Thursday, March 18, 2010

Looking Back on the March 16th Chapter Meeting

The energy was high in the room starting at 6 tonite. Crowds came for the visual reviews on the stage with McKeever. The risers and mirrors and equipment setup was on the way early tonite too. Folks knew we were gonna work hard on the ballad tonite and continue our work on the contest package.

Some special guests were in the house too. Director Joe is chair of the Barbershop Harmony Society Chorus Director Development committee. That group is meeting at Hamo House on Wednesday the 17th. So we were happy to have Mike O’Neill from BHS staff; Charlie Metzger, a past seniors’ quartet champ; and our own John Hohl with us for the evening. Terry Reynolds is on that committee also.

We had coffee on early so that helped. Thanks to those who brought goodies – we can use more each week. One guys brought in the Girl Scout cookies!! It seemed like more guys were on time this week. And YeEd noted that those who didn’t quite make the 7 pm riser call were arriving in the next 15 minutes vs. 30. So we are making progress.

Steve Lingo and YeEd are working to revive the pizza service before the meeting each week, in cooperation with the FRIENDS group. So stay tuned for details, especially if you must come to chapter right from work, as many of us do.

Will Cox got the warm ups started. Joe then worked on humming exercise and pitch training exercises. While the chorus warmed with humming, he made many announcements and charged the guys to keep working toward on time arrivals, teased about a future event in the life of the chapter that he has not released yet, and keep the guys involved with their bodies and faces.

Joe took up the challenge to hold the sound on the pipe for long pitch exercise this week. Guess we may be passing that duty on to a new guy each week.

Work began on one of the new songs for the repertoire; Joe Sawyer had computer/projector duties tonite.

Next we did a contest package run thru and then it was time for Geri!!!

Geri Geis and Royall were here and she jumped right in and started working her magic with the chorus. What a great treat to see and feel it all coming together. And to see the men displaying the emotion of the ballad. For some of us, it was a great return to a past level of performance. For other, it was a first time to really experience the unifying feeling or all selling a song.

Geri assigned home work for the guys. They are each to write her at with their story about the ballad.

Before the official break, Klostermeyer recognized birthdays. Secretary Buechler alerted members to possible delays in getting paperwork processed at BHS headquarters.
Membership man, O’Brien, welcomed the VIP guests who were greeted with the traditional “Harmonizer Welcome Song” and with handshakes from the chapter president and the director.

During the break there was a rush to get some thing warm to drink, sign up for things, buy things, take care of chapter business matters, check on uniforms, and say hi to a buddy. After the break, there was the usual run of announcements.

There is a board meeting Wednesday nite at Lee Center.

Eric Wallen congratulated our guys who were in quartets this past weekend for the prelims – Mike Kelly, Mike Wallen and John Reece.

Past President Brad reminded all of the Youth Harmony Festival this Saturday. Many have signed on to help with registration, support, escorting and hauling in supplies. The chorus sings at the end of the day – chorus call is 6 pm. Joe promises an email with more details. There is also a need for a riser/set up crew Friday nite from 6-8. Guys were also asked to bring snacks, especially cookies and fruit, to Durant on Fri. eve to serve on Sat.

Brad then presented the Harmonizer Memorial Award tray to John Hohl, who was not able to come to the recent award nite Presidents’ Ball from FL. John offered comments of appreciation for the 40-years he has been part of the chapter.

Then John took the mic again to present Joe his long over-due Master Director plaque issued for the BHS.

Details about the Westminster show were announced. Visual studio dates for the quads have been announced. These sessions are mandatory. So sign up.

Terry Reynolds offered more suggestions to guys on using the new and expanded self evaluation process, which is online.

As a special treat, Joe introduced one of the chapter’s newest small groups – TBD. They sang one of their new songs. It was great to see the fun they have singing together.

Then it was back to work on the uptune for the contest. Great work and progress made on the singing and interp. Constant review of the visual plan including some “enHANSENments” that have come from Cindy, who has seen the tapes of recent rehearsals.

The guys got things put away fast and many came to the afterglow at 815. Some guys have a long drive each Tuesday nite, and they are missed at the afterglow. Maybe warmer weather when it is also still light outside, they can stay.

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.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking Back on the March 12-13, 2020 Quartet Prelims Contest

A good group of Harmonizers went up to Harrisburg, PA, this weekend to cheer for our quartets that were competing for the right to represent M-AD in the International quartet convention in Philly this summer. The contests and meetings and everything for the Prelims weekend were at the Harrisburg Hilton.

‘ROUND MIDNIGHT is the only quartet that qualified to go from our district.

Mike Kelly’s quartet, ENTOURAGE, came in second. The quartet included Justin Oxley from TX, Chad St. John from OH, and former Harmonizer Ron Rogers also from TX. Mike Wallen’s quartet, YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, only sang Friday nite because of a travel conflict, so did not sing in the finals round. They were in it for evaluation by the judging panel. John Reece, who recently auditioned as a Harmonizer, sang in ON THE ROAD and finished seventh.

Joe Sawyer did a great job as MC for the Friday nite contest session. Steve White sang with three other M-AD quartet champ guys as a mic tester quartet for both Friday and Saturday nite quartet rounds.

In addition to the quartet contest first round and finals round during the weekend, there was a chorus festival on Saturday morning and a Youth Quartet contest before lunch on Saturday too. The festival was by invitation for choruses who agreed to "come sing" and then take advantage of a major coaching session with the judges. They were not given scores, but rankings such as good or superior. Dennis Ritchey was MC for this event. (When he introduced the DC chorus, he introduced their director, Bill Colosimo, as Tony’s Dad.) Chuck Harner was a contest administrator for it.

A similar adjudication process was used for the Youth Quartet event. Joe Cerutti and Gary Plaag were two of the judges for this event. Chris Buechler was contest administrator. There were some great young singers.

Alan Wile was present as official BHS board of director representative. Dick Newton attended the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday to represent our chapter. There were frequent references to our June 27th big show with Westminster including reminders by the MCs and a nice ad in the convention program. People would ask you about it when the found out you were from Alexandria.

Sunday’s House of Delegate meeting included a bunch of our guys who are on the district board or are involved in district leadership. This body is like a house of representatives for the district.

Everyone that went up had fun, did some singing and has likely recovered from the time change after a nite of singing! And a weekend of rain!! Believe it or not, YeEd sang a song with three others guys in the lobby. And so did Terry Jordan.

An attendance list of other Harmonizers, not mentioned above, in Harrisburg for the event includes Keith Jones, Sam McFarland, Lew Klinge, Bob Hertz, Ken White, Bob Wachter, Michael Calhoun, Don Dillingham, Chris Yates and Bob Wells. There were also a number of family members and guests from our chapter family.

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 with the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —Ye Ed.)