Sunday, September 8, 2013

Looking Back on the September 3rd Chapter Meeting

The crowd built up fast this week after a personal vacation day on Monday.  Chuck McKeeverwas working with several new members on learning the contest stage moves.  The rest of the crowd helped with set up and many guys congratulated director Joe Cerutti again for his recent marriage.

Associate director Tony Colosimo led the warm up session after the chorus got settled on the risers – after listening to our new holiday song, “Feliz Navidad.”

When he took over the chorus, Joe thanked the men again for their support at the wedding.  And then he launched the work on our holiday songs, and followed that with work on songs for our trip to Normandy France in June 2014.

Operations vp Bob Rhome conducted the chapter’s business meeting.  First up was president Alan Wile. He reviewed the following comments about our trip to France:

Gentlemen, before we proceed much further, it is important to clarify the origin of our invitation to perform at Normandy Beach in France.  Contrary to other information you may have heard or seen, our invitation to go to Normandy next June came from the Ceremony Director of the WWII “D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration” and “American Musical Salute” Committee, a nonprofit organization not tied to any official government organization.  It was accompanied by a letter from the Lord Mayor of Sainte-Mere-Eglise (the first village to be liberated by American troops) which recognizes the parade and salute as official events marking the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of D-Day within the town itself – but not events tied to the official government ceremonies within the cemetery.

For clarity, our invitation did not come from nor is there any supporting documentation to suggest (1) That we are we being sponsored by any department of the U.S. government, or (2) That we will be official representatives of the U.S. government, or (3) That we will be a featured performing chorus at any of the official ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. 

What we can safely and accurately say is “The Alexandria Harmonizers will travel to Normandy, France to participate in ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day.” Specifically; We are scheduled to appear and perform at the following two official events:  The 70th Anniversary D-Day Parade and the American Musical Salute to the Liberation in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, both of which are marking the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of D-Day, the battle of Normandy, and the Liberation of France.

Alan continued his announcements with congratulations from all of us to Joe for his recent job change as a full-time staffer for the BHS as music education specialist.

Alan also thanked community service vp Clyde Crusenberry for his work on our application for a grant from the Alexandria Commission for the Arts for 2014.  The chapter is most appreciative of this year’s grant money.

Alan announced that TJ Jones was accepting silent auction items tonite for Brad Jones. Brad needs a couple hundred more items for the holiday auction – that’s about two per singer. He stressed that services are also important contributions such as tax preparation, voice lessons, a quartet appearance or a birthday cake.

There was to be a board meeting at break.

Alan reports some results from monies received from the 50/50 program.  About $560 has gone to the winners and a like amount has gone to the District Endowment Fund.

Next up was assistant director Terry Reynolds who confirmed that all those who sang in Toronto need to confirm on the website that they will sing in Ocean City on Friday nite Oct. 4th.  Anyone else who intends to sing in OC should speak to Terry to be sure they know the plan to submit tapes, get a riser placement and to know the rehearsal schedules. (There is an extra rehearsal on Thrus. Sept. 26th.

The tentative show on Sat. Sept 14th has been confirmed for a chorus of about 30 men. Terry and team will confirm with those who have signed up.

Chuck Harner stressed his need for more volunteers to help us serve as host chapter for the Ocean City contest. There is especially a major need for workers on Saturday and additionally on Friday nite while we are preparing to sing.  Thus there is a need for family members and any significant others to join the force.

Wearing his other hat as coordinator of selling Entertainment books, Chuck announced that he has an early season supply of books on sale now. We sell them for $25.  We sell books for NoVA/DC, MD/DC, Baltimore and Richmond.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented new member materials (such as Harmo name tag and chapter history book) to Elliott Roseman, Leo Lestino, Kris Zinkievich and Todd Ryktarsyk.  Welcome all.

Chris presented membership renewal cards to Mike Schwartz for 19 years and to Mick Stamps for 34 years.

Noah Van Gilder gave a presentation about a possible new symbol for use on external media and such to improve the clarity and visibility for the chapter. Those present were invited to give him feedback to his email or at scheduled focus groups to be announced.

Membership vp Mark Klostermeyer with help from Rich Hewitt welcomed guests this week – applicants and members from other chapters who came to check us out.

Mark reminded us all to invite prospective singers to the next open audition to be held at Durant on Sept 11th.

After the coffee and goodies break, we worked the rest of the evening on our contest package.  One of our in-house certified judges, Dan O’Brien, offered ideas to improve the songs.

We closed the nite as usual with KTWWS and an invite to the afterglow at LaPorta’s.

Congratulations in other news about the Harmonizer family: for sure great to hear about Joe Cerutti’s new day job working remotely for the Barbershop Harmony Society as a music education specialist.  He will have responsibilities for the Youth-in-Harmony activities, music educator outreach and chorus director development.  His new duties will require additional travel around the world helping barbershoppers be better musicians. He will live here in Alexandria and direct both the Harmonizers and the Pride of Baltimore SAI chorus.

TJ Donahue has resettled back in Denver, CO, as science teacher at a hi school there.  He also is staff helper for the theater dept. And he is already learning new music for the Denver Mile-Hi Chorus.

Congratulations to Jeremy Richardson who is heading up an environmental conference in WV this week. The attendance is so large, there is a waiting list to attend.

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 during the 65th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)

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