Thursday, January 28, 2010

Looking Back on the January 26th Chapter Meeting

Tonite was another Harmonzer first – there was no heat in the Durant Center. So Bob Rhome, who makes arrangements with the city for the meeting space, sent out a late-afternoon email alerting the guys. Some didn’t get the word, but with all the excitement and fast-paced stage presence for the uptune, no one froze.

Also there was a lot of excitement about the getting tickets for the Presidents’ Ball – 120 signed up so far. And there are tickets left, so email to get a space for yourself, and a guest if you wish. Just $15 each. You can settle up next Tuesday or that nite.

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 to go with the reception;
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 do the DJ honors for the last part of the evening. Mike Kelly’s new quartet, ENTOURAGE, sing for us as well.

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, as well as our many brand new members.)

Tuesday nite’s meeting and rehearsal were packed. After a solid musical warm up led by Tony Colosimo, Terry Reynolds, music and performance vp, organized a Name The Singer Contest. Section leaders (Ives, Kelly, Colosimo, Savage) were seated facing a wall, then the chorus members lined up behind their section leader and like in a quartet push out event, four guys sang a line or two of the Valenine songs. The section leaders tried to identify the guys who sang. It was fun. Some did pretty well, others not so good. But it helped get guys to sing the Valentine songs in a quartet.

When Director Joe took the reigns, he had the singers review some of the songs in the repertoire like “Music of the Night’ and “Drunken Sailor” and such.

Terry Reynolds was back up to the mic to review the standards for attendance, taping, visual and vocal quality reviews and a new area – improvement from first tape or review to the second one.

Then back to some wonderful singing! The ballad is so special and Joe was able to get it out of the guys with every repetition. Joe Sawyer had the duties of running the computer to project the new music onto the screen. Next week the singers are supposed to be off the music. Many were last nite, YeEd noted. And those that were stumbling a little on notes, now know what to work on for themselves next week.

Before the mid-evening break, Dan O’Brien did guest introductions – all three this week have submitted applications!! There were 21 guests last week at our special guest nite event and Dan thanked all for their efforts. He asked the men not to let up and to take a supply of chorus business cards for their wallets so they can be used any time we meet prospects.

The coffee pot was drained last nite since it was cold. And there were a lot of goodies to put out.

The business meeting period after break included some important matters for all. Josh Roots and Eric Wallen gave many details about selling Singing Valentines. The chapter has organized the weekend into blocks when quartets are made available to customers - the time slots are Thursday - Sunday, 8:00am - 12:00pm (morning), 12:00pm - 4:00pm (afternoon) & 4:00pm - 8:00pm (evening). We need a lot more singers to step forward and contact Eric to volunteer to sing. Also it was mentioned that new guys who don’t have white tails and other uniform parts should contact Tom Kern to get what they need.

Noah Van Gilder plugged the Rahway Valley, NJ, Novice quartet contest. And promised an email with details.

Eric Wallen, chapter quartet chairman, also offered to help any guys who are looking to be in quartets for the Southern Division in Roanoke, VA, May 28-29. Great place for a new quartet to start their climb to success.

Chuck McKeever announced again the dates for two special stage presence review sessions for the new uptune that all members should plan to attend. They will be at the Lee Center in their dance studio there. Stage Right on Thurs., Feb. 4. Stage Left on Thurs. Feb. 11. The front row will have a separate session.

Committee chair Rick Savage, presented a preview of the new black 4-button suit for contest this summer. Everyone must get their sizes to Tom Kern – he is starting a new list as he reports there are “floating” waist sizes in the chapter!! Members should give Tom their current suit size, dress shirt neck and sleeve length, waist size. He would prefer to get the info via email (

Ken Fess, chairman of the spectacular Westminster/Harmonizer Show, Sun. June 27th at 2 pm., announced that tickets are on sale. Go to Besides the two past gold medal choruses, Westminster, CA, and the Harmonizers, there are top ranked quartets signed on to sing such as OC TIMES, OLD SCHOOL, THE MUSICAL ISLAND BOYS, RINGMATERS, MAXX FACTOR, THE EDGE, and THE CRUSH. Tell your barbershop friends, your local DC area customers. Show will be at the George Mason University’s Center for the Arts.

President Dick Newton supported a couple of previous matters such as the need for singers to sign up and do the Singing Valentines. We need the income that is raised from the weekend! Especially with new uniforms coming!!

Then back to singing. The rest of the evening was spent on the contest uptune with some time on gestures and movement. A block of the singing work had Tony out front directing and Joe coaching – a great team!!! The high energy music session pushed right up to the 10 pm mark.

Everyone jumped in to help put things away. There was some singing and quartets around. YeEd noticed some of the applicants heading off to audition – rumor has it we will hear of some new members next week.

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.)