Thursday, October 1, 2009

Looking Back on the September 29th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the September 29th 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.)

Including a report in this week’s column from the package show last week -- (Thanks again to Alan Wile for taking these notes at the package show Thursday, Sept. 24th -- YeEd. I was greeted by Tom Berkey when I entered the Ritz Carlton at about 6:15 this evening. Tom had driven the Harmo-truck and had it positioned at the loading dock. Tom led me to the "Diplomat Room," which was our rehearsal and dressing space on the first floor. There Chuck McKeever was coaching new member Ken Henderson in his up-tune moves ... as only Chuck can and does! To be on the loading dock, we were supposed to get badges (in exchange for our driver licenses) but a lot of guys who came later didn't bother. The riser crew was large and while I may not have captured all who were there, I did see the following: Tom Berkey (of course), Max Keiba, Ken Fess, Ken Rub, Craig Kujawa, Dean Rust, Austin Cotton, Scipio Garling, Chris Huber, and Terry Reynolds (my apologies to those who pitched in but escaped my note taking). We had to set up risers on the first floor for us and a second set on the second floor for the show. Scott Kahler was working sound with the hotel folks. Producer Greg Tepe was there early, working mainly with the hotel staff. Austin Cotton arranged the song board and Tony Colosimo began warm-ups at about 7:30. Director Joe worked on contest prep then til about 8:40 when it was time to change into tux outfits for the show. Some guys forgot black slacks, so there were two sources for replacements – one was from our host for the show, Eric Jackson [he is a long time friend of the chapter and had hired us to help his clients understand another form of team work] who loaned someone a pair of black slacks; and the hotel staff who went into the waiter uniform closet and got some more!!! The chorus sang realllllllly well and the audience gave them a standing O in the middle of the show. The other audience response that was unique was the long silence after “Music of the Night” when the audience was afraid to break the spell and applaud. So cool! Great hit by a little bit smaller chorus of good singers and great Harmonizers!)

Tuesday the 29th the hall was really jumpin at about 6:15 – the usual sales crews , the guest sign in crew, riser crew, training crews.

After a good solid warm up session, the singing work began. Director Joe worked on the new songs being sung with the POB chorus on the Nov. 8th Fall Show. The chorus also worked on the fun stage presence package for “It Don’t Mean A Thing” with Gary Plaag doing the review.

And just to start guys thinking about the Holiday Show(s), the chorus ran thru “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Before the break, Mark Klostermeyer conducted the business meeting. Secretary Buechler presented a 9-year renewal card to Max Kieba. The chorus has returned to a hearty congrats cheer for each guy who renews.

Dan O presented the newest member to be signed up for the chapter – Robb Topolski who came to us from OR where he was a chorus director. Then Dan introduced another line up of guests who all seemed to be in the grove toward membership!

After coffee break and the usual business items and networking, it was back to formal announcements. Bob Rhome invited each man to pickup their district contest booklet which he had prepared and labeled with guy’s names. It was packed with all the info a guy would need for the weekend – uniform list, maps, schedule, contestant list, housing and bus shuttle info. Great job. He made some last minute reminders at the mic tho – especially regarding to the parking challenges expected in Lancaster.

Jeremy Knobel is producer of the Holiday Shows and invited the guys to dig out their costumes from last year. And he announced that tickets are ready to be sold – stay tuned.

President Brad Jones reported on continued sales of fall show tickets. And he presented a You Make A Difference pin to John Pence for coordinating MCs for shows, and to John Hohl, our resident arranger and former director of the chorus.

Joe Cerutti coached the chorus on the importance of cheering and supporting chapter quartets at convention. He invited all of us to come to quartet contest Friday nite (it starts at 6 pm at the Convention Center adjacent to the Marriott).

So we could practice, DOWN A FOURTH sang for the chapter. Good to hear them ready to hit the boards this weekend. Eric Wallen, quartet promo guy, called up for recognition the really long list of guys who will be representing the chapter in the fall district quartet contest. (For new guys, this contest winner earns the right to be named District Champ – take a look in our chapter directory to see all the guys in our chapter are past district champs!) Alexandria guys in quartets this weekend include:

FULL TILT – Ed Casenas, Nick Aiuto, Pete Frank, Steve White
FRiDAYS! – Bob Caldwell, Ken Ives, Steve Murane
SURPRISE! – Bob Hirsch, Bruce Minnick
DOWNTOWN – Drew Fuller, Frank Fedarko, Kevin Flynn
CRUNCH TIME – Eric Wallen, Mike Wallen
DOWN A FOURTH – Joe Sawyer, Joe Cerutti, Wayne Adams, Mike Kelly

Then it was back to work for the chorus and the finished the nite working on the contest package and the songs for the show of champions in Lancaster. They worked hard and did many reps of the songs or at least sections of the song. (It got funny how many times the front row guys had to move the benches!)

A little after 10, Joe told the guys he would see them in Lancaster. And everyone pitched in on loading the truck for the trip to PA.

Until next time – editorjack!