Saturday, March 26, 2011

Looking Back for the March 22nd Chapter Meeting

(YeEd is on vacation in TN. So thanks to Alan Wile for these notes.)

By 6:00 p.m. the players began to gather. Soon a dedicated group of guys began to prepare for the evening’s activities: Chuck McKeever was working with a number of members on the slightly revised choreography to the contest uptune; risers began to appear from under the stage; mirrors were placed on the wall; tables and chairs were assembled and distributed around the room; audio and visual equipment were set out; Adrianne Hills made the coffee and put out a selection of goodies; the pizza man made his weekly delivery; Sandy Stamps had drinks to sell; Steve Murane collected $100 down-payments from those intending to go to China; Steve Lingo readied the “welcome” materials for guests; the Harmonizer Hero and Heroine books were available for inspection; visual studio sign-up sheets were out; the “pier-side crates” were positioned at each end of the risers; Michael Gellert was on hand to conduct vocal production sessions with groups and individuals; Geri Geis was set to work refine the staging and choreography for the contest uptune; Dixie Kennett was taking attendance. WOW! Clearly it was going to be a productive evening!

By 7:00 p.m. all was in order and Assistant Director Tony Colosimo conducted the physical and vocal warm-up, while Ops VP Mark Klostermeyer (K-12) checked and adjusted riser positions. Then Master Director Joe Cerutti and our Artistic Coach Geri Geis positioned the chorus for the beginning of the uptune … and worked it from start to finish. Before moving on, a visual run-through of the two-song package was conducted for qualification.

Director Joe stated that after last week’s chapter meeting, he, Geri, Cindy Hansen, Chuck McKeever, and a couple of others reviewed the choreography for both contest songs and “locked it down” (i.e., no more changes … however, there may well be some “tweaking” between now and contest).

Before the break, Joe asked all those who will be performing on the Cherry Blossom Parade to leave the risers, stand in ranks (like a marching band) on the flat and face him as he took up a position on the risers. In this configuration he directed “New York, New York” … several times, before relinquishing his time to K-12.

K-12 invited all to return to the risers and sit for a brief set of announcements. Chapter Secretary Chris Buechler presented badges to two of the newest Harmonizers: Clyde Crusenberry and Nick Leiserson (who qualifies as a “youth” member). All were reminded to get their $100 deposit in to Steve Murane or Brad Jones BY NEXT WEEK if they intend to go with the chorus to China in the fall of 2012.

Membership VP Phil Ashford welcomed two members of our “special forces” team (Jay Butterfield and Bob Wilson) and introduced a bevy of guests.:

It was also good to see Chuck Harner back after a rather lengthy absence.

Following a brief social time break, the call went out for “Harmonizer on the risers” for the balance of the business meeting. Brian Ammerman announced that he is the producer of our fall show (September 24th). Now that the contracts are in hand and the venue secured (Hylton Performing arts Center in Manassas, VA, with CROSSROADS as our featured guest quartet), he is in need of several “volunteers” to help market the show … ‘cause we certainly want to fill the house. Particulars were sent out after the meeting.

Shows VP Ken White highlighted several upcoming performance opportunities: the second home game of the Washington Nationals on Sunday, April 3rd at 1:35 p.m. (ticket information is not yet available); the Cherry Blossom Parade (and the chapter’s Youth Festival … at which the chorus will NOT be performing) on Saturday, April 9th; and the show at Carnegie Hall on Friday, May 20th. Re the last of these, he confirmed that busses will be provided by the sponsors, with pick-ups in Alexandria and somewhere along the way in Maryland; that the hotel (Doubletree Fort Lee in Fort Lee, NJ), at about $153.10/room, will be a member expense … but could be reduced by sharing; that, due to the limited time available on Friday night, a box dinner provided at a cost of $12/person; that information on the availability of(free) tickets and whether guests will be included in the Saturday brunch/reception will be announced, when available; and that in view of the unfortunate natural disaster that has befallen Japan, the sponsors may elect to turn the show into a benefit.

M&P VP asked that all who intend to compete with the chorus in Kansas City but who have not previously gone through the qualification process meet with him briefly at the end of the meeting (and they did).

Back on our feet, Director Joe directed the National Anthem to get us ready for our performance at the Nationals game – first by parts and then (thankfully) all four parts, with the promise of more work next week (charts for those who need it were available at the end of the evening). Then it was on to “Great Day,” which will be our opening song at several upcoming performances. At the end of this session, he promised that he would call down three octets to perform this song at next week’s chapter meeting … and “kindly” recommended we all review the music!

Returning to the contest ballad, it was drill, drill, drill on troublesome parts – just singing; no choreo. Finally, Joe directed a vocal run-through of both contest songs, after which the birthday boy, Rick Wagner, took us out directing “Keep the Whole World Singing.”

White House Ornament (WHO) Guru, Sandy Stamps, advised that the chapter sold over 2650 ornaments this year, netting the chapter a healthy return. When you see them, congratulate our top 10 salesmen:
518 Dave Reyno
• 285 Roger Day
• 208 Ike Evans
• 167 Skip Coburn
• 98 Will Cox
• 95 Jerry Eiler
• 93 Burt Stueve
• 80 Rick Wagner
• 60 Bob Rhome
• 49 Dick Hall

Until next time, editorjack.

This weekly report is for history and to help guys who had to miss know what went on at the most recent chapter meeting and rehearsal. YeEd.