Friday, June 1, 2012

Looking Back on the May 29th Chapter Meeting

There was lots of buzz around Durant, of course, after a fun and successful weekend at Southern Division contest and convention in Roanoke.   To start things at 7 pm, we got to listen to our Saturday performance of “I’ll Be Seeing You.” 

Director Joe Cerutti was excited about it and encouraged about where it will lead us for the district contest in the fall. Since the chorus got to hear all the judges’ comments Saturday afternoon in Roanoke, we didn’t spend much time in recapping the weekend.  Joe did report that he had gotten many encouraging comments.

Associate director Tony Colosimo provided the warm up session for the chorus this week.

Then we worked on songs for the upcoming shows – “Hello My Baby, “I’m The Music Man,’ and “Jersey Boys.”  We also worked on the special numbers we will do for the Jefferson Awards show at Constitution Hall on June 19th such as “God Bless America,” “Climb Every Mountain” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” (We actually worked on some of these special songs during our extra practice session in Roanoke.)

Assistant director Terry Reynolds invited all new chorus members since July 2011 to join assistant director Will Cox and other chapter leaders for another orientation session helping them prepare for their role as a Harmonizer on stage, at rehearsal and in the community.

Operations vp Scott Kahler conducted this week’s chapter meeting. First reminders were from Nick Leiserson urging everyone to pick up consignment tickets tonite from Michael Gilmore – the last chance to do so – for the June 9th show at George Mason Center for Performing Arts. Tickets still available online.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented new member materials to Rich Hewitt and David DesPortes.  Brian Ammerman received his Man of Note pin for bringing Rich and Phil Ashford received his pin for bringing David.

Chris also presented membership renewal cards to Tim Buell for 8 years; Ian Poulin for 9 years; and Howard Nestlerode for 37 years.

Ops vp Kahler reminded all to be sure to have the uniform parts they need for the two shows coming up.

Membership vp Phil Ashford welcomed two guests who are already applicants, and former member Jim Gammon, who was in town from Florida.

We took a break and that let guys get show tickets, a cold drink, and congratulate the quartet singers who did so well this past weekend.

First up on the agenda for the meeting after break was Brad Jones who was collecting paperwork for those going on the China trip.

Next was shows vp Brian Ammerman urging guys to sell more tickets.  And to be on the lookout for the email about the June 9th show afterglow.  Cheryl Wallen is coordinating things for us. TJ Donahue will be taking reservations of those who wish to attend.  (Speaking of TJ, YeEd goofed in the contest weekend wrap-up in not listing TJ as one of the men who sang in his first contest with the Harmonizers in Roanoke.  Also omitted Thom Faircloth as a member who sang with another chapter – he with Charlottesville.)

Assistant director Terry Reynolds invited all the quartet singers from this past weekend to stand to be recognized one more time.

President Steve Murane reminded us that he is waiting for emails from guys about their ticket sales.  There is a $250 incentive prize for the person who sells the most.

Steve also reported that Carolyn Hall was admitted to the hospital in recent days. And Chuck McKeever’s father-in-law passed away on Sunday.

The rest of the nite we worked on songs for the shows, and Tony conducted another terrific barbershop craft session. This week’s lesson was all about “breaths” – kinds, how to take them, how they fit into a song; how they help with song flow; and more.

It was great to have Tom Kraus singing on the front row tonite; and Terry Jordan visiting too.

A big crowd was at the Hilton again this week for the afterglow with lots of chance to rehash the contest weekend.  The hard rains let up so everyone could get home safely.

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.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Looking Back on Southern Division 2012, Roanoke, VA

The Alexandria Harmonizers won the Southern Division chorus contest on Saturday, May 26th in Roanoke, VA.  This first place finish allows the chorus to move on to the Mid-Atlantic District contest in the fall.  It will be competing there for the right to move on to the International chorus competition in Toronto in July 2013.

Directed by Joe Cerutti, the chorus reprised their 1995 Gold Medal chorus package of “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.”  The package included the choreography of coach Geri Geis. There were 80 Harmonizers on the risers for this contest. The score was 86.4. The chorus appeared on the Saturday nite show-of-champions adding two new show numbers to the contest songs – “Jersey Boys Medley’ and “I’m the Music Man.”  It was a great hit. Joe Cerutti, Frank Fedarko and Doug White sang the solos. It was also fun to sing “Jersey Boys” with arranger Steve Delehanty in the audience.

Earlier in the weekend, 16 quartets with 35 of our members carried the Harmonizer name into the division quartet contest. ACME CHORD COMPANY with Dan O’Brien, Chris Susalka, Paul Grimes and Chris Yates won that contest. This is the 12th year in a row a quartet with at least one Harmonizer in the quartet that has won the division contest!  ACME received their championship trophy from last year’s winner, MAYHEM with Matt Fellows, Neil Dingle, Mike Pinto and Ken White.

Second place was YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Hardman Jones, Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpy and Vic Owen. Fourth place was M INT CONDITION with Bob Rodriguez Jr., Kevin McKenzie, Drew Fuller and Arthur Louis.

Sixth place was WHISTLE STOP with Dan O’Brien, Randy Eliason, Phil Ashford and Calvin Schnure.  Seventh place was CHORDWORX with Doug White, Tim Buell, Don Thompson and Edris Qarghah.   Ninth place was GOOD GUYS with Jim Lake, Frank Fedarko, Joel Golden and Don Dillingham.

Tied for tenth was HANDSOME REWARD with Mario Sengco, Mike Edison, Vince Lynch and Michael Gilmore, and INTERLUDE with Bob Wilson, Gene Schwilke, Rich Montgomery and Warren Strandberg.

Twelfth was OLD TOWNE with Carl Kauffmann, Roger Day, Brad Jones and Calvin Schnure.  thirteenth was BLARNEY BROTHERS with Gary Bibens, Mike Calhoun, Bob Johnson and Tom Pearce; sixteenth was OLD TOWN SOUND with Alan Kousen, Bob Caldwell, Bob Mattes and Dave Welter; seventeenth was WITH HHONORS with Doug White, Edris Qarghah, Phil Ashford and Scott Kahler; eighteenth was BECAUSE YOU ASKED with Drew Fuller, Brian Ammerman, Jeff Salino and Steve Murane; twentieth was SHADES OF HARMONY with Edris Qarghah, Clyde  Crusenberry, Phil Ashford and Sam   McFarland; twenty-second was FOUR IN THE MORNING with Mike Geipil, Ron Nichols, Gene Thompson and Emmitt Totty; twenty-fourth was FAST & SHARP with Scip Garling, Josh Roots, Jeremy Richardson and Chris Clark.

Since Roanoke was a long drive for most Harmonizers, everyone arrived Friday nite and so we had a huge crowd on hand for the evening quartet contest, wearing ribbons to brag about the 16 “Harmonizer” quartets and cheering loudly for the 35 members representing us on stage.

Steve White was emcee for that session. Dennis Ritchey was emcee for the chorus contest, and Bill Colosimo was emcee for the Saturday show. As usual there were a number of our members working behind the scenes as district leaders and events team members.  New member Gerry Fuller got the Harmo truck their (tho without ac) and a good riser crew went right to work.  We had our chapter banner posted proudly in the contest hall.

As usual we recognized the guys who were singing in their first contest as a Harmonizer.  It happened fast, but YeEd thinks it was Doug White, Calvin Schnure, Randall Eliason, Gerry Fuller, Tom Frederick, Bob Griesemer, Mike Vlcej, TJ Donahue,  and Shawn Tallant. 

The Saturday morning chorus contest started pretty much like always for us.  Early rise to grab some coffee and get to our rehearsal room by 8:30. Lots of excitement after the good successes of our quartets the nite before, then assistant director Will Cox did a warm up for us.  Joe went right to work on reminders, drills, and getting us to let go.  The FRIENDS OF HARMONY presented each singer with a cutout “wishing well” and a good luck penny.

This was the first time our chapter had competed at division since 2000. Thanks to chapter leaders who helped organize things and especially to weekend chairman Craig Kujawa. 

The second place chorus was James River, VA.  Third was Roanoke Valley, VA and fourth was Richmond, VA, directed by Mike Wallen.  Bill Colosimo directed DC chorus in seventh place. In addition, some of our members actually sang on stage with other choruses as reported by Dixie KennettChuck Powell with Arlington; Drew Fuller and Bob Wilson with James River; Bob Hirsh and Bob Wells with DC; Mike Geipil with Richmond; Thom Faircloth with Charlottesville;  Michael Calhoun with Harrisonburg; and Bob Ulibarri with LaPlata.

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 with the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)