Monday, April 23, 2012

Looking Back on the 2012 Youth Harmony Festival

This year’s Youth Harmony Festival, Saturday, April 14th, was a great success in all ways.  It was our 5th annual event.

First the youth singers were well prepared to sing and work.  They had been sent learning materials in advance.  There were 54 students from 14 choirs or schools in DE, MD and VA.  Five musical educators were with us for the day to help their students and also learn more about barbershop harmony as a musical education tool.

Scott Kahler was chairman of the event with Don Dillingham as an assistant.  Joe Cerutti was Dean of the Festival and concentrated some time with the musical educators.

Mike Kelly was director and instructor for the boys’ chorus.  Stephanie Brictson was director and instructor for the girls’ chorus.

Scipio Garling taught the visual plans along with Craig Kujawa.

MAYHEM was the BHS guest quartet and ESCAPADE was the SAI guest quartet. Members of the quartets helped the two choruses as section leaders, back-up singers, tag teachers, and then performed for the students.  (Actually MAYHEM was only able to sing one song, with Joe as lead, as their actual lead was unable to escape a work situation.) Edris Qarghah helped as lead section leader and teacher.

Registration began at 9 am on Saturday where the students were given a YHF t-shirt and the usual paperwork. During the day the choruses had work sessions alone and together, sectional rehearsals and practiced the visuals.

A large crew of Harmonizers was on hand Friday nite and during the day on Saturday to help with the registration, pass out the shirts, serve snacks, lunch and dinner, join in the tag singing and room set changes. There was a good pizza feed for the Festival dinner time, and a ton of bottles of water and sodas were consumed.  Members of the FRIENDS of HARMONY helped also.

Saturday nite, parents and family and friends of the students, plus Harmonizer family arrived for the 7 pm show with the Harmonizers as lead off performers.  Noah Van Gilder was emcee.  Shows vp Brian Ammerman helped with the show script. We sang “Great Day,” “Ob La Di, Ob La Da,” “Summertime,” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”  Scipio did the song introductions.   Will Cox and Terry Reynolds directed the Harmonizer songs.

ESCAPADE sang a set on the show, and an octet of students who won the tag-singing contest did their prize winning tag.

And then the boys’ and girls’ choruses each sang a song. Then they came together to do “Just One Lifetime” together.   You could tell the youth had a ball.

The YHF is supported by the Alexandria Chapter as well as the BHS and SAI.  Additional support for the event came from the Federal No. 1 Masonic Lodge, and The Alexandria Commission for the Arts

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 as part of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —Ye Ed.)

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