Saturday, July 24, 2010

What is a diphthong?

A diphthong is two pure vowel sounds elided together as one sound in a single syllable.
Since one can only sing one pure vowel sound at a time, it is essential in choral singing to time the group's transition from one of diphthong's constituent pure vowels to the next ("turning the diphthong").
For example, "EYE" is a one-syllable word with one diphthong sound consisting of "ah" and "ee". "Ah" and "ee" are 'pure' vowels, meaning they cannot be broken down into any constituent sounds. When singing "EYE", a chorus usually focuses on the "target vowel" (the first pure sound in the diphthong, which in this case is "AH") as long as possible, before adding the second pure vowel as directed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Looking Back on the July 20th “Summer Camp” Chapter Meeting

“Summer Camp” was fun for all. Thanks to music vp Terry Reynolds and all his support folks who pulled it off.

We are having “summer camp” for three weeks in July while many guys are on vacation, and to give us a chance to do some fun and educational things we just don’t get done during our busy chapter meetings/rehearsals.

Operations guy Mark Klostermeyer rallied the guys to set up chairs this week facing the stage and adding the av things like the screen.

Bob Blair and YeEd went to our chapter’s humidity controlled storage unit and retrieved the wonderful history display boards that were created for our 50th anniversary celebration. We put them up for display in Durant (and they will be up for the next two weeks) for guys to review and learn more about their chapter. Also there will be work to add boards to the display to bring it up-to-date.

Will Cox did a warm up and then Tony Colosimo explained more about the “summer camp” plans. He taught the guys some songs they can use to sing with other barbershoppers when ever four shall meet to sing. “Down Our Way” was first. He also taught a great tag.

Terry did a brief review of the judging categories starting with “singing” this week. More to follow.

Then Tony worked with the chorus to review or learn “A Place on the Risers for You” which is the song we use to send off a fellow Harmonizer who moves away or sometimes at a funeral for a member. The song was written by Bob Bates and the music and arrangement done by John Hohl in 1981. It says a lot about the cultural of our chapter.

During the chapter meeting portion of the evening, membership guy Ken White introduced a lot of guests. Several were first timers, and we had a couple guys back again from last week. One guest saw us at the Ft. Ward show last Thursday. Two former members were back to sing with us and visit - Jorge Acevedo and his family, and Rob Korsan.

Then Terry, Will and Tony fielded questions in an “Ask Your Directors” session. Diphthong was one to be explained and many other good questions were asked. One complicated one about physics of sound will take a little more time, and so an answer was promised at next week’s session.

During break the guys checked out the history display, sang the tag Tony taught, and conducted usual business matters.

Since we were promised a movie after break, we were served movie theater popcorn to go with the show. (Thanks to Pat Pitzer who called the Kingstown Regal theater and the manager gave us a free supply!) The FRIENDS continued their summer soda and water sales.

One announcement was about the group ticket offer for a Nats vs Phillies game on Sunday, Aug. 1, at 1:45 pm. If you want to go, you must give Brad Jones the money and registration by Tues., July 27th. Tickets are $34 ea. Brad has gotten us a block of seats in the shade.

Then it was movie time. What a treat!! We watched the BHS video of the late Dave Stevens speaking about “What Are We Preserving” at a Harmony College in the past. It was a huge hit and the men seemed to really appreciate his great stories and humor and “from the heart” stories about our hobby.

After “Keep The Whole World Singing,” everyone chipped in and helped put things away, some guys got in a tag or song and a good sized crowd headed over to 815 South Washington for our Tuesday nite afterglow.

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, July 19, 2010

Looking Back on the July 15th Ft. Ward Show

Wow – it was a hot show! About 100 degrees. Big thanks to the guys who did the set up of risers and all of that. Dennis Ritchey worked hard to prepare the props for the show too. The in-house joke about this show always being rained out fizzled this year.

We had a huge turn out of singers and a decent crowd who came to the outdoor amphitheater at Ft. Ward for the free concert. This is part of a series of shows organized by the Alexandria Dept. of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. They promote the event, provide sound and lights and welcome the audience. This year’s host was well coached about our recent success in Philly.

Directors Tony, Will and Joe did warm ups on the hill outside the theater. Then they filed down the path to the stage for the show opener. Scipio Garling set the stage for the show as opening MC. Dennis Ritchey did song introductions as did Class of 10 guy, Steve Lingo.

The chorus set a high level with their “Great Day” opener and the audience loved it. Our new contemporary acepella group, TBD, sang a couple songs and entertained the crowd with their enthusiasm. The “Ed Sullivan” number was a big hit too. All the antics with props went over just right. Tony’s solo was great as the cover for the antics. And the quartet doing the radio advertisement intro, Kellen Hertz, Brad Jones, Ken Ives and Eric Wallen, did a fine job. A gold star to Kellen who was handed the music on Tuesday nite and nudged to learn it!!

Good to hear the contest package again, even tho the audience was warned that we could not do all the stage work on the concrete, and little, stage.

A new chapter quartet, formed just for shows like this, sang two tunes – Rick Savage, Phil Ferguson, Joe Cerutti and Terry Reynolds.

Dennis thanked the City for their support and invited any men in the audience to come speak with a chorus member about joining us on Tuesday nites.

The finale number, “Stars and Stripes Forever,” was a huge audience pleaser and got the crowd on their feet to end the evening.

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 in the life of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —Ye Ed.)