Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking Back on the February 23rd Chapter Meeting

The high energy level seemed to continue tonite. Everyone has been busy with getting back into the groove at work and at home. Same with chapter tonite. Guys worked hard to get the room set, chairs for guests, and tables for all the coats since it is still cold outside.

Sure great to see (and hear) the large crowd of men reviewing stage moves with Chuck McKeever tonite on the stage. He has developed a great way of coaching by calling out the cues.

Steve White was sub for Mark Klostermeyer and Steve was right there lending a hand to get the room set as needed by musical and admin leaders. He announced the recent death of a Society leader and former trainer at a Harmonizer all day event – Paul Tamblyn, from Ontario District.

There were 76 of us on the risers at 7:05!! Let’s work to get that number up to 95 or 100 at 7. Then the few late arrivals can slip in.

Tony Colosimo directed vocal warm ups. And then Director Joe and McKeever worked on a review session of stage moves for a couple songs.

Joe also thanked Dean Martin again for his recent PodCast – this one with Justin Miller, director of the Westminster Chorus, talking about the joint show with Alexandria in June.

Next Joe welcomed back to Alexandria, our coach, Kirk Young. They got the chorus right work on the contest package. Kirk used several new techniques to help the guys learn points he was making such as using Spanish word sounds, tapping rhythm.

Before break, Steve called a meeting period to order to include guest introductions and membership. Since Dan O’Brien was involved with work, he asked Phil Ferguson and Jack Pitzer to cover for him. There were 10 guests tonite. And two of them actually auditioned before they left Durant.

Secretary Buechler presented registration cards to one of the chapter’s longest registered quartets. The HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES has been a Society quartet for over 23 years. It is actually our section leaders and has always been registered by the chapter as a tradition. Current members (our section leaders) are Rick Savage, Tony Colosimo, Ken Ives and Mike Kelly.

Also Chris invited several members up front that were wearing various versions of Harmo apparel. Stay tuned for a chance to place an order with Chris. Great chance for new guys to stock up and others of us to get new, replacement or better fitting!!

During break the guys got a snack and took care of chapter business and got measured for the new chorus uniforms.

After break, President Dick Newton thanked Josh Roots and Scott Kahler for taking the Singing Valentine project thru the roughest of days -- record snow storm for days! He thanked Eric Wallen for organizing quartets and that led to recognizing all the men who sang in a Valentine quartet. They did yeomen service going out in that weather. Bruce Lauther and his quartet FOUR FROM THE HEART were especially thanked for the extra efforts to get songs sung for special customers and for spreading musical cheer all over our area during the Valentine season.

Ken Fess updated everyone one the big show with Westminster, June 27th - Monumental Barbershop Show. He suggested that if you want seats, you should place an order right away. He also alerted Harmonizers that we will be hosting those chorus members in our homes for the weekend. AND that each of the top ranked quartets will need a host. (That reminded YeEd of the good old days when we would have famous quartets on our shows, and if you were lucky and got your name in first, you would get to host the guest quartet in your home and take them around the city and get them to the show. It was a great way to meet top notch barbershop singers from around the nation.) So sign up soon to help.

Ken also thanked Alan Wile for helping contact RINGMASTERS during the recent convention in Tampa.

Brian Ammerman announced some minor changes or updates regarding the self-evaluation process.

Then it was back to work with Kirk. And there was good progress in making changes or corrections. And lots of drill.

The end of the evening included an important reminder that the Presidents’ Ball is SUNDAY, Feb. 28th, 6 pm start with reception period before buffet dinner. Past President Brad announced that Mark Hale from the Masters of Harmony in California will be here to give us all a message of cheer, motivation and inspiration. He will also install our 2010 officers and board.

If you have not ordered a ticket or plans have changed so you can attend, be sure to come and settled up later. Dress is not formal. Sport coat and slacks without tie is fine.

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. 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.

Many guys need to consider attending the spring Mid-Atlantic District International Preliminary Quartet contest in Harrisburg, PA, March 12 and 13. It is a long tradition for many of us to attend to cheer any of our guys who are trying to earn the right to get their quartet into this summer’s International contest. You can get tickets at If you need a room, call the Harrisburg Hilton at 717-233-6000, ask for the group rate for Mid Atlantic District Barbershop Harmony Society.

First round of quartets compete Friday nite from 6-9:30 pm at the Hilton. Saturday there is a small chorus contest and a Youth Quartet Adjudication (contest or event) that is good to see. Saturday nite is the quartet finals and a show.

YeEd is sure Eric Wallen will be announcing soon the quartets what will be in the contest with Harmonizers in them. Many of our chapter members are also M-AD board members, some will be there as judges and coaches.

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.)