Thursday, April 7, 2011

Looking Back on a Busy Harmo Weekend and the April 5th Chapter Meeting

The Harmonizers were busy winning all weekend! Saturday nite, April 2nd , DA CAPO won the 27th annual mid atlantic regional Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival. The event was at the popular Birchmere club in Old Town Alexandria. There were seven competing groups from NYC, Ohio, DC and our guys. All of the other groups were 5-7 singers with at least one vocal percussion person. So our quartet’s solid vocal singing and entertaining music was a hit. The quartet (Ryan Griffith, tenor; Tony Colosimo, lead; Joe Sawyer, bari; Wayne Adams, bass) sang three songs for their 10-minute contest set – “Haven’t Met You Yet,” “Help from My Friends” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” In fact, they won the Audience Favorite recognition and got to sing an encore. They surprised all the singers in the house by doing “Stars and Stripes Forever” when they received the audience award. Then all the contestants were called to the stage and the winner announce. Our guys took it all. They now go on to a national finals at the Marin Center in San Rafael, CA, on Sat. May 14th. Judges for the event were Cal Sexton, a barbershop quartet singer and chorus director from the M-AD; Claire Gardiner, director of the Vienna-Falls Sweet Adeline chorus; and Kenyon Erickson, an active a cappella singer in the DC area. YeEd reports the following Harmonizers in the cheering crowd along with their families and friends: Andrew Havens, Lew Klinge, Alan Wile, Jack Pitzer, Rick Wagner, Ken Rub, Craig Kujawa, Mark Klostermeyer, Ken Fess, Bill Colosimo, Jeremy Richardson, Frank Fedarko, Bert Phillips, Gary Mankin, Ian Poulin, Scipio Garling, Noah Van Gilder and Kevin Kaiser. Also Saturday nite, a big crowd of Harmonizers went to the Pride of Baltimore Chorus Sweet Adeline show. Their Director Joe was his usual great. The show emcee was Mike Kelly. According to reporter, Tim Buell, the show was great with featured performers MAXX FACTOR– headliner – 2011 Sweet Adeline Intl. Queens of Harmony; ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT – 2010 M-AD District champs; MIRAGE – 2010 SAI Region #19 second place; and PARTY LINE – 2010 SAI Region #19 third place A good crowd of Harmonizers were there: Sam McFarland, Phil Ashford, Scott Kahler, Brad Jones, Eric Wallen, Joel Golden, Jim Lake, Jacob George, Steve Murane, Craig Odell and Chuck Harner. Also Joe Cerruti’s parents were down from NYC for the show and the ball game on Sunday. Sunday, April 3, the chorus sang the National Anthem for the Nationals vs. Atlanta baseball game at Nats Stadium. We had to be there at 10 am for a sound check. It was fun for the 60 guys who sang. Neat to see our teal blue shirts walking down the street from the Navy Yard Metro stop to our gathering spot at the Centerfield Gate. A few car loads arrived with a bunch of the guys – ie. the Maryland gang. We sang as part of the larger Cherry Blossom celebration all week and leading up to our performance during the parade on Sat. April 9th (and appearance on Network TV.) We all appreciated the free tickets to the game and parking passes for the carpool cars. Five new members sang their first ever performance as a Harmonizer – Jacob George, Clyde Crusenberry, Kevin Kaiser, Nick Leiserson, Dave Khohls. In addition to the chorus singing before the first pitch, an octet of guys sang “God Bless The USA” for the 7th inning stretch – Carl Kauffmann, Dan O’Brien, Bob Blair, Craig Kujawa, Jack Cameron, Joe Cerutti, Terry Reynolds and Steve White. Sooo – after such a busy weekend, it was back to work on Tuesday nite, April 5. Will Cox did the vocal and visual warm ups for the chorus and then turned the director reigns over to Joe Ceruitti. As usual, Joe was excited to get to work and get the singing going. He congratulated DA CAPO for their win in the Sweeps on Saturday nite. He also announced that Brandon Guyton was unable to get off work to come to DC to coach us for the evening. But Joe promised the time would be used well – and he delivered on his promise. First off, the music team and shows team worked on rehearsal of the performances for the Cherry Blossom Parade tv appearance – especially performing while lip-syncing the shortened version of “New York, New York.” Next was work on songs for the Carnegie Hall show including “Great Day” staging and “That’s Amore” comedic work. And then Director Joe launched into work on the contest package. This block of time included some self-evaluation vocal run-thrus. Mid-evening, ops vp, Mark Klostermeyer, conducted the chapter business meeting. He honored this week’s birthdays of guys. Secretary, Chris Buecher, presented new membership materials to Nick Leiserson, Clyde Crusenberry and Jacob George. And dual-membership materials