Friday, November 13, 2009

Looking Back on the November 10th Chapter Meeting

Another rainy nite in VA, but the Harmonizer spirits were high coming off the fantastic show on Sunday with Pride of Baltimore.

The usual scene was unfolding as men arrived to be early for the 7 pm start time. Sales were fairly strong of White House ornaments, Entertainment books and scrip cards for holiday purchases or gifts prior to the meeting.

After the warm up period, Director Joe praised and thanked the chorus and its many leaders for the hard work in making the show a huge success. He was impressed with the in-tune singing. He was glad the webcast reached out and delivered our product far and wide around the world.

The show was at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the U of MD College Park campus. A nice facility for singing and for watching! Theme of the show was “Take It From The Top” and included three songs sung by both the Harmonizers and Pride of Baltimore Sweet Adeline chorus. For the record, the songs were “All I Ask of You,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “Singing in Harmony.” About 160 singers were on the risers.

Guest quartet was MAXX FACTOR who recently achieved medalist status at the SAI convention. MC for the show was our own Rick Taylor.

Kudos to Brad Jones who did tons of tasks to make it a success and was the “believer” that it was a possibility. Ken Rub was officially producer. A quick run down of folks who did jobs to make it a success: JP for song board; K12 for chorus manager for both groups; TJ for visual cues; B Minnick for ticket sales for afterglow; Scott for sound; Mike K for webcast; Dean Martin for podcasts; K White for afterglow mc; Blair for truck and riser crew leadership; Dixie for lights; Scipio for marketing; FRIENDS for sales in lobby; a long list of soloists; CAMERON STATION for singing their new songs on the show.

Then it was on to work for the next big task in our calendar – the Holiday shows. Joe had his assistant directors work on the songs they will direct that weekend. (YeEd noted that we have so many new guys and guests on the risers we gotta put together more holiday music notebooks.)

After a healthy time for holiday show songs, Joe introduced us to our new contest ballad. He used some new techniques to do this. First we all read and talked about the meaning of the lyrics. Then we listened to a version of the song done by Frank Sinatra. Then we all sang the melody. Then since we were all fired up, Joe played the tag of the arrangement as sung by a demo tape. WOW. Song is “I Get Along Without You Just Like I Should.”

Joe turned things over to operations vp Klostermeyer who announced birthdays include the 234th for the Corps. Secretary Buechler presented a 6-year membership card to Ken Henderson, who is new to our chapter. Ken got the usual packet of neat things including the Harmo history book. [Last week, YeEd missed reporting that Josh Roots was given his 3-year renewal, and that Bill Clark and Neil Bibens, who are not living in this area, have renewed also.

K12 also brought out a huge pile of lost and found things from the show -- funny to see guys reclaim uniform parts and personal things.

Dan O’Brien welcomed Drew Dias back and then invited 12 guests up front for introduction. The group included some former members, guys from other chapters in our district and from afar, several first time guests, and a couple new applicants. As is our tradition, we sang our welcome song to them, directed by Will Cox. While we sing, the president, director and Dan shake each guest’s hand.

During the break, there were lots of goodies to go with the coffee – left overs from the goodies brought to the weekend show for the chorus dressing room and coordinated by one of our guests, Grant Leber.

YeEd also noted that the FRIENDS group was at Durant for one of their meetings. And he heard that Carl Kauffmann will be in Philly this weekend representing us on the BHS “fam” trip that lets each competing chorus send a rep to go to the site of the convention to check out housing options, practices spaces, the contest site, restaurants and transportation challenges. Craig Kuyawa is co-chair for Philly.

Ken Rub, our show vp, invited everyone to come sing on the Armed Forces daytime show at a local elementary school. (It turned out to be another great day and it was fun for the guys to sing for the students and many military vets present. Several of our guys were in uniform too for the event.)

Jeremy Knobel is heading up the Holiday Show and he asked five things from the men of the chapter: (1) sell tickets; (2) volunteer to help on Fri. morning the 4th; (3a) wrap two large boxes, like you buy reams of paper in, with shiny wrapping paper; (3b) bring four dozen good quality homemade or bakery holiday cookies with you; (4) contribute items of value for the silent auction – give them to Phil Ferguson; (5) get your costume ready to be an elf or toy.

President Brad acknowledged a generous gift from Shirley Bolstad to the chapter. And then Brad presented You Make A Difference pins to all the members of the FRIENDS group for their always-willing support of the chapter.

After the meeting portion of the nite, Joe had everyone get into a quartet push out line up for two holiday songs. Then he sent everyone to sectionals in other parts of the building to work on “There Will Always Be A Place on the Risers for You.” That work prompted a Moment In Harmo History about how that song came to be written by Bob Bates and arranged by John Hohl and sung at many important moments in the life of the chapter.

Joe and his musical team also had the singers work on the new “Chipmunk” song.

We adjourned a few minutes early, stashed the risers under the stage and prepared to head over to the afterglow. As usual there were quartets around the hall trying things and helping new guys get ready for their auditions.

Until next time – editorjack!

(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.)