Thursday, August 26, 2010

Looking Back on the August 24th Chapter Meeting

This is always a fun time of the Harmonizer year as guys are returning from trips, vacations with families, or special assignments. Was great to see Craig Kujawa back from his sea duty. And Pete Frank was in town from Erie.

The new risers were up and ready at 6 pm or so and then Mike Kelly stepped in to help set up the sound and av equipment for this busy evening.

Tony Colosimo conducted a solid physical and vocal warm up period. Then he turned it over to Director Joe who started right off with the contest songs for the district competition Oct. 1-2 in Lancaster PA. Great to hear the chorus crank it back up to the high level of July. For those who have been gone, Joe has introduced some new techniques to make the process fresh and fun. And of course any barbershopper worth his salt has gotta like ringing cords. Good work.

During the evening, the music team also provided a couple chances for the singers to produce “Make Me Better” recordings as part of the self evaluation process. This is all the Philly chorus has to do in the way of qualification before district. New guys, and there are sure a lot of them, will be given individual help. (YeEd got wind that two guys passed their auditions after rehearsal last nite. And another is gonna do his audition on Thurs. nite at the special guest audition nite.)

Guys were asking YeEd about the RAISE THE BAR blue t-shirts some guys were sporting. Suspect we will hear more about that soon!

The team with Joe, Tony, Terry and Chuck worked on the others songs for our set at Dog Days on Tues. Aug. 31st. “Summertime” and “There’s a Meeting Here Tonight” each got some review and stage presence drill. “Stars and Stripes” was worked on too.

We all were reminded of the important chapter show on Tuesday, Aug. 31st call Dog Days. This is a long-standing tradition where many chapters in the area come together, sing some songs for each other, mix and mingle and share goodies, and cheer for each other. They have always had it on a Tuesday so the Harmonizers could attend en mass and entertain our fellow barbershoppers. Everyone should make plans. If it means getting off work early or at least doing a map quest, plan ahead. Some guys arrive a little after the event has started, as we always sing last. Talk to some of your riser guys to car pool. And invite the new guys and guests to ride along. Evening starts at 7 pm at Sacred Heart Church, 12975 Purcell Rd., Manassas 20112. There is plenty of parking. Hall has AC too. And so you won’t be surprised -- our former director, Richard Lewellen, will debut as director of the Fairfax Chorus during the show.

The before-break business session included the usual birthday announcements by Mark Klostermeyer. Then Ken White introduced a long line of guests – many returnees and applicants. Alexander Kulessa was a special guest from the barbershop organization in Germany – Bing. He found us through Bruce Minnick who got a request to host Alexander via a fellow in the Vocal Majority. Alex is staying with Lew Klinge while he meets and visits in DC area and attends Harmonizer events. He will also visit the Vocal Majority, The Ambassadors of Harmony, Westminster, Masters of Harmony and Toronto Northern Lights.

Ken also reported that there has been good response for the special Audition nite on Thurs, Aug. 26 at 7 pm at Durant. It is good to suggest this audition nite to any potential singers. If they need a ride, you can bring them. But the chorus is not expected nor needed. A small crew will run the auditionees thru the process with Joe listening to each one.

But Ken did stress that all of us need to be lining up men to come for the fall special guest nite, Tues. Oct. 26th at Durant. This is a chance to get a guy into the chorus for the holiday show and for sure get him ready for next year’s International convention and contest in Kansas City.

Break time was busy as usual. [Note: we need more contributions of goodies. Coffee service to resume after Sept. 1st] Many guys have ordered scrip cards for Marriott and will use them to pay their hotel bill in Lancaster. The chapter makes good money on this project and it will help us fill in some budget shortfalls in 2011. So be sure to order your cards from Bob Eckman or Dick Hall.

Bob Rhome is working to help all of us get a room and ticket registration for the district contest. If you have not spoken to him in person or via email, please do so. All Harmonizers should plan to attend to either sing or cheer.

Alan Wile continued his Harmo Heroes project and chose five guy’s names out of the hat to be interviewed next. Great project that will create bios of all of the members on the website.

Don Dillingham, a new guy who got a medal in Philly, gave a testimony about his experiences with the chorus and his desire to keep the fires raging.

President Newton reported that Carolyn Hall is now in the rehab center of the Southern Maryland Hospital. (YeEd spoke with Dick and Carolyn today. She appreciated the response from all of us. Dick suggests cards or notes could be sent to their home address (4305 John St., Suitland, MD 20746), as he is there to get the mail each day. But she does have a private phone in her room – 301-877-5862.

Joe reported that he visited with Geri Geis recently in planning and she shared that she and Royall are going up to NY and will stop and see our friend and arranger, Walter Latzko. He is a loyal fan of the chapter and loves hearing from us.

After announcements, it was back on the risers to work on our music and presentation skills. It was noted that the “singable doots” appeared again during rehearsal.

The guys on the risers are enjoying the new song, “No More Sorrow,” made famous by GAS HOUSE GANG.

Then Joe gave the guys a brief taste of the new uptune for the 2011 contest cycle. Chapter librarian, Bob Mattes, had prepared part specific handouts for the first portion of the song to be learned. Joel Golden had also helped Joe clip the learning tracks into segments needed in teaching the first portion. The complete tracks were done by Tim Waurick. The overhead projector and sound equipment were useful tools in the process. The song is gonna be a smashing success!

As usual the learning and fun ran right up until 10 pm. Then it was work to get risers loaded on the truck to take to Dog Days. Plus audition sessions were held for new guys to get into the chorus. And the usual tag singers were at it again.

A larger and larger contingent of tag singers is beginning to emerge after getting their food at our Tuesday nite afterglow. They adjourn outside and sing away.

REMEMBER: Dog Days Event in Manassas on 8/31; and then we will be meeting in the school that is adjacent to Durant starting Sept. 7th. The city will be replacing the floor in the main hall of Durant.

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.)