to Bill Colosimo. And then he presented BHS membership renewal cards to the following members: Andrew Havens, 2 years; Noah Van Gilder, 4 years; Ian Poulin, 8 years; Joe Cerutti, 10 years; Kevin Kaiser, 11 years; Scott Kahler, 13 years; Kevin Roth, 18 years; Chris Huber, 19 years; Brad Jones, 19 years; Dennis Ritchey, 19 years; Jim Shoenhard, 23 years; Sam McFarland, 24 years; Will Cox, 33 years; Bruce Minnick, 34 years; and Jay Butterfield, 37 years. Chris presented a 30 years renewal card to Rick Wagner and the customary 30-pin (our chapter presents a membership pin at the 25-year point for all members and then every five years after that). Quad leaders were asked to meet at the break. Dick and Carolyn Hall were recognized for celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary this past weekend. Congrats from all of us!! Shows vp, Ken White, thanked all the guys who appeared at the ball game. Then he provided a ton of information about the Cherry Blossom Parade performance. YeEd will not include much detail here, as it might have changed before you see this, or details might need to be changed a little. One thing Ken worked out was to get a couple guys who did not know the stage presence but had the uniform parts and could carry our chapter banner in the parade. Cool! Ken also encouraged all the guys to be darn sure they spoke with Tom Kern before they left the hall tonite about any uniform parts they need for the weekend. Past president, Brad Jones, briefed the chorus on the Harmonizer Youth Festival which we are also conducting on Sat. April 9th, at our Durant meeting place. Here is his recent email to all. “We currently have 81 students signed up...43 girls and 38 boys...the most students and best balance of boys and girls we've ever had. (YeEd thinks this is our third Youth Festival). Should be a great day and a great show that evening! I have volunteers for all the main needs...but I am still quite short on having baked goods or snacks easily served at meals and breaks. I could use another half dozen people to donate something. You can drop it off Friday night from 5:00 - 7:30 or any time after 8am but before 10am on Saturday. For those not specifically working on the event, the Saturday evening show, which is free, is worth seeing with TBD [a Harmonizer small ensemble]; CAPRI [Sweet Adeline quartet that has helped us before at the Festival and will be working with the young women attending the Festival]; FRANK THE DOG [a popular M-AD ranked quartet from the Bryn Mawr, PA, area who will be instructors for the young men attending the Festival]; the Boys Chorus, the Girls Chorus, and the Combined Chorus. Stop by Durant at 7 pm Saturday for an enjoyable show that usually lasts between 1 - 1 ½ hours. Finally, for any of you that volunteered, please feel free to bring your camera and take pictures throughout the day! We use pictures of the event throughout the year.” Ken White also spoke briefly about the trip to NYC for the Carnegie Hall show. He asked all to confirm their housing assignment with him by email – a must. And he alerted all that he would be collecting $12 for the box lunch for that trip, starting next Tues. Jack Pitzer and Steve Lingo covered for membership vp, Phil Ashford, who went home after work to fight off a cold or flu. They signed in and issued name tags and guest books and introduced the following guys to the chapter: Pete Hasbrook – an officer in the Houston Tidelanders Chapter who was in town for work; Kevin Murphy and Rob Noffsker – who haves been with us several times and turned their applications tonite; Connor Rowell – a hi school senior who sings in choir with Jim Lake; Kevin Knapp – who has sung with Ryan Griffith in the Dundalk Chapter; Mike Rowan – a MI choral singer who had contacted MI alum, Ike Evans; and Calvin Schnure who sings bass in a quartet with Kevin Roth. It was great to have Edris Qarghah back during his college spring break too. After the brief break, we worked more on the contest package. Joe had Tony Colosimo direct so he could coach. And he had the chorus sing the uptune four times and had each section leader take a turn out front so he could listen and then offer a couple suggestions for his section. We closed the hall and put the tons of stuff away and many adjourned to the afterglow at the Hilton across from the King Street Metro. As usual, the Metro riders popped up at the exact time to catch the last train back into the city. There was also some quartet singing in the hall after rehearsal ended including some guys who are working on their qualifications. Everyone thought that since Ken Fess was not there for the 50/50 drawing at the close of the meeting, someone new would win, but Terry Reynolds won it again! Seems like he has won as often as Ken. 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.)