Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looking Back on August 25th Dog Days Event

Looking Back on August 25th Dog Days Event

(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.)

Tuesday nite we traveled to Manassas for the annual Dog Days barbershop gathering in August hosted by the Bull Run Troubadors at Sacred Heart Church.

There was a big crowd of listeners with fans from all seven chapters who sang. The host chapter and other friends brought a lot of goodies that were spread out on both sides of the hall for all to enjoy. Folks got up from their seats and gathered some goodies all during the nite.

As usual the chapter was there to help. We brought the risers and sound equipment. Scott Kahler did his usual great job and Dennis Ritchey was helping too.

Dick Dangel was first up to warm up the assembling crowd and provide music while the first chorus, Mount Vernon, took the stage. Dick played his accordion and led the crowd in singing some old chestnut songs.

Harmony Heritage Singers from Mount Vernon, directed by Bob Wachter, did a nice package show. Their new quartet, SPECIAL BLEND, sang as did CLICHÉ. They dedicated a set of songs to Bud Arberg. He had written two of the songs and arranged them for HHS – “Barbershop Blues” and “I Love An Old Fashioned Love Song.”

An annual highlight of their performance is Bix Doughty doing his solo with the chorus of “Old Bones” -- he is 95.

Next chorus up was Warrenton directed by Glenn Williamson. Their quartet, GREAT ESCAPE, sang.

Third chorus up was Culpepper’s Minutemen chorus, directed by John Knueven. They were just chartered in June as the newest chapter in the Mid-Atlantic District. Doug Abt, one of our former members, was prominent in their back row where he made sure the bubble machine was turned on for their song, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” Their quartet VELVET BLEND sang. Thom Faircloth, a recent guest at our chapter, was the MC for Culpepper.

Former Harmonizer front row guy who we have not seen in a while, Larry Silva, and Cathy were there for the evening. Also good to see Paul Grimes.

Fourth up to sing was Chorus of the Old Dominion in Loudon County and directed by Ray Sitter. Fifth was Fairfax Jubliares directed by Tom Meier. These two choruses sang a couple songs together before Fairfax took the risers alone. VIRGINIA GENTLEMEN sang in this segment.

Great to see some other recent Harmonizer guests at the event including Stephen Power. Paul Grimes was out to hear us sing (YeEd noted that he was singing tags with our guys afterward).

Manassas took the risers next. Glenn Williamson is their director also. Their quartet HOV FOUR got a lot of laughs with their funny song. PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND quartet sang too. The chorus did a tribute to Bob Hope including his theme song “Thanks for the Memories,” which expressed the thanks the host chapter offered to all who attended the event this year.

The Harmonizers sang last and got a great reception by all the other barbershoppers and their family and friends who were there. Director Joe got the audience’s attention right off with “Great Day” and all the terrific moves. We did our contest package and it was great!!! Some new guys in the front row tried their wings and did great too. CAMERON STATION sang two songs. Our mc team were upbeat and fun. We closed with “NY NY” and that got the audience all excited right when we snapped out to say “Yeah!” in a loud whisper voice.

To close the nite the Mount Vernon guys and the Harmonizer guys sang “Armed Forces Medley” together.

Host chapter president Al Litchfield thanked all and invited every barbershopper in the room to come up and sing “Keep The Whole World Singing” with Joe up front directing.

We loaded our truck and all headed back north. Another great barbershop interchange.

Until next time – editorjack!