Thursday, August 23, 2012

Looking Back on the Aug 21st Chapter Meeting

The main hall in Durant was filling up fast by as early as 6:30 his week.  Chuck McKeever had a good sized class on stage – many guys working to get ready for the contest package.  All the new members recently demands that all of us be on the ball to help them, coach them, offer to answer questions, and welcome them.

The set up crew worked hard and got out the fans too.  Bob Rhome was at his new station to let folks in the back door when they knock, since we can’t prop it open any longer.

Assistant director Will Cox did the vocal warm ups.  Before director Joe Cerutti took over, he asked assistant director Terry Reynolds to call out the new contest line up.  So we all got off the risers and returned to the rows where we were assigned. This was needed to add all the new members and returning members.  It also shifts location of the tenor section and dispersed the bari section somewhat.

And also before we started actually singing, Mike Kelly drilled us in the corrected pronunciation of lyrics for “Rainbow Sister” which we will sing in Chinese on the trip – and after we return to the USA.  So everyone needs to learn it.

One major goal of the evening was to get in some solid work on the contest package.  Joe welcomed Geri and Royall Geis back.  She explained the power of our package, especially the ballad.  And then Geri talked thru the scenario and that lead us into a closed-eye drill.  It was a powerful performance, tho we were all seated on the risers. 

So she and Joe had us work to bring that game to our stand up performance.  We made terrific progress and will need to repeat those steps each time we meet. 

There was also some hard work on the songs the chorus with sing with Toronto in China.

Before break, Joe welcome Carolyn Hall who celebrated her birthday last week and we all sang to her.  He also welcomed back Roger Day, Paul Grimes, Dick Dangel, and announced that Chuck Hunter would be back soon for another year with us.

The chapter meeting was conducted by Mark Klostermeyer (K12).  Brad Jones made last minute announcements regarding the China trip and paperwork matters.

Mary Anne Cleaveland did a quick plug for the Pride of Baltimore SAI show on Sat Sept 15th featuring MAIN SREET quartet.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented Man of Note pin to Steve Murane for bringing in a new member in NV.  It was Steve’s second.   Ross Felker got a MoN pin for helping Peter Hubbard find us.  Martin Banks earned a MoN for sponsoring Stan Quick.  These new members and Steve Szyszka also got name tags and lots of supplies as new members.

Chris presented a 40 year membership pin and renewal card to Carl Kauffmann. Bob Ulibarri received a 30 year lapel pin and membership renewal card.  Other renewals that we cheered for were Don Thompson for 20 years; Troy Hillier for 21 years; and Joe Wagovich and Alan Wile for 31 years each.

Alan Wile announced photo ops for new guys for their Harmo Hero forms.

Tom Kern began distributing a new red tie to be worn by the chorus in China when they sing of the Great Wall.

Membership vp Phil Ashford introduced another big group of guests – some first timers; some guys from other chapters in town for work, visiting or checking us out; family members of our members; and an applicant or two.

After break, Bob Mattes spoke about the bus transportation taking guys to New York airport departures for China.

Producer Greg Tepe gave some last minute reminders for the Dog Days show next week in Manassas at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 12975 Purcell Rd., Manassas 20112. Event starts at 7:30. Come early for snacks and fellowship – and to hear our neighboring choruses.  They will all be eager to hear our songs.  New black shirt outfit with jeans.

Craig Kujawa reviewed details for tickets and housing for the Ocean City contest weekend, Oct. 12 and 13.  Important that all take care of these two matters.  Sounds like we will have about 100 singers on stage!!!

Josh Roots, one of the Holiday Show producers, warned us that tickets for those shows are selling pretty well already.  So don’t delay if you want a table (of ten) for family, church choir, neighbors, barbershop pals from other chapters, co-workers.  Order online!!

Paul Grimes, bari in ACME CHORD COMPANY, told us about the Arlington, VA, Arlingtones show on Sept 15 and 16. Quartet is on their show.

