Thursday, March 17, 2011

Looking Back on the March 15th Chapter Meeting

Lots going on before a chapter meeting from 6 – 7 pm. The guys were putting up all 11 sections of risers. Plus mirrors, the box of rehearsal sunglasses was out. And all of a sudden, in rolls two huge wooden crates. Dennis Ritchey had built them as show props for the contest set. On the stage was the well-attended visual review class conducted by Chuck McKeever.

Librarian Bob Mattes and some volunteers were working to update the guest books with the latest songs to be added. Great to have for our many guests each week.

The pizza guy made his delivery again. New guys many not know that you can order in and get some chow before the meeting. Look for the email from Steve Lingo each week.

There were several returning guests and one of our new Special Forces guys, was in town to work on the contest music – Ryan Killeen. He is on the staff of the Barbershop Harmony Society Foundation and works in Nashville. His territory includes the DC area. He sang with us for a few months before he joined the BHS staff and was about to join then.

After the vocal warm ups with Will Cox, Director Joe went right to singing “That’s Amore” and as promised last week, he asked an octet to come down and demonstrate it. Then just to make sure no one thought they had escaped, he had the first quartet go tap another guy from their section to form the second octet.

Next were a couple runs of “New York, New York” that we will use for our tv appearance in the Cherry Blossom parade. It is the same shortened version Alexandria used in their America’s Got Talent bid.

Shows vp, Ken White, stressed that all new members and Special Forces guys get with uniform manager, Tom Kern, right away. And YeEd noted he was busy, as the recent crop of new guys took that advice. Old timers should double check that they have all the correct uniform parts.

Ken also reports that the contacts for our Carnegie Hall show who are in Japan, report that they are safe and ok.

Then Director Joe welcomed our dynamic-duo of presentation coaches, Cindy and Geri. They worked together to improve and tighten up the moves for the uptune. It was a lot of hard work, and guys were great to let them try a couple things now and then to see what looks best or works best. There were solid advances by the singers. Visual team leaders were busy keeping notes so they can remind the chorus or teach the new plan as it has unfolded.

It was a good nite to be there and the good sized chorus all benefited from the coaching session. Also, even tho it was a visual work session, Joe didn’t let the guys forget the lessons learned last week from Brandon.

After a long first half, ops vp, Mark Klostermeyer, started the chapter meeting period. He recognized birthdays for the next week. He reminded board members of their meeting on Wed nite at Durant.

President Steve Murane offered to collect the $100 deposits and forms for guys who want to go to China, as trip coordinator, Brad Jones, was out of town.

He also recognized our four guys in DA CAPO for their great performance at Prelims last weekend, which earned them a slot in the quartet contest at the 2011 International contest in Kansas City. Ryan Griffith, tenor; Tony Colosimo, lead; Joe Sawyer, bari; and Wayne Adams, bass.

Steve also showed the chapter the Gold certificate he was presented at the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday at the prelims meeting. We were recognized as the top chapter in the district for giving to the Harmony Foundation. We gave an averaged $184.46 per member.

Shows vp White also stressed that guys need to take Friday, May 20th off from work to get to NYC for the Carnegie Hall show.

Then he had a late breaking show opportunity – Sunday, April 3 about 1 pm to sing the National Anthem at a National baseball game. Free tickets for singers. A majority of hands said they were available, so we add another cool gig to our spring calendar. Watch for details and new guys and old timers can sign up.

Director Joe plugged the Pride of Baltimore show and suggested guys talked to Mary Ann Cleaveland, as the admin counter, tonite, about tickets.

Music vp, Terry Reynolds, stressed the need for guys to sign up for visual quad sessions on the sheets, also on the admin counter. And also reminded guys of the all-sectionals event this weekend.

Membership vp, Phil Ashford, recognized the many guests with us. John Hohl was in town from FL. There were a few first timers with us, and a bunch of returnees. Will Cox, who does the vocal assessments, was kept busy helping the guests interested in singing with us determine for sure what part they should sing. As is often the case, we had a couple barbershop singers from other chapters from around the nation.

OOOPS. Before K12 announced it was time for the brief break, a lot of guys were up and about and not paying attention to the important announcement period. Please wait to leave the risers and get coffee or such until Mark announces it is “break time”.

After a quick coffee, it back to work with Cindy and Geri on the contest songs. Just before we closed, Joe used time for the visual qualification review filming. Guys should submit their self-evaluation.

To close up, guys all pitched in to put things away and into the storage places. The big crates were lifted up onto the stage and stored there til next week. The front row is getting good at using them as part of the act.

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.)

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.)