Friday, December 17, 2010

Looking Back on the Dec.14th Chapter Meeting

It was freezing cold in Alexandria again this Tuesday nite, but we had a good crowd of guys come out to sing in the Put Together Contest. The hall was set up with the risers facing the stage.

Early arrivals settled up on show tickets, WHO sales, and Entertainment Book sales; bought scrip cards and snacked on the spread of goodies. (Thanks Joe for bringing in a carload from the caroling party.)

There was also a buzz in the hall as we had a camera crew from a Russian television station in house filming the rehearsal and speaking with several members on camera including Joe and Rob Korsan.

Will Cox did warm ups and then Director Joe went right to work on the contest uptune. He sent the singers into sectionals to work on it more.

Meanwhile, the crew set up for the chapter quartet contest. Eric Wallen has taken on the duties as Mr. Put to assemble quartets and line up details for the contest. He had 18 quartets registered in advance! He invited Scott and Nancy Disney (he a district quartet champ several times and former Harmonizer, she in CAPRI); Michael Gellert (our vocal lesson coach); and Geri and Royall Geis (she our visual coach and he a former Harmonizer and past president) to be judges. Jack Pitzer was judging secretary. Lew Klinge was MC for the contest. The technical crew set up the mics and all and took photos. The contest is named in honor of its creator, Wilbur Sparks.

The judges ranked quartets as either regular or comedy. And then they kept track of the guys who sang in the most quartets for the George Azzam Memorial Award. Actually Matt Barnes and Joel Golden both sang in five!

Comedy quartet winners: 1st was ALTAR BOY with Rick Savage, tenor; Patrick Kim, lead; Will Cox, bari, Rob Korsan, bass. 2nd was ALMOST LIKE BEING IN TUNE with Rick Savage, tenor; Joe Cerutti, lead; Matt Barnes, bari; Steve Lingo, bass. 3rd was QUARTERASIAN with Joe Cerutti, tenor; Patrick Kim, lead; Phil Ashford, bari; Eric Wallen, bass.

Regular quartet winners: 1st was GUMBY, DAMIT! with Tony Colosimo, tenor; Eric Wallen, lead; Matt Barnes, bari; Will Mudd-Simmons. 2nd was THURSDAYS! with Randy Lazear, tenor; Chris Susalka, lead; Ken Ives, bari; Rob Korsan, bass. 3rd was ONE LEG DOWN with Drew Fuller, tenor; Kevin Roth, lead; Matt Barnes, bari; Steve Lingo, bass.

We held our chapter meeting prior to the start of the contest. Mark Klostermeyer did the usual run down on birthdays this week. Steve Lingo (who also brought in a huge crockpot of hot barbeque meatballs for the goodie table) offered quarteting opportunities for Christmas Eve Day at National Harbor.

Alan Wile continued his work on the Harmo Hero books.

Mark announced the board meeting on Wednesday nite, the music committee on Thursday nite and CAPITAL FORCE rehearsal this weekend.


THEN also mark your calendar for the BLAST on Tuesday nite, Dec. 28th, 7 – 11 pm at Michael’s 8th Avenue, 77220 Grayburn Drive, Glen Burnie MD. It’s just $15 for ticket at the door to include your beer or sodas, snacks and hotdogs. Quartets sign up and sing. CAPRI will appear, as will TOUCHSTONE (Steve White’s quartet that just won the district contest.) Get a car load and go over. YeEd went for the first time last year and it was a blast. There were over 30 Harmonizers there last year.

AND FINALLY – save the date for the annual Holiday Harmonizer Heat Glo, Sat. nite Jan. 8th at Jack Pitzer’s home. The music team is working to line up a sing out prior to the party. Save the date and stay tuned for this event for the whole Harmonizer family.

Craig Kujawa reminded all participants in the weight-loss campaign before Kansas City that there is a weigh in on Feb. 1st.

Sandy Stamps, who with Mick, heads up the huge effort to sell the White House Ornaments, asked guys to alert her if they have a supply they may not sell or need help selling. She is willing to help direct them to guys who are looking for more to sell. Do it this week as the Stamps are going out of town. AND note that we all must settle up on our sales with her by Jan. 11th.

Secretary Buechler gave new member materials to our newest guy to join – Jim Kirkland. Jim also sings with the Mt. Vernon Chapter. Chris also presented a membership renewal card to Bruce Roehm for 10 years!

Bruce was filling in for the vacationing Ken White and welcomed our guests for the evening. Jeremy Knobel was back after a hard-working session in his law school work.

President Newton alerted the membership to a possible opportunity in June when we will do a Masters’ Class at our District’s Harmony College East in Salisbury. We would be there on Saturday and also be coached by a team Joe helped select. This is in addition to the usual retreat and a huge show at George Mason again with Dundalk, Pride of Baltimore and headliner quartets. Stay tuned. YeEd hears that the board is gonna make the final call on it.

Dick also hinted that the board is considering hosting the Southern Division contest over Memorial Day weekend. He asked to see hands of guys who would help work and there were many!!

In other news from around the Society: the BHS has a new preferred number for you to use when you call them in Nashville. It is 615-823-3993. Don’t use the 800 number any more in order to save costs for the BHS.

The new Harrisonburg, VA, Harmonizers Chorus has at least four of our guys singing there now too – Gary Bibens, Dewey Feuerhelm, Michael Calhoun and Alan Durick.

