Friday, August 14, 2009

Looking Back on August 11th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on August 11th 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.)

YeEd was glad to be back and see everyone. The set up was well underway when we arrived after our usual 5 pm dinner at Hard Times. The big screen was up again and used to show new song later in the evening.

Gary Plaag did some body warm up and Will Cox did the vocal warm up. He was using the “Gug Gugs” as we used in the past.

Director Joe took the helm and, as promised, selected an octet to sing out front. He said he would and he did! He also had the chorus do a lot of small group work – assigned them into chorus thirds or into octets or the like. Had each smaller group sing a song and other rate them as to intonation, visuals, mouth postures, best selling. It was fun and for sure helped men know what songs they needed to work on personally. Later in the nite, there was a push out quartet exercise with the whole chorus participating.

If you were not there, you will be surprised to see Mike Kelly’s new “doo” – or is that “no doo” since he is shaved!!

Before break, Joe had the big summer crowd on the risers sing the contest package.

At break time, Mark Klostermeyer announced some calendar reviews and birthdays. It would have been Bud Arberg’s birthday this week. He died at 91 recently.

Dan O’Brien plugged the Sept. 15th guest nite and offered several tools for members to use in recruiting and bring in another crowd. Joe made a special appeal for guys to get bring prospective singers – now is the time vs. next spring, if the new person can be ready for Philly. Dan introduced 6 guests – almost all were basses!!!! Steve Power, Victor Hills, Bert Phillips, Thom Faircloth, John Sogn, Anthony Bartholomew (who has gone back to his chapter in TX after a summer internship in DC).

After the break, Bob Rhome reminded all those planning to attend the district contest in Lancaster in Oct. need to get the room requests and ticket orders in to him.

Craig Kujawa plugged the 10 for 10 weight loss program. One team captain tried to lure guys from other teams to stop by his car for cupcakes!!!

President Brad presented Achievement Star pins to the visual quad leaders – Jack Cameron, TJ Jones, Bob Blair and Chuck Powell.

Before closing for the nite, the chorus did a contest package run thru so guys could do their self evaluation tapes and turn them in to section leaders. And everyone was reminded of the Market Square show coming up Friday nite, Aug. 14th. Chorus at 6:30. Show time is 7:30. Official travel uniform for chorus. Lots of guys were talking about going out to dinner either before or after the show. Usually the singers can park under ground and bring up the parking ticket to be stamped to avoid paying.

We had fun with Edris Q7 directing “Keep the Whole World” – a new guy who hardly new the song – to close out the nite.

Until next time – editorjack!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking Back on August 4th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on August 4th 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.)

Many thanks to Alan Wile for taking notes and writing up the column while YeEd was in Illinois for his 50th hi school class reunion.

Chuck McKeever was on the Durant stage at 6:00 p.m., ready, willing and able to help with choreography … likely more guys will be there for training next week, especially all the new guys trying to catch up.

The riser crew was Tom Berkey, Jeremy Knobel, Tony Colosimo and, perhaps, one or two others, but efficient.

We were on the risers at 7 p.m., with Tony Colosimo directing warm-ups.

Director Joe Cerutti spoke briefly about Harmony University, noting that it was “awesome, as usual” and that a large number of Harmonizers were there, taking or giving classes. Chapter Members at HU 2009:Faculty: Joe Cerutti, Gary Plaag. Students – Director College: Chris Buechler, Anthony Colosimo. Students – Harmony University: Tom Gannon (YeEd thinks he lives in one of the Dakota’s tho he retains membership), Ryan Griffith, Patrick Kim, Edris Qarghah, Noah Van Gilder.

The chorus performed the contest package for video-taping. These will be put on line and every chorus member is encouraged to view all of them to see, not only how they are performing, but tips from others that might make their individual performance even better.

Next, we sang through our new song, “It Don’t Mean A Thing,” three times for purposes of an introduction and with the challenge to be well prepared next week, when we’ll be octeting!

Next the chorus worked on “When I Lift Up My Head” (again). Joe had us do choreo only, singing only, and the entire song. Then it was “Great Day,” followed by drilling the end of “Kiss The Girl.”

VP Operations Mark Klostermeyer (“K-12”) gave several announcements and introduced others during the business part of the meeting.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership documents, pins, “Breathless Moments,” etc., to two of our newest members: Kellen Hertz and Edris Qarghah (“Q-7”). At the same time, he presented “Man of Note” pins to Kyle Blomgren (for sponsoring Kellen) and to Kellen (for sponsoring Edris).

