Friday, March 30, 2012

Looking Back on the March 27th Chapter Meeting

There was nice crowd of Harmonizers at Durant at 6 pm this week.  Many to get the risers set up backed up to the stage and lots of audience chairs for guest nite! And another stage full of men drilling the stage presence plans for “Sweet Georgia Brown” with Chuck McKeever.

The guests came rolling in and kept membership vp Phil Ashford plenty busy.  Several guys helped him with greeting and signing in and introducing the guests to other members and helping them find a spot on the risers.

This week’s welcome to the risers mystery song was the well-known Vocal Majority again – actually most guys recognized that it was the VM.

Assistant director Terry Reynolds was emcee for the start of the evening, and welcomed the guests and explained how the program would flow for the nite. Assistant director Will Cox did the vocal warm ups.

When our musical director Joe Cerutti took over he went right to work on “Sweet Georgia Brown” explaining to guests that this is our contest package for 2012 and a revival of our 1995 gold medal package. He did some instruction for guests to understand what they were seeing on the screen. (We used the screen for all songs on guest nite, to make it easier for them.)

From that he invited associate director Tony Colosimo to conduct the weekly barbershop craft session. This week’s axiom was a continuation of work on awesome breaths.  Tony pointed out a lot of good examples and helped us really implement the lesson. 

Then Joe returned to have us use those new lessons in the contest songs.

After that he invited the guests to enjoy singing the “Jersey Boys” medley with the Harmonizers. After singing various sections of the song, Joe turned over the helm to the visual team.

Chairman Scipio Garling taught moves for the first part of the song.  It was fun and went well.  The visual plan was created by Chuck McKeever.  We even tried having a voice-over by assistant director Mike Kelly during the vamp part of the intro.

Operations vp Scott Kahler conducted the weekly chapter meeting and explained the plan to have the afterglow down in Old Town (with transportation back to the Metro for those that needed it).

Membership vp Phil Ashford introduced all 27 of the guests.  Ross Felker helped pass out first-timer buttons to the many guests in that category.  But we also had former members or current members who don’t get to come every week such as Dave Binetti, Geoff Berman, Bill Ward and Martin Banks.  Plus there were our continuing guys who are applicants for membership and at least one guy from another chapter (Denver Sound of the Rockies). And a bunch of family and friends who came to see what’s up, including Don Thompson’s grade-school-age son and daughter. Will Cox directed the chorus in the Harmo welcome song.

Then it was break time.  Thanks to all the men who brought goodies including Nick Leiserson who brought his famous brownies! And thanks too for those men who put a buck or three in the coffee can. 

During the break there was much chatter, and a chance to get to meet the guests and to tell them more about the chapter.

After the break, the guests adjourned to another room with Steve White, Phil Ashford, Steve Murane and Tony Colosimo (at least that is who YeEd saw come back with them). 

While they were out, the chorus had a little more business time and announcements including the shocking news that Erin Odell, daughter of Craig and Linda, had been in a terrible car accident on Monday evening on Rt. 95. The family requests you use this address for updates and responses -- instead of social media or personal contact and calls. Please offer up your support and thoughts to the family.

Bruce Minnick reported that his wife Ginny has shown some great signs of improvement is her therapy. He expressed his thanks to all for the support.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Nick Leiserson for 2 years; Dan O’Brien for 7 years; Brad Jones for 20 years; TJ Jones for 21 years; Sam McFarland for 25 years plus a jeweled lapel pin; and Bruce Minnick for 35 years plus a lapel pin.

When the guests returned to the main hall in Durant, Tony directed them in singing a tag they had learned.  Then they took seats in the audience while the chorus sang “Great Day” and “Summertime” for them. 

And then it was everyone back on the risers to work more on the moves we had learned earlier.

Joe dismissed the chorus early so things could be stashed away and a good crowd went downtown for the afterglow.

In other news, YeEd heard that MAYHEM sang recently on the Arlington, VA, Chapter show.  Way to go Matt, Pookie, Mike and Kenny.

And in visiting with applicant Carlos Barillo, YeEd got details about the musical his students are doing currently. Churchill High School Performing Arts Dept presents “Legally Blonde the Musical” April 20, 21, 27, 28 at 7:30 each nite at Winston Churchill High School.  Tickets online at  Let’s support their work.

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.)