Monday, June 22, 2009

Looking Back on June 16th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on June 16th 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.)

Many thanks again to Jim Lucey for taking notes and writing up this week’s column.

The evening began with Dr. Will (“Hark”) Cox conducting the warm-up. Then it was time for our Director to get down to serious preparations for the International Chorus Contest.
Joe showed the video of last year’s contest performance of the up-tune at Nashville. He used the video to highlight areas which need improvement to move the performance to a higher level in the singing category. This included reminders to sustain the singing energy throughout the entire song; the need to maintain discipline and control and not over-sing even though the excitement is high; the need to sing through every phrase and not clip-off the word sounds until the very last beat of the measure(s); and the need for a sustained, smooth sound even while maintaining the up-tune rhythms.
It was then time for the chorus to “drill” the songs, including a Sectional session to clean-up selected areas of the song.
Our Presentation Team also spent time fine-tuning the choreography of the chorus to improve the collective synchronization of our moves.

During our Chapter Meeting time, Secretary Chris Buechler presented several membership renewal cards:

Ron Nelson 2 Years
Nick Murane 4 Years
Ian Poulin 6 Years
Tom Berkey 12 Years
Joe Sawyer 14 Years
Tony Colosimo 16 Years
Jim Lucey 21 Years
Bruce Lauther 23 Years
Chris Buechler 24 Years
Martin Banks 26 Years
Jeff Berman 27 Years

Congratulations to all and thanks for being a Harmonizer!

Scipio Garling stood in for our Membership VP and introduced five guests including former Harmonizer, Chris Yates.

K-12 reminded us that next week’s rehearsal is our annual International Send-Off Evening. The chorus will have a full dress rehearsal and mini-performance for our guests. Members are encouraged to invite all friends and family members to come and enjoy the Send-Off.

Music & Performance VP, Chuck Hunter announced the scholarship winners for this year’s BHS Harmony University in St. Joseph, MO:

Tony Colosimo: Directors College
Phil Ferguson: Harmony College
Noah Van Gilder: Harmony College
Edris Qarghah: Harmony College

Congratulations to all, and enjoy the ice cream!! (Jim knows that one of the fun things to do at Harmony U is gather around the ice cream place on campus, eat and eat and sing and sing.)

It was then time to return to the contest songs. Director Joe again started the coaching by showing video clips of two different choruses competing last year in Nashville. The videos clearly demonstrated the impact an energized and involved chorus makes to an audience and judges when they truly live the song they are singing. The chorus that shows facial involvement / natural body and head movements easily is more interesting and exciting than the one that simply stands still and sings. Joe emphasized to us all through these videos the need to have the whole body and face involved in the lyric message of the ballad.
We then began working the ballad to evoke the best music and emotion from the song. Dick Hall stood to tell his personal story of meeting his future wife, Carolyn,
in 1953 upon his return from eighteen months in Korea as a United States Marine. At the conclusion of his sharing his wonderful love story, Joe asked the chorus to sing our ballad to Carolyn Hall. The emotion from the chorus was truly overwhelming.
The evening concluded with a fond farewell to Ron and Ben Nelson who are moving to Washington State. Ron and Ben were seated in the “Chair(s)” while the chorus sang our farewell song that our former Director John Hohl composed (with lyrics by Harmonizer Bob Bates) in 1984: “A Place On the Risers For You”. It was good to see John in the hall last night too.
Ron & Ben took us out with “Keep the Whole World Singing.”

Until next time – editorjack!

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