Friday, October 28, 2011

Looking Back on the October 25th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the October 25th Chapter Meeting

(YeEd was still in Indiana this week, so thanks to Alan Wile and a new reporter who teamed up to help, Nick Leiserson.)

Members began arriving shortly after 6:00 p.m. While a crew of Carl Kauffmann, Jacob George, Chuck McKeever, Mark Klostermeyer (K_12), Steve Lingo, Joel Golden, and others put up the risers, those performing other jobs and plying their wares at the edges included Ian Poulin (show tickets and scrip gift cards), Roger Day (50-50), Chuck Harner (Entertainment Books), Sandy Stamps & Mary Anne Cleaveland (Choir of the World CDs, White House Ornaments, and beverages), Bruce Lauther (Carnegie Hall show DVDs & engraved medals), Steve White (later relieved by Phil Ashford – Membership), Chris Buechler (chapter secretary functions), Terry Reynolds (laptop/projector), Dixie Kennett (attendance), Alan Wile (Harmonizer Hero and Heroine notebooks), Mike Kelly (sound).

As the clock moved close to 7 p.m. VP-Ops K-12 called the Harmonizers to the risers and Assistant Director Will Cox warmed us up before turning us over to Director Joe Cerutti. Joe had us sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” one time through while in our normal performance positions and then moved us into sections … and continued working the same song. He first selected an octet to perform the first few bars for the chorus and then asked them to select replacements. This was repeated four more times, with each group singing a bit more of the song each time. Finally, he asked for a volunteer quartet and when no lead members answered the call, one of our guests, John Carston, came forward [BRAVO!!!]. Not quite done, Joe drilled the chorus some more on the first part of the song.

Moving on, Joe worked the chorus on “The Little Drummer Boy,” concentrating on Chorus III to the end of the song. Joe was impressed with the progress the chorus made while he was at the Sweet Adelines convention.

Then, in preparation for the Veterans Day program in which we will be participating (on Friday, November 11th), we sang the “Armed Forces Medley” and “God Bless The USA.” Librarian Bob Mattes had copies of the music for new guys that might not have seen it before; Terry
announced that it should also be available on one of the websites early this week.

Joe then turned the program over to K-12 who announced that only one member, Craig Kujawa, was celebrating his birthday this week – October 28th. K-12 urged the members to purchase scrip, show tickets, Entertainment Books, CDs, WHOs, etc. during the break and noted that a second order for Carnegie Hall show DVDs would be going in this week for those who missed out the first time or who need additional copies. Chapter Secretary Chris Buechler announced one renewal for the week: Marketing VP Steve Lingo just finished his fourth year of membership.

Ian Poulin explained the hows and whys of our scrip/gift card program (which benefits the chapter) and promised to send out a list of all the participating stores by e-mail. He also stated he would accept credit cards to pay for cards for which the chapter gets a 4% (or more) return.

Membership vp Phil Ashford called our seven guests to come down front. There were a couple first-timers, one who came as a guest of another guest, Carlos Barillo, who has been with us the last few weeks. Phil introduced them all in suitable style and noted that three of them were applicants! WOW! When introductions were complete, Will directed the “Harmonizer Welcome Song” … and then we headed off the risers for a 10-minute break.

Back on the risers, holiday show producer Bob Mattes updated us on the progress and urged us to sell-sell-sell to ensure each performance will be sold out. Ian announced that all the premium seats are sold out for the Saturday evening performance. [Good job, guys!]

Music & Performance VP Terry Reynolds introduced the show script gurus, Scipio Garling and Josh Roots. Scipio gave us a preliminary look at what to expect: three acts, with the third being the time when we’ll sing our more traditional and serious seasonal songs. The first two acts will erupt as a play in which our lovable “Jack” (in the box) [played by Terry] will be confronted by adversary “Jingle” (the marketing elf from the Federal Department of Seasons and Holidays) [played by Ken White].

Terry mentioned that there will be a couple of parody songs to learn for the show: namely, altered lyrics to “Jingle Bells” as well as “Carol Of The *Sales*.”

He also reminded the chorus that we will be performing our patriotic songs on 11/11/11, for which the uniform will be military uniform or coat & tie. Chorus call is at 8:30 am, the performance starts at 9:30, and Harmonizers should expect to be finished by 10:30. Bob Blair announced that he was looking for volunteers for a riser crew at 8 am that morning.

Finally, Terry reminded the Music Committee of their upcoming meeting this Sunday at 1 pm at the Harmo House.

President Steve Murane informed the chapter about the passing of Brad and Adele Jones’ son, Brandon. Service details have been distributed by e-mail and were in The Washington Post this morning: visitation on Sunday, Oct. 30th; service on Monday, Oct. 31st.

Steve also announced he will be handling all China trip related business while Brad is away.

Standing back up on the risers, Joe rehearsed “Jingle Bells,” “Let All Mortal Flesh,” “O Holy Night,” “Sing We Now Of Christmas,” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” Just when we thought we were done, Joe reprised “The Little Drummer Boy” in an attempt to cement what we’d done (learned … mastered) earlier.

Lastly, he noted that about 130 young singers have signed up to perform at the Carnegie Hall benefit concert on December 26th and urged any youngish singers (age 30 or younger) interested in joining the group to contact him in the next day or two.

Terry reminded that we’re to be off the music from measure 55 to the end of “Little Drummer Boy” by next week and announced that except for that song, none of the holiday music will be projected (i.e., look it over and master it this week!).

