Thursday, August 11, 2011

Looking Back on the August 9th “Summer Camp” Chapter Meeting

The second week of Harmo Summer Camp was fun and relaxing and educational. Camp Director Terry Reynolds had things well organized and used several of the music team to help conduct classes. One session was “Ask The Music Committee” which prompted some good questions.

Mike Kelly kicked of the singing with work “Shine On Me” for the new guys (and even some of the guys who have been members a while). Then we had a push out quartet event using the same song. It was fun to see guys singing other parts than they usually sing in the chorus.

Tony Colosimo worked on the Harmonizer song, “Place on the Risers for You” which we sing to any member who departs the chapter, relocates or perhaps even at a funeral. YeEd related the history of why the song was written by Bob Bates with music and arrangement by John Hohl, in 1987.

During the evening there were two periods when the gang had a choice of three breakout sessions. With help from Will Cox, Tony, Mike, Bob Blair, Joe and Terry, these sessions were offered: wood shedding; building a barbershop chord; tag singing; a talk about the “barbershop umbrella” or what makes it barbershop with recorded examples or excerpts; watching contest videos of past Harmonizer and Dallas gold medal performances; and singing polecat songs. The guys from the tag singing session sang one of their sweet new tags they learned for the rest of us to enjoy. (YeEd suspects it was brought back by our guys who went to Harmony University last week.)

In last week’s column, YeEd reported that we sang polecat songs too. And that prompted this response from Bob Caldwell: please refer to those old songs we sing by their complete name, the barberpole cat songs. A polecat is a skunk. Yes, I know, many people refer to them as polecats. but it's a personal pet peeve of mine. Thanks for your indulgence.”

Before break there was the usual meeting of “campers” with important announcements.

NOTE: this Friday, Aug. 12th is our annual singout at Market Square in Old Town Alexandria. It is another of our concerts for the City of Alexandria in appreciation for their support, and honestly it is a good way to recruit singers. See the 8/9/11 email from producer, Greg Tepe, for more details but a few important ones are (1) the 6:30 call, (2) wear the teal shirt with black pants and shoes, (3) if you park in the lot under Market Square bring your parking receipt to be stamped for free parking, (4) if your family comes suggest they bring lawn chairs, (5) plan to go out after the singing to enjoy Old Town, and (6) if you are a new singer you can plan to come and go from the risers in this setting.

Secretary Buechler offered to help members get Harmo shirts. See him if you need some new casual gear.

President, Steve Murane, pleaded with all members to sell tickets for the Sept. 24th show!!!!!!
There is a board meeting next Wednesday at Durant.

Membership vp, Phil Ashford, introduced a big crop of guests. As you might expect, some were barbershoppers from other chapters in town on vacation, tho a couple are here as part of relocation for work. There were a couple applicants too!

The refreshment crew had ice cream bars for the campers this week.

After break, Terry taught everyone the “MICKEY MOUSE” tag; and we watched the video of the 1995 gold medal performance of the Harmonizers singing “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” Director Joe Cerutti has already announced that the chapter will be singing those songs for Southern Division when we next compete. Seeing the performance got the current front row guys talking about learning those dance steps!!

Last week’s recap column also prompted this fun email note from George Azzam; “Tell Eric Wallen congrats! One of these days I’m going to make it down there for the put together contest or tag contest and surprise everyone by winning my own award (and sing all four parts in a bunch of quartets). Hope all is well in Virginia. Thanks again for YeEd’s weekly updates…I enjoy reading them and keeping up with my Harmonizer family. All is well up here in the Seneca Land District in beautiful central New York. Chords are ringing. Cheers!” George.

Martin Banks prepared another display for camp this week helping guys see what songs the Harmonizers have sung in the contests over the years. AND accepting this challenge, he not only listed our international contest songs since 1978, but every song the Harmonizers ever sang, with the year we introduced them and the year they were written.

Late breaking chapter news from President Steve: Clyde Crusenberry has agreed to take over from Tom Berkey as Community Service vp for the chapter. Tom and his wife, Ina, are relocating to another state.

