Thursday, June 16, 2011

Looking Back on the June 14th Chapter Meeting

As you would imagine, if you follow the Harmonizer story at all, this week was destined to be a work session and drill in prep for the upcoming convention in Kansas City and this coming weekend’s participation in the Harmony College East school in Salisbury, MD.

All the usual equipment was needed for set up and the gang was ready to go way before the 7 pm start time. It was nice and cool in the hall and people were buzzing around the admin tables taking care of various ticket orders, signing up for things and getting their copy of any handouts.

Some early birds were on hand to grab some goodies, to take place of the supper they missed in order to be at Durant on time.

Will Cox whipped the chorus into shape vocally and physically and turned it over to Director Joe Cerutti. He was full of excitement, as we have come to expect. He proudly reported all the “mentions” of the Harmonizers in the latest Harmonizer magazine that comes from the BHS. Cool!

Then once he got the singing going, he also coached the guys one what they could expect to be doing for the Masters Class we will be teach at HCE. (This weekend school is operated by our Mid-Atlantic District and provides many kinds of classes for barbershoppers and also high school boys and girls and their teachers. All of the school will attend our session. A Masters Class is a BHS term used when a current champ offers to share programs, ideas, tools and techniques with their fellow barbershop competitors.)

Then after more singing, Joe invited the section leaders to take their guys out for some spot check work on the contest songs. While they were away, about 20 guys who will be managing props for the contest set, used the time to drill and practice with those props.

Geri Geis was with us and worked first with the prop crew, spent time with the front row, and coached finer details of performance for the riser guys. She especially worked on faces and energy for the 20 new guys.

Joe used more technology to play some examples of really good soft/quiet singing by large choruses. And he provided written details of expectations for the ballad. The uptune is next.

At midpointin the evening, operations vp, Mark Klostermeyer, conducted the chapter meeting portion of the nite. He reminded everyone who had not stopped at the admin table to pay fees they owe to Howard Nestlerode. And he alerted the guys that tonite was the last chance to order scrip cards to use in paying for your hotel rooms in Kansas City.

Membership vp, Phil Ashford, introduced our guests- Paul Douglas and his wife Susan. The seating gallery was also full of friends and fans eager to cheer and lend support for the contest drive.

The goodies were wiped out fast. Some really great chocolate treats came in from Victor’s mom and the guys were happy to help her get rid of them!! (The cupboard is empty tho, so if you can bring in some things, it would be appreciated.)

After break, the meeting continued. Craig Kujawa reported a correction in his report of weight loss by members in the 7/11 Challenge – Director Joe should have been on the list of those who lost weight. Congrats to all.

Marketing vp, Steve Lingo, gave a couple marketing ideas to guys for the East Coast Harmony Show, also on our to-do list soon! Ticket sales are lagging and we all need to buy and/or sell more.

The FRIENDS group met tonite and their treasurer, Ellen Dellert, presented money gifts from the FRIENDS group to Tony, Wayne, Ryan and Joe of DA CAPO to help them with their expenses to International, and to Dave Welter, our chorus treasurer, to help the chapter with its convention expenses. Many thanks to the FRIENDS group for its support.

Music vp, Terry Reynolds, took a couple minutes to explain more about the HCE weekend. Meals, arrival times, and the need to wear the Harmonizer casual outfit. He also encouraged all of our guys to get to know singers from other chapters, to try some tags and do a good job of mixing with our fellow barbershoppers from around the district, such as during meal time.

President Steve Murane announced that Chuck Hunter sent word that former Harmonizer, Jim Bayuk, has been named winner of one of the American Foreign Service Association's annual awards. Jim is currently posted in Pretoria, South Africa. He was an active Harmonizer from 1998-2009 and worked hard to be sure senior citizen groups were at our shows. He also was noted for his classic role as the “cow” in one of our Holiday shows.

Here is the official word: The Christian A. Herter Award for this year goes to Dr. James W. Bayuk. a medical officer who, “seeks to improve the medical services offered to his colleagues
wherever he serves.” In 2006, he was awarded the Department’s Award for Innovative Use of
Technology for his work on linking post-specific medical information to the Overseas Briefing Center.

Steve also reported that Dick Hall had called and said Carolyn was in Room 829 at Southern Maryland Hospital Center and will be there for a few weeks for therapy after breaking her leg. Cards can be mailed to her there – 7502 Surratts Rd., Clinton, MD 20735. Dick says she is getting along pretty well but working hard to do all the therapy.

Finally, President Steve reported that the chapter had received a generous check from the Potomac Harmony Sweet Adeline chorus to help us with convention expenses. Thanks to our friends in another local barbershop group in NoVa.

Then back to work on contest drills!

Also Joe got the guys caught up on “In Harmony” which we will sing with the groups on our June 26th show.

He begged for guys to do their homework.

And then Director Joe grabbed a couple chairs and invited Victor Hills and Bill Curtis to sit in front of the chorus so we could sing the traditional “There Will Always Be A Place on The Risers for You.” We wish all the best to Victor who is headed off to West Point, and to Bill who is moving to Colorado.

The two honorees co-directed KTWWS and it was a wrap for the nite.

A good crowd of guys went over to the Hilton for an afterglow and we all sat outside to enjoy a great evening. Former Harmonizer, Mike Louque, stopped by while he was in town and came to the afterglow to see us.

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.)