Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Looking Back on NYC Show Feb. 28th

Looking Back on NYC Show Feb. 28th

(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 with Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter members. —Ye Ed.) (Thanks to Noah Van Gilder and Chris Buechler for filling in the blanks on the news from behind stage.)

The Harmonizers made a major hit just off Broadway when they appeared on the Manhattan NY Chapter show Feb. 28th at the Salvation Army Centennial Theatre at 120 W. 14th Street in New York City. It was billed as The Unity Spectacular featuring the Harmonizers and the Voices of Gotham from Hell’s Kitchen, NY.

Our guys got to the theater all kinds of ways – some car pools, many via the less expensive bus routes, some by train. And so by about 11 am that Saturday, there were guys in the neighborhood and at the theatre.

Bill DePuy drove the Harmo truck up with risers and sound equipment and props. So a crew of our guys (DePuy, Buechler, Wagner,Wile, Ritchey and his daughter and her friend) pitched in to unload and set up. Scott Kahler and Dennis Ritchey and Chris Cunningham did a lot of work to get the sound for the show going. And Dixie and Chris Buechler did the lights.

The chorus had warm ups and some stage time including some time with the Manhattan and Hell’s Kitchen choruses to practice some combined singing. Manhattan director, Joe Hunter and his team taught basic choreography for “New York, New York” and the Harmonizers picked it up in no time flat. The combined songs were “God Bless the USA” and of course, “NY NY” which were sung at the end of the show.

A bunch of our guys stayed in the theatre to listen while the other two choruses warmed up.

Prior to coming on stage, our guys assembled backstage for a quick, intense rehearsal. Energy levels were high and the chorus was full of anticipation. It showed during their performance.

When the curtain opened for the Harmonizers, the crowd went wild!! And the chorus did not disappoint with a fast paced show full of animation and entertainment and great singing. CAMERON STATION sang as did our newest quartet, EAST COAST SWING with Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Kirk Young and Joe Cerutti.

There were a lot of us in the audience too from the chapter family. And it was fun to see guys from a number of other chapters in the Mid Atlantic District. Some chapters had come with a group of folks.

The afterglow was a blast and I hear some folks were there til at least 4:30am! According to my reporter, “the afterglow was an absolute blast and we did stay late! There was plenty of food and some good cakes. And the room was so full of singing that it spread out into the lobby.”

Until next time – editorjack!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Looking Back on Prelims Weekend Mar.6-7-8, 2009

Looking Back on Prelims Quartet Contest Mar. 6-7-8, 2009

(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 with Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter members. —Ye Ed.)

The Harmonizers can be proud of how our chapter was represented at the International Quartet Preliminary Contest weekend.

And we liked the results too. Two of our quartets earned enough points to qualify for the contest in Anaheim: CRUNCH TIME and FULL TILT. Actually these two quartets tied with 1902 points (they only needed 1824 points) and CRUNCH TIME was ranked first in the contest based on their singing category scores which break the tie.

Our friends ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT also qualified.

Back to the beginning tho.

District President Gary Plaag was around some on Friday, but was sick and disappeared to go home to rest etc. So Joe Cerutti sang bari in PRIME TIME with Ken White, Bob Sutton and TJ Barranger as mic testers for the quartet contest Friday nite.

On the way into the contest session in the Reston Hyatt, everyone had to pass by Ken Fess and Dean Rust in their tux outfits who were promoting our spring tonic. They had the big show poster and show postcard handouts.

In the Friday nite or first round of the contest, we had members in YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT (Mike Wallen) , FRiDAYS! (Bob Caldwell, Ken Ives, Steve Murane), FULL TILT (Ed Cazenas, Nick Aiuto, Pete Frank, Steve White), CLASSIC CONNECTION (Sam McFarland, Bob Mattes), and CRUNCH TIME (Eric Wallen).

For the Saturday morning round of the contest, LAST KIDS PICKED with Bill and Tony Colosimo and Mike and Eric Wallen were mic testers.

After the contest ended and while the list of who made the finals was prepared, John Hohl, representing the Society’s director development committee, called for Joe Cerutti to come to the stage. Joe was out of the room at first helping coach a youth quartet about to compete. But Joe got a cell message from one of our crew and made it to the stage to receive his Master Director plaque. Joe is the 9th director to be recognized within the Society with this honor.

Next after the quartet contest, a Youth Adjudication event was held. Quartets are rated good, excellent or outstanding. There were seven entries. Joe did the welcome and kick off for the 11:15 am start of the event and introduced Erin Odell, Craig and Linda’s daughter, who was MC. She is also chorus director in Roanoke, VA. One of the judges for this contest was Chris Buechler, contest administrator.

Erin gave a great plug for our chapter’s advertisement in the program promoting the April 18th youth harmony day we are hosting at Durant (in cooperation with the Vienna-Falls Sweet Adelines).

Saturday nite was the finals round of the quartet prelims contest and included YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, FULL TILT and CRUNCH TIME. FRiDAYS! was the mic tester for the finals round. I reported above that two of our quartets will go to Anaheim. YOUTH REC won the senior’s contest. Dennis Ritchey was MC for the finals round of the contest.

Later that evening there was a jamboree or show of the winners. LAST KIDS PICKED did their swan song at that time and made their final appearance in our district.

As usual, the evening ended with lots of tag singing in the lobby (yes Chuck Hunter made it with his broken foot and crutches – he stepped on a rock on Friday in DC en route to a meeting. He is waiting for more doctor inputs but was not in pain this weekend.)

The weekend also included a lot of admin things for the Harmonizer leaders. Skipping to Sunday morning, there was the district House of Delegates. Our President Brad Jones attended his first official such meeting. And there was the usual cast of Harmonizers who are on the district board and chairs of committees.

We did see some familiar faces around this weekend. One of the judges was former Harmonizer and musical leader in our chapter, Larry Deters. Buechler and Harner had duties with the judges for the contest too.

John and Jean Adams were up from NC. He is a past chapter president and tenor in some of the highest ranking quartets ever from our chapter.

Alan Wile was the official Society board of directors’ representative for this contest in his capacity as a board member at that level.

I saw a good crowd of our guys in the audience and we all cheered and yelled for our guys. Mike Kelly did the video recording for the contestants. Dixie was working the lights. Hope a huge crowd of guys, especially new guys, will plan to attend the Southern Division contest weekend, also in Reston, May 22 and 23.

Until next time – editorjack!