Friday, January 22, 2010

Looking Back on the January 19th Chapter Meeting

There was excitement AND anticipation in the air tonite!!

Everyone was curious as to how many guests we would have and how the evening would go as we worked more on the contest package.

The stage presence review conducted by Chuck McKeever drew another large crowd.

The 9 sections of risers were backed up to the stage and a guest gallery of chairs was set out for the many non-singing guests who attend a Harmonizer guest nite. They were full tonite too.

Will Cox did vocal exercises for warm up as well as some fast moves and hand clapping to get members and guests into the action. Tony Colosimo continued musical warm up and had guys sing the Valentine songs (as practice to get into shape for the Singing Valentine weekend and many quartet gigs).

When Director Joe took over, he got the guests and chorus right to work singing the new contest up tune and had them review and do the moves. All nite Joe was great about adding connecting language between segments of the meeting to explain why we do things, what we prepare for like contest and shows, venues the chorus has appeared in, what kinda commitment you need to be a Harmonizer. All good info for the 20-plus guests. YeEd thinks you could tell Joe was loosing his voice tonite, which he says was a result of his long weekend as guest conductor for a high school music festival in Maryland. Congrats for gaining the recognition for our art form in a non barbershop music arena. And thanks to Bob Mattes’ wife for making the contact.

The guests tonite were taken to a meeting room for briefing and introduction to our chapter and the Barbershop Harmony Society.

While they were out, the chapter conducted some of its business matters. Alan Wile thanked the chapter for support of the 50/50 each week. The chapter has turned in $657 for the last half of 2009 from just the chapter’s part to the Mid Atlantic District Endowment Fund.

Josh Roots asked for workers to help with the admin support of the huge Singing Valentine project. Eric Wallen asked for every man to consider doing some quartet gigs to help us fill the orders – which are already coming in via phone, and online.

Brad Jones invited all members to purchase their $15 ticket for the Presidents’ Ball, Feb. 6th right at Durant. Jack Pitzer is taking table reservations and selling the tickets. Talk to your buddies and get a table together. Each table has ten places. This year’s Ball, tho being held at the Rec Center, will feature several touches to make it special and still affordable. Guest speaker will be Mark Hale from the often-gold-medal Masters of Harmony in California. He is thrilled about coming to give us all a message of cheer, motivation and inspiration.

The main course will be catered. Other food items will be brought by members –
Last Name A-C bring hors d’oeuvers;
Last Name D-J bring salads/veggies;
Last Name K-P bring sides like vegetables or starches;
Last Name Q- Z bring desserts.
There will be a cash bar during a reception period from 6 – 6:30 pm in the lobby of Durant.

Then at 6:30 we will go into the banquet room (it won’t look anything like the usual meeting hall!). Member Pete Frank is coming down from PA to the DJ honors for the last part of the evening.

This traditional event also will be our nite to honor men from our ranks and set the goals for next year’s team of chapter leaders. (Former members and chapter friends are also welcome to buy tickets.)

Secretary Buechler gave Eric Hughes his 3-year membership renewal card and gave Keith Jones his 32-year card.

President Dick Newton read a thank you note from the Poulin family expressing appreciation for the guys who came and sang with Ian at his brother’s service. The family made a contribution to our chapter as well. There was also a letter alerting the chapter that widow of Rick Loveland, Terri, had passed away last year.

Dick also received a check and thank you note from a chorus fan that had seen Will Cox do his familiar “Night Before Christmas” routine and asked Will to come do it for their party.

After the meeting, the guests sang a tag for us. Membership VP Dan introduced all the guests by name and gave First Timer pins to many. It was also good to see several former members back on the risers and here to sing again.

The chorus sang three songs for the guests – each song directed by one of our assistant directors. Joe was mc and asked Will, Tony and Mike Kelly to direct.

Thanks to all the guys who brought goodies to share for break time. Lots of guys helped guests sing tags, helped them meet other members and talked about the chapter.

Joe used another large block of time on the contest songs and involved the guests right on the risers with the men. This was our first time to sing and hear the ballad all the way thru. WOW.

At 10, Joe did a wrap up. Eric Hughes won almost all the prizes in the 50/50 and directed the final song. All were invited to the afterglow.

It was another great Harmonizer nite. If you are not a regular on Tuesday, come out and sing in the peanut gallery, or get up on the risers. We miss you.

YeEd forgot to tell you he heard about four of guys who went out last week before chapter meeting and sang a couple songs for our Rec Center manager’s birthday. There is always something happening special among our chapter and its members.

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.)