Thursday, March 25, 2010

Looking Back on the March 23rd Chapter Meeting

Guys were rolling in to Durant fast and furious between about 6:15 and 6:50 – getting some business items done, paying for things, helping set up the room, getting a coffee and some goodies (there were some tastee treats left from the Youth Festival.) The FRIENDS OF HARMONY launched a new service to members – sale of chilled sodas for 75 cents (a quarter less than the vending machine).

Those who got there at 6 attended the visual review with Chuck McKeever.

At the magic 7 o’clock hour, there were 84 guys on the risers. That pleased
Director Joe, but he is holding out for over 85 before he spills the beans on his big secret about 2011!! Come on guys – we wanta know.

Tony Colosimo revisited his important breathing exercises as part of the successful vocal warm up session this week. Director Joe extended thanks – and congrats – to Tony, who is getting married this weekend!

Royall and Geri Geis were back to visit and she spent the first half of the evening working just with the front row on their uptune routine. They worked over in the adjoining school and came back to the chorus at break all excited about how she had helped them work out the details and steps and moves.

Joe shared the many comments he received from last week’s Society guests about the way the chapter meeting and rehearsal are run, about the equipment used to make the director’s work a success, how many people are involved each week up front, nifty mirrors created by our guys, and nifty riser storage system under the stage! Joe shared all of this as a way of helping us all appreciate what great things happen at Durant on Tuesday nite. (And how we continue the things that have been part of our chapter for 50 years or more such as a well run program, guest welcoming system, having both a chapter meeting period and a rehearsal each week.)

Joe took another minute to share the news and encouraging email from Chuck Hunter at his overseas post. Joe was especially proud that Chuck commented on the great job the chorus is doing at keeping on pitch.

First half singing time included work on a new song “ObLaDi/ObLaDa” which the chorus sang as did the octet Joe selected last week to be ready to sing it this week. They earned applause from their risermates.

Then the chorus dusted off “You Tell Me Your Dream” with some special emphasis on lead unit sound.

They really reaching back and worked on “I’ll Take Manhattan” which Joe shared will be on the Carnegie Hall show per request from the producers.

And finally we sang “God Bless The USA” which we will sing together with Westminster at the June 27th show.

After these tunes, there was a concentrated period of work on the contest ballad. Great comment from Joe: “your face has to be driven by the emotion, not by the visual plan.”

For a quick sing of the uptune, Joe asked Chuck McKeever to work on a few spots to drill the plan.

Before the break, Klostermeyer recognized birthdays for the week.

Secretary Buechler presented renewal cards to the following Harmonizers: 3 years, Noah Van Gilder; 5 years Joel Golden; 13 years, Jeremy Richardson; 17 years, Don Thompson; 19 years, TJ Jones; 25 years, Ken Ives; 27 years, John Grant; 30 years, Dean Rust; and 33 years, Bruce Minnick. Chris shared that he had mailed cards to some fellows who are not here such as Chuck Hunter, 38 years; Terry Jordan, 46 years; Dick Weich, 21 years; Al Hanenbaum, 24 years; Dale Houser, 39 years; and Michael Calhoun, 41 years.

Dan O’Brien introduced guests, include YeEd’s family.

After the break for refreshments and recharge, there were some announcements. Reminder was given to sign up for the visual studios at the sign up table.

Brad Jones thanked the many helpers who volunteered during the whole day on Saturday to assist with the Youth Festival sponsored by the chapter along with the Vienna Falls Sweet Adeline chapter. There have been good comments back from music educators and ideas shared on how to get more students to attend next year. Brad appreciated the support of both BHS and SAI for materials. And of course thanks to CAPRI for singing and helping with the girls session; and to Erin Odell who came up from St. Louis, MO, to be dean of the their session. Wayne Grimmer was dean of the boys session and our chapter quartet, THE GROOMSEN sang. The chorus sang with the 30 young people who made up the youth chorus.

Terry Reynolds spoke about the self evaluation process and upcoming deadlines.

President Newton reminded the chorus that we will sing at the Atlantic Division contest in DE on Saturday, May 15 (a mandatory event for the chorus members going to Philly). Dick also stressed that altho we are not singing as a chorus at the Southern Division contest in Roanoke, May 28-28, we are all encouraged to attend. Wear a Harmo logo shirt to show our support as we will likely have a lot of guys competing in quartets that weekend and want to show that we support the division event.

Back to singing.

Tony directed the uptune and Joe coached by drilling and drilling and helping the guys “get it” in their minds and hearts. There were some fantastic results after the drills and all were pleased.

(YeEd notes that the knee pads are back for some in the front row!)

We ended the workout flyin high with great music, good visuals, and pride!

For many, it was get the hall dismantled and get over to the 815 for afterglow as fast as possible.

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.)