Friday, September 10, 2010

Looking Back on the September 7th Chapter Meeting

Well it looks like everyone found rehearsal over in Jeff Houston School cafeteria this week. Seems the city is replacing the floor in the main hall of Durant.

Will Cox got the guys singing and used a number of exercises to engage everyone. He had the chorus do one of his number counting routines and then added instruction to have them clap on “1” every time. Well then he switched exercises when we do the “one, one, one, one” sounds and this bunch of musical characters all clapped on all of the “ones” in this exercise too!!!

No wonder Director Joe, later in the evening, threatened there would be a stand up comedy contest next week.

Before the meeting started, Chuck McKeever was working with new guys to help them prepare for the contest package.

When Director Joe took up front duties, he thanked every one for the nice crowd at Dog Days. He was particularly happy to see how the chorus is building trust with assistant director, Tony Colosimo; and he was happy to hear the chorus using head tones without much prompting these days.

After those brief remarks, he launched into work on the 2011 uptune, “What Do I Need With Love?” He is introducing small segments of it and coaching those segments with word inflections, interpretation, suggestions on sounds and matching and traps to look out for. Music vp, Terry Reynolds, helped him with the screen and projection equipment. (All were reminded that the pieces being taught now are online in the members-only segment of our website.)

Speaking of technology – there were hardy congrats to Scipio Garling for his article in the most recent Harmonizer magazine. The cover of the issue also included a great shot of the chorus on stage in Philly during the contest.

After that song work out, Joe took the guys back to “ObLaDi ObLaDa” for a while.

Before break, operation vp, Mark Klostermeyer, announced birthdays for this week.

Chapter secretary, Chris Buechler, presented membership renewal cards to Victor Hills, 2 years; Steve Lingo, 3 years; Wayne Adams, 7 years; Robert Mattes, 12 years; Dick Dangel, 18 years; Tom Griffith, 23 years; Alan Wile, 23 years; Carl Kauffmann, 38 years. Mike Kelly was given his 30-year card and a pin by the secretary and president of the chapter, as is our tradition when a guy has a milestone renewal year.

Membership vp, Ken White, was fighting a challenge since we could not get into our registration cabinet over in Durant for name tags and such. But it was still fun to welcome five guests – all basses. A couple were from the recent audition nite held in Durant and coordinated by Phil Ferguson.

It was a big nite for Carl Kauffmann for his birthday. His wife surprised him and brought a yummy chocolate cake for all of us to share and celebrate during the break.

Back from break, we had announcements. Medal engraving – see Bruce Lauther. Buying scrip cards in order to pay for your room at the district contest in the Marriott in Lancaster – see Bob Eckman or Dick Hall.

Dick reports that Carolyn has gotten to come home. He is being helped by family and a physical therapist to take care of things. She is making progress to getting her strength back.

Chuck Harner made a pitch to get guys started selling Entertainment books. If you are new and don’t know about how it works, see Chuck. And same goes for White House Christmas Ornament sales – see Sandy Stamps.

The FRIENDS were selling cold drinks again this week and held a meeting while we practiced.

Alan Wile continued his efforts to get all the guys into the Harmo Heroes activity – amazing biographies from guys. It will make great reading on the web.

GUEST NITE is coming up Tuesday, Oct. 26th. Steve Lingo is coordinator. Start lining up singers to bring that nite.

Terry Reynolds stressed the Make Me Better recording and evaluation process that is underway. Guys who sang in Philly only have to turn something in. First time contest singers need to talk to Terry for a little more coaching on how it works. Quad leaders for the chorus are the ones who come out front and turn on the little cameras and then study them during the week and give the guys feedback about their visual performances. Current quad leaders are Chuck Powell, stage right rows 2-2; Alan Wile, stage right rows 4-5; Bob Blair, stage left rows 2-3; and TJ Jones, stage left rows 4-5.

President Dick Newton announced area barbershop shows that chapters around us are holding and offered to place the flyers out for all to see. He also read a letter from the James River Chapter down by Richmond announcing their new CD. They are proud to have been sponsored by Alexandria at the time of their formation.

Dick also read from a letter of congratulations the chapter received from Congressman James Moran. He had gotten a communication piece from our Martin Banks and wrote to express his pride in our getting our medal.

Then it was back to work on the music. Joe told the guys we were gonna work on the singing aspect of our contest package as that was the area we had gotten the most feedback about. It was exciting to see him work and the guys respond. His exercise to tighten the guys’ skills at singing half steps was cool. And the end result from a bit of solid musical coaching was great!

And just to be sure to use every minute of our time together, Joe had the guys sing several times thru our new song of a few weeks, “No More Sorrow.” He pulled out an octet of guys to sing it and promised he’d pick a quartet next week. Fair warning.

We closed down at just a little after 10 and crammed everything back onto the Harmo truck. Guys went to the afterglow at 815 South Washington. Craig Kujawa took us on KTWWS.

Before the chapter meeting started, M-AD District VP for Contest and Judging, Chuck Harner, and M-AD Treasurer, Bob Eckman, conducted the “draw” for this fall’s M-AD contest. Alexandria sings 10th on Saturday, Oct. 2nd in the chorus contest.

REMEMBER – we may meet in the cafeteria of the school next week if they don’t get the floor work done over there. Be prepared.

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.)