Friday, October 7, 2011

Looking Back on the October 4th Chapter Meeting

Director Joe Cerutti was back from his coaching trip to Germany and a lot of guys were back from summer breaks. The set up crew did their usual good job – risers, screen, computer, sound stuff, guest chairs, admin tables to sell stuff.

Joe was full of funny stories about the language differences (you need to ask him the word in German for an A flat!). He also thanked Brian Ammerman again for a great fall show, and thanked his assistant directors Will Cox, Mike Kelly and Tony Colosimo for carrying the ball on the guest nite.

After the vocal warm ups, Joe got right to work on the holiday show music – especially the new songs we are adding. Music vp Terry Reynolds operated the projector and we all used the screen for music. Made it a lot easier for all members and the many guests present.

Speaking of guests – we had a huge crop of 13 visitors. Many of the guys were recent guests including returnees from the special guest nite; a few were barbershoppers from other chapters, and some new men who came with another member. Will and Tony conducted a number of vocal assessments to help the guests move along in their “joining” process. Many members also helped welcome our guests up onto the risers, sang tags with them, and helped explain what it means to be a Harmonizer.

The chapter meeting period was managed by operations vp, Mark Klostermeyer. He announced this week’s birthdays. And he filled in for chapter secretary, Chris Buechler, who could only stay at Durant a little while after having some eye work done during the day. Mark gave membership renewal cards to Bob Blair for 12 years and Terry Reynolds for 28 years.

Terry then did a wrap up of news from the fall district contest including honoring our quartets. MAD HATTERS won the quartet contest with our guys Steve White and Rick Taylor singing with Rob Seay and former Harmonizer Scott Disney. Steve White won his fifth district championship and that makes him the guy with the most M-AD champ medals.

MAYHEM with Ken White and Mike Pinto was the fourth place quartet.

The district championship trophy left Alexandria after 11 years and was presented by district officials to Voices of Gotham, this year’s district chorus champ. Funny story about that trophy – while Joe was in Germany he was visiting with some American barbershoppers who were there helping with the school where Joe was coaching and they were telling a funny story about a chapter who had lost the chorus trophy. And that made Joe stand up from his chair and run out to get a message to Scott Kahler --- the M-AD chorus trophy is at the Harmo House! Luckily, Scott got the message and Cheryl Wallen rescued the trophy and got it to Lancaster.

A previous Looking Back column reported all of the other news and more complete details from the contest in Lancaster last weekend.

President Steve Murane was back from his trip to HI and brought greetings from the barbershop chapter there. He reminded everyone that the annual chapter meeting and election is next week, Oct. 11th. Everyone needs to attend, cast a vote for the slate of board and officer nominations and make sure we have a quorum. The slate listed below was presented to the chapter by the nominating committee headed by Brad Jones.

Position Name
President Steve Murane
VP Chapter Development Phil Ashford
VP Operations Scott Kahler
VP Music & Performance Dan O'Brien
VP Shows Brian Ammerman
VP Marketing & PR Steve Lingo
Secretary Chris Buechler
Treasurer Dave Welter
Member At Large 2011-2012* Ken Henderson
Member At Large 2011-2012* Ian Poulin
Member At Large 2012-2013 Troy Hillier
Member At Large 2012-2013 Nick Leiserson
Immediate Past President* Bradley Jones
* - Continuing term - not up for election.

President Steve also reported that the chapter had received a check for just over $2,000 from Harmony Foundation during the House of Delegates meeting in Lancaster. These monies are the result of our members making contributions to Harmony Foundation and ear marking a percentage of it to be returned to their chapter.

After coffee and goodies (thanks to those who brought homemade treats) we were back on the risers to prepare for the holiday show.

Show details as YeEd knows them: Fri nite Dec. 2 at 7:30 pm, Sat afternoon Dec. 3 at 12:30 pm and Sat nite at 6 pm. At First Baptist Church, 2932 King St., Alexandria 22302. A dinner theater with singing waiters. Great for the whole family. Santa likely will stop by.

Chorus members should start working on their costumes – new members check with some of the guys who have done the show before for ideas. Plenty of free parking.

Also chorus members will be asked to bring 4 dozen homemade or extra good goodies to use to make dessert trays for the shows.

Be prepared to get a table of seats reserved for your customers as these shows will likely be sold out. Prices announced are $30 adults 15 and over, $25 seniors 66 and over, $15 kids between 5 and 14, kids under 5 free but ticket required. There will also be 30 premium seats sold up by the stage for each show at $40.

Tickets at 571-969-1377 or

Work continued on the holiday music right up until 10 pm.

Before we dismissed, the chapter sang to Bert Phillips who is moving to TN. He was a great sport and we teased him a lot about his southern accent. We also presented him with a new Harmo name tag listing him as Chapter Vice President in Charge of Lamp Post Relocation (as a joke about his moving the lamp across the stage during the fall show). Bert’s wife Susan was there when we sang the traditional “There Will Always Be a Place on the Risers for You.”

