Thursday, June 30, 2011

Looking Back on the June 28th Chapter Meeting

This week’s rehearsal was one of the best sessions ever! After a fantastic warm up conducted by Will Cox, which got the guys ready to work and excited, Director Joe took over and he was prepared (as he is every week!). His lessons plan was clear to the chorus and it ran smoothly.

Joe teased the chorus with potential great news or really great news – which to share first? Potential news – the AC was due to remain on all evening! Hurray. It did actually go off about 10:15.

Good news – the Harmonizers will appear on the “America Sings” show – likely July 13th at 9 pm on the Gospel Music Channel. Stay tuned for details. Many other barbershop groups will appear as well.

Joe expressed appreciation to Brad Jones for his leadership for the East Coast Harmony show. And Joe thanked Tony Colosimo for helping with the director duties while Joe was working with his Sweet Adeline chorus. (YeEd will add some details about the ECH further in this week’s Looking Back column.)

Joe conducted a huge “SIGH” for the chorus to put aside the months of hard work on the major performances we have had already this year. Now we can concentrate on contest preparation.

And Joe and his music team, including Geri Geis, worked hard until break.

Chapter vp, Mark Klostermeyer, conducted this week’s chapter meeting session. He led a moment of silence – so you could hear the AC unit!!

Chapter secretary, Chris Buechler, presented membership renewal cards to the following: Jay Butterfield for 38 years; Don Dillingham for 2 years; Will Mudd Simmons for 5 years; Tony Colosimo for 18 years; Ken Rub for 20 years. Bill Colosimo was given his 35 year renewal card and a 35-year pin.

K12 did a bandana check for the Class of 2011!

Membership vp, Phil Ashford, introduced guests including Ian Poulin’s parents and their family friends. It was great to see some other Harmonizer friends in the hall this week – Martin Banks, Geoff Bermen, and Al Hanenbaum. Dick Hall reports that Carolyn is home now and doing her therapy each day to mend the broken leg.

Guys got a break and enjoyed the goodies which included orange slices and grapes which Dean Rust had brought from this past weekend (goodies for the performers). He even bagged them so guys could grab a supply and move along.

After break, the meeting continued. As is normal the week before International convention, there were a bunch of announcements.

There is a mandatory rehearsal on Thursday evening at the school next to Durant. We need a riser crew to unload props and risers for that location.

Also there is a need for a work crew to transfer things we need in Kansas City from the Harmo van to a larger rental truck (that has working AC!!). Watch for detail emails. Bob Blair is heading up this project. “And you ain’t seen nothin, til you see how he can squeeze a full load of our props and stuff into a truck!”

Related to this is an offer from chapter leaders to allow members to put a bag on the truck, subject to left over space. $10 a bag. Details also to come out via email. Fees will help cover rental cost of the truck for the chapter, and save the member from paying airline baggage fees. (Thanks for the idea, Scott Kahler.)

Music vp, Terry Reynolds, suggested everyone review the convention week schedule now, so they know when we are having our extra rehearsals out there in MO. He reminded all of the singers of Joe’s plea for guys to work on their own so when they get on the risers, it is “Joe’s time.”

Terry also stressed the uniform code of patent leather shoes for the stage.

President Steven Murane presented cash support to Kellen Hertz, Dan O’Brien and DA CAPO guys, Ryan, Tony, Joe S and Wayne, so they can all attend Harmony University in MO later in the summer. Kellen and Dan will attend classes as individuals and the others will be a quartet enrolled in classes. The chapter has budgeted scholarships like this over the years and we have benefitted from the many men who have attended this intense, week-long, barbershop school. YeEd hopes those guys will write up a little something when they get back to share with us.

Quartet promotion chair, Eric Wallen, recognized DA CAPO also as one of the four representatives in the quartet contest at International from our Mid Atlantic District. And of course we are darn proud that all of them are from our chapter. The other quartets are OLD SCHOOL, FRANK THE DOG and ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT.

Then back to singing. As it turned out, we worked the whole nite on the ballad. And what progress – wonderful softs, word emphasis, theater performances by every man, hi energy entertainment.

Joe had a meeting with the basses about some spots and Tony worked with the guys on the risers. When the basses returned, Tony directed so Joe could coach. Joe also asked the section leaders to stand out front to check on some points he was working on. Team work at its best!

At the end of the nite, Joe thanked the guys for the tons of hours and hard work and willingness to “stand there and take it” week after week. He was grateful for each guy – we are the third largest chorus in the contest this summer at 99. Masters of Harmony from CA have like 120 and Denver has just over 100.

Just like clockwork, the AC went off and our guys jumped in and took things down and put things away.

After KTWWS directed by Jay Butterfield, many guys headed over to the Hilton for a relaxing afterglow. As is often the case, a few of the guys had to jump up and run from the afterglow to catch the Metro into the city.

Reminder – if you offered the use of a cooler for the Harmo Hideway (hospitality room at International where our “family” hangs out), bring it on Thurs. nite to the rehearsal so it can go on the truck.

And here is more follow up for the East Coast Harmony show. Brad thanked several folks which YeEd did not include in his report on Monday: Joe Cerutti and Scott Kahler for sponsoring and hosting the emcee for the show; Ken White as afterglow emcee; Catherine Colosimo for developing the show flyer; Steve Lingo for Facebook promotion; the riser crews and script writing crews, and Sam McFarland for hosting CAPRI. Brad also reported that Ken Fess has purchased the huge American flag for our chapter to use on shows like was used during “Stars and Stripes” on Sunday. A huge audience pleaser. Thanks Ken.

YeEd learned last nite that Bruce and Connie Lauther hosted 14 friends from the Carnegie Hall event who came to see our show this past weekend. Mike Shirota and folks from the New York City Japan Choral Harmony group rented a bus to come down to see us all again. They wrote glowing reports about the show to Bruce.

YeEd also missed a few names of folks who were in the audience for the show – Bob Caldwell and John and Sara Thompson.

Our chorus fans were sending news from all around the world – we got the traditional “break a leg “message from Rick Wagner, now deployed as a contractor in Afghanistan.; and a note from Chuck Hunter in Syria wishing he could be here in person to hear the great singing.

Just a sneak preview—here are the Harmonizer quartets who have qualified to sing in the MAD fall contest in Lancaster:

DOWTOWN (Frank Fedarko, Arthur Louis, Drew Fuller)
MAD HATTERS (Steve White, Rick Taylor)
MAYHEM (Kenny White, Mike Pinto)
ROLL O’ THE DICE (Bill Colosimo)

TOUCHSTONE (Steve White) are the outgoing 2011 District Champs

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. —YeEd.)

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