Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looking Back on the Nov. 9th Chapter Meeting and a Busy Harmonizer Weekend

YeEd has a lot of news to report from the past weekend with Harmonizers singing and providing leadership and education from Dallas to DC.

Starting in DC, our youth chorus called CAPITAL FORCE sang their debut show as part of the DC chapter show Sat. afternoon and evening at the Greenberg Theater, part of American University. Tony Colosimo was their director, and they were a big hit! One star of the show was Alan Wile’s 11-year old grandson, Thomas, who sang tenor with Ryan Griffith.

A bunch of under-30 Harmonizers make up the 20-man group along with guys from Dundalk and DC chapters. They sang three songs, were dressed in jeans and long-sleeved white shirts and had fun on stage. They are working hard to make a good appearance at the Mid-Winter youth chorus contest in Vegas in January, 2011.

Also appearing was DA CAPO with Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer and Wayne Adams. They were hot and YeEd is predicting a strong hit at the prelims contest March 11-12, 2011 in Harrisburg, PA. That is where a quartet has to score a high enough point level to be eligible to sing at the International quartet contest in Kansas City in July. (Interesting other point about the quartet – they cannot sing in the Southern Division contest nor compete at the district level since three of them sang together in a past district champ quartet, IGUANAS IN FLIGHT, 2005.)

Several Harmonizers sang in the DC chorus (Bob Wells, Bob Hirsh, Don Dillingham) and in some of the chapter quartets on the show – Kevin Roth, Bob Hirsh, Bruce Minnick and John Grant. And a good contingent of fans were there to lend support. Dixie Kennett was technical director.

Then in Dallas, TX, we had another contingent of Alexandria guys at the Society’s District Leadership Forum. This is a weekend session where officers of all 17 districts get specific training for their job. Two of us were faculty – Chris Buechler taught secretaries and Joe Cerutti taught chorus director development officers. Then the follow guys were there for training – Bob Eckman in the treasurer class, Chuck Harner in the chapter support vice president class, Keith Jones in the secretary class, Dan O’Brien in the membership services vice president class, and Gary Plaag in the Youth in Harmony vice president class. Several former members who serve as leaders in other districts were also there like Jack Stevens, John Rettenmayer, Steve Plumb and Larry Deters.

Tuesday nite – besides our busy work in preparation for the holiday show the first weekend in Dec. – there was a buzz thoughout Durant about the news the guys brought back from the Dallas school. (And it was confirmed on the Internet too!) Dallas Vocal Majority has decided not to compete in Kansas City.

Back in Virginia over the weekend, another crew of our chapter leaders was involved in the Mid-Atlantic District southern area leadership academy. It is one of three held to train chapter officers for their work next year. As you might expect, many of the instructors were from our chapter: Dick Newton taught the treasurer class, Bob Wachter taught the vocal production class, Terry Jordan taught the program officer class, Brad Jones taught the presidents class, and Scipio Garling and Steve Lingo did a special presentation regarding marketing.

Attendees from our chapter were Steve Murane and Phil Ashford. Both are new officers we just elected. Most of the other officers we elected have served before and/or were teaching the classes.

Now to report on Tuesday nite, Nov. 9th!

We were a little slow in filling up the risers at 7 but about 7:30 they were full. All the usual details were in play – get the risers out from under the stage, set up sound, screen, projector, welcome station, chairs and tables. And the usual crew of sales folks were in place including Steve Murane busy with getting guys the tickets they need for the Holiday Show!!

The chorus worked on the music for the show too (and a little time was spent on the up-tune for contest). Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and turned over the chorus to Director Joe for work on the new song for the show. He kept things moving, demanding good vocal production and meaningful interpretation. He used various tools all evening like pull out quartets or small groups, sent the gang out for sectionals, had guys taking private coaching lessons from Michael Gellert, who was with us for the evening, and provided the holiday music on the screen for all to use. Terry Reynolds had mouse duty. And assistant directors Tony, Will, and Mike helped Joe on certain songs.

Before break, operations guy Mark Klostermeyer recognized the birthday guys. Secretary Buechler presented the Man of Note pin to Phil Ferguson, his first YeEd thinks, for sponsoring Dave Kohls.

Membership guy Ken White introduced another crop of guests and welcomed some guys back we have not seen for a while like Roger Day, Bob Hirsh, and Phil Ferguson. Also former Harmonizer Jim Gammon was with us – he was a member ’73-’80, went to Hawaii, and is now in FL. He sang in a number of our chapter quartets.

For break we had a lot of goodies left from guest nite and a great birthday cake for somebody named Martin – not one of us but was a free cake from the Giant (thanks to Dick and Carolyn Hall).

After the break, Alan Wile continued the Harmo Hero project. Craig Kujawa reported on the weight loss project leading up to International. Music vp Terry Reynolds explained some details about music availability for the show.

Chuck McKeever and Tom Griffith updated us on John Pence’s health status and that he is progressing in the chemo treatment plan for multiple myeloma. They also reminded guys of the 5-K run on Sunday and that you could sign up to be on a team in support of our JP. He is at Fairfax Hospital, 3300 Gallows Rd. Rm. 964, Falls Church, VA 22042.

The chorus is not doing the Veteran’s Day sing out.

Final auditions for the CAPITAL FORCE is this weekend. See Tony.

The retreat for the outgoing and incoming chapter boards in this Saturday at Ken Fess’s office.

After the announcements, it was back to work on the show. One effort was to explain and drill the candlelight walk in singing “Silent Night.”

Here are more show details. (1) Roger Day wants us all to bring two big boxes wrapped in shiny paper without bows for the show. Bring em on Thursday for the dress rehearsal. Also come help on Friday for decorating the hall, riser set up, table setting and such.

(2) Bring four dozen holiday cookies with you to the show on Fri. nite and give them to Jack Pitzer for the dessert platters.

(3) Sell TICKETS. And buy the ones for your family and friends now cause the front row tables are starting to fill up. Fill out a form and give it to Steve.

(4) Contact Austin Cotton if you would like to buy a Harmonizer holiday music CD so you can review many of the songs we are doing on the show.

(5) There are a lot of solo spots in the show and those interested need to talk to Joe – next week is the try out time.

(6) Get your costume (toy or elf) ready. Don’t wait. Ask the veterans for ideas. They can’t be in bad taste, should not be Santa and can’t be so cumbersome you can’t walk around and serve food or help.

(7) Respond the emails from Don Dillingham about the silent auction or raffle. He is asking for help and items.

(8) Speaking of help – new guys who don’t know all of the songs can help at every show – box office, cookies, set up, welcoming guests, helping senior citizen get into their seats, serving and taking stuff down at the end.

Speaking of Santa. Bruce Minnick and Ginny are going to be our Mr. and Ms. Claus again this year. And Scott Kahler is managing the photos with Santa project.

Other news YeEd has to report: some of our guys have been working behind the scenes to scan all past issues of the chapter bulletin, The Echo, for historic purposes. Don’t know if I have a complete list of workers, but for sure Myles Glancy, Scipio Garling, Bert Phillips and Phil Ashford.

First Aid alert: if you need a help with first aid during a chapter meeting, be sure to ask for help from Kyle Blomgren. That is his work and he is prepared to assist. We have had our share of guys get hurt lately by dropping things on their foot or spraining an ankle!

Great to have Phil Fergeson back after his being gone a few weeks – and darn if he didn’t win the 50/50.

As usual there was a race to put things away, sing some tags, complete an audition or help a new guy prepare for an audition. And then we were off to the afterglow around the corner at Ernies.

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.)