Thursday, February 19, 2009

Looking Back on Feb. 17th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on Feb. 17th 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 chapter has been busy, to say the least.

After last weeks successful meeting, there was a Wednesday nite work session to set up for the Singing Valentine operation. Josh Roots and Scott Kahler and Bob Rhome worked well into the nite then (and for the next three nites too) to prepare the packets for the quartets and be sure we filled all the orders for the 109 orders received.

Other members worked some long hours and did some important paper work and telephoning and such – Ammerman, Rust, Wagner, Pence, Garling, TJ Jones, Pitzer, Hunter. It was no small task to find men to sing in quartets, make assignments to fill the orders that just kept coming in and to route them into reasonable delivery packages. And then there is getting the money collected or credit cards processed. And buying roses and candy (Kahler managed to get some pretty good prices for the roses despite the current high market prices for them.)

Computers helped with the office work. And GPS systems and Map Quest charts helped make the travel by quartets work. And a big thank you to all the men who delivered Valentines for big chunks of the day on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and even a few on Sunday. Maybe we will get the personal heartwarming stories of some of the special situations quartets encountered as they made their rounds. I would be willing to collect them if you wish to email them to

Overlay the America’s Got Talent extra rehearsal on Thursday nite and the actual audition before breakfast on Saturday at National Harbor Place to get a real feel for what the men of the Harmonizers pulled off. From all reports, the audition was fun for the men, seemed to go well, sounded good and proved we can make things work no matter what.

Now here we are back to this week’s great meeting again in preparation for our show in New York City and then soon our Spring Tonic.

There was a lot of excitement in the Durant hall Tues. Feb. 17th. McKeever had students at work on the stage learning the SP using the newly developed recording of “From This Moment On” with visual cues recorded over the music. An idea from Joel Golden and released together with Chuck McKeever. Sounds like this maybe another Harmonizer invention or first.

Lots of us had our eyes out for returning guests from last week’s successful guest nite. There was a quartet singing in a corner. And there was lot chatter with guys seeing who had been able to identify the most men in the 1967 chorus photo which Noah Van Gilder was given by Faith Campbell who works in his office. She heard him mention the chorus and shared that her Dad had been a Harmonizer – Wayne Campbell was the original tenor in the NOVA CHORDS. Jack Crickenberger, a former member from the earliest days, sent in his ideas even.

There was the usual selling of 50/50 tickets, business matters to take care of for the Anaheim trip, and yes the arrival and signing in operation for a bunch of guests.

Kirk Young was back for coaching the chorus. He makes the chorus work but still have fun!!

Warm ups were conducted by Will Cox and Gary Plaag with the many guests right up on the risers with the singers. Director Joe started off with “From This Moment On” including the SP review for members and guests.

The guests were still coming in! Donnie Harrington, a member who has often been posted outside the USA in Foreign Service, is back home in DC area and came back. And former member Barry Galloway was up on the risers too! Both sang with us in some of our International championship years.

Chuck Hunter is substituting as director for the NY show on “Ed Sullivan” and “Kiss de Girl.” Both songs were drilled to include all the props, and set changes, and rhythm group. Kirk joined in on the rhythm band for some fun.

Joe offered much congratulations to the guys who did the America’s Got Talent audition and for a smashing performance of “Clap Your Hands” when the show producer asked for another song. (He thanked all the men who covered the Singing Valentine operation too!)

Before you knew it, it was break time. Program VP K12 took the helm and offered some calendar reminders for chorus, board, music committee and CAMERON STATION. He also plugged the personal taping deadlines for self improvement. He stressed that the Feb. 19th rehearsal was moved to Mar. 12th.

Secretary Buechler announced the presentation of a 25 year pin to Geoff Berman last week. He gave membership renewal cards to Scipio Garling for 13 years, to Chuck Powell for 15 years, to Matt Kahn for 20 years, and to Don Harrington for 29 years.

Steve White and all those members present of the district Honor Club (called DELASUSQUEHUDMAC) welcomed the newest Harmonizer to be elected to that group – Bob Eckman. He has made major contributions to our chapter and to our district. There have been 39 of our members elected to DELA since its beginning.

Dan O’Brien did another great job in introducing a large crop of guests – many who had returned from last week, some first timers, some we have seen before. I noticed Gary Plaag and Will Cox were helping Dan give a bunch of the guests their first placement audition so that they can progress into membership.

Then it was break to grab some cookies (many left from last week) and take care of other business matters.

Back into rehearsal/meeting time, K12 brought up Ken White, quartet promo chair, who alerted all to watch for news about a revival of the Anytime quartet idea that didn’t get off the ground last year. Look for email info.

Then Ken introduced CLASS CONNECTION to sing for us – Danny
, Ed Shaw, Sam McFarland, Bob Mattis. Word is they are in contest preparation.

Next Ken introduced EAST COAST SWING for their debut at the chapter - Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Cerutti, Kirk Young. Great to hear our newest chapter quartet!

The rest of the second half of the evening was used for work on the contest songs with Kirk coaching and helping the guys get the most out of the song and the arrangement.

TJ won the 50/50 cash. All the left over heart shaped boxes of chocolates from last weekend were given to other ticket winners.

Kirk had the honors of taking us out for the nite.

Until next time – editorjack!