Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Looking Back on the August 31st Chapter Meeting and Dog Days Event

Our annual trip to Manassas to sing with other chapters from the VA area was fun. Early arrivals were greeted with a huge spread of goodies provided by the host Prince William County Chapter, Bull Run Troubadours. The location at Sacred Heart Church has great parking, plenty of room for all.

As a help, our guys had brought the risers down and set up sound equipment for the evening. The host chapter helped unload, but YeEd saw the usual suspects, Bob Blair and Dennis Ritchey, working to get the sound all set.

It was great to see Terry Jordan back as well as Larry Silva and Alan Durick who were visiting too. It is a great nite to see many long-time barbershop friends.

Before the show, YeEd got a call from Dick Hall reporting that Carolyn is some better but still in the rehab center at Southern Maryland Hospital. He hopes she will get to come home on Friday. They really appreciate all the cards and calls from the Harmonizer family.

The Dog Days event, originally held to help chapters add some summer activity to their schedule, included six choruses this year. Those choruses also had their chapter quartets sing as part of their part of the program.

Our Dick Dangel was the opening act to get the early arrivals in the audience involved in some music. He brought his accordion and song sheets and had everyone sing a few while the choruses got ready.

The host chapter president welcomed everyone and turned it over to the chapters then. When one chorus finished, that director would teach a tag or direct a song for all to sing while the next chorus came onto the risers. Things flowed along great.

Harmony Heritage Singers from down in Mt. Vernon were first. They have a lot of Harmonizers on the risers with them. Bob Wachter is director. Chris Buechler is an assistant director. As is tradition, they sang “Old Bones” featuring 96-year-old Bix Doughty.

After they sang, two special visitors from the Barbershop Harmony Foundation in Nashville were introduced – Ryan Kileen and Clark Cleveland. Ryan gave a few remarks and thanked everyone for their support of the Foundation which means “the song will live on” for future generations of singers.

Second chorus was Blue Ridge Barbershoppers directed by Glenn Williamson. Third was Culpepper Minutemen Chorus directed by John Knueven. Fourth was Fairfax Jubilaires directed by Richard Lewellen. It was his birthday so we all sang to him. Their quartet, FOUR GOOD MEASURE, sang with our Austin Cotton on bass.

The host chapter sang fifth with Glenn Williamson directing. Our Bruce Lauther sang with one of their quartets.

The Harmonizers were last up with Director Joe out front. We kicked off our set with the re-engineered “There’s A Meeting Here Tonight” that got the audience fired up. This year we included one of our quartets, DOWN A FOURTH, in our show. And also our contemporary accapella group, TBD, got the audience involved and clapping and cheering.

It was a shame there was not enough room to do all the stage movements for our contest uptune, but the guys were animated and made it come alive from the risers. “Summertime” had folks sitting on the edge of their seats watching the facial sell of all the guys on the risers. Then “Stars and Stripes Forever” brought the audience out of their chairs.

Thanks to all of our guys who did the mc work for our show. Always good! And gotta say thanks to the many Harmonizers who drove an hour or two to get to this one.

As a wrap up for the evening, and as is the custom at this event, all barbershoppers came to the risers and our Joe lead them in “Keep The Whole World Singing.”

As you would expect, there was tag singing around and more quartets singing another song for friends and family. There was a nice sized crowd of family and friends for the evening.

Now it is back to our Tuesday nite musical workout in prep for the fall contest, Oct. 1-2 in Lancaster. New guys – you need to have a ticket and uniform and a room. See Bob Rhome for ticket and room. See Tom Kern for uniform. Guess we better say that goes for the not-new guys too!!

REMEMBER – we meet in the cafeteria of the school next to Durant on Sept. 7th.

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.)