Terry Reynolds gave us a sneak preview of some upcoming rehearsals, reminded us that after about Sept 11th, rehearsals are mandatory for contest singers (there will be a form to submit if work or major travel causes you to miss – this helps musical leaders to know where we are and what our plans are).

There will not be a rehearsal on Sept 4th at Durant – many will be in China and Durant is being used for an election polling place.  But Sept 11th is a go – most of the guys will be back from China – particularly the musical directors.  Fantastic coach, David Wright, will be with us for the Sept 18th meeting.  And finally, mark your calendars for special/extra rehearsals on Sat Sept 29th at Jeff Houston school during the day, and Wed eve Oct 10th at Shriner’s Temple on Rte. 50.  Mark your calendars and alert your family!!!

President Steve Murane recognized TOP SHELF bass Andrew Havens and his quartet, presenting them the check of financial support from the chapter for their representing us in Portland.

Steve also announced plans for the chorus in 2014 including the confirmation of our trip to France to Normandy. First registration will be collected early in Oct of 2012. We will represent the USA there for this important 70th anniversary of D-DAY.  We are honored by that and our chance to also represent the Barbershop Harmony Society there. We will not compete, then, in the contest cycle that leads up to the Las Vegas International convention.

Director Joe stressed that everyone should plan to go. Don’t just say you can’t make it cause it might be tight for money or something.  Speak with Joe privately. We will work as a chapter to get some funding. In fact, Joe asked for guys with contacts in the government contract world to work with him in getting some sponsorships.  Joe also confirmed that other singers will be invited to join us for this event.

Then it was back to work in sectionals (this is the way the section leaders can know who needs help or coaching to do a better performance) versus submitting tapes for the contest package.  Fun to see so many of the new members and guests working on it too. Tho time is short, it is possible for a new guy to make it.

The singing and hard work continued right up til 10 pm, then there was a crush to get all the equipment put away and the room back in order.

A good crowd made it to the Hilton for the afterglow too.

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.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Looking Back on the Aug 17th Market Square Show in Alexandria          

It was a great nite!  According to producer Greg Tepe, we had 52 singers on the risers.  The sore throats and sickness going around took its toll on our tenor section and we were down to four. But with some coaching from the music team about not overpowering them with bass sound, we did a great job.  And we all thought the audience was larger than usual with our own family crowd and lots more non-family folks.

The rain held off and so there was no sudden end to the show to rush getting sound equipment put away.  Some folks went out for dinner in nearby Old Town or to an afterglow with friends.

Bob Blair drove the Harmo truck, and several early arrivals helped with the risers. Good job guys. Thanks to Tom Kern for having new travel shirts available for guys who have been away on vacation and came to sing the show.  Audience and family members all thought the new look, with the black “camp” shirt and jeans, was great.

Scipio Garling, Craig Kujawa and Terry Reynolds covered the emcee duties. Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups inside city hall, sang the solos in “Jersey Boys” and was also the pitch man for the show. Director Joe Cerutti was keeping a watchful eye on the rain clouds overhead.  He had his assistant directors Tony and Terry do some songs too.

Neat to have our own a cappella group, TBD, on the show with us.

Happy to see members Dick Dangel, Dick Hall, Carlos Barillo, Bill Sowers and Jerry Te Paske in the audience for the show.  (Wonder who YeEd missed?) Keith Jones was on hand to take attendance.  Great to have Kellen Hertz back on the risers after wrapping up his school work.  And great to see Shawn Tallant performing “NYNY” on the front row. Thanks as usual for John Pence sending the song boards for the stage (and delivered by Austin Cotton)!

Did those of you who sang the show see the memorial plaque in the foyer of city hall with the picture of former Harmonizer president 1951-52, Frank Mann?  He was city mayor years ago. 

This was one of our free performances for the City of Alexandria each year in appreciation for their support of our chapter.

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.)