Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Looking Back on the 2011 M-AD International Quartet Prelims

This year’s preliminary contest to choose the quartets that represent our district at the contest this summer in Kansas City was held March 11-12 in Harrisburg, PA.

Our newest quartet contender, DA CAPO, earned a slot for International! A huge crowd of Harmonizer family was there to cheer them on and watch them step up to the plate and hit a home run! Ryan Griffith, tenor; Tony Colosimo, lead; Joe Sawyer, bari; Wayne Adams, bass. The two-round contest allowed the quartet to sing for the audience twice and the judging panel rewarded their hard work and great performances. Their score was 1964 points (81.8%).

Our district also qualified two other quartets. ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, who have sung on several of our shows in recent years, scored 1996 points (83.2%). FRANK THE DOG, who will be the clinicians for our chapter’s Youth Harmony Festival in April, scored 1851 (77.1%). Congrats to all.

The Harrisburg weekend contest also included seniors’ quartets. LEGACY ranked first in that group and according to Chuck Harner, “their score from this contest may place them as one of the five seniors’ quartets who will compete in Lancaster this fall to earn a trip to the Mid-Winter next January”. They were third in the Society senior’s contest last winter.

There was a Youth In Harmony quartet adjudication on Saturday morning. A total of five quartets competed from Bronx Hi School of Science in NY; Mills E. Godwin HS in Richmond; Gaithersburg HS in MD; and Longwood University in VA. Our chapter was pleased to see music educators Sherri Matthews from Richmond and Sheryl Berlin from Gaithersburg who have been a part of our chapter’s youth program in the past, organized entries this year. Youth quartets were ranked as excellent, outstanding or superior and were given a coaching session by the same panel of judges that served the adult contest. Gary Plaag has returned to YIH leadership for the district after retiring as district president. He was emcee for the youth event.

Dennis Ritchey was emcee for the Friday nite first round of the main quartet contest. He tried a new idea of a headset mic and was all around the auditorium talking to the audience and contestants. It brought a new aspect to the event. He took a huge dose of ribbing for trying it and keeping people guessing as to where he would be next.

On Sunday there was a House of Delegates meeting. Each chapter sends a rep who is there to hear district and Society leaders report on programs and actions. Our president, Steve Murane, attended as our official delegate. But there were a lot of other chapter members in the house too as leaders for the district. Sean Devine from the Harmony Foundation staff recognized chapters for giving to the Foundation. We were named top chapter in M-AD based on “per man average” with $184.45.

YeEd thought it was fun to see our major shows and events being advertised in the contest printed program. Both our Youth Harmony Festival and our mega show at George Mason called East Coast Harmony were promoted in advertisements in the program. Good job Harmo marketing guys.

The chapter was also saluted for agreeing to do the Master’s Class at the Harmony College-East weekend in Salisbury, MD, this coming June.

Carl Kauffmann was named to the district events team recently as treasurer. Mike Kelly is the chief information officer for that team. He and Mary Ann Cleaveland managed the av staff for the contest weekend including the webcast operation.

YeEd was happy to see a huge Harmonizer family in attendance. First off, all four of the guys who were COPYRIGHT ’86 were there – John Casey, Bill Colosimo (he was MC of the Saturday nite round), Steve White and Mike Wallen.

John Hohl had come up from Florida and was in the audience to hear a couple of his arrangements sung by contestants, including “End of the Road” which John arranged and Scott Werner, wrote.

The chapter guys who belong to DELA, the district honor club, attended a breakfast event early Saturday. Steve White is president of that group currently. They welcomed two Harmonizers, Dennis Ritchey and Mike Calhoun, into membership.

There were several of the guys who have signed on a Special Forces and will sing with our chorus in Kansas City at the contest – Jay Butterfield, Mike Wallen, Brett Thomas. Dan O’Brien was working at practicing judging in his effort to become a official candidate judge.

Fun to see some of our guys at the hotel also working at forming new quartets for the next contest round! YeEd will let them announce their formation as it happens.

Here is YeEd’s list of other names, not mentioned above, who were there: Jed Casey, Ken White, Keith Jones, Sam McFarland, Terry Reynolds, Chris Buechler, Terry Jordan, Bob Eckman, Dick Dangel, Andrew Havens, Alan Wile, Joe Cerutti, Eric Wallen, Tim Buell, and Mike Pinto.

The Harrisburg Chapter was the host chapter for the contest weekend. Our chapter will be hosting the Southern Division contest this spring in Reston for quartets and choruses. Next year’s prelims contest will be in Lancaster, PA.

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 with the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)

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