Friday, April 24, 2009

Looking Back on April 21st Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on April 21st 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.)

We all got word that “After 9 fun-filled years, BACHELOR PARTY is turning up the lights and winding down the party. Our final formal performance will be on the Harmonizer Spring Tonic in May. Our recent role in "The Music Man" seems a fitting end for our quartet - what can top being the River City School Board?” They have been a great chapter quartet!

This Tuesday nite the hard rains and hail didn’t seem to keep many folks away – they just arrived soaking wet!! Risers were up early as they were already in the hall. But new black platforms built by Bill Stewart (4 ft x 8 ft. in various heights) were unloaded off the HarmoVan tho. The chorus will stand on them vs. risers for the Tonic.

The front row was working hard in the lobby with new guys and also to review all the songs for the show. And the stage was full of guys reviewing their moves for songs with McKeever.

Tony C did the warm ups and then Director Joe jumped in with work on show songs. Ken White, who has a heavy load to carry for the show theme, was ready with his solos and exchanges with the chorus.

Producers Fess and Stamps coordinated a run thru of the first act of the show with blue tape on the floor to show the larger stage. Sound guy Kahler had to continue to “pull” guys up front on that stage area where the mics will be!

Before the break, Secretary Buechler gave out membership renewal cards to several: Patrick Kim for two years, Dan O’Brien for four, Joe Cerutti for 8, Peter Frank for 16, Bruce Minnick for 32 and Gary Mankin for 37 years.

Dan O plugged guest nite coming up on May 12th. He had calling cards and flyers and all sorts of marketing materials to help members recruit. He introduced another good crop of guests – some first timers too.

When Will Cox got up to lead us in the Harmonizer Welcome song, he first lead the guys in singing Happy Birthday to Dick Hall and Joe Cerutti. Dick still calls each Harmonizer on their birthday! Cake was served along with the usual goodies for a short break.

After break, the meeting included a ticket sales pitch from Dean Rust. Terry Reynolds prompted singers to get in their self-evaluated tapes to their section leaders by Thursday.

Joe announced that Jim Lucey had garnered an invited for us to sing with the Alexandria Symphony on July 11th. More to come if we can make it work. Joe was excited about the opportunity for the chorus to reach out into the music community.

President Brad thanked all the many helpers for the Youth Harmony Festival (and offered to sell left over t-shirts for $12). A spontaneous cheer for all Brad did came from the guys!!!

Brad presented another You Make A Difference star pin – this time to Dean Rust for his diligence in managing the chorus sign up system, both paper and electronic.

Quartet Promo guy Ken White welcomed FRiDAYS! quartet to sing for us.

The second half of the nite was used for contest preparation (and getting ready for the retreat coming up June 6th). Many guys were thanking Ryan Griffith for the terrific learning tapes for the new ballad.

The singing ended at 10 pm and then everything got put away before adjourning to the chapter afterglow. Speaking of afterglows, Mike Schwartz is selling tickets for the afterglow Sat nite May 9th. You save a couple buck s if you buy in advance.

Other Harmonizer news I have heard:

Max Kieba will spearhead work on picking Harmony College East scholarship winners (the Jack Shields Memorial Scholarships for high school quartets and their teachers). Bob Mattes has signed on to help librarian Dick Dangel in correcting the electronic versions of our repertoire sheet music so guests get accurate copies. Drew Dias has volunteered to lead youth outreach efforts in months ahead.

The Alexandria Choral Alliance will be launched Tues nite May 26th in a joint “concert” at Durant between the Harmonizers and the Alexandria Singers. We will sing a popular song written by former Society leader Joe Liles titled “Let There Be Music, Let There Be Love.” It will be introduced soon and we will use music that nite for those who don’t already know it.

Until next time – editorjack!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Looking Back on April 18th Youth Harmony Festival

Looking Back on April 18th Youth Harmony Festival

(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 the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —Ye Ed.)

This was our second Youth Harmony Festival and was an even greater success that the first. We co-hosted the event with the Vienna Falls Sweet Adeline Chapter.

Brad Jones was Dean of the weekend and did the planning and solicited the many helpers it took to pull off another successful event. Huge thanks go to Brad for making it happen again! Friday nite’s set up crew worked hard and fast to get meal tables set, risers up in two rooms, audience chairs up, coffee service ready and an efficient registration area in the lobby with barbershop harmony displays in the lobby too.

There were 40 girls and 24 boys who atttended the all-day event from 12 different schools. As I understand it, there were a number of students who are home schooled that attended. I also heard that there were three grandchildren of Harmonizers attending – grandson of Martin Banks and of Carl Kauffmann, and a granddaughter of the late Dick Whitehouse.

Terry Reynolds was in charge of directing the boys and Claire Gardner, director of Vienna Falls, worked with the girls. Scipio Garling, with help from Craig Kujawa, taught stage presence moves to both groups in preparation for the evening show. We also were honored to have teaching quartets to help with the education and motivation and inspiration of the student choruses. ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, who have sung with us before and have visited our chapter too, worked with the boys. CAPRI, who were a great help last year, returned to work with the girls. We thank both quartets for their time and enthusiasm. The quartets were great to autograph CDs and even the backs of the t-shirts for the students.

The students received a nifty bright green t-shirt with a festival logo as part of their registration. They had gotten music in advance to prepare for a boys chorus, or a girls chorus or a combined chorus. The two national barbershop harmony organizations for men and women provided materials also such as brochures and magazines. The M-AD district provides some financial support for the weekend also, which helps the two chapters carry on this great event. Ned Duffy, our district assistant Youth In Harmony leader, was on hand to help and to invite music educators to bring their students to Harmony College East in the summer.

The Vienna Falls chorus prepared lunch for the day and the Harmonizers did the pizza feed for dinner. Meanwhile there were tons of cookies and fresh fruit, snacks and sodas and water available from the time folks arrived until we shut the doors. Many members of the chorus brought goodies to share. Terry and Ginger Jordan helped in the kitchen area as did Keith Jones and Sandy Stamps. Many of the guys also pitched in to ice down drinks, restock supplies, clear tables, take out trash. Great to have so many guys who seem to know when to step in and help.

Other members were on hand Friday nite to set up, others came during the day to help monitor events like tag singing, survey preparation, preparing food and serving meals, supporting in general. The staff at Durant was also helpful – we are lucky to have such a useful facility. I noticed our Ryan Griffith taking pictures, so suspect to see things on the web soon.

The day ended with a show at 7:30 pm. Both choruses sang as did both of the teaching quartets. Then the two youth choruses sang and ended with their combined song. The hall was full with parents and family and barbershop family members. MC was Joe Cerutti. The sound work was done by Scott Kahler. About 50 Harmonizers were present and sang three songs on the evening show and really made a hit with “Kiss de Girl.”

Until next time – editorjack!