YeEd has also gotten news from Victor Hills at West Point. He has competed his first 12-week training for new cadets and is now gearing up to start classes. He is planning to audition for the glee club too. His parents are going up this weekend to see him and celebrate his accomplishment. He can now get mail at Cadet Victor Hills, PO Box 1924, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10997-1924.

As a reminder, Harmonizers should also begin planning to attend the singout on Tues. Aug. 23rd in Manassas for Dog Days. It is a late-summer event hosted by the chapter there and includes a sing by all the Virginia chapters in the area. We sing last. But plan your travel (it is at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 12975 Purcell Rd., Manassas, 20112). A great kick off for our fall season.
Also a good opportunity for former Harmonizers to come and see everyone. Starts at 7 pm.

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.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Looking Back on the Chapter’s Participation at the August 2011 Harmony University

As usual, the Harmonizers were on the top of the heap at Harmony University with our guys everywhere.

Chris Buechler was kind to send a list of names of the 15 guys there and what they were up to during this special week when barbershoppers can add to their musical and leadership knowledge.

Several of our guys were on the faculty. Dr. Jay Butterfield taught Directing techniques II, Sight Singing I, and How To Analyze Voices.

Our own chorus director, Joe Cerutti was the director for the Directors Chorus (guys taking choral directing training) and he also taught two classes of Choral Methods.

This was the first year for Mike Kelly to be on the faculty at HU. He taught Website Design For Your Ensemble, Webcast Production, and was also editor of the HU newsletter, the Harmissiourian.

Gary Plaag was director of the Coaching Apprentice Program and taught a class on Barbershop Butterflies Bite The Dust, and did Coaching 2 – PRS.

Other friends of the chapter were on the faculty as well: Richard Lewellen, David Wright, Steve Tramack, Kirk Young and Cindy Hansen Ellis.

One aspect of the week is to provide coaching for quartets who come as a foursome to sing and get the benefit of the top coaches in the BHS. Our guys from DA CAPO - Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer and Wayne Adams – had a busy week. YeEd hears they were a huge hit on both the Friday nite quartet show with their “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and as a featured act on the Saturday nite finale with “Help from My Friends,” “Ebb Tide” and “Stars and Stripes.”

Ryan Killeen is a member of our chapter and is also on the Barbershop Harmony Foundation staff and he was there to help and work. Former member, Larry Deters and currently Acting BHS CEO, was on campus too.

Another group of our members were at HU as students. Jorge Acevedo was there to attend Directors College which is part of the educational schedule. Jorge directs the El Paso Border Chorders.

Other guys from our chapter attending classes include Chris Buechler, Tom Gannon, Kellen Hertz, Ray Kahler and Dan O'Brien. Kellen sang in the NEXT GENERATION chorus – all of the guys were 26 or younger! It was directed by Justin Miller from the gold medal Westminster Chorus and now the director for our M-AD friends in NYC in the Big Apple Chorus. Erin Odell was a student in the Directors College. She has recently been named director for a Sweet Adeline chorus near where she will be teaching in Richmond this fall. Congrats.

Prior to the start of HU, there was a training session to help guys qualify as candidate judges in the BHS Contest and Judging program. Dan O’Brien (music category) and Tony Colosimo (singing category) are both candidates now in . Former Harmonizer, Paul Wietlisbach (presentation category), is now a candidate, too. He is a on the BHS staff and worked as HU Dean. Our own Chris Buechler was faculty for the candidates who wanted to get into the contest administration category.

The Alexandria chapter provided scholarships for Dan, Kellen and DA CAPO this year. If it sounds like fun and something you wanna do next year, be sure to let the music and performance vp know next spring. And ask some of this year’s crew more about the classes and things they learned.

YeEd figures we will get true confessions soon from our brother Harmonizers about who ate the most ice cream (a special attraction at HU), who stayed up the most hours singing tags, who had the biggest steak in Kansas City before they came back to VA, and who can’t wait to tell other guys in our chapter about the great experience they had.

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. —YeEd.)