Looking Back on the 2012 Harmonizer Trip to China
The Alexandria Harmonizers experienced a fantastic
trip-of-a-lifetime in China! We left on
September 2nd for seven-, nine-, twelve- or fifteen-day tours
depending on the trip package offered by the tour company, SNA.
About sixty Harmonizers went on the trip along with
many family members and guests. The entire group was about 160 people.
The chorus sang for two China audiences. We performed a short concert that was
arranged for us on The Great Wall, which included a spot for a pickup quartet
THE GREAT WALL OF SOUND with Randy Lazear, Joe Cerutti, Ken Ives and
Tourists at the wall were given a show package with
“Great Day,” “I’m The Music Man”, “Sweet Georgia Brown’, “Rainbow Sisters” – a
Chinese folk song, and “I’ll Be Seeing You.” Surrounded by the awesome sights
of the Great Wall of China, it was an experience that will not soon be
On Thursday, Sept. 6th, we performed an
evening concert at the Peoples Concert Hall, located in the Forbidden
City. It was a gorgeous space with
crustal-clear acoustics. We were joined
by fellow barbershoppers from Toronto Northern Lights for this show.
The Harmonizers sang a 40-minute package, Toronto
sang a 30 minute package, and the two choruses sang together for several
songs. Both choruses had learned a song
from each other and both learned the traditional Chinese folk song, “Rainbow
Sister” that was very well received by the audiences. The primarily Chinese audience clapped along
in time with the combined choruses.
After five days in Beijing, some Harmonizers
returned home while others traveled on to experience more of China. Those that continued saw the Terra Cotta
Warriors, near Xi’ An, the iconic limestone karst formations in the Giulin
province, an overnight stay in a mountain lodge in the village of Ping’ An, and
visits to the cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong.
An estimate of the entire party suggests that after
the 160 started in Beijing, 75 were in Xi’ An; 37 in Giulin; 17 in Shaghai; and
7 in Hong Kong Also Craig Kujawa and Ken Rub
went early and visited some other places, like Lijiang, Dali, and Shangri La.
next time – editorjack!
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.)
Looking Back on the Oct 9th Chapter Meeting
First off, the package show on Oct 5th went well. Here is a recap from producer Greg Tepe.
Thank-you to the
Harmonizers who came out to the National Portrait Gallery Friday night for our
paid performance. I counted 58 singers. There are many thank-yous to give out
to the team of Harmonizers that it takes to make a road show happen.
To Bruce Lauther who got us this gig and did the early footwork
To Howard Nestlerode and Drew
Fuller who had Harmo-truck duty. Their evening started before 4pm and
didn't end until after midnight.
To our directors, Tony, Terry and Will.
To Mike Kelly for setting up and running sound for the night. Mike even piped in the dinner music for
the guests. Mike's work earned the
chorus an extra $500.
To the early set-up crew
- Carl Kauffmann, Chuck Powell, Chuck
Hunter, Ken Rub, Ken White, Alan Wile and Carlos Correa who worked with Howard,
Drew and Mike.
To our chorus manager, Mark Klostermeyer who keeps the chorus
moving to the right places... and who did clean-up work in the dressing room at
the end of the night.
To the late crew who
helped tear down the gear and get the truck reloaded. Brian Ammerman, Edris Qarghah, Tom Kern, Alan Wile, Dave Welter,
Scipio Garling, Noah Van Gilder, TJ Donahue, Terry Reynolds, Bob Blair, Kellen
Hertz, Ross Felker, Chuck Hunter, and
Nick Leiserson. The truck finally pulled away from the Gallery at about
11:15. For those who stayed to the end, and had to deal with the long carry out
of the building.
I tried to get the names
of all the volunteers that helped. If I missed anyone, my apologies for the
oversight. Thank-you ALL.-- Greg Tepe
Tuesday nite, Oct. 9th, was full of excitement. A good crowd of family and friends were on hand
too. Director Joe Cerutti was just back from coaching our fellow barbershoppers
in Germany and was full of fun stories – including his trip to Octoberfest with
Before the singing began, there was the usual bustle of set up,
sales, tag singing, stage presence review on the stage, earlier refreshments
for the many guys who come right from work, and some back-room rehearsal for
quartets preparing to sing in the district contest this weekend.
Will Cox did the warm ups for tenors, baris and leads. Mike
Kelly did a warm down for the basses in a separate area at Durant.
First song we sang was “Circle of Life” which we hope to sing in
Ocean City with MAYHEM.
Then we jumped right into the contest package. Traffic was tough tonite but the risers were
full by this time.
Joe challenged us that if we sang the package well
he might even cancel the extra rehearsal set for Wed nite. AND you should have heard that pitch pipe
when we finished. Joe didn’t back track and ate his words. But he was proud of the
level we set.
We continued to drill sections of the songs, duet some parts, do
reps on some sections to get precise on the rhythm, and reminded each other
some important nuances’ for the stage moves.
Mark Klostermeyer conducted the chapter meeting portion of the
nite starting with reminders to buy Entertainment coupon books from Chuck Harner, buy White House Ornaments
from Sandy Stamps, and buy 50/50
tickets from Dick or Carolyn Hall.
Secretary Chris Buechler
presented a name tag to our newest member, Carlos
Correa. Then Chris gave out
membership renewal cards to Bob Blair
for 13 years; Chris Yates for 13
years, Josh Roots for 14 years, and John Pence for 28 years.
