Monday, September 14, 2009

Looking Back on September 8th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on September 8th 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 hall at Durant was full of excitement starting at 6 pm with a work crew busy tightening the riser platforms. Another group of guys were learning their SP with McKeever on the stage. And guests were checking in.

After warm ups, Director Joe went to work. He was full of excitement too as he reflected on the GREAT things coming our way in the months ahead – a big guest nite, fall contest in Lancaster, the huge show with Pride of Baltimore in November, and then the gigantic show with Westminster, CA, chorus in July 2010!!!!!

He hurried thru those announcements so he had more time for singing. First out was “Ain’t Got That Swing”. Gary Plaag taught comedic gesture plans “Swing” too. (The plan reminds YeEd of our funny bit in “Four Walls” in Hartford. Guess that is another Moment in Harmo History some Tuesday nite soon!)

Next up was a solid work session on “In Harmony” that will be sung with Pride of Baltimore at our show in November. And after that, there was no break in the action and Joe had the guys singing and working on the fun new opener, “There’s a Meeting Here Tonight.” He used the screen to point out some rhythm changes and such. Terry Reynolds was back at his station as operator of the projector system.

And before break, there was a review of a couple holiday songs, and some work on “Music of the Night” that will be used on guest nite, Sept. 15th.

In case you didn’t know it, or you have a partner or friend who is interested, there is a FRIENDS support group affiliated with our chapter. They met during the first half of the evening to work on their plans for the fall contest weekend Oct. 2-3.

Secretary Buechler presented membership renewal cards: Bob Mattes for 11 years, Eric Wallen for 12, Dick Dangel for 17 and Mike Kelly for 29. He also presented a card and pin for 25 years to Tom Hutton and a pin and card to Mick Stamps for 30 years.

Before break, Operations VP Klostermeyer gave 50/50 tickets to the guys who came early to help with the riser overhaul. He encouraged everyone to get a ticket as there were three drawings planned for tonite (tickets for the DC Harmony Invitational at the Birchmere, a $50 gift certificate from Design Frames, and then the actual cash from the 50/50).

As a reminder the chapter election is Tuesday, Sept. 22. All members are encouraged to be present to vote for the slate recently announced. Good nite for some members who are not active for one reason or another to come visit and see and hear the excitement. And as usual, if any one wishes to make a nomination to add to the ballot, you must speak with the chapter secretary no later than Tuesday, Sept. 15th.

Membership VP Dan O’Brien plugged the Sept. 15th guest nite with support and much drama by our director Joe! He even demonstrated how to welcome guests using his buddy from hi school who was visiting us as a prop. It got laughs but helped all understand the importance of wearing a name tag, being enthusiastic without pushy, and being careful not to overwhelm the guest with all we do. It was also reported that we will have guests from the City Council of Alexandria, so some guys have been appointed to welcome them.

All of us were asked to bring some goodies to share with the guests (cookies, brownies, fruit).

At break time, the crowd pushed fast to buy White House ornaments from Sandy Stamps (if you have extra plastic grocery bags at home, bring some to her next week to use in filling large orders of ornaments that guys are taking to sell).

YeEd noted that Chuch Harner was not set up selling Entertainment books cause he was out at the Fairfax Chapter doing the official draw for singing order at the fall contest. That is one of his jobs as a leader in our Mid Atlantic District. We sing last in the chorus contest which is so neat cause it means the hall will be packed with barbershoppers cheering and eager to see and hear us do our “stuff” on stage.

After break, there were announcements by Eric Wallen hinting that some guys are already at work to form more than one quartet for the December 15th Harmonizer Put-Together Quartet contest. That is allowed. May even be a prize to the guy in the most quartets. (Reminds YeEd of another Harmo History moment – remember the George Azzam?) Let’s make it a wild contest and get a lot of fun new quartets formed. Who knows – a future gold medal quartet just might emerge from that nite’s event. Surprise panel of judges all lined up too!

Bill Stewart asked for a show of hands of guys who would like a behind-the-scenes tour of the fire station at BWI where Bill works. He is thinking of offering it on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 1st for our guys and their families. Stay tuned for details.

Great to see Skip Coburn at the meeting this week after a long absence while he was in training. He is organizing another chapter theater nite – this time to see “Jersey Boys” at National Theater. He just asked for a show of interest. So again, stay tuned for sign ups.

VP Shows Ken Rub, announced a show on Sept. 24th at the Ritz Carlton. A 20-minute S show at 9 pm. We will have rehearsal prior to the show since it is a Tuesday nite. Also he explained more about our fall show with Pride of Baltimore as our guests. We will be selling tickets for this show at the University of Maryland.

Terry Reynolds explained there would be an extra rehearsal Mon. Oct. 26th in prep for the fall show. There are two more songs coming out with learning tracks prepared by our own Ryan Griffith.

President Brad reported that Carl Kauffmann is making some progress and someone added that he was at home.

Brad presented Making a Difference star pins to Carolyn and Dick Hall for their weekly contribution as sale crew for 50/50 tickets and script sales.

Back to singing then, Joe helped the chorus woodshed to an old chestnut song and explained that in the past barbershop singers used their ear or listening skills to find the notes vs. reading from a printed page. It was fun.

Then there was a lengthy work session on the contest package to include a 10-minute visual review to clean up some important sections.

The guys worked hard as did our director and the nite ended with a huge buzz in the room from the energy. That excitement continued at 815 S.Washington Street.

Until next time – editorjack!