Thursday, March 3, 2011

Looking Back on the March 1st Chapter Meeting

This week’s schedule was packed full of good singing, hard work and important chapter business.

Great to see Roger Day in the hall this week and a lot of guests signing in. Early in the evening when YeEd ran into Victor Hills, he was all smiles with the good news he had received word that he was accepted into West Point. Bad news is he will miss International as he has to report for early training and indoctrination in July. Congrats from all of us!

Chuck McKeever was at work early on the stage helping guys review the many details of the up tune for the contest package. His special rehearsal last Thursday eve also paid off. Many guys were using the rehearsal sunglasses we have made available for those who might forget.

Will Cox did the vocal warm ups and then Director Joe Cerutti took over. First he congratulated Victor and led a round of applause and cheers.

Next Joe, with help from chorus manager, Mark Klostermeyer, repositioned the entire chorus for the upcoming phase of performances. Some of us asked him how he made his decisions. As many guys would expect, he had quite a thorough plan that included sound, visual, how their voice blends, height, and agility for movement just to name those YeEd can remember. You might be surprised how well he knows all the names of the guys and their voice qualities too! He worked hard with Mark over the weekend to be ready to make it happy at rehearsal.

Then Joe welcomed Geri Geis who was on hand to refine the contest up tune stage presence plan. She stressed the point that individual singers need to develop their stage character for the package. She will be back and will ask guys “who are you” and is expecting them to share the details of their character.

Mark Klostermeyer conducted the chapter meeting portion of the evening.

First Steve White and all Harmonizers who are members of DELASUSQUEHUDMAC (DELA for short) welcomed two new Harmonizers into their ranks – Michael Calhoun and Dennis Ritchey. Welcome aboard guys and thanks for the hard work and leadership you have given to the BHS to be eligible. They are the 41st and 42nd Harmonizers named to the District Honor Club.

Then Joe conducted an informative session about plans for 2012 and the possible trip to China. After a detailed presentation, he invited questions. He and Brad Jones, the guy who is coordinating a possible trip to China, fielded the questions. All members were encouraged to offer their opinions to Joe, President Steve Murane or any other board members. The chapter board is destined to make a final decision in a week or so in order to get in our reservations in time, and such. If you have questions, contact Brad at BWJ@NRC.GOV.

Secretary Buechler welcomed the three newest members who passed their auditions last week. He already had their Harmonizer name tags (with the chapter logo and their name) for them – Jacob George, lead; Kevin Kaiser, bass; and Michael Gilmore, bass. Welcome aboard, guys.

Membership vp, Phil Ashford, welcome another long line of guests. There were three first timers – one fellow barbershopper from NC who had moved to the area. There were also several applicants and YeEd has chatted with some of them and know they are planning to audition in the next couple weeks. Yeah.

Then it was break time – a few minutes to get some goodies and coffee, turn in forms for the Cherry Blossom Parade, sing some tags, compare who has which aches and pains and illnesses, buy some of the left over Valentine candy and get a raffle ticket.

Right after the break, the chorus was invited to make their self-evaluation tapes to turn in.

There was more work on the contest set.

And then Joe used the last part of the evening to prepare for the Cherry Blossom Parade appearance on April 9th. The producer of the parade knew of our successful appearance on July 4th in Philly and invited us to make a tv appearance during the Parade in Washington, DC. BUT they could only have us sing for about 2 minutes live. SO, Joe taught the guys a couple changes to “Stars and Stripes” to shorten it to fit. The guys got it and drilled it a few times. Tony Colosimo directed and Joe coached.

Then Dennis Ritchey helped the directors record it since the chorus with lip sync to the recording when we are in front of the camera. It went well and we got done in time to end the chapter meeting at 10 pm on the dot.

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.)