Jacob George filled in for membership vp Phil Ashford to introduce our many
guests with us this week. Several were
Mark gave us a good long break to take care of
things like getting new uniform parts for the many guys who are singing in
their first district contest with the Harmonizers.
After the break, secretary Buechler
and membership vp Ashford filled us all in on the plans underway for an Alumni Nite and
our annual chapter meeting on Tues. Oct. 16.
Scheduled the week after the District contest while barbershop news is
hot. Chris provided Phil a
long list of several hundred emails from former members and members who are not
actively singing with the chorus. Kevin
Kaiser helped get the lists ready to use for email blasts.
We will have special refreshments and welcome the guys and their
families back. Usual time and place here at Durant.
Next topic was from shows vp Brian
Ammerman who prompted all to add the November 11th Veteran’s Day
singout to their calendars. It is a
daytime gig at a local school and the students plan the event and ask us to
sing for them.
Brian also repeated the thanks you’s listed above for
the Friday nite show.
Next he took a straw poll about singing on Sun., Dec. 16 th at 3
pm in Old Town – as we have done in years past.
The City of Alexandria is not planning to have concerts there this
year. A large number of guys raised
their hands as being available and interested.
Finally he reported the good sales so far for the Holiday
shows. He did ask guys to work on
getting more items for the Silent Auction plan Brad Jones is managing. In
addition, there will be a solid push to sell Singing Valentines at the the
Josh Roots, one of the show producers, gave a wrap up of
plans and things guys should get busy on after contest: get a decent elf
costume ready, offer names of friends and relatives who could do the Monk
comedy number again (new guys – ask one of us what this is about!). And a
change for 2012 – we are gonna wear the black suits with a white shirt and red
tie vs the sweaters and scarves we have normally worn.
Craig Kujawa spoke about the importance of each singer having
a convention registration. Assistant director Terry Reynolds filled us in on many details for Ocean City contest
weekend. However, Terry and Craig promised an email on
Wednesday -- which we all received.
A riser crew is needed at
7:30 am at the Harmonizer hotel – Holiday Inn Oceanfront at 67th and
Chorus report time is 8 am.
Those not staying at that hotel will come with uniforms ready to change
there. Also everyone will need their make-up kits.
Terry suggested that most of the day when not in the
contest outfit, we could wear the new black Harmo casual shirt and jeans
outfit. We represent our great
Harmonizer chapter all weekend!
Before we started singing again, we were treated to a fun quartet
package from WHISTLESTOP with Dan
O’Brien, Randy Elisason, Phil Ashford and Calvin Schnure. They wanted to try out their contest set with us
before hitting the stage at the district contest.
Speaking of the district quartet contest, we are proud
of our seven district qualifiers. Be sure to cheer these guys on and wish them
the very best. Our musical director stressed this a couple times lat nite.)
Note that the quartet contest starts at 6 pm at the Convention Center at 40th
Street. President Steve Murane
lead the chapter in recognizing representatives of the these quartets that were
at the meeting.
Fellows, Neil Dingle, Mike Pinto, Kenny White),
CHORD COMPANY (Dan O’Brien, Chris
Susalka, Paul Grimes, Chris Yates),
CONDITION (Bob Rodriguez. Jr., Kevin McKenzie, Drew Fuller, Arthur Louis),
STOP (w Dan O’Brien, Randy
Eliason, Phil Ashford, Calvin Schnure),
WORX ( Doug White, Tim Buell, Don
Thompson, Edris Qarghah),
TOWN SOUND (seniors) (Alan Kousen,
Bob Caldwell, Bob Mattes, Dave Welter),
RECLAMATION PROJECT (seniors ) (Hardman Jones, Mike
Wallen, Roger Tarpy, Vic Owen).
The outgoing district Champs
and mic-testers are MAD HATTERS (Rob
Seay V, Scott Disney, Rick Taylor, Steve White)
So – we worked right up til
10 pm and fine tunes many little spots in the contest package. The chorus contest actually starts Saturday
at 9 am tho we won’t sing til about 12:30 pm. Immediately after the results are
announced, we are expected to attend the evaluation session with judges.
Royall Geis will be with us in Ocean City.
And we look forward to the FRIENDS group support we always hear at
contests when we enter the stage. They had a meeting Tuesday nite too.
The district leaders sent out word that anyone with a convention
name tag can ride the Coastal Highway buses free to get to the convention
Here is a reminder of our
legally required annual meeting. Your votes are important, so please
come and support the selection of our next team. There can be no nominations
from the floor on the 16th. The proposed 2013 slate:
President - Alan Wile
Treasurer - Dave Welter
Secretary - Chris Buechler
VP - Operations - Bob Rhome
VP - Shows - Ken Rub
VP - Music & Performance - Brad
VP - Marketing & PR - Scipio Garling
VP - Chapter Development (Membership) - Mark
Member at Large (two positions) - Josh
Roots, Greg Tepe (Nick Leiserson and Troy Hillier will continue on from this year)
Immediate Past President
- Steve Murane
wrap up the nite, Joe thanked
associate director Tony Colosimo for
his work in getting the chorus far along on the singing track. Joe
was elated with our progress. He asked
each guy to use the free time created by cancelling the rehearsal on Wednesday
to do some personal work before Ocean City. AND be there at 8 am sharp on
travels. Allow plenty of time for the
rush hour traffic on Friday!!
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.)