wallen hinting that some guys are already at work to form more than one quartet for the December 15th Harmonizer Put-Together Quartet contest. That is allowed. May even be a prize to the guy in the most quartets. (Reminds YeEd of another Harmo History moment – remember the George Azzam?) Let’s make it a wild contest and get a lot of fun new quartets formed. Who knows – a future gold medal quartet just might emerge from that nite’s event. Surprise panel of judges all lined up too!

Bill Stewart asked for a show of hands of guys who would like a behind-the-scenes tour of the fire station at BWI where Bill works. He is thinking of offering it on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 1st for our guys and their families. Stay tuned for details.

Great to see Skip Coburn at the meeting this week after a long absence while he was in training. He is organizing another chapter theater nite – this time to see “Jersey Boys” at National Theater. He just asked for a show of interest. So again, stay tuned for sign ups.

VP Shows Ken Rub, announced a show on Sept. 24th at the Ritz Carlton. A 20-minute S show at 9 pm. We will have rehearsal prior to the show since it is a Tuesday nite. Also he explained more about our fall show with Pride of Baltimore as our guests. We will be selling tickets for this show at the University of Maryland.

Terry Reynolds explained there would be an extra rehearsal Mon. Oct. 26th in prep for the fall show. There are two more songs coming out with learning tracks prepared by our own Ryan Griffith.

President Brad reported that Carl Kauffmann is making some progress and someone added that he was at home.

Brad presented Making a Difference star pins to Carolyn and Dick Hall for their weekly contribution as sale crew for 50/50 tickets and script sales.

Back to singing then, Joe helped the chorus woodshed to an old chestnut song and explained that in the past barbershop singers used their ear or listening skills to find the notes vs. reading from a printed page. It was fun.

Then there was a lengthy work session on the contest package to include a 10-minute visual review to clean up some important sections.

The guys worked hard as did our director and the nite ended with a huge buzz in the room from the energy. That excitement continued at 815 S.Washington Street.

Until next time – editorjack!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Looking Back on September 1st Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on September 1st 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 was a work crew in the hall early – guys brought tools to work on the risers. Turns out they found it was a lot more work that just tightening some bolts. They managed to get one section done – after figuring out the cure. It did make a difference and stopped the noise and squeak. More sections will be done next week at 6 pm. You can help too – even non singers who can come out early.

There were also guys in the hall learning the new music and getting an SP review.

Numbers were slim at the start, but a nice crowd assembled by about 7:30 – suspect there are also a lot of folks away for preLabor Day weekend travel. We know of two of our guys have been involved with their weddings – Tom Kraus and Phil Ferguson. Congrats to both. It was great to see Roger Day back in the hall!!!

After warm ups, Director Joe told us about his fun and excitement from visiting the Dallas VM last weekend. Then he started right in on helping the guys get it together on the new music that is out. A new show opener, “There’s a Meeting Here Tonight.” Some new music for the joint show with Pride of Baltimore. And a refresher on “Ave Maria” to be used this fall, and at holiday show. Then we launched the start of polishing up holiday show songs.

Before break, Klostermeyer announced that Brad Jones had fall show tickets to sell, that Sandy Stamps had WHOs, and Chuck Harner had 2010 entertainment books. See them during break.

Secretary Buechler presented 6-year membership renewal to Wayne Adams.

Eric Wallen asked for some guys to help fill a quartet gig. And he invited guys on the “other” 10 for 10 weight loss team to enjoy the cupcakes left from Tom’s wedding!

Dan OBrien offered more marketing tools for guys to use in promoting the Sept. 15th guest nite. Joe promised a gift for each guy who brought a guest and a big prize for the guy who brought the most guest!!!

Then Dan introduced another line of guests.

During the break, the sign on the coffee pot announced that we are now serving Starbucks decaf coffee at chapter. (Thanks, Wayne.)

Announcements after the break included a push from Music VP Terry Reynolds to get in self-eval tapes.

President Brad presented a “You Make A Difference” star pin to Terry Reynolds for his behind the scenes work on music and performance matters. Brad and Dan O reported on the status of Carl Kauffmann who is having some serious complications from his operation of a few months ago.

Back to work then on music, and a good solid presentation review on contest package with Gary Plaag coaching – especially in facial involvement. A similar session was held a couple weeks ago prior to going to Dog Days and it paid off when the men took the stage in Manassas last Tues nite.

Next Joe had Tony Colosimo direct the contest package so Joe could coach. It was a terrific session and much appreciated by the men as it helped add many little, but important, nuances.

The rest of the musical time was spent in getting ready for the district contest in Lancaster, PA, Oct. 2 and 3. Everyone was reminded that this is the chance to set the level for next summer’s International chorus contest score!!! Go into the summer contest ranked as high as possible.

The chorus made their eval tapes at the end. When we sand our last song, Joe gave our collective support to Rick Savage and Ian Poulin for their recent family member losses.

The crew got the equipment put away fast and a crowd went over for the afterglow.

Until next time – editorjack!