Friday, December 16, 2011

Looking Back on the December 6th Chapter Meeting

It was a rainy nite in Alexandria but the guys came out to Durant to celebrate the great show we had and to get a start on the new contest package for May 2012.

There was a lot of chatter about the fun Holiday show and the guys were proud of their hard work and musical success.  Director Joe Cerutti paid tribute to a lot of the guys and expressed his appreciation for efforts to deliver a top-rate musical product to our customers. He was especially complimentary about Act III on every show.

A bunch of guys shared reactions from customers and family members who were at the show.  Show producer Bob Mattes thanked the long list of members and FRIENDS who worked to make it all happen.  A round of applause erupted from the guys in the chapter to thank Bob Blair for his dedication and extra efforts to haul and move and deliver!!

YeEd adds these notes to the article he published earlier this week about the show: great to have Dick Dangel and his accordion to welcome customers to the shows; Will Cox is amazing with his comedic rendition of  “The Night Before Christmas”; and did you see how the little kids who came up on the stage reacted to his telling it wrong!. In the spirit of being green, the Potomac Harmony Sweet Adelines chorus took all the wrapped boxes for their show.  No need to waste all that wrapping paper.  We also left many of the decorations on the stage and Bob Blair will return to the church later to get them back into our storage area. The premium seating table idea was a success and Lew Klinge was in charge of those special decorations.  Word is the chapter netted about $1500 from the silent auction Drew Fuller was able to pull together on such short notice. YeEd also learned last nite that Joe spoke to a group of Girl Scouts who were meeting in the church on Saturday morning and told them about barbershop harmony and had a quartet of Rick Savage, Craig Kujawa, Jack Cameron and Steve White to demonstrate.  This event was part of class for earning a badge. 

Amidst the celebrations this week in Durant, there was the usual business activity on the sidelines of the hall.  White House Ornament sales and CDs sold by FRIENDS (especially thanks to Sandy Stamps and Mary Ann Cleaveland).  Entertainment books sold by Chuck Harner. (He tells YeEd that next week is the last week to settle accounts and turn in unsold books.)

The FRIENDS group says thanks for buying sodas and such for the last couple years. They have sold out their supply and will take a vacation for selling them next year.

Roger Day was there smiling to all customers for 50/50 tickets.

When the bell rang at 7, the risers filled up and Tony Colosimo conducted the warm-ups.  When Director Joe was introduced he reviewed some Christmas songs from the Society book of holiday songs so we could use them for the show at Market Square on Saturday, Dec. 10th.  Chorus call is 1 pm. Free validated parking under the square, so bring your parking ticket with you to the warm up area to be stamped.  Sweaters and scarves and holiday gear like Santa hats. Greg Tepe is producer of this show.

The bulk of our singing time this week was introduction and start on work in preparation for our contest appearance at the Southern Division contest in May, 2012, in Roanoke.  We have to sing there to earn a position in the fall district contest where we must score enough points to qualify for the International contest in Toronto in 2013. For division we are bringing back the gold medal package from 1995 with “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

When it was chapter meeting time, ops vp Mark Klostermeyer kept things flowing.  Secretary Chris Buechler presented three new members their name tags – Calvin Schnure, Mike Vlcej and Shawn Tallant.  Chris presented Scipio Garling his membership renewal card for 16 years; and presented jeweled pins for 25 years to Vince Cazenas and for 35 years to Steve White.

Membership vp Phil Ashford introduced a long line of guests including a couple first-timers, and many applicants.  YeEd heard before the nite was over that three of them had passed their auditions – Gerry Fuller, bari; Ross Felker, bass; and Randall Eliason, lead. Great to see guest Carlos Barilla singing with us after his busy weekend as a hi school music teacher who had show concerts this past weekend and one next weekend with his student choral groups.

Eric Wallen pushed for guys to sign up for the Put Together quartet contest on Tues, Dec. 13th on the stage in Durant.  He offered to help guys find additional singers for a quartet, suggested holiday songs would be good, hinted that parodies are high scoring entries in the contest, and promised to come up with a crazy name if the quartet does not.

K12 announced that while our president Steve Murane is en route to Germany, he has sent word of a pending Presidents’ Ball Award Nite on Jan. 28th.  Time and details to follow!

K12 also passed out flyers about the Blast on Tues. Dec. 27th – instead of our own chapter meeting. A good nite to go to meet and sing and celebrate with other barbershoppers from our DC Metro and Baltimore Metro areas.  (Also a good way to represent our chapter!)  Mark your calendar too for the BLAST in Glen Burnie. Usually some top quartets make the stage plus a bunch of put-together type quartets. Maybe our chapter winners will go represent us.  Form a car pool and lets all go.  Last few years a huge crowd of us took in the fun, chow and cold drinks.  Ask Steve White or Jack Pitzer about going.

About 9:15 the meeting ended and guys were released to get coffee (and help eat the left over goodies from the show), and to work on their quartets for the contest on the 13th.

YeEd got word of another Harmo event last week when TBD sang for the Alexandria City Public Schools “outreach for the arts” event.  Also president Steve Murane, community service chair Clyde Crusenberry, Don Dillingham and Alan Wile attended the evening event at TC Williams Hi School.  They staffed a Harmonizer info table. We were one of several arts groups invited to appear and to provide info at this inaugural event about our work to provide musical experiences for youth and adults in the community.

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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