Thursday, June 28, 2012

Looking Back on the June 26th Chapter Meeting

Chorus members had trouble getting in on time this week – some traffic, some just enjoying a great summer nite.  But in the end, the risers were full and we had 15 plus guests, and several members back with us this week.

The call-to-the-risers was listening to Toronto’s contest package from 2002.

Assistant director Will Cox did vocal warm ups and then yielded to director Joe Cerutti.

Before he started us singing, Joe praised the chorus for their hard work in preparation and then in executing a great for-pay gig at Constitution Hall for the annual Jefferson Awards.  We teased him about his picture with Harry Conick Jr. and he shared all the details of how it happened.  We enjoyed the inside scoop.

Joe confessed he was pretty worried about some things for the show like the walk-in and the extra songs we had to add for their producer.  But it was all great.  Kudos to the 82 guys who sang the show, to the soloists, emcees, our in-house show producer Greg Tepe, show salesman Bruce Lauther, riser crews, and chorus manager Mark Klostermeyer.

There was a New Member Bootcamp with Will Cox and membership vp Phil Ashford.

Then we sang a few reps of another new song to learn – “Circle of Life” which we will sing with Toronto in China and likely add to the repertoire.  Our TBD group will sing the patter with us.

And then from out of the past, we sang three more songs the musical leaders hope to add to the usable repertoire – “Drunken Soldier,” “Armed Forces Medley,” and “That’s Amore.”

It was warm in Durant, but we pushed on.

The chapter meeting was conducted by operations vp Scott Kahler. Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented a 9-year membership renewal card to Craig Kujawa.   Brad Jones returned passport to some of the guys going to China.

Membership vp Phil welcomed the long line of guests which included a number of applicants for membership (a couple just filled out their forms tonite); several guys from other barbershop chapters who were in DC metro area visiting family while on vacation; family and friends of members and guests, and some potential singers with us for the first time.  As is our tradition, they were greeted with handshakes by the director, president and membership vp, while Will Cox directed us in singing the “Harmo Welcome Song” to the guests. A number of members were back too – YeEd recalls Dean Rust, Adam Bradley, Bob Wilson, Bob Ulibarri, Wayne Adams, Joe Sawyer.

The chorus was given a 15-minute break for refreshments, business matters, and quartet singing.

Chapter meeting continued after the break with our International quartet send off.  Steve White recognized the Harmonizers in quartets headed to Portland next week – Ken White and Mike Pinto in MAYHEM; Jay Butterfield and Andrew Havens in TOP SHELF; and Tony Colosimo, Wayne Adams and Joe Sawyer in DA CAPO.  This is the first time to the “big dance” for Ken and Andrew.  Break-a-leg greetings to all.  The chapter presents a convention registration for each Harmo in a quartet that represents us at International.

Ellen Dellert represented the FRIENDS OF HARMONY who also honored our quartet guys. She also gave MAYHEM a roll of wild-color duck tape in case they get another broken trophy that needs to be held together (as they did when they won the Southern Division in 2011.)

Shows vp Brian Ammerman asked guys to wrap up ticket sales matters from the spring show; mark their calendar for the July 3 chapter meeting – a summer hospital sing at Inova Alexandria on Seminary Road; and to mark their calendar for the Aug 11 show in Lancaster PA.

President Steve Murane presented an Honorary Membership to Greg Tepe for his work as our show producer for major for-hire events.  Thanks Greg.

Then, as promised in an earlier email to all, Steve announced a great opportunity for the chapter and chorus recently approved by the board, pending chapter member approval.  The Alexandria Harmonizers have been invited to be the primary entertainment of the United States contingent at the 70th anniversary celebration of the D-Day landings in June, 2014, in Normandy, France. 

The gentleman who offered the invitation to us is Mr. Earl Hurrey, a retired Marine and former member of the Marine Corps Band. There's another member of the Marine Corps Band in our midst who has nagged Earl for the last few decades about how good the Harmonizers are and even got him to attend some of our shows where he could finally see for himself what a quality group we are, which led him to think of us first when he was given the opportunity to organize this show. So a huge thank you must be sent out to Ike Evans for all he did to help us secure this wonderful gig. It's guys like Ike who do a lot of things behind the scenes but don't get recognized often enough who make this chorus great. Please say thank you to him the next time you see him.

The chorus members in attendance gave their unanimous vote to approve as did director Joe.  Stay tuned for more details.

After this meeting session, director Joe taught the barbershop craft session.

We ended the evening with some solid work on the fall contest package.

Guys went right to work on putting the house always and a large crowd came to the Hilton for the afterglow.

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.)

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