Saturday, January 12, 2013

Looking Back on the Jan. 8th  Chapter Meeting

It was great to get back into Durant and kick off another great Harmonizer year. The crowd gathered early and was on the risers ready to sing when the listening session began.  This time we heard current International quartet champs, RINGMASTERS.

That brings us right to the big news. The champs will be at our chapter meeting next week for a couple songs and to meet the guys.  This is a sneak preview of their fundraiser concert on Wed. nite at 7:30 pm at the George Washington Masonic Temple.

The black-tie fundraiser for the Harmonizers on January 16 will be preceded by a formal dinner in the Grand Masonic Hall, limited to an audience of 150. The proceeds will support the Harmonizers as they prepare to serve as the U.S. choral representatives to the 70th Anniversary of D-Day Celebrations in Normandy, France.


Tickets for this wonderful nite are only $125 each from the EventBrite site. Producer Ken Rub can answer questions. 


Back to our weekly session, assistant director Will Cox was up front for the vocal and visual warm up session. Then our director, Joe Cerutti, stepped up to welcome the guys back after the holidays and to welcome the many members on the risers we have not seen for a while.   He also acknowledged that a good number of Alexandria men are already enroute to the BHS midwinter convention in FL.


Then Joe introduced his fiancée, Bridgette Winter, and told us all how the proposal from the Carnegie Hall stage went off with family and friends all as witnesses from the audience area.


We started the nite’s singing with a couple repertoire songs such as “I’m The Music Man” and “Armed Forces Medley” which we will be singing in France.


Then the music and performance team presented a lengthy but newsy report and summary of plans for 2013.  Brad Jones is M&P vice president.  A summary statements might be, “We will work on excellence and innovation to be the premier a cappella men’s chorus on the East Coast.”


Brad also announced the opportunity for Harmonizers to apply for scholarships to the BHS Harmony University in the summer in MO; a new program to develop director interns with local students; and a plan to present the Jack Shields Scholarship for guys to attend our M-AD Harmony College East.


Noah Van Gilder reported on the Jan. 7th Open Auditions nite and reminded all of the next open audition on Jan. 30th.


Greg Tepe is working with producers for a major chorus appearance for the Jefferson Awards, June 19th starting at 9 am at Arena Stage.


Calvin Schnure plugged the plans for Singing Valentines. All singers, especially new guys, should mark their calendars and plan to take time off to sing that day.  The chorus will deliver the Valentines any time on Thursday, Feb. 14th. We are selling Singing Valentine sent by telephone or SKYPE for only $30 or a Singing Valentine delivered by a quartet in person with a personalized card and a single rose for only $60.


The music team next previewed plans for the trip to France and Germany in 2014 and hinted at the musical preparations we will be doing for that trip including some ideas about the new songs we will be adding.  Mick Stamps and Ken Fess are heading up this trip in this early stage. 

Finally Joe was proud to talk about our plans for our contest appearance at the 75th anniversary convention for the BHS in Toronto in July 2013. Carl Kauffmann is the chair at this point, tho Bob Rhome and Craig Kujawa are helping us all with convention registrations and room reservations.  Ian Poulin is chairman for selling scrip cards for all Harmonizers to use in paying for their rooms at the hotel where the chorus will stay – The Fairmont Royal York.  Every member is encouraged (expected) to use scrip cards to pay for their hotel room, as it will yield a handsome fund back to the chapter.

Joe reports over 100 singers already have registered and that we will have a Special
Forces program again this year to allow men connected with the chapter to sing with us on the contest stage.

Assistant director Terry Reynolds reported on evaluation processes that will be used to help us be ready both musically and visually. There will be vocal and visual studios this spring.  The all-important retreat weekend is set for May 31-June 2.  Our coach will be friend David Wright from the Ambassadors of Harmony.  Joe noted that guys need to plan to get to McDaniel College on Friday evening for the opening work session with the coach.  This is a change from past years.  Chuck McKeever is retreat coordinator.

Finally, associate director Tony Colosimo announced chapter plans to launch a Master Singer program next year.  More details to come on this exciting idea to be launched in the same way “barbershop craft” was launched in Alexandria by Bud Auberg our director 1951-62.

Wrapping up the first half of the nite, Jeremy Richardson filled in for membership vp