Thursday, May 14, 2009

Looking Back on May 12th Chaper Meeting

Looking Back on May 12th 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.)

It was another big Harmonizer guest nite success!!!

Set up crew had the place rollin early with the risers backed up to the stage and a nice gallery of seats for fans. The admin things continued like raffle and script sales. Refreshments set up and ready for the assembled crowd. Usual refresher course for stage presence at 6 pm by McKeever.

At 7 pm, the many guests joined the many guys present (in a nice array of Harmo shirts) for warm ups. Will Cox did a solid musical one. Gary Plaag did one to get people moving with a swing tune Scott K played on the sound system. Tony Colosimo did another musical exercise and got the men ready to sing with breath support and in key!

In the midst of the warm ups, President Brad and Director Joe and Membership guy Dan O invited all student guests to meet with them about specifics re youth membership. (It was neat that three parents were on hand for the evening, having provided transportation for theirs sons – some who had been to our Youth Harmony Festival.)

This is a good point in my story to go into the details about the guest nite. Dan O announced there were 28 guests in all. A handful of fellas were with us from the Frederick, MD, Chapter. They are visiting other chapters around the Society to get ideas on “how things are done” in other chapters. Glad we could help.

There were many first time guests with us last nite. But some repeats from previous guest nites. There were some guys from other chapters around the Society too. And some former members – Biff and Hal Gaut and Phil Ashford. Current member Mike Geipel came up from Richmond since his chorus was not meeting this Tuesday. Good to see them all.

Lots of guys were greeting and meeting the guests and helping them enjoy their visit. Tom Hutton and Brian Ammerman were working the reg counter with Dan, cause he was mighty busy. They had plenty of guest books and the new brochure to give out. (Ye Ed also got a glance at the handy and easy to use and read sign-in form Dan or someone has created for guests. Kuddos.)

Back to the evening’s music: Director Joe welcomed all guests and thanked the troops for their busy show weekend. Then he launched a work session on music for the upcoming show for the Supreme Court Historical Society at the Supreme Court building. He spent a solid block of time on the “Armed Forces Medley.” That was a good one for guests, as most singers have heard the melody of most of those songs.

The break was busy – it takes a while for 100 guys to get a coffee, a goodie or three and say hi to a couple guys. But there was plenty to share – thanks again to the Nelsons and the Jordans for their contributions. And actually for some guys who had brought things for the Youth Festival which we saved!

After break, quartet promotion guy, Ken White continued the salutes to quartet men who are competing in the four division contests (Last week Ye Ed wrote that there were 5 divisions, but now a days there are only 4. Used to be 5!) Ken, with help from Chapter Treasurer Howard Nestlerode, presented checks to cover the registration fee for any Harmonizer in a division contest quartet contest. (Bold face type indicates our members.)

WHO IS THAT OLD GUY sang in the Northern Division – Scott Kahler (on tenor), Joe Cerutti Sr. and Joe Jr., Eric Wallen.

CLASSIC CONNECTION will sing at Western Division – Dan Smoot-Wood, Ed Shaw, Bob Mattes, Sam McFarland. EAST COAST SWING will also compete there – Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Cerutti, Kirk Young.

ECHO CHAMBER will sing at the Atlantic Division – Chris Granger, Noah Van Gilder, Lex Lorimer, Aaron Greller.

The following guys then are singing at Southern Division out in Reston on May 22 and 23. FRiDAYS! – Steve Spriggs, Bob Caldwell, Ken Ives, Steve Murane; DOWN A FOURTH – Joe Sawyer, Joe Cerutti, Wayne Adams, Mike Kelly; SURPRISE! – JC O’Donovan, John Grant, Bob Hirsh, Bruce Minnick; DOWNTOWN – Drew Fuller, Frank Fedarko, Mike Stoll, Kevin Flynn; SHADES OF HARMONY – Ron Furrow, Sam McFarland, Bob Fogle, Bob Fogle, Jr.; CAPITAL A CAPPELLA – Steve Spriggs, Allen Snyder, Joe Grimme, Kevin Flynn; FOUR IN THE MORNING – Mike Geipel, Ron Nichols, Gene Thompson, Emmitt Totty; and FOUR GOOD MEASURE – Dave Geisinger, Reggie Reynolds, Jere Richardson, Austin Cotton.

Two of our chapter groups are singing as mic testers for quartet contests this season: FULL TILT at Southern – Eddie Cazenas, Nick Aiuto, Pete Frank, Steve White; and CRUNCH TIME at Western – Brett Thomas, Shawn Thomas, Matt Fellows, Eric Wallen.

Another announcement after the break included a push for folks to visit the sign up table and especially to check into helping the Harmonizer team that is running the Southern Division contest. A lot of us need to give a little time to make this go well. And the chapter makes a decent fee for its work. Jobs are like marking seats, putting up risers and stage stuff, escorting quartets and choruses. Carl Kauffmann is the guy to call if you can help; tho he has a crew of team leaders he’ll send you to. This is also a good way for members who don’t or can’t sing these days, to do something with the other guys in the chapter.

The Harmonizers will also sing at the end of the chorus contest on Saturday morning. All should plan to attend. The music team is expecting judges will offer suggestions for improving the contest package for this summer.

President Brad presented You Make a Difference stars to Ken Fess and Mick Stamps for their months of hard work and dedication to details in producing the successful Spring Tonic this past weekend.

After the meeting period, some of the assistant directors took the guests into another room to teach them a tag and chat a bit about the chapter. Mean while, the chorus worked on some songs.

When guests returned to the main hall in Durant, the chorus welcomed them with cheers and applause. The guests sang a couple tags, and then took seats to enjoy the chorus performance. CAMERON STATION sang one of their great numbers too.

After that, Joe had the whole crew singing on the risers. He and the team taught the guests moves for “Clap Your Hand.” He helped the guys all get into the new ballad – so we can sing it well for division and for our upcoming overnite retreat (June 6-7 at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD). And before the nite was out, the guests were taught the tag and moves for “Great Day” so they could sing with the chorus.

We ended the nite at 10 pm after a Moment In Harmonizer History and a quick calendar review. We then had time to put stuff away; some guys sang some tags and helped guests with music turn in and preparations to come again. Some guests helped with risers, which was a good start! And some even came over to the afterglow.

Until next time – editorjack!

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