Chuck Harner hyped the newly arrived “Entertainment Books” for (1) Northern Virginia and DC, (2) Maryland and DC, and (3) Greater Baltimore. This year the price is $30 for all the coupons you can possibly use to save money (not a bad idea, given the state of the economy). For each book sold, the chapter receives $6 … and if we sell 71 or more, we get 50%. We reached that goal last year and Chuck is hopeful and encouraging all to do the same this year. (Let’s hear a cheer for Chuck and his extra efforts to head up this activity every year!!!!!)

VP Marketing and PR Scipio Garling urged every member to bring one guest (more is OK, too) to our Guest Night -- September 15th -- and then turned the floor over to Director Joe, who announced that he will present a special reward (not a kazoo) to each man who brings a guest … after all, he’d like to see 110 on the risers in Philadelphia next July! Also, there will be a “grand prize” given to the man who brings the most guests. Yes, it’s another challenge, guys. VP Membership Dan O’Brien (“Dan-O”) asked that each man pick up a stack of guest night-related business cards and flyers before leaving … and to pass them out and post them liberally.

After the break, Dan-O introduced the guests. In addition to former members Ron Rich, Lee Cohen, Chris Yates, and Pat Duffy there were 8 men and two women (an Alexandria choreographer -- Rachel Unterberger and Ken Fess’ sister, Marbeth Hanamura. It was great to have a couple of applicants (Chris Yates, who passed his audition, and John Sogn) and first time guests in the group, together with some others who have visited more regularly. The other guests: Anthony Bartholomew, Paul Elder, Thom Faircloth, Nik Hanlon, Victor Hills, Dean Martin, and Steve Power. Glad to have you all here … and hope to see you all again at subsequent chapter meetings!!!

K-12 reminded us about the Market Square (free) show on Friday, August 14th and that we’ll be meeting in Manassas for our annual inter-chapter visit sponsored by the Prince William Chapter (Bull Run Troubadours) on Tuesday, August 25th.

Terry Reynolds explained that we would do two run-throughs of the contest set each week: (1) for videoing (see above) and (2) for vocal taping. Each member who wants to be on stage at the Mid-Atlantic District Fall Convention/Contest in Lancaster, PA on October 3rd MUST submit at least one “make me better” recording together with his self-evaluation. An evaluation of his presentation skills (from the video) needs to be submitted, too. Constructive feedback will be provided.

Scipio and Alan Wile announced that the chapter Board decided to contribute the proceeds of the weekly “50-50” to the Mid-Atlantic District Endowment Fund. The total amount for the balance of the year must be at least $500. Scipio explained that as the chapter leads in all other areas, it must be a leader in its support to the Endowment Fund, too. Interest earned by the Fund provides scholarships for musical directors and youth quartets to attend Harmony College East at Salisbury University each June.

Quartet Promotion “guy” Eric Wallen reminded all about the Put-Together Quartet Contest to be held December 15th. Details will be coming but it’s not too early to get start thinking and preparing for it. (YeEd hopes for some funny songs and comedy routines.)

President Brad Jones announced that tickets for our fall show with the Pride of Baltimore Chorus are now available and that we are looking to have an afterglow in the same facility (more to follow).

Brad then presented Music Librarian Dick Dangel with a “Make A Difference” pin in recognition of the work he does to keep our guest music books up-to-date … and you know how we love to see guests! Congratulations, Dick!

Innovator Craig Kujawa announced that 40 men had signed up for “The 10 for 10 Challenge.” With the four team captains (Joe Cerutti, K-12, Ken Fess, and Phil Ferguson) up front, the names were drawn, three at a time, to create the teams.

Finally, we got back to singing and Joe worked us -- really worked us -- on “New York, New York.” When satisfied with the product, he then rehearsed “Almost Like Being In Love.” The evening drawing to a close, we performed the contest set once more … this time for recording.

Front Row Captain Craig Kujawa announced that two men have been added to the front row (replacing Chuck Hunter and Bob Sutton). Congratulations to Patrick Kim and Tom Kraus!

The “50-50” was won by one of our guests (YEA!) -- Dean Martin -- who then took us out with “Keep The Whole World Singing.”

Until next time – editorjack!