Tom Griffith highlighted the run/walk for Multiple Myeloma (for John Pence) on November 13th – the $25 registration fee gets you a tee shirt and the privilege of running/walking for a much needed cause.

K-12 read off the first 50-50 number … for cash … quickly claimed by Jack Cameron. The second 50-50 number (yes, we had a dual drawing this week) … for a discount certificate for framing (donated by K12 and suitable for framing)… was won by Alan Wile.

Taking us out, Jacob George did a masterful job directing “Keep The Whole World Singing.” Magically, all the risers, chairs, tables, sound equipment, Harmonizers, etc. disappeared by 10:30 p.m. as TDB rehearsed on the stage.

YeEd adds this news sent to us from Michael Calhoun and other Staunton, VA, area barbershoppers reporting on the health situation of Alan Durick: Alan was leaving the King's Daughters nursing home in Staunton, Oct. 25 to be at their home. A hospice worker will continue to visit Alan and Lois.

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.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Looking Back on the October 18th Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the October 18th Chapter Meeting

(Thanks to Alan Wile for writing the column this week while YeEd is in Indiana.)

Bruce Lauther was the first through the door and set up to give up medals he’s had engraved and DVDs from our Carnegie Hall performance. Come on, guys – pick‘em up! Dick Hall busily worked to repair the wooden music stand used to hold the operations notebook. Steve White and Chuck Harner set up tables around the room, after which Chuck set up to sell/distribute four different Entertainment Books. Sandy and Mick Stamps set up with our new CDs (from the Choir of the World show), books by Joel Golden’s brother (Eaten By A Snake), and cold beverages.

Risers were assembled by Bob Blair, Carl Kauffmann, Bob Rhome, Chris Huber, Clyde Crusenberry, and others. The books containing all the Harmonizer Hero and Heroine forms submitted to date were set out for review. Roger Day hawked 50-50 “opportunities.” Ian Poulin sold tickets to the upcoming holiday show and scrip. Dixie Kennett took attendance and Steve White subbed for Membership VP Phil Ashford. Sound equipment was set out by Scott Kahler.

In the temporary absence of VP-OPS Mark Klostermeyer (K-12), Bob Rhome called “Harmonizers on the risers!” as the clock approached 7 p.m. and Assistant Director Will Cox warmed us up with catchy hand-clap sequences and an assortment of vocal arpeggios, after which we were directed to reassemble in sections.

Director Joe Cerutti was in Houston for the Sweet Adeline International contest and convention. A bunch of our members were there also. Joe’s SAI chorus, the Pride of Baltimore, came in 12th. Congats to our friends in POB.

Since Joe was gone, our assistant directors worked with the chorus on the show music. We rehearsed “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” and “Caroling, Caroling” and then changed directors to work on “The Chipmunks Christmas Song,” “Blue Christmas,” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” while VP-Music & Performance Terry Reynolds ran the projector. Tony directed “Ave Maria” before sending us off to sectionals to work on the “Hallelujah Chorus” and “The Little Drummer Boy.” Thanks to Joel Golden for preparing a learning track for the upper basses on the latter.

K-12 announced birthdays of the week: Jack McKendree on the 20th, Jack Pitzer on the 21st, and Bill Colosimo (Tony’s dad) on the 23rd. Steve White called all the guests down and introduced them – all 8 and all repeaters! He also acknowledged Roger Day’s presence, who announced that, “I am back!” We were also pleased to see Jack Stonesifer, who just finished his freshman year at Marshall University. After Will directed the “Harmonizer Welcome Song,” all were excused for a 10 minute break.

Returning to the risers, Roger Day announced that the 50-50 has been reinstated (which he began a few years ago). Roger is our holiday show decorator extraordinaire. In this role, he asked that every member wrap two large (copy paper size) boxes with shiny paper and that he’ll be in need of a host of volunteers to come early to help bring the venue to “holiday life.”

VP-Shows Ken White reminded us about our participation in the Veterans Day program (again) at the Oakton Elementary School AND that we’ll be performing at Market Square on Saturday, December 10th.

Terry Reynolds emphasized the need to be off the music on the more traditional holiday music AND to adhere to the learning schedule for both the “Hallelujah Chorus” and “The Little Drummer Boy.”

Chapter President Steve Murane reminded members of the current and next year’s board that the annual leadership retreat will be held on Saturday, November 19th. Also, he stressed the necessity for next year’s board members to attend the Leadership Academy classes on Saturday, October 29th. [Alan’s note: LA classes are open to anyone who would like to attend; the application is on the district website.]

Attendance, taken most nights by Dixie Kennett, is on our Groupanizer site. All members were encouraged to check it weekly to ensure that it is accurate as the site will name those who have repeated absences … and none of us want to be on that list if we can help it.

Back in standing position, still in sections, Will worked the “Hallelujah Chorus,” followed by Tony on “The Little Drummer Boy,” which brought us to the end of the evening.

K-12 drew the lucky 50-50 number and although TJ Jones tried to claim the prize ($42 … not shabby at all), Scott Kahler actually had the winning ticket. Taking us out was our returning college man, Jack Stonesifer, who directed “Keep The Whole World Singing.” Risers were disassembled and placed under the stage, chairs and tables put back in their appointed places and, once the room was cleared, a few stalwarts reassembled at the Hilton for an afterglow gathering.

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.)