Thursday, January 19, 2012

Looking Back on the January 17th Chapter Meeting

It was really fun to see the surprised look on the faces of the guys when they arrived last nite and saw the risers backed up to the stage.

Just part of the More Fun’r campaign.

Director Joe Cerutti was at the BHS midwinter convention in Tucson.  He is a member of the Society’s board and they needed to meet in advance of the convention to interview finalists for the BHS executive director position.

Assistant director Will Cox did the vocal warm ups and had us sing one of the Valentine songs – as a drill for guys to prepare for their big day on Feb. 14th.

Assistant director Terry Reynolds announced the plans for the evening and introduced Geri and Royall Geis.  She developed the visual package and creative approach to how we presented our contest package in 1995 and won our third gold medal.  She also explained how the package came about and how we had broken new ground in presentation.

Since the men have done well in learning “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” they were able in incorporate her instruction into their performance.  Geri also met with all the new men who had not worked with Geri before so they could catch up easier.

After the contest refresher, Will directed “Battle Hymn” which we are “dusting off” to use in a package show that has a patriotic theme.  Assistant director Mike Kelly directed “Stars and Stripes” and “Great Day” which will also be on that show.

Operations vp Scott Kahler conducted the weekly business meeting.  Phil Ashford introduced our guests for the evening which included about 5 applicants and one first-timer who was driving from FL to Canada.

Ken Henderson promoted sales of Singing Valentines and offered handout materials including business cards and a display rack for the cards on counters and desks.  Eric Wallen has offered to help guys form quartets to sing the jobs that day.  And members have been asked to take the day off from work so we can fill all the jobs. 

You should also sell some Singing Valentines  – at the office, your carpool, your neighbors, your golf buddies who need to make amends for being gone so much, for your mom or sister or aunt or secretary or waitress or nurse or dental assistant or Starbuck’s worker.  Here is what we are offering – all to be delivered some time on Tues., Feb. 14th:

Love on the Line -- $30 Singing Valentine sent by telephone

The Heartthrob -- $60 Singing Valentine with a personalized card and a single rose

The Romeo -- $75 Singing Valentine with a personalized card and a dozen roses

The Be-My-Valentine -- $90 Singing Valentine with a personalized card, a dozen roses and a box of chocolates.

Valentine hotline is 571-969-1379 or

Chapter IT chairman Scott Kahler alerted the chapter that he would be using the emergency notification message system soon as a test.  If you have not signed up, do so.

President Steve Murane asked guys to turn in their skills survey by next Tues, Jan. 24th.

Steve also extended invites for the Chapter Awards Banquet being held on Sat. nite, Jan. 28th, at Durant starting at 6 pm.  He promised a detailed email on Wed. which was sent. Many have already sent him an RSVP that they would attend, but more are welcome to do so.  There will be drinks from 6 -7 then a potluck with the chapter providing the main dish.  Members are to bring dishes to pass that will serve about 10: basses and baris bring sides like veggies, potatoes, mac and cheese, rolls, etc; leads bring salads; tenors and Friends of Harmony bring desserts.

The chorus took a 15-minute coffee break and there were quartets singing, business being conducted, and guys turning in their old uniform parts to Tom Kern.   Martin Banks brought an interesting display board of past chorus pictures.

Associate director Tony Colosimo conducted our weekly barbershop craft session.  This week we revisited the topic – awesome breath mean awesome tone. After his instruction, he invited the chorus to demonstrate using those techniques on the contest songs.

Tony and the musical team then helped the chorus work on the new “Jersey Boys” medley.

During the evening, our chorus directors were filmed for their personal review of technique.

Next week, guys can meet on the stage at 6 pm to drill moves for the contest package with Chuck McKeever.

Also mark your calendar – we are hosting a candidate nite on Tues March 6 to gain some new members. 

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.)

Looking Back on the January 10th Chapter Meeting and Hospital Sing Report

Happy New Year continues and the singing and fun rolls on for 2012.

YeEd was on travel and so thanks to Jeremy Richardson for taking some notes this week.

“Rehearsal began at 7 this week with “Lazybones” by FOUR VOICES playing over the sound system.  (This was a suggestion from the previous week’s talk session.) The recording will be used to invite men to the risers and warm up which will begin when the music ends.  The section with the highest percentage of men on the risers at 7 was the bari gang.

New Associate Director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and then turned the chorus over to Director Joe Cerutti.  He worked on “Music of the Night” and quickly switched to “Stars and Stripes” which gave the singers little or no chance to start talking!

Tony also conducted another craft session.  This week’s topic, as preannounced in Steve White’s thorough weekly invite to chapter, was “tall in the back and small in the front.”  Sectionals followed the craft session so the chorus could work on “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Jacob George for 2 years; Eric Wallen for 14 years; Jeremy Richardson for 15 years; Drew Fuller for 22 years; Keith Jones for 34 years; Rick Savage for 38 years.

Membership vp Phil Ashford introduced the line of guests – a couple first timers, several applicants, a former BHS singer who has moved here, and one guest brought another guest.

Operations vp Scott Kahler conducted the meeting period.  Major announcements included a report from shows vp Brian Ammerman who gave an overview of events planned so far in 2012. He asked the members to be looking for chorus show gig opportunities.

President Steve Murane reminded board members of their meeting on Wednesday nite at Durant.

