Thursday, May 19, 2011

Looking Back on the May 17th Chapter Meeting

This was a really busy nite in prep for our big gig at Carnegie Hall in NYC on Friday, May 20th. All the usual preparation was done for room set up and Will Cox gave the chorus a long steady warm up session which included physical and musical exercises.

Then Director Joe arrived with a stack of handouts – several page booklets, actually – that were designed to help the guys prepare for the show. Mostly tough musical passages, breath and inflection cues, and rhythm details. The guys appreciated the useful learning too. Thanks to Joe for another great example of how prepared he is every Tuesday nite and how he imparts learning to the guys.

Show producer, Greg Tepe, was in the house to lead the show run-thru. Shows vp, Ken White, had a ton of details to offer. Show salesman, Bruce Lauther, was busy wrapping up ticket distribution for the Saturday brunch session with our fellow singers from Japan. Uniform guy, Tom Kern, was also busy filling last minute needs of the guys – since we will be wearing casuals on Fri going, and on Sat returning, plus a couple changes or so on the stage.

Carnegie Hall is a Union shop, so that means we have to do some things differently that we might do for a show. Also the other singing groups are also large, the flow of people on and off stage will be a little challenging for their stage manager. Of course, our chorus manager, Mark Klostermeyer, will be the top sergeant for the weekend for our chorus.

We will do the “Star Spangled Banner” along with our show package which includes our contest songs for this summer. Our set will include ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT and we will have some fun with them on stage.

The chorus guys gotta get up early cause the bus is gonna head out right on time – no waiting. The MD guys will be picked up en route. And there will be brief stops too, tho Ken suggested bring your own food and don’t count on getting into a long line for something to eat.

Our chapter leaders are prepared to make a presentation to the Japan emergency relief fun and to honor our fellow singers. Ken Henderson worked on coordinating any donations. YeEd hears that BHS president, Alan Lamson, will also make remarks.

The Harmonizers learned the “Friends” tag (which we sing at retreat every year – it is arranged by David Wright) in Japanese to sing to our new friends. Thanks to Ryan Griffith who got the translation, and provided learning materials. We will sing it for them on Saturday morning at social gathering before we head home.

Our chapter operations vp, Mark Klostermeyer, conducted the weekly chapter meeting about half way thru the evening. Secretary Buechler presented renewal cards to Michael Gilmore, for 19 years, and to Jim Lake for 18 years. Membership vp, Phil Ashford, introduce a bunch of guests by having them stand or wave from their seats.

Brad Jones launched the big push for our June 26th East Coast Harmony show at George Mason. He invited Harmonizers to email him if you want some tickets on consignment to sell. We need to get pushing on ticket sales for this big event.

Chris Buechler also asked guys to see him regarding the Supreme Court show – as you can imagine the security is tight in that building and all of our singers must get in SS numbers, etc.

After the coffee break, quartet promotion chairman, Eric Wallen, presented a chapter check to each chapter quartet that will be singing in any of the division contests this spring (that lead up to the fall contest in Lancaster in early Oct. and the chance to become district champ quartet).

Each of these quartets has at least one Harmonizer member:

BLARNEY BROTHERS – Michael Calhoun and Gary Bibbens
ROLL OF THE DICE – Bill Colosimo
SURPRISE! – Bruce Minnick and John Grant
MAYHEM – Mike Pinto and Ken White
MAD HATTERS – Rick Taylor and Steve White
FRiDAYS! – Bob Caldwell, Ken Ives and Steve Murane
DOWNTOWN – Arthur Louis, Frank Fedarko and Drew Fuller
DOWN A FOURTH – Joe Sawyer, Joe Cerutti, Wayne Adams and Troy Hillier

Then as a special treat we got to hear the new national champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes. Our own guys, DA CAPO with Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer and Wayne Adams, took top honors and were named “audience favorite” just like they did in the regional contest here in DC a month or so ago.

