Thursday, March 5, 2009

Looking Back on March 3rd Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on March 3rd 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 set up crew was hard at work right at 6 pm this week. McKeever had a visual class in session on the stage. And guests seemed to be coming in all over the place. One of the guests helped set up the risers too.

After warm ups, Director Joe and his music team worked at restacking or placing the chorus in new places on the risers. Much of this was needed for the Anaheim contest package.

He encouraged guys to record “Second Star” to turn in as part of their self improvement effort.

Then Joe worked on the three songs that chorus will sing in the America’s Got Talent second round, if we get the nod. Each of the three songs needs to be cut down to 90 seconds. We will use “Great Day” again, plus “Kiss the Girl” and “NY NY” for our presentation.

After this quick work, the chorus got a feel for how the soloist and chorus will work together on “Mr. Cellophane” in the spring tonic.

Just before break, Steve White gave general announcements. He was filling in for K12 this week. Secretary Buecher gave Joe Cerutti his fourth Man Of Note award for being sponsor of new member Chris Cunningham. Chris got the usual packet of membership pin, Harmo history, and membership certificate.

Then Chris B. presented membership renewal cards: Joel Golden for 4 years; Bob Rhome for 8; Scott Kahler for 11; TJ Jones for 18; Gerry Levine for 22; Sam McFarland for 22; Ken Ives for 24; and Dean Rust for 29 years.

Dan O introduced the large crowd of guests – a couple applicants; some former members back – Chris Yates and Patrick Kim; relatives and friends of members; 3 or 4 first time guests; and a big row of returning guests.

Then it was break. The coffee went fast since it was so cold last nite. (BTW – we always make Decaf coffee on Tuesday nite, so you can count on that!)

After break and during the announcement time. President Brad Jones awarded additional “You Make The Difference” star awards: to Dan O’Brien for his work on the successful guest nite; and to Dennis Ritchey, Scott Kahler, Dixie Kennett, Mike Kelly, Chris Buechler, and Bill DePuy for their extra efforts in NYC for the show last weekend.

Ken Fess plugged the spring tonic again, AND announced that members could get a stack of unreserved seat tickets to sell on consignment.

Quartet Promotion guy, Ken White, reported on the continued expansion of the ANYTIME QUARTET idea and invited final sign up names.

Then Ken gave the usual chapter checks to quartets who will compete in the International Prelims quartet contest this weekend in Reston. Those who qualify get to sing at the contest in Anaheim. (The chorus already qualified in the International Prelims chorus contest last fall in Wildwood.) Our chapter gives each quartet a check to cover this weekend’s registration fee for each Harmonizer in the quartet. Our rep quartets are FRiDAYS!, YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, FULL TILT, CRUNCH TIME, CLASSIC CONNECTION.

Two chapter quartets will also be the mic testers quartets for the contest sessions. Friday nite’s contest that starts at 7 pm at the Hyatt in Reston will have PRIME TIME as mic testers. Then the Saturday morning contest that starts at 10 am will have LAST KIDS PICKED as mic testers.

For your info, a collegiate/youth quartet contest will run from 12-1 at the Hyatt. The finals Sat nite starts at 7 pm. Tickets will be available at the box off at the hotel. Some of the new guys will want to go, especially now that they have gotten bitten with the fun of tag singing!!

Then it was back to music and singing and hard work on the contest package and a couple of other songs coming back onto the radar to be sung on the spring show.

Hunter won the 50/50 and everyone worked to strike the hall. There was enough time to form some quartets with guests and teach them a tag or two.

And a large crowd adjourned to Southside 815 on South Washington Street for a chapter nite afterglow. Fun time and a lot like the Geno’s of old!!

Until next time – editorjack!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Looking Back on Feb. 24th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on Feb. 24th 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.)

Another busy nite at the chapter meeting. Amidst all the set up and commerce and rehearsing, I saw something I have never see at Durant. One of the younger guys got on his belly on one of those risers racks that go under the stage. He took a ride into the back to untwist the cord or something. So funny to see to a man coming out from under the stage!

Before I forget, I noticed on the front of the chapter directory of members a listing of two phone numbers everyone should have handy. The Harmo Phone number where people call for info and you can call to see if there has been a last minute change in meetings or the like – 703-836-0969. The Harmo Box Office where you and your family and friends and show ticket customers can call to order tickets for the shows – 703-910-4600.

The warm up session was a good work out on the techniques David Wright taught us at our retreat last year. (Since he is coming back this year, it is a good thing we get back into shape.) The bass section went out of the room for part of the time for a “warm down session” which I am told is warming up the lower register of their voices. Gary Plaag used “Simon Says” commands to get guys to do body movements like side stepping and clapping. In the end he had everyone applaud and welcome Director Joe to the front.

Joe wasted no time in getting to work on music and began introducing some warm and intimate interp for “Second Star” to help all perform it better.

Then he launched a rehearsal for the New York City show coming up this weekend.

Before you new it, Mark Klostermeyer (K12) was making the general announcements leading to break time. He reviewed the Harmo calendar including the addition of the Hershey, PA, show on March 22.

Secretary Buechler presented Matt Barnes his 4 year renewal card.

Chris Cunningham staffed the guest sign-in station for Dan O’Brien and Ken White did the up-front introductions. There was another long line of guests – many who had been here for the big guest nite on Feb. 10th. We also know there are some men who came on the 10th who have not been able to get back, even tho they plan to.

After a busy break, it was back to the chapter meeting period. Terry Reynolds reminded everyone about turning in their tapes. (He also confirmed how much fun BACHELOR PARTY was having as the school board/quartet in a DC production of The Music Man. A bunch of us have gone to see it – wow, they are great.)

Ken Fess plugged the spring show. There had been a scipt committee reading session at 6 pm tonite.

Dennis Ritchey passed out a flyer with FAQ info about the chapter’s trip to NYC to sing the show there Sat. Feb. 28th. Tom Kern was reminding all guys to get uniform parts for the show. Bill DePuy asked for helpers to unload the Harmo truck at 9 am on Sat. in NYC. Several hands went up.

President Jones announced that the Supreme Court Historical Society has invited the chorus to sing for them again, on June 1st. We have done this a number of times and it was always great fun, exiting to see the members of the Court in the front row, and to get insider looks at the wonderful Supreme Court Building.

Brad also awarded two “You Make A Difference” to us pins for great chapter work – Josh Roots for Singing Valentines, and Scipio Garling for marketing the successful guest nite. Brad intends to award these on a regular basis.

Chuck Harner, a Society contest and judging official, announced that Noah Van Gilder had won 3rd place in the Rahway Valley NJ Novice Quartet contest on Sat. Feb. 21st. Noah sang with three of his friends from New York.

K12 also invited everyone to try a new spot for a meeting nite afterglow – 815 South Washington St. called the Southside or the 815. (For old timers, an attempt to recreate the Genos atmosphere and Harmonizer tradtion.)

Speakling of Old Timers – I got a call from Bob Balderson, a former member and musical leader in the chapter. He asked to be remembered to all. He lives in Milwakee.

After the brief meeting time, it was back to work on music. There were a lot of guys making recordings to submit. And there more guests given auditions.

New guy Matt Barnes won the 50/50 and the picture framing gift – with two different tickets he had bought. The he directed KTWWS – great to see this young man up front and leading us in our song.

Until next time – editorjack!