Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Looking Back on April 18th Youth Harmony Festival

Looking Back on April 18th Youth Harmony Festival

(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 with the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —Ye Ed.)

This was our second Youth Harmony Festival and was an even greater success that the first. We co-hosted the event with the Vienna Falls Sweet Adeline Chapter.

Brad Jones was Dean of the weekend and did the planning and solicited the many helpers it took to pull off another successful event. Huge thanks go to Brad for making it happen again! Friday nite’s set up crew worked hard and fast to get meal tables set, risers up in two rooms, audience chairs up, coffee service ready and an efficient registration area in the lobby with barbershop harmony displays in the lobby too.

There were 40 girls and 24 boys who atttended the all-day event from 12 different schools. As I understand it, there were a number of students who are home schooled that attended. I also heard that there were three grandchildren of Harmonizers attending – grandson of Martin Banks and of Carl Kauffmann, and a granddaughter of the late Dick Whitehouse.

Terry Reynolds was in charge of directing the boys and Claire Gardner, director of Vienna Falls, worked with the girls. Scipio Garling, with help from Craig Kujawa, taught stage presence moves to both groups in preparation for the evening show. We also were honored to have teaching quartets to help with the education and motivation and inspiration of the student choruses. ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, who have sung with us before and have visited our chapter too, worked with the boys. CAPRI, who were a great help last year, returned to work with the girls. We thank both quartets for their time and enthusiasm. The quartets were great to autograph CDs and even the backs of the t-shirts for the students.

The students received a nifty bright green t-shirt with a festival logo as part of their registration. They had gotten music in advance to prepare for a boys chorus, or a girls chorus or a combined chorus. The two national barbershop harmony organizations for men and women provided materials also such as brochures and magazines. The M-AD district provides some financial support for the weekend also, which helps the two chapters carry on this great event. Ned Duffy, our district assistant Youth In Harmony leader, was on hand to help and to invite music educators to bring their students to Harmony College East in the summer.

The Vienna Falls chorus prepared lunch for the day and the Harmonizers did the pizza feed for dinner. Meanwhile there were tons of cookies and fresh fruit, snacks and sodas and water available from the time folks arrived until we shut the doors. Many members of the chorus brought goodies to share. Terry and Ginger Jordan helped in the kitchen area as did Keith Jones and Sandy Stamps. Many of the guys also pitched in to ice down drinks, restock supplies, clear tables, take out trash. Great to have so many guys who seem to know when to step in and help.

Other members were on hand Friday nite to set up, others came during the day to help monitor events like tag singing, survey preparation, preparing food and serving meals, supporting in general. The staff at Durant was also helpful – we are lucky to have such a useful facility. I noticed our Ryan Griffith taking pictures, so suspect to see things on the web soon.

The day ended with a show at 7:30 pm. Both choruses sang as did both of the teaching quartets. Then the two youth choruses sang and ended with their combined song. The hall was full with parents and family and barbershop family members. MC was Joe Cerutti. The sound work was done by Scott Kahler. About 50 Harmonizers were present and sang three songs on the evening show and really made a hit with “Kiss de Girl.”

Until next time – editorjack!

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