The Harmonizers were extending congrats all nite to the guys and it was a proud accomplishment for the chapter. The quartet thanked their fellow chapter members for the support all along and especially the electronic cheers and support day of the contest (since not too many of us could get to CA for the event.

Before chapter meeting, YeEd heard Wayne thanking Steve White for his help. Later I learned that Steve joined forces with Ed Cazenas, Nick Aiuto and Richard Lewellen to sing a show gig that DA CAPO was supposed to do in Long Island, NY. Now that is great cooperation.

Other chapter news YeEd has to report: Tom and Emily Kraus announced the birth of their son, Benjamin.

New guys need to check the chapter calendar to be sure they can attend the retreat, the Harmony College East event, of course International week and the extra rehearsals leading up to it, the East Coast Harmony Show on June 26th, volunteering to help the chapter host the Southern Division contest May 27 and 28, attend the fall contest to help support the many chapter quartets we will have in the contest and offer a hand to the host chapter for that weekend, and the Supreme Court show will be here really soon too.

Don’t forget to wear a name tag of some kind on Tues nite at chapter meeting.

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.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Looking Back on the May 10th Chapter Meeting

YeEd has gotta make this one fast, as he has to catch a plane early Wednesday morn. So here goes.

The risers were in a straight line again this week and the AC was not on at all, it didn’t seem like.
Cindy Hansen and Geri Geis were in to help with the contest package and also to add some sparkle and excitement to our songs for Carnegie Hall. There will be about 85 Harmonizers on the stage with over 150 from Japan. Director Joe reports that many of them are coming even with loss of family or friends or maybe even fellow chorus members.

The musical cultural event will also be a fund raising event for the disaster.

First treat for the nite was to watch a quick clip of a Dallas Vocal Majority gig for musical educators a few years ago. Joe wanted to share this moment in barbershop history when our form of music was given a green light from the educators.

He suggests we can do this for the classical musicians in the audience in NYC. Tho we hear a huge number of NY barbershoppers will be at the show. It is a sellout at this point.

Congrats to our team of guys who have worked hard to keep us posted, make arrangements for our travel and housing and meals and fun. Especially Ken White and Greg Tepe. Steve Lingo is doing ticket distribution for those guests going with members to the show in NYC. Ken Henderson is in charge of collections for the relief fund, if you are interested in giving.

There will likely be more emails and communications for all those going to perform and/or to attend the show. Stay tuned.

The whole nite was used for the show and contest package and working with our two visual coaches.

Mark Klostermeyer conducted the business meeting period. Chris Buechler announced membership renewal for Andrew Plocher, 2 years; Dan O’Brien, 6; Tim Buell, 7; Craig Kujawa, 8; Steve Murane, 9; Chris Buecher, 26; Bob Eckman, 27; and Austin Cotton, 36.

Steve Lingo filled in for Phil Ashford, who had a family emergency, and introduced the guests.

After our coffee break, there were announcements.

Brad Jones gave details about the June show.

Scott Kahler asked for more guys to step up to help our chapter host the Southern Division contest in Reston in a couple weeks.

Last week, YeEd goofed and didn’t report on the first of the special Director Surprise Awards (provided by a friend of the chapter) for any guy Joe thinks is giving the extra 5 %. The first honoree was Dennis Ritchey last week. Even tho Dennis lives an hour or more away, he makes it to the meetings and extra rehearsals. And he is quick to build, make, fix or take care of anything that needs doing for the chorus in the realm of audio visual.

This week Joe invited our coach, Cindy Hansen, to choose the recipient based on the person who was “in the game” all nite as a performer. She had Nick Murane in second place and the winner was new guy, Kevin Kaiser. Congrats all.

Other chapter news: the FRIENDS of HARMONY met tonite. Special Forces guys Pete Frank (who announces he and his wife are expecting a little one), Bob Wilson and Bill Colosimo.
Don’t forget to wear a name tag of some kind on Tues nite at chapter meeting.

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.)