Thursday, April 26, 2012

Looking Back on the April 24th Chapter Meeting

There was lots of excitement in the air as the chapter awaited word about our special guests this week.  Producers of our appearance at Constitution Hall on June 19th came to tell the chorus member what to expect for this major important chorus gig. 

The Jefferson Awards are a nationally recognized event to honor major public service contributors to our nation.  The chorus will sing a segment of the show and also help with special tribute to honorees. 

Long-time members of the chapter related this event to the times we did the Kennedy Center Honors shows. Soooo – stay tuned for details.  Needless to say, this an all-guys on the risers event. A 6 pm chorus call at Constitution Hall.  Plan ahead and take that Tues afternoon off from work.  And get your tux uniform ready.

Before our special guests arrived, we were greeted to the risers with a listening session for the complete arrangement of “I’m The Music Man” as sung by Vocal Majority of Dallas.  Then associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups.

This week’s pre-meeting time was packed again with all the usuals including a good crowd on the stage to review their SP for the contest package, and this week they worked on moves for “Hello My Baby.”

When chorus director Joe Cerutti took over, the chapter sang him a rousing Happy Birthday greeting.

After our guests arrived and briefed the chorus, we sang a few songs for them so they had a live performance to enjoy.  Four of our musical team had met with the producers in the afternoon.

We worked a good chunk of time on “I’m The Music Man” with many drills on just the words.  Then we sang the song a few times.  And then Joe, as promised, pulled out an octet to demo how well the chorus is doing. Those guys were great and learned many cheers from their brothers on the risers.

Operations vp Scott Kahler, back from business travel, conducted this week’s chapter meeting.  Membership vp Phil Ashford introduced a line of applicants and a brother Toronto barbershopper.

Tim Buell asked some guys to help him form a couple practice quartets during the break to assist applicants working toward their audition.

It was cold, so the coffee and goodies were welcomed.

After break, assistant director Terry Reynolds reminded solo auditions will be held in the kitchen after the meeting. He also promised the new-member-boot-camp will resume next week. YeEd hears the new guys talking about the benefits of those sessions.

ALERT – next week’s meeting will be in the adjoining Jeff Houston School.  Best to enter via the cafeteria on the back side of Durant. (It is election day next Tues.)

Shows vp Brian Ammerman reviewed upcoming shows we should all have on our calendars. Big spring show is Sat. June 9 at George Mason. Just one performance. NEED TO SELL TICKETS in order to bring in chapter income needed for the whole year ahead. Drive all patrons, old and new, to Also sell ads for the show program – contact Chris Clark.  Idea: buy an ad yourself to salute or honor or promote some cause you work on.

Brian reflected it was too bad we did not have enough guys available to do a week nite show in Philly, as it was a good paying job.

He also reminded all to mark their calendar for the June 10th show in Silver Spring – day after our spring show!!

THEN there is the huge show date, Aug. 11th, in Lancaster, PA. Shows are at 2 pm and 7 pm for the American Music Theater.  Another show for all to attend! Thanks to Andrew Havens and his TOP SHELF quartet friends who are from the Lancaster area for the lead on this show.

Back to singing, coach Geri Geis arrived to fire us up on the contest package emotion and energy and animation.   We worked on the package til closing time.  We also got a good chance to watch the front row revive the 1995 rendition performance.

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.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Looking Back on the April 17th Chapter Meeting

This week’s pre-meeting time was packed with all the usuals including a good crowd on the stage to review their SP for the contest package, and this week they worked on moves for “Jersey Boys.”

Membership vp Phil Ashford has involved some of the newer guys in helping welcome and sign-in all the guests each week – Jacob George and Ross Felker were on duty this week.

Mark Klostermeyer filled in for ops vp Scott Kahler again this week.

After vocal warm ups with assistant director Will Cox, musical director Joe Cerutti invited the chapter members to do some quality listening.  Doug White was in charge of the av equipment and he played “Blue Skies” as sung by a top ranked BHS quartet.  It is the same song that new Harmonizer applicants are required to sing in their audition.  Current members who know this Clay Hine arrangement were asked to let Tim Buell know if they know the song, as Tim needs singers to when he helps applicants work with a practice quartet in prep for their audition.

Joe also announced the good news that movie producer and contact for our June 19th show at Constitution Hall and prestigious Jefferson Awards for Public Service will be with us next Tues. nite. Thanks to Bruce Lauther for helping line up this and other show opportunities for the chapter.

Also the chorus will work with Geri Geis on the contest package visuals – several times during this week’s rehearsal it was stressed that technical moves don’t make it.  The facial expression and involvement are needed too!! In fact this week’s Barbershop Craft axiom is “What You Give Is What They Get” and Joe conducted the brief session later in the nite supported by the chapter’s visual team leaders Scipio Garling, Chuck McKeever and Craig Kujawa.

The musical session for the first half of the evening started with a good workout on the rhythm for “I’m the Music Man” intro. 

Next Joe pulled out “Music of the Night” to review.  It was a task for long-time members in addition to newer men.

Again this week, all the men who have joined us since the July 2011 International met in another room for 10 minutes to be briefed on expectations and requirements so they are not surprised. Several chapter leaders from the admin team and the music team conducted the session.

Then we worked a long while on “Jersey Boys” music and visuals.

And before break, a run thru of “Hello My Baby” with visuals.

Mark K12 conducted the business session for the nite and welcomed Keith Jones who had a health scare last weekend. He is doing ok and docs are monitoring things.

Phil introduced five guests, all of whom are applicants.

Marketing vp Steve Lingo provided a large supply of flyers for us to promote ticket sales for the June 9th show. The box office is open.  Chris Clark has sent out an email too about selling ads for the printed show program.  NOTE:  all chapter sales for tickets and CDs, and such, are now at

President Steve Murane reminded the board of their meeting Wed April 18th at 7 at Durant.

Music and Performance vp Dan O’Brien reminded guys that the song list for the June show is in the pre-meeting email blast sent out each week by Steve White.

Spring Show: Gold Medal A Cappella, June 9 at 7:30pm at the George Mason Center for the Arts. Songs will be “I’m the Music Man”, “If I Loved You”, “Hello My Baby”, “Summertime”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, “Jersey Boys Medley”, “Great Day”, “Music of the Night”, “I’ll Be Seeing You”, and “Sweet Georgia Brown”.

After the announcements, we rehearsed the contest in the four mini-choruses with assistant directors.  Stage right lower group performed for the rest of the chorus.

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 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.)