Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking Back on the May 11th Chapter Meeting

Even the warm up session this week was fun and with Will Cox up front, our coach Cindy Hansen got into the act and fired up the singers to add excitement and energy to their very precise and correct warm up drills. It was humorous and the chorus really got into the idea.

So after this background, we had some quartets sing for us. Both will be singing at the Atlantic Division contest this weekend on Friday nite. First was DOWN A FOURTH with Joe Sawyer, Joe Cerutti, Troy Hillier and Wayne Adams. Second was MUSIC THERAPY with Don Farrell, Dean Martin, Steven Matuszewski and Chris Yates.

Later in the evening we learned from quartet promotion guy, Eric Wallen, that Tony Colosimo and Ryan Griffith are singing in that contest too in TRIBUTE quartet. Also Eric’s quartet, CRUNCH TIME, will be the mic testers for the Friday nite quartet contest in Wilmington.

Then it was back to chorus work with Cindy and Joe. She set the stage by allowing the men to make a mistake, take a risk, push their performance to the limit.

She had to laugh tho when the guys were cranking it up on the new song “Stars and Stripes” and got a little bogged down on the new part they were working on. But after a couple of times hitting it again, the tune started to gel. More work next week for the next segment. See messages from Music and Performance VP Terry Reynolds. Joe Sawyer had projector duties tonite. Dennis Ritchey had all the sound and av equipment working.

Another funny point during the coaching tonite was the reference to the “Greg Lyne Pentagon boys” which referred to a fun retreat a few years ago when Greg alleged that too many of the guys were stiff and rigid and not able to get into the emotion of a song. Of course that turned out to be just the challenge the guys needed to “fix it” and become the best at selling a ballad.

Much of the evening was concentrated on the uptune for Philly. Chuck McKeever had worked his pre-rehearsal drills as usual. And tonite he made sure the guys knew which of the 8 quads they were in for a particular ripple move.

Before the nite was over, Cindy thanked Chuck a couple times for his efforts and getting the guys ready to perform for her and being ready to take it up a notch.

She also thanked our front row for their 3-hour session Monday nite to drill and work and revise to make it so good. Tony Colosimo was chorus director stand in for that session so that a visual plan could be developed for Joe.

The chapter meeting period began with singing happy birthday to Mark Klostermeyer and Bruce Lauther. Announcements included:

If you want a competitor t-shirt for Philly, see Carl Kauffmann.
Pay your $50 retreat fee to Jack Pitzer. $24.50 more if you are gonna stay up there on Friday nite.
Sign up during break for the vocal studies
AND - sign up for the new vocal coaching sessions with Michael Gellert. The chapter has arranged for him to provide these sessions for individuals or for small groups.

Chapter Secretary Buechler presented renewal packet for Bruce Roehm and recognized his 9 years of membership. Chris also presented renewal cards to Andrew Plocher for 2 years and Phil Ferguson for 2 years.

Membership vp Dan O’Brien introduced our guests – some of whom are applicants and preparing to sing with us in Philly.

After coffee break during which quartets sang, guys got new uniforms or parts of their uniforms as first time contest singers, or took care of other paperwork and business matters, the chapter meeting continued.

Chorus manager K12 ran down the details for this weekend’s performance in DE where the chorus will sing as mic testers for the chorus contest on Saturday and be given an evaluation by the judges, as a courtesy for a chorus going to represent our district at the International this summer. The chorus is all expected to sit in on the report from the judging panel after the contest ends.

Many more details were released regarding the June 27th show with the Westminster chorus. We are getting closer and closer to a sell out. The afterSHOW party is practially sold out with tickets being saved for the CA guys and the guest quartets. Joe plugged tickets sales all nite and he was proud to report some personal success at it. He challenged all the guys to get some tickets and sell them. (Or else!)

The sign ups for hosting the other chorus has moved along well. And Brian Ammerman got volunteers to make airport runs for guest quartet members.

Then back to a pistol hot rehearsal session with Cindy and Joe working hard. And for sure the guys were firing back too. What a great nite. Worth your dues just to be part of it – as testified by Don Thompson who won the raffle and thus the right to take us out for the nite on KTWWS.

YeEd reports that the FRIENDS group met tonite. AND that 100% of the baritones were present tonite.

Next week will be another great session with coach Brandon Guyton. He won a gold in his quartet FOUR VOICES and last year in CROSSROADS. He is very active with the Ambassadors of Harmony with David Wright. Brandon was our retreat coach a few years ago too.

For former members and chapter friends, this is a great time to come visit the chapter and get a taste of what is happening.

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, May 10, 2010

Looking Back on the May 4th Chapter Meeting

YeEd bets every guy went home Tuesday nite and was awake for an hour after such an exciting meeting and rehearsal. The session with Geri Geis on the ballad was awesome. Amazing how deep into the emotion the guys are getting.

It all started with the usual flurry of set up, meetings, getting something to eat, buying things, and getting aferShow or consignment tickets.

Carl Kauffmann is sporting a cast on his left arm. He had a head on car crash last Friday and has a broken arm. But what a trooper – up on the risers anyway and doing the moves too.

Tony Colosimo did a serious and good-for-the-singer vocal warm up and then turned it over to Director Joe. Well, Joe was full of excitement and got the troops laughing and ready to work right from the start.

He bugged them all by saying he has 55 show tickets to sell and expects every guy to sell 5!!! And to do some hosting or any of the other tasks needed. AND IF NOT – he might hurt you!! The guys all laughed but he got his point across.

First big singing period was on “Stars and Stripes” for the show in June. We used the projector again – Terry Reynolds had projector duty. He and Joe made it easier to follow on the screen too. Good. Joe is working t his song in chunks – starting from the back. Progress is underway for a tough musical piece.

Geri and Royall Geis were welcomed by Joe too. And then she worked with the front row for a period. Joe revisited some of the recent note changes. He also expressed again his thanks to Chuck Hunter for his input while here in the DC area from his work overseas.

A major thrust early in the evening was to ask for “First Note Singers” from all.

When the front row returned, Geri worked on the ballad for a good while. At the end of her time, she had Joe do one of her famous “closed eye drills” so the men could feel and experience the depth of their musical presentation. As always, it was a moving event for the singers and the audience.

For the chapter meeting time, Kostermeyer invited all the speakers to the mic. Secretary Buechler presented renewal cards to Ian Poulin for 7 years, and Don Farrell for 15 years.

Dan O’Brien welcomed former member Larry Silva and in-active member Bob Sutton. Plus we had three singing guests – two who are part of the youth chorus our chapter is fostering.

After eating all the goodies, more announcements:

We will wear the casual uniform at Atlantic Division show – get yours from Tom Kern.
Eric Wallen congratulated Noah Van Gilder for his quartet success last weekend at the Northern Division.

Ken Fess pushed ticket sales for the June show, and afterShow ticket sales. What a great name for an event – YeEd thinks it might be that the Harmonizers have created another Society first. Congrats who ever thought of it.

Terry Reynolds explained lasted details of the eval process and sought sign ups for vocal sessions.

Then it was back to singing both contest songs and songs for the June show. Everyone worked hard til past 10. Joe almost lost his voice. But everyone was pumped!

New guy Bert Phillips directed KTWWS and then it was a rush to get stuff all away.

A good crowd got to 815 too!

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.)