Bert took us out for our last song and then a good crowd went to the afterglow at the Hilton.

Reminder: if you are under 30 and wanna sing the show at Carnegie Hall Dec. 26th, see Joe Cerutti right away.

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, October 5, 2011

Looking Back on the 2011 M-AD Fall Convention

The fall district contest weekend was in Lancaster, PA, at the Marriott and adjacent convention center. (And by the way, across the street was the Central Market with all the good eats for lunch and breakfast!)

As a little history lesson, the quartet contest started with 23 entries who had qualified at one of the division contests earlier this spring. This was the district quartet contest. All entries sang in the Friday nite session and the top 10 highest scoring quartets sang in a finals round on Saturday nite.

Our guys did great! MAD HATTERS with Rob Seay, Scott Disney, Rick Taylor and Steve White placed first and are the new district quartet champs. The popular district quartet that has helped our chapter with the youth festival, FRANK THE DOG, was second. A new quartet with Ryan Griffith’s dad on tenor, LIMELIGHT, was third. MAYHEM, with Richie Lavene, Pookie Dingle Jr., Mike Pinto and Ken White, was fourth.

YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen was 13th (one of their songs, “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore,” was an arrangement by John Hohl); and ROLL O’ THE DICE with Bill Colosimo was 16th.

The top scoring senior’s quartet was LEGACY and they will go on to represent the district at the Mid-Winter BHS convention in January.

The district chorus contest (and concurrent International preliminary chorus contest) was on Saturday. There were 23 choruses who had scored high enough at the spring division contests to be in Lancaster. District champ and rep to the International chorus contest is Voices of Gotham from Hell’s Kitchen, NY. They had 26 on stage. Second place went to The Big Apple Chorus, Manhattan, NY, with 50 singers; third place went to the Chorus of the Chesapeake, Dundalk, MD, with 73 singers; and fourth place went to Long Island Sound, Five Towns College, NY, with 17 singers.

Several current or former Harmonizers were directors of other choruses and some guys were on stage with other choruses too: Mike Wallen directed Richmond, Mike Geipel and Paul Lensch were on the risers; Rick Taylor directed Dundalk, Sam McFarland, Bob Hirsh and Brad Jones were on the risers; Richard Lewellen directed Fairfax; Steve Guy sang with Patapsco Valley; Bill Colosimo directed Washington, DC, Don Dillingham, Bob Wells and Bob Hirsh sang on the risers; Dewey Feuerhelm, Gary Bibens and Michael Calhoun sang with Harrisonburg, VA; Bob Ulibarri sang with LaPlata, MD; Jim Herrick sang with the host chapter chorus, Lancaster.

Two Harmonizers were guest judges as candidates for the weekend – Tony Colosimo in the singing category and Dan O’Brien in the music category. Chuck Hunter’s dad, Chuck Sr., was contest administrator. Our coach, Brandon Guyton, was a singing judge.

Gary Plaag and Dennis Ritchey were emcees for contest sessions. Both did a great job of keeping the audience entertained and involved in the contest.

Eric Wallen and Joe Sawyer were hosts for the webcast of the weekend. Mike Kelly and Mary Anne Cleaveland coordinated the video filming for the contestants.

Saturday nite the evening began with a tribute to OLD SCHOOL who won the 2011 quartet championship in July and represented our district.

Other events on the program included a chorus of past district quartet champs – Mid Atlantic District Association of District Champions (MADAQC). Bill and Tony Colosimo were directors of that chorus during the presentation to name this year’s new district champs. Jay Butterfield was their emcee. Other guys at the convention representing past district champs included Mike Kelly, Joe Sawyer, Mike Pinto, Gary Plaag, Rick Taylor, John Hohl, Mike Wallen, Wayne Adams, Ryan Griffith, and Steve White.

Always important to recognize our chapter members who also serve our district as leaders: Gary Plaag, immediate past president; Bill Colosimo, executive vp; Bob Eckman, treasurer; Keith Jones, secretary; Dennis Ritchey, board member at large; Chuck Harner, vp chapter support & leadership training, and vp southern division; Gary Plaag, vp youth in harmony; Alan Wile, vp financial development; Mike Kelly, chief information officer; Carl Kauffman, district events team treasurer. Thanks for going the extra mile. They also represented our chapter at the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday in Lancaster. During the chorus contest, Chris Buechler filled in as vp contest and judging for John Santora, who was competing.

For fun, YeEd will take a chance at listing the many other “Harmonizer family” guys who were at the convention and not mentioned above: Tim Buell, Dean Martin, Arthur Louis, Lew Klinge, Terry Reynolds, Terry Jordan, Andrew Havens, Jack Pitzer, Noah Van Gilder and Bruce Minnick.

Thanks to Alan Wile our new CD was on sale this weekend in the Harmony Marketplace.

Next year’s fall convention will be in Ocean City, MD. The headquarters hotel will be The Grand Hotel, 2100 Baltimore Ave.

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.)