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!

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