Thursday, November 4, 2010

Looking Back on the Nov. 2nd Chapter Meeting

Streets were crowded around Durant with all the voters going in to cast their ballots. And traffic was bad. But by 7:15 or so – we had the risers full of guys ready to go to work in the all-purpose room of Jeff Houston School next door.

Usual action was going on before the singing began – guys trying to get down some dinner they had stopped and brought along, guys buying tickets for the shows, guys checking in with others guys about committee work or quartet schedules, and the usual work to unload the truck and set up for our meeting and rehearsal.

Lots of visiting too. Several guys were asking Victor about his college application process. Sandy and Mick Stamps were visiting with folks about the food service aspects of the holiday show. Several guys checked on Carolyn Hall when they bought some scrip cards for the upcoming holiday season.

Steve White shared with YeEd the details about the musical wedding over the past weekend for Pete Frank and his wife, Missy, in Erie. A bunch of our guys (Tony Colosimo, Joe Cerutti, Joe Sawyer, Bill Stewart and Steve) were on had to sing as a mini chorus and to support Pete when he sang for his bride during the ceremony. Steve was honored to have been asked to preside over the ceremony (which he was able to do in PA).

And many of us congratulated Bruce Roehm for having completed his second Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. He came in 9,000th or so out of the 29,000 or so runners. He did the 26 miles in 4 hours, 31 minutes and 6 seconds. He was sporting his beautiful medal around his neck at chapter meeting. He was proud to have made it. He shared that the first 20 miles or so were really fun, but the last 6 were a little tougher and complicated because of the cold weather on Sunday. Congrats from all of us, Bruce!!!

When Mark Klostermeyer called the chorus to the risers at 7, Will Cox was on tap to do the warm ups. Then he passed the baton to Director Joe who launched right into work for the holiday shows coming up in Dec. He started with the new song “Blue Christmas” which is coming along great.

But it was pointed out that we only have four Tuesday nite rehearsals left before the show. So all the new folks are working hard at home too. In fact, several times Joe just asked the veterans to sing a few of the measures, or the key change to help all the new guys. New guys can also get or borrow one of our holiday CDs since many of the songs were on it.

Librarian Bob Mattes had prepared special holiday music books for guests and really new guys. Much of the holiday music is taught or reviewed from pdf pages from the computer on the screen. Thanks to Joe Sawyer who had mouse duties this week!

Joe alerted everyone to start working on toy or elf costumes for the Fri., Dec. 3rd (7:30 pm) and Sat Dec.4th (12:30 pm and 6 pm) shows at the First Baptist Church, 2932 King St., Alexandria, VA 22302. [If you don’t have such a costume, see some of the guys you stand near on the riser for ideas and sources of getting something. Don’t delay, in case you decide to order something.]

While the chorus was singing some of the holiday songs for the show, Joe also was happy to report that a good number of our singers had volunteered to be considered for the many solo spots in the show. Way to go, guys!

Before break, Joe moved into the new contest uptune for 2011 and surprised the guys by introducing coach Kirk Young who had slipped into the hall after the chorus was on the risers. Joe was tickled to have the guys demo their progress on the tag in Kirk’s arrangement. Kirk got all fired up and offered a few good pointers and explained briefly his intentions for some of the chords and swipes and such. It was great.

Klostermeyer started the pre-break meeting then with Secretary Buechler. Chris had a new Harmo name tag for returning member, Will Daniel Mudd-Simmons, who is at his fourth year of membership.

Chris also offered to order jackets from Lands End with the Harmo logo. The colder weather prompted several guys to dig out their Harmo jackets.

Jack Cameron reminded guys to pick up their chorus photos from the district contest.

Jack Pitzer substituted for membership vp, Ken White, who was en route to New York for a work event. We had several returning guests including some from last week’s event.

President Dick Newton was absent for a work event too. Tho he is still hobbling around after dropping something on his toe.

After break, additional announcements included a push from Tony Colosimo to sell the last few tickets he has for the DC show this weekend, featuring our youth chorus, CAPITAL FORCE, and our new quartet, DA CAPA. An anonymous member has agreed to match dollar-for-dollar all the tickets sales the “FORCE” generates for the show. So when you buy one of the $15 tickets, you are earning them double. Show starts at 7:30 at Greenberg Theater at American University, 4200 WI Ave, NE, in DC.

Alan Wile continued his work to get all of us to complete a Harmo Hero form to put up on the website.

Eric Wallen alerted us that there will be another Put Together Quartet contest after the holiday show. So start getting foursomes ready to sing, and start writing those funny parodies!!!

Chuck McKeever asked for the floor to report on the health situation for John Pence who has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. JP has a tough 2-3 weeks ahead with a hospital stay most of that time. Keep JP in your thoughts.

Bob Mattes is also chair of the Holiday show. He offered a stack of color flyers for us to use in promoting ticket sales. Steve Murane has the box office open for business at chapter meetings, and the box office is also open online at

The flyer explains the three holiday shows are dinner events featuring lasagna dinner with salad, rolls, holiday cookie platter, served by the singers Harmonizer waiters. There will also be an appearance by Santa and Ms. Claus.

Bob explained how the serving will work and Joe worked on the song we sing to deliver the meals to the tables.

Roger Day was in the house and everyone was glad to see him back. Roger has agreed to coordinate decorating the church hall for our show again this year. Sooo – everyone is asked to bring in two or more large boxes wrapped in shinny paper. No bows or ribbons needed. Boxes like ten reams of paper come in are just right. Bring them to the dress rehearsal on Thurs. nite, Dec. 2nd. Mark your calendar for that too!

Roger is also eager to get some of us to help on Friday afternoon to transform the hall into holiday wonderland. Step up and let him know you will be there.

Besides wrapped boxes, each guy is asked to contribute four dozen holiday cookies to use as special desserts. You can bake or buy holiday cookies and bring them on Friday nite when you come for the first show and give them to Jack Pitzer. His team will use them to assemble the cookie platters that will go to each table near the end of the show along with the coffee. Try to get colorful and fancy cookies if you can.

Don Dillingham will manage the silent auctions at the shows that weekend. So we need to all be looking for gifts that can be put out for that – wedding presents you have never used that are still in the gift box; services you can offer such as picture framing, music arranging, a quartet appearance at a private party; a basket of goodies such as coffee things or bath things or cooking things; tickets for an airline or hotel rooms or restaurant meals you can get from some place you trade a lot. At some point we all need to alert Don what we are contributing, so he can prepare the auction sheets. The actual auction items will be brought to the show site when you come.

Then it was back to work on the music. Joe and the musical team have revived some of the fun stage moves for the show songs and have added some new wrinkles to give the show some surprises.

We worked right up til 10, then rushed to load it all back on the truck, so we could get to the afterglow at Ernies Crab Shed around the corner from 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.)