Saturday, August 18, 2012

Looking Back on the Aug 14th Chapter Meeting(s)

(Thanks to Chris Clark for taking notes at the recording session in MD.  YeEd took notes at Durant where Chuck McKeever with help from Keith Jones conducted stage presence reviews for new and returning members.  YeEd)

The recording session was in the chapel at Leisure World in MD where the chapter had done a show recently. Since it was quite a drive, many members organized car pools for the trip.

Scott Kahler was technical manager for the recording operation.

It was initially not too hot in the chapel, but it did get hotter as the night went on. Scott was running the sound gear and had two microphones set up to record us. Mike Kelly was also assisting with the gear.

A good crowd had gathered by the time associate director Tony Colosimo started warmups a few minutes after 7pm (about 60 guys made it for the session!) After the warmup (which focused a lot on vowel placement) director Joe Cerutti had the chorus run through the “Armed Forces Medley” twice (this is on the Market Square show!).

We then jumped right into recording “I'm the Music Man.” Joe had us sing through the song from start to finish a few times before moving us around the altar/stage. He and Tony took turns directing and listening to the chorus through headphones fed by the mics. We tried a few different combinations of positions and Joe had us direct the song ourselves as we sang. We then jumped into “Summertime” (with each of us continuing to direct) for a few runthroughs before break.

Announcements from the chapter meeting time:

Brian Ammerman requested a riser crew for 6pm at Market Square. A number of guys volunteered. Reminder that chorus call time is 6:30pm, with the show to begin at 7:30. We WILL be wearing our new travel uniform (black shirts with jeans). Tom Kern will be there on Friday with shirts for those that still need to pick them up. Remember to have cash or check for $40! Also note that the travel uniform does NOT require you to wear your shiny black shoes. Comfortable/regular black shoes are just fine.

Family members are invited to this show and should bring a folding chair or blanket.  Also, if you park in the city lot under the fountain, bring the parking ticket with you for courtesy stamp.

Reminder of the song list:
     I'm The Music Man
     No More Sorrow
     Stars and Stripes
    Armed Forces Medley
    Drunken Sailor
    New York New York
    TBD  will sing with us.
    Jersey Boys
    I'll Be Seeing You
    Sweet Georgia Brown

President Steve Murane reminded us that there is a board meeting Wednesday, Aug 15th.

Craig Kujawa reminded all that we only have one week left to purchase a registration in the Harmonizer block of seats for District in October. After that time you may not be able to get a seat in the same section. There are two methods of purchasing a registration: check to Bob Rhome for $35.00 by next Tuesday, or order online through the Harmonizer website for a cost of $36.35 (the $1.35 difference is to cover PayPal fees). Deadline for ordering online is 11:59pm Tuesday, August 21st.

Assistant director Terry Reynolds reminded us that next Tuesday, Aug. 21st,  Geri Geis will be with us. It is also the last rehearsal before we travel to China, as we have Dog Days of Summer in Manassas, VA on Tuesday, Aug 28th.  (All members should plan to attend this event – even all the new guys, so they can see other chapters and hang out with our guys.  It is a major barbershop event in this DC region. It will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 12973 Purcell Rd., Manassas, VA 20112. Plan ahead for car pooling and/or getting rides from Metro stops.)

After break Tony and Joe meticulously placed each man on the stage to try to balance the sound of the chorus. Then it was back to work on recordings.  We ended the night with a few quick run throughs of “New York New York” with choreo to brush up for Market Square.

All in all, a successful night - and cheers to the three tenors who held more than their own (and produced a lovely unit sound): Dan O’Brien, Randy Lazear, and Carl Kauffmann!  -- Chris Clark.

At Durant, about a dozen of us made it to the SP review and teaching session.  For some guys it was a review for the contest uptune, and for most of the group, it was training on all new material for rep songs like “Hello My Baby,” “Great Day,” “Summertime” and “Jersey Boys.”  That is a lot to learn in one nite.!

We set up just three risers in the hall so guys were on appropriate rows.  And we quit at 9 before the air conditioning went off!

We all got word that anyone who needed a new uniform (camp) shirt for Friday nite should email Tom Kern and he will bring it to the Market Square show.  Bring your $40. 

Some of the Durant gang did go over to the Hilton for an afterglow since we finished an hour earlier than usual.

In other news, chapter secretary Chris Buechler reports sending a 50th year membership card and lapel pin to former Harmonizer director Scott Werner in Florida.   Congrats Scott!

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, August 15, 2012

Looking Back on the Aug 11th Shows in Lancaster PA

Many thanks to Ross Felker for taking notes and reporting on the shows in Lancaster on Saturday, Aug. 11th.

I had no slow-downs getting to Lancaster; I left at 7:45 am from Alexandria and got there before 10:00am (went I-495 to Baltimore-Washington Pkwy, then I-695 to I-83). However, others reported bad traffic on the beltway between I-66 and I-270. Austin Cotton said he was delayed for over an hour on the beltway between I-66 and I-270, but he made it in plenty of time for the show.

The Harmo Truck arrived at the American Music Theatre (AMT) about 10:15, driven by Phil Ashford and Drew Fuller. Carl Kauffman and Bob Rhome guided setting up the black skirts on the risers. Here are some folks that were there to help unload the truck and set up the risers.

Rich Hewitt

Carl Kauffman

Bob Rhome

Ross Felker

Shawn Tallant

Ken Henderson

Craig Kujawa

New Harmonizer Carlos Barillo was there with camera equipment taking action photos for both shows.

TBD warmed-up on stage around 11:00, with Joe Cerutti providing direction. Warm up for the chorus began around 11:45, with Will Cox leading. Then Tony Colosimo led us in a coaching session on pitch. We were on the risers round 12:15 for run-throughs with Joe leading. We broke about 1:10pm and had time to change, and grab a bite for those who had something. Then we met for warm-ups at 1:35pm, then on stage by 2:00pm for show start.

The food spread was good between shows (sandwiches, fruits, yogurt, drinks).

Audience size: 445 for the day; 359 for the evening.

Harmonizers: 50 - 60 singers; Dixie Kennett took attendance at both shows

Reaction: Standing ovations in both performances. “Stars and Stripes” got a great reaction with the huge American Flag lowered during the song.

It was great to have MAYHEM, DA CAPO and Top Shelf to do quartet sets on the shows with us too.  The audience got a great show with all these quartets to round out the show.

During MAYHEM's performance, the Harmonizers surprised the quartet by playing along with their Unicorn song. In the second show, the Harmonizers attempted "YMCA" hand-signals during the Unicorn song, but MAYHEM got pay-back by accelerating the song at an unexpected time and ending it early. Feedback from the audience was very positive, with the Harmonizers visible through a see-through curtain.

During “Circle of Life,” all MAYHEM members took solos. Their lead, Neil "Pookie" Dingle, did the African introduction to "Circle;" he was dressed in festive African garb. Audience response to "Circle" was terrific.

Our a cappella group, TBD, sang the African chant during "Circle."  

Tony Colosimo sang all solos during “Jersey Boys.”

The AMT was a great venue. The staff was very helpful and easy to work with. The dressing rooms were clean, well-lighted, and the a/c kept things cool.

Thanks to Greg Tepe for an excellent show production!



Producer Greg offered these thanks you notes:

A BIG thanks to all who came up to Lancaster on Saturday for the double performance. Both shows were a huge success, great singing well received with numerous standing ovations.

Thanks for all the early arrivers who helped unload the truck and get the risers and skirts set-up so quickly. And to everyone at the end of the show getting the risers struck so quickly and the truck packed and on its way by 10pm.

To Bruce Lauther for securing this well-paid performance.
To Robyn for her help backstage.
To K-12 for his usual good choral management.
To Scott Kahler for all his help with the sound board.
To Dixie for all her help with the lighting.
To Scipio and Mike Kelly for the MC spots.
To Joe, Tony, Terry, Mike and Will for all the directing.
To TBD, TOP SHELF, MAYHEM and DA CAPO for giving their day to perform on our shows.

As you can see it takes quite a team to pull off a successful performance.
I thank you all for all your assistance, hard work, and singing !!


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.)