Thursday, February 17, 2011

Looking Back on the Feb. 15th Chapter Meeting

Durant was a beehive of activities this week.

Lots of guests were arriving and many men helped them get signed in and get a name tag and the special guest nite packet prepared for them. Membership vp, Phil Ashford, was a busy guy.

The set up crews were also busy with risers backed up to the stage, and a large gallery of chairs for guests and their family or traveling friends. Bob Blair and a crew brought in the Harmo History Display boards. Many guys answered the call and brought goodies to share. The FRIENDS group sold cold sodas and water – tho guests were given free drinks.

Julie Kinzer was on hand to do a graduate student oral report for her journalism class at American University. She recorded the chorus, spoke to several guys and took photos.

YeEd needs to report that he missed at least two guys who sang Singing Valentines over the recent weekend – Jim Lake and Kyle Blomgren. Thanks guys.

At 7 pm, all the guests and members assembled on the risers and Will Cox conducted the vocal warm ups. Then Director Joe got everyone singing. When it was time to do “That’s Amore” he had the av crew play the recording by gold medal quartet FRED. As usual, Joe made the rehearsal fun and helped the chorus refresh the music and even some of the visual plan.

When it was time for the chapter meeting period, program vp Klostermeyer conducted the session. He introduced birthday guys for the coming week as is our tradition this year.

It was great to see Rob Korsan back after fighting off strep throat. There were a good number of family members in the audience for guest nite. Several of them had brought guests too.

The audio visual crew showed the video of the Mid-Winter appearance by CAPITAL FORCE in Vegas in January. Great hit, guys! Congrats to Tony Colosimo and all.

Then Phil Ashford went into action to introduce all the guests. Several guys have been around for a couple weeks and are in the process of advancing toward membership. Then he had to introduce about 20 first-time guests – and manage giving them their “I Sang With the Harmonizers” pins. Will Cox directed the chorus in singing the “Harmonizer Welcome Song” to them while the president and director and membership vp shook hands of each one.

Then it was time for a break to chow down on all the goodies!! There was some quartet singing in the hall and lots of guys visiting with the guests.

After returning from break, the guests met with Tony and Steve Lingo and Steve White and others to learn more about the chapter and barbershop harmony.

The chorus worked on the contest package during that time.

When the guests came back into the main hall, they sang a tag they had learned for the chapter. And then the chorus sang three songs for the guests. After that, Joe taught the guests the tag for “Great Day” to sing along with the chorus. It was great. He even had Chuck McKeever teach them the moves for the tag.

Other news from this week: McKeever and other visual team members met on the stage at 6 pm to learn the presentation play from Rachael for another song; Bert Phillips has finished scanning all the past issues of the chapter’s bulletin, The Echo. Ticket sales for the Presidents’ Ball were put on hold as the venue and arrangements have not been confirmed. Stay tuned.

Chris Clark directed the final song and we closed the hall and put everything away and many guys headed to the new afterglow spot at the Hilton across from the King Street Metro station.

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, February 16, 2011

Looking Back on the 2011 Singing Valentine Program

The very first quartet we sent out generated this email response from the guy who bought it for his wife, “Just got a call from my wife on how great it was!! The only way to top this will be to write her name in the sky! Do any of the guys have a pilots license? Thank-you for making me look like a genius”!

The Harmonizers offered to deliver Singing Valentines from Fri. Feb. 11th thru Mon. Feb. 14th. Orders came in electronically and likely by phone too. The recent edition of the chapter newsletter, The ECHO, pushed sales to the chapter website. We offered several packages that included the quartet song and candy and/or roses and a card: The Heart Throb – a rose and chocolates; The Romeo – a doz. roses and/or chocolates; The Valentino – a dozen roses and chocolates. This year we also offered to deliver Valentines via telephone on Feb. 14th. We called them Love On The Line.

Joe Wagovich and Ken White were the organizers of the program. Scott Kahler was behind the scenes on technology, Dick Newton got the roses, Jack Pitzer got the candy and TJ Jones printed the Valentine cards. Steve Lingo and Scipio Garling did extra marketing. Eric Wallen collected the names of the guys who volunteered to sing in quartets to do the gigs in four-hour periods on each day. Quartets came to a “Valentine Central” (actually Jack’s office on Franconia Rd.) to get their assignments and supplies to deliver. Each quartet was provided a sheet with details about the surprise and directions and maps. They all looked sharp in their black tux outfits.

There were some special outcomes from our SV operation. One benefit YeEd heard about was our guys got to visit in the car or over coffee between gigs and get to know each other more. For some guys, the SV program is their annual way to give back to the chapter.

Our chapter cooperated with other local chapters in the area to fill orders – especially with Ned Duffy and the DC chapter.

One of guys bought a SV and gave it to the pastor to give to someone in their church. Several guys bought a SV for a group of folks like the office staff or the crew at a local Starbucks. Many were delivered within the Harmonizer family over the weekend.

Bruce Lauther and the FOUR FROM THE HEART quartet did the annual sing for the oncology department at Kaiser Permanente. Bruce’s group also sang for a large number of senior care facilities and OLD TOWN SOUND helped cover some of the senior center gigs.

For the record, one Singing Valentine was delivered to a guy at the NRA headquareters. And one SV helped set up a marriage proposal – and she said yes!

Our guys sang from Woodbridge to NW DC; in Old Town Alexandria; Southern Maryland; around Springfield, Manassas, Fairfax and Falls Church.

It was a successful weekend – especially with no snow!

The following Harmonizers helped deliver Singing Valentines: Alan Kousen, Bill Curtis, Bob Mattes, Dave Welter, JT Price, Frank Fedarko, Rocky Ebener, Dean Rust, Ike Evans, Terry Reynolds, Joe Cerutti, Dick Dangel, Andrew Plocher, Brian Ammerman, Will Cox, Joel Golden, Dan O'Brien, Craig Kujawa, Ken Rub, Ken Henderson, Bob Blair, Don Dillingham, Tom Griffith, Brian Miller, Troy Hillier, Dean Rust, Ken Fess, Carl Kauffmann, Noah Van Gilder, Steve Lingo, Joe Wagovich, Scipio Garling, Bruce Lauther. Vince Cazenas, Ken White, Drew Fuller, Bob Wachter, Jim Laek, Kyle Blomgren, and Mike Schwartz.

Dan Sobrio and Jeff Salino, who are not Harmonizers, but barbershoppers in the area, helped fill in parts for quartets.

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 chapter. —Ye Ed.)