Thursday, May 26, 2011

Looking Back on the May 24th Chapter Meeting

The buzz at Durant was strong with that feeling of accomplishment and Harmonizer pride this week. Coming off the successful performance at Carnegie Hall, the chorus came back for more. Director Joe was beaming and said he could not begin to share all the joy. (YeEd will produce a complete Looking Back column for the Carnegie Hall weekend in NYC.) Joe gave an update on contributions for the relief fund for Japan – about $40,000 that nite and about $179,000 collected via the web and pre-show collections.

Several guys shared audience or family reactions to the show.

Joe also shared that maybe the highlight of the weekend (even over getting to sing at Carnegie Hall) might have been our singing “Keep The Whole World Singing” on Saturday to our fellow singers from Japan during the brunch. There were a lot of tears coming out at that great moment in Harmonizer history.

But everyone knew tonite was gonna be a work out on the contest package. Geri Geis was on hand to coach and help re-tool the ballad. Director Joe announced to the guys right at the start of the work period that he was making a change in the opening of the contest ballad/set and changing the scenario so it was easier to sell and believe. There was applause of support.

After even the first half hour of work, the guys were on top of the new challenge! The intro was as powerful as the verse. The revision means more work for the staging crew and carpenters. But they can do almost anything with wood and paint!!

The whole first half of the nite was used to bolster the introductions of the two contest songs.
To get things in gear tonite, Tony Colosimo did vocal and physical warm ups. Chuck McKeever held his class at 6 for guys who wanted to review their moves and focals for the package. Of course a lot of guys had to chip in to set up everything for the meeting and rehearsal. It was great to have the risers back into their normal configuration.

Before break, Mark Klostermeyer conducted our weekly chapter meeting.

Scott Kahler, who is coordinating our chapter’s hosting duties for the Southern Division contest this weekend in Reston at the Hyatt, asked for more volunteers as ushers and such. He has made assignments and published them via email. All should note those emails for arrival times.

YeEd alerts all readers that the Friday nite quartet contest starts at 6 pm. Allow for traffic and parking -- tho the parking garage at Reston Town Center is huge. And there are plenty of places to eat around the area. If you are gonna usher or escort contestants, get there plenty early.

The chorus contest starts at 10 am on Saturday. Also get there early to help. Wear Harmonizer gear and your name tag. And if you see someone needs help, chip in. That is especially true after things wrap up on Saturday nite. A show of winners starts that evening at 6:30. Our chapter is the host chapter and will earn income for our work.

Proudly, our chapter will have several contestant quartets in the contest and YeEd suspects n several will be on the show Saturday nite!

Also during last nite’s chapter meeting, secretary Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Al Herman for 28 years (he is chair of the chapter’s finance committee); and to Howard Nestlerode for 36 years. Last week YeEd had a typo in his copy – Jim Lake received his 18 year renewal card.

Phil Ashford introduced our guests which included several family members of Bert Phillips.

Thanks to Ellen and Adrianne for making the coffee and getting the goodies set out this week.

After break, announcements continued. Chuck McKeever reiterated the plans for the chorus retreat in Westminster MD, June 4 and 5 at McDaniel College. He has sent out very complete instructions for all to follow in making plans such as drive time and driving route. He reminded all to prepay for the fees – Howard Nestlerode at the admin table tonite. And Chuck asked us all to email him with any request for roommates.

Many of us who have been in the chapter a while now go up on Friday nite to get settled, have some fun with the guys and be there for the early Saturday morning start.

Show producer, Greg Tepe, reminded us about our show for the Supreme Court Historical Society on June 6. Arrival at 6:30. Be prepared for security check in – have metals easy to take out including pitch pipes!

Shows vice president, Kenny White, thanked some of the key workers that helped make the weekend trip such a success – Greg Tepe, producer; Bruce Lauther, logistics; Mark Klostermeyer, chorus manager; Ken Henderson, fund raiser for the relief fund; Brian Ammerman, Bob Blair, Bob Rhome, Bob Mattes, bus leaders. Ken also thanked the whole music team for their hard work to prepare the chorus for the show as well as the special events like singing the “Friends” tag in Japanese on Saturday and the extra songs to sing with the other choruses. Actually, when Kenny was welcomed to the mic, the chapter members thanked him with long applause for his leadership to make it a successful weekend!

Music vice president, Terry Reynolds, suggested guys get their plans made to go to Harmony College East (HCE) in Salisbury on June 18th. We will conduct a ‘masters class’ and sing on the evening show at the weekend school. Howard Nestlerode is also collecting fees for this trip too. PR vp Steve Lingo encourages guys to stay over and socialize on the quad at the campus where the HCE is held.

Chapter president, Steve Murane, was given some special gifts from our new friends from the concert. They asked him to choose the recipients and Steve chose to give the special gifts from Japan to Ken White, Greg Tepe, Bruce Lauther, Steve Lingo for their work on the show. And he also gave one each to Kyle Blomgren who is moving to CA and to Victor Hills who is headed off the US Military Academy.

Steve also received a letter from BHS president, Alan Lamson, who expressed his pride in our show representing the Society.

Then K12 called up the following 12 men. They are the Class of 2011 and were presented bright gaudy blue kerchiefs for the traditional initiation period leading up to walking onto the stage in Kansas City. The will be expected to wear their scarves in view for all to see at any and all Harmonizer gatherings. The class consists of all the guys who will be singing for the first time as a Harmonizer at International.
Adam Bradley
Jay Butterfield
Clark Chesser
Chris Clark
Bill Colosimo
Clyde Crusenberry
Thom Faircloth
Jacob George
Michael Gilmore
Kevin Kaiser
Dave Kohls
Nick Leiserson
Welcome aboard for the ride, men!!

Then it was back to the risers for more hard work on the songs.

We worked hard right up til 10 pm. Before the chapter meeting, Bob Rhome affixed a large thermometer high on the outside wall to keep track of the room temperatures (ended up at 80 degrees at the end of the night).

Last week, YeEd reported on Steve White forming a special quartet to fill a gig so that DA CAPO could go sing in the Sweepstakes. Well here is more detail from Steve. “ACES FULL” (as we called ourselves) was actually substituting for DOWN A FOURTH who have as members Wayne Adams and Joe Sawyer, so half of DA CAPO. We did the Long Island, NY chapter show for them where at one time Joe Cerutti had been the assistant director.

That chapter actually tried twice to get FOUR ACES, but could never hook up, so were pleased to get a pseudo combination of them. This is actually the area where Nick Aiuto grew up, so his mom and dad and 3 sisters all came to the show. Nick sang in his very first barbershop quartet with the chapter’s director Mo.

Good to have Kellen Hertz back from college and working to catch up for the contest. Special forces guys present this week were Pete Frank, Jay Butterfield and Bob Wilson.

Tonite we sang farewell to Kyle Blomgren. Director Joe grabbed a chair and invited Kyle to sit in front of the chorus so we could sing the traditional “There Will Always Be A Place on The Risers for You.” He is off to CA for a job and more schooling. Good luck, man!!

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.)