Thursday, August 4, 2011

Looking Back on the August 2nd “Summer Camp” Chapter Meeting

Camp Director Terry Reynolds and his counselors were ready for the Harmonizer Campers who came out for this summer break event. It was fun for all with a lot of variety.

There were no risers, nor a chorus rehearsal. Thanks to Scott Kahler for getting us sound for the evening. Warm up time was singing a “Pole Cat” directed by Bob Wachter. Music vp and camp director, Terry, did a part-by-part review of “Keep The Whole World Singing” and the “Harmonizer Welcome Song” which we sing each week to welcome visitors to our chapter. Words and music for this song were created by former director, John Hohl.

Dr. Jeremy Richardson conducted a class on the physics of sound with av, demonstrations using glasses filled with water and a thorough printed handout. There was a great student/teacher Q&A period.

The evening also included a period of Ask The Music Committee which brought out some good topics about repertoire, voice parts, etc.

YeEd inserted trivia questions between program items. One item was “Which quartet was disqualified by judges at International and then announced at that moment by the contest emcee?” The quartet was the POTOMA CHORDS with our director then, Oz Newgard. But YeEd didn’t know what they were given a zero score. So while the chapter meeting was going on, he called former director Scott Werner in FL. (Scott says hi to all!) He also recalls the incident well, as his quartet, the NOVA CHORDS were next to sing in that contest and it shook them up a lot to have heard the emcee announce the DQ. No quartet has likely had that happen since. Scott says the DQ was given by the arrangement judges for inappropriate song selection.

Another Summer Camp session was about truly woodshedding. Bob Blair sang the melody to a song and then the guys tried their hand at finding their parts to sing along.

The campers were then given a chance to attend one of three breakout sessions – building a barbershop chord; learning other “Pole Cat” songs; or watching contest videos of Harmonizer performances in the past and one of the Midwest Vocal Express from WI and their “fishes in a glass fish tank” package.

For break, there was lots of tasty watermelon.

After break, quartet promo guy, Eric Wallen, conducted a tag singing contest. There were 9 entries – mostly put together earlier in the evening. Lew Klinge was emcee (and he did not disappoint – he made a “call” to his friend at BHS headquarters, Ev Nau).

Judges were Ellen Dellert, one of our fans from the FRIENDS group; Adams Bradley, a member of the Class of 2011; and Chuck Harmer, a member of the Class of 1976, YeEd was secretary for the judging event.

Third place was won by THE MIGHTY WA-WA’s – Drew Fuller, Brian Ammerman, Eric Wallen and Steve Murane.

Second place was won by TAGS AND SWIPES FOREVER – Rick Savage, Bob Blair, Chuck Hunter and Eric Wallen.

First place was won by EVIL COMPANIONS – Scipio Garling, Noah Van Gilder, Jeremy Richardson and Terry Reynolds. They sang a tag to “Old Kentucky Home” and “Evil Companions.”

Eric Wallen was declared winner of the George-Azzam-Who-Could-Sing-in-The-Most-Quartets Award! He showed up in three.

There were a number of guests present for Camp and a some of them sang in tag quartets in the contest. Welcome to all – great to have you singing with us. Some were in the DC area for summer internships, for special work assignments or on vacation. Congrats to Josh and Amy Roots who were married this past weekend. Josh’s uncle, Chuck, was a guest. He officiated at the wedding ceremony – and was the guy who talked Josh into joining our chorus a few years ago – and thus earned the Man of Note for sponsoring Josh.

Great to have Chuck Hunter in town one more time before his trip to Bagdad.

Martin Banks brought a great display for guests to see about the chapter’s participation in International chorus contests.

There was a little business session with announcements conducted by Camp Life Guard, Mark Klostermeyer. Brian Ammerman reminded guys to work on ticket sales for the fall show and word that a new show flyer is out which includes a direct phone number for customers to use in ordering tickets.

Bruce Lauther will be gone for a couple weeks to Europe so will suspend medal engraving and Carnegie Hall CD sales til he returns.

Scipio Garling stressed the Membership 125 Drive.

After the quartet contest, we closed shop and a big crowd went to the Hilton for an afterglow. We were outside since it was cooler, and thus there was some tag singing. The guys wanted to be sure to get in one more tagging session with Chuck before he leaves us again. He was using his famous teaching method of using his fingers to create the lines and spaces of a musical staff.

Guest Cameron Bolt directed KTWWS.

YeEd has heard a little news from our Harmonizer pals at Harmony University in MO. Stay tuned for a special report.

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, August 1, 2011

Looking Back on the 2011 Ft. Ward Show, July 28th

This year’s show at Ft. Ward Park was really a success – good sized chorus for almost 200 folks seated in the amphitheater. It was hot, but no rain!

The blue shirts with black looked good. Scott Kahler helped the city-provided sound guy. Other Harmo helpers include a riser crew that had to set things up in the heat; John Pence for the song board; Keith Jones taking attendance; and YeEd.

Tony Colosimo did vocal warm ups on the hill beyond the show venue. The show was completely directed by the chorus assistant directors – Will Cox, Tony Colosimo and Mike Kelly. Director Joe Cerutti was in MI as faculty for a youth vocal camp.

Our debut of “That’s Amore” was a hit – lots of audience interaction, great job by Terry “Terrance” Reynolds as singing waiter, and “Guido” played by Don Dillingham. Scipio Garling set up the song so the audience was willing to get in on the fun.

We did the same to set up the contest package for the audience to understand the theme of the two-song package. New emcees this show did a great job – Don Dillingham, Steve White, and Andrew Plocher!

The HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES quartet did a great job entertaining – Rick Savage, Tony Colosimo, Ken Ives and Mike Kelly.

From the stage, our emcee crew invited men to come sing with us. We thanked the Alexandria Dept. of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities for their support. We also thanked the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Alexandria Arts Forum for attending the show.

Chapter shows vp, Ken White, announced the details about the fall show at the Hylton Center, Sept. 24th. Brian Ammermann set up a table at the edge of the stage after the show to sell tickets.

All the guys came off the stage to meet and greet and thanks folks for coming and to suggest guys come sing with 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 with the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —Ye Ed.)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Looking Back on the July 26th Chapter Meeting

YeEd was in New Orleans Tuesday, so a big thanks to Alan Wile for taking the following notes for this week’s column.

Summer continues as the Harmonizers prepare for the usual July and August shows AND for Summer Camp on Tuesday, Aug. 2 and Aug. 9. Visitors welcome for those fun summer meeting nites.

This week’s meeting and rehearsal was a busy one.

Will Cox conducted the warm-up. There were sectionals to work on “That’s Amore” and “No More Sorrows.” As Director Joe Cerutti will not be here for the Fort Ward show, the assistant directors will be out front. With that in mind, and when all sections returned, Mike Kelly directed “No More Sorrows.”

Will directed “That’s Amore” and Joe announced that if we sing this song at the “A” level at Fort Ward that will be the first and last time we sing it. Great cheers erupted.

Mike did “Great Day.” Tony Colosimo did “Hello My Baby,” Mike did “Ob La Di, Ob La Da” with a slight shortening of the song. Joe did a lot of coaching on this one. Will did “Summertime.”

There was a buzz in the hall about all of our Harmonizer buddies going to Harmony University, Director’s College and Candidate School for future judges. Joe was leaving Wednesday for a youth chorus festival in Michigan and then to Harmony University where he will be on the faculty again. Others on the faculty are Gary Plaag, Mike Kelly and Jay Butterfield. Dan O’Brien and Tony Colosimo will be going a bit early to attend candidate school to determine whether they may become candidates in the music and singing categories, respectively. Chris Buechler will be teaching at the candidate school. DA CAPO will attend Harmony U as a quartet for coaching. The quartet, Dan and Kellen Hertz are attending on scholarships from the chapter.

(YeEd figures there might be other Harmonizers and former Harmonizers in St. Joseph, MO, so he has asked some reporters to keep us posted. Stay tuned.)

Joe announced that he’s selected the up-tune for the 2013 contest and then taught the tag.

Mark Klostermeyer conducted the chapter meeting portion of the evening.
• Show tickets on sale – see Brian Ammerman.
Bruce Lauther reminded about medal engraving – give him yours and pick it up the next week. Small fee.
Bruce encouraged the members to sign a large card for Dean Rust who is taking an extended sabbatical from the active chorus.
• And Bruce noted that Mike Shirota arranged for a DVD of the entire Carnegie Hall Show to be produced – sign up with Bruce; cost is $20/each.

Phil Ashford announced/introduced guests:
o Paul Douglas (an applicant)
o Alex Kuessa from Munich but who sports a gold medal won with the Ambassadors of Harmony in KC – visited once before (some time ago).
o Larry Goodfried – also wearing a AoH gold medal too.
o Josh Ehrlich – from the Voices of Gotham (Hell’s Kitchen Chapter) AND he brought a guest (next).
o Aaron WienerJosh’s guest … who lives in DC.
o Long-time member, Terry Jordan, was in house for this week’s meeting.

When back on the risers, Fort Ward Show Producer, Greg Tepe, brought us up-to-date on show details (riser crew at 6:00 p.m.; chorus call at 6:30 p.m. In case of inclement weather stay alert for cancellation. Uniform: short-sleeve teal travel shirt and everything else in black!
Alan Wile urged members to take a brochure on one of the “after international” barbershop cruises to Alaska being offered next year with Jo and Ron Black.
• M&P VP Terry Reynolds hyped “summer camp” which will take place the next two Tuesdays. Next week will include a tag contest (each contesting quartet will sing two tags; prizes will be awarded).
• Shows VP, Ken White, hyped three shows: Fort Ward Park, Market Square, and our Dog Days … and our fall show. With lots on our plate, he urged the members NOT to miss. Noted again that Brian Ammerman had tickets for the fall show and encouraged all to sell, sell, sell. Tickets will also be sold at Fort Ward Park.
• President Steve Murane reported that he’d sung in a large mixed ensemble it the Hylton (venue in Manassas for our fall show) and it is an excellent performance hall.
Steve also displayed a photo portfolio of pictures taken at the Carnegie Hall show and presented to him by a Japanese attendee at the Kansas City convention. Evidently the pictures are also on a CD. The point is that our performance at that benefit show had and continues to have great impact on the Japanese people.
Joe highlighted the significant aspects of the upcoming fall show and suggested that IF we sell out the hall, we may be in line for a place in the facility’s concert series … which would be awfully beneficial financially. If you can’t sell a ticket, buy an ad – Nick Leisersen is our “ad guy” for this show.
Joe insists that there be 125 guys on the international stage when next we compete (2013); said the third Tuesday is important because of the upcoming major show; and expects everyone to come up with two viable candidates for membership.

Back to singing, Tony directed “Stars and Stripes” (front row out to lobby to drill their routine) and then “What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor?” (who ever heard of such a thing? Must be Army propaganda!) and the front row returned.

Will directed “NY, NY” and “If I Loved You.”

KTWWS was directed by Chuck Hunter in town before returning to his new post with the State Department. And then the night was over, save for putting away the risers, et al, and an afterglow at the Hilton.

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.)