Do you wanna be a BHS judge? If so, contact Chuck Harner, who is in charge of helping guys in our district sign up. Time is short tho, as the opening for new sign-ups ends on Dec. 31st.

Hope we see some of our college members next week for caroling or at the Blast on the 28th.

After the Put Together Contest, we rushed to get all the materials away and a large crowd headed over to Theisman’s for the chapter afterglow.

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.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Looking Back on the 2010 Holiday Dinner Shows Weekend, Dec. 3-4

The Harmonizer annual Holiday Dinner Theater shows played to cheering audiences who got to laugh and sing and join in the fun that the Harmonizers created. In addition the ticket holders got a great meal of salad, lasagna, green beans, bread, and tons of holiday cookies.

As has become our tradition, the chorus dug out their elf or toy costumes for this show weekend. And Jack-in-the-Box, Terry Reynolds, was the MC and audience friend. Jacque Frost, Scipio Garling, and his assistant mime, Tom Kraus, keep the gags going and the audience responded. There were some costume standouts among the 80-plus singers on stage such as Victor Hills’ toy soldier garb, Steve Murane’s “Super Mario” outfit, Steve Lingo’s cowboy gear, and Rob Korsan’s Christmas tree (he had the students in the class he teaches, help make it for him).

Word is that Scipio Garling and Josh Roots had a lot to do with the fun script for the show.

There were actually about 100 of the members around making sure all parts of the operation were handled well. The music team had the guys ready to sing and had added a new song this year, “Blue Christmas.” The production team also used various ensembles to sing some songs needed to carry the story line – two newly organized chapter quartets, THE BLANKS and FREE AGENTS; TBD a capella group; and CAMERON STATION group.

The soloists for the show were Will Daniel Mudd-Simomns, Phil Ferguson and Tony Colosimo for “Ave Maria”; Brian Miller, Jim Lake and Brad Jones for “Let All Mortal Flesh”; Frank Fedarko, Ken White and Drew Fuller for “Do You Hear What I Hear?”. The “Twelve Days of Christmas quartet was Bob Mattes, Alan Kousen, Bill Curtis and Dave Welter. The “five golden rings” quartet was Dan O’Brien, Tony Colosimo, Joe Cerutti and Mike Kelly.

Also need to thank Joe’s assistant directors for their work on the show – Mike Kelly, Will Cox and Tony Colosimo.

For the Saturday nite performance, Will Cox did his always popular, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” routine and kept the audience in stitches.

Bob Mattes was producer and his organizational skills helped make things work. He was especially mindful in providing the singers with details as to their duties and schedule.

Roger Day coordinated decorations for the hall and a big crew of members and FRIENDS members worked much of Friday getting the church hall converted into a holiday scene – candy canes, lighted trees, snowflakes, wreaths, and a ton of wrapped gift boxes, which the chorus guys brought in. (For the third or fourth year, the Potomac Harmony Sweet Adeline Chorus hauled away the wrapped boxes and used them for their holiday show.

The chapter hired the church crew to cook the food, but our guys bought it from a supply firm and hauled a truck load of lasagnas and such in on Friday. Then Keith Jones and Ken Rub coordinated a million other details such as setting the tables, and then delivering the food to the tables by the singing elves. It worked great!!!!

Santa and Mrs. Claus, Bruce and Ginny Minnick, were on hand for the shows and picture taking which was coordinated by Scott Kahler.

Technical crew included Dennis Ritchey, Dixie Kennett, Scott Kahler and other helpers.

The FRIENDS group sold our CDs and Harmo mugs and White House Ornaments for us. They also sold a ton of holiday ornaments which the customers could have special messages added to. There were also some Harmo bears decorated in the elf costumes too.

Don Dillingham and his wife coordinated the silent auction at each show.

Ken White and a crew of new members like Adam Bradley and Chris Clark collected the pink signup slips collecting email addresses for folks who would want info about our Singing Valentine effort. We did a drawing at each show and awarded one free SV. Joe Wagovich is now working to get the emails posted and materials sent out.

This year we started the last set, which is sung as carolers wearing scarves and sweaters and such, by entering as we sang “Silent Night” and carrying candles. It was a highlight for some of our customers. Thanks to Alan Wile for helping get the candles from his wife’s Sweet Adeline chorus, Potomac Harmony.

There were six guys who had never sung with the chapter before in a show who appeared over the weekend. Many of them also volunteered to help with props and food delivery and Santa pictures. Dave Kohls helped Steve Murane, our terrific ticket chairman, with the box office operation.

Poor Director Joe was sick all weekend, but he mustered the courage and strength to be with us. He and the guys really made the audience laugh and enjoy themselves when we did the Twelve Days of Christmas sing along. Biggest laugh was when the group of audiences singers (coaxed by some of our guys) sang “Six Golden Rings” and beat the Five Golden Rings quartet at their own game of hamming it up and stealing the show.

Cindy Hansen and Geri Geis, our stage presence coaches, were both at the show on Saturday nite. There were a lot of Sweet Adelines in the audiences, especially on Friday nite. Top tickets salesmen were Dick Hall, Brad Jones and Alan Wile.

The actual show theme or story was “A Christmas Song Countdown” radio show.

The singing waiters cleared tables and reset for the shows and then Saturday nite, put it all away and hauled it back to storage.

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.)