The chorus was given a nice long 20-minute break to get coffee and take care of business matters AND to visit with other guys, especially all the new members.  Don Thompson was coffee master this week.

After break, the chorus worked on “Jersey Boys” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

New member Shawn Tallant won the 50/50 and got to direct the chorus for KTWWS.

Over the weekend, on Jan. 7, the chorus did its annual holiday sing at the INOVA Alexandria Hospital.  About 20 singers made the show with assistant directors Terry Reynolds and Will Cox doing the arm waving.  The group sang at nurses stations around the hospital for about one hour.  Since Dan O’Brien was the only tenor, he got to step out and take a bow after doing the tenor “bit” in the “Chipmunk” song.

The guys wore scarves and/or the Santa hats.  This event is one of the important appearances the Harmonizers do in support of the community and is a way to express our appreciation for support received.

After the hospital sing, the guys and their significant others were invited to the home of Alan Kousen and Carlos Correa for our annual Heat Glow, a long-time traditional get together. As usual there was a ton of good food, a nice crowd of the Harmo family, some tag singing before the nite ended and the traditional grog to keep warm.  Thanks to Alan and Carlos for sharing the holiday decorated home.

(YeEd hears that their home will be Valentine Central for our Feb. 14th Singing Valentine program in the Metro area.)

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.)

Looking Back on the January 3rd Chapter Meeting

Happy New Year! This week’s meeting was the Harmonizers kick-off  for 2012 with some new opportunities, new adventures, and a new approach. The music team and the board have put their heads together to develop a strategy for moving forward. In-coming music vp Dan O’Brien promises that the strategy involves steady improvement between now and Toronto 2013, and plenty of MOR FUN'R.

A large crowd was on hand for this kick-off meeting.  Dan did a thorough and upbeat presentation about plans for 2012. He talked of goals for the year and how we will get there. In short we are gearing up for an 18-month run toward Toronto International, with a solid work plan to make Tuesday rehearsals compelling and more fun.  Key to it all, the MOR part equals “men on the risers.”

The musical and admin leaders all took a shot at revealing their plans including membership vp Phil Ashford. We will be using the BHS plan called Operation Harold Hill to build our numbers (Steve White will be heading up this drive), along with “I Sing” buttons for each guy to wear in order to attract singers.  President Steve Murane spoke briefly about the efforts to get more of us involved as volunteers for the various jobs off the risers.  The kick off session concluded with a chance for input from the guys on the risers. A talent survey will be coming out via email to all soon from Scipio Garling.

News emerging from this session included announcement that Tony Colosimo has been named the fourth associate chorus director in the history of the chapter.  Terry Reynolds will become an assistant chorus director with Mike Kelly and Will Cox.  Chuck McKeever, on behalf of the visual team, announced that instead of quad leaders there will be row chiefs including Troy Hillier, Ian Poulin, Nick Leiserson, Bob Blair, Don Thompson, Tom Griffith, Carl Kauffmann and Chuck Powell.

In addition, there will be a much easier to use eval system for the year.  The music team has extended invites to three coaches for the next year including Geri Geis who will help us revive the visual plan for our 1995 gold medal package, which we will use in Roanoke for the Southern Division contest.  Director Joe hopes we will have a large number of chorus singers in quartets at that contest too.

The chorus rehearsal began with warm ups lead by Will Cox. Then Tony conducted a craft session. Joe helped us review a couple old songs from the rep that will be used more now.

New operations vp Scott Kahler invited the guys to take a 15 minute break to conduct business and meet new guys.  After the break he conducted the chapter meeting.

Shows vp Brian Ammerman announced details about the Hospital Sing on Jan. 7th and Heat Glow to follow. Gather Saturday evening at 5 pm at INOVA Alexandria Hospital - 4320 Seminary Rd. Alexandria, VA 22304 in the lobby. (Note: This is a different time than Groupanizer.) Wear caroling attire since we will be singing Christmas songs. Park in the visitor's lot on your right as you pull in; if the gate is operating, take your ticket and bring it into the lobby with you to have it validated.

Immediately after the sing, singers and their guests will adjourn to the home of Alan Kousen and Carlos Correa for our annual Heat Glow, a long-time traditional get together. At 412 Cedar Ridge Dr. Ft. Washington, MD 20745-1411 (note: this is not far over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge from Alexandria - when crossing over the bridge stay in the 495 local lanes).  Alan says there is plenty of parking.  Bring an appetizer or dessert to share please, and your own wine or beer of choice (Alan will make the traditional grog with the time honored recipe he received from Jack Pitzer)

Scott alerted all members to an email about signing up for the emergency notification plan.And he also mentioned the email from Tom Kern about uniform turn in of old and excess parts. President Steve reminded that board that their next meeting is Jan 11th and all budget requests need to be submitted to Dave Welter by tomorrow. Secretary Chris Buechler presented an 18-year membership renewal card to Chuck Powell.

Membership vp Phil introduced four guests – two applicants and two first timers.

When Joe resumed the singing work, he welcomed Chuck Hunter who is in the USA for a short visit.

Joe and the audio team also played a new song we will be doing – a several-song “Jersey Boys” medley arranged by Steve Delehanty.  The learning materials were prepared by Tim Waurick.

Then we had 15-minute sectionals to work on the spring contest songs.

After that we did the wrap- up and a good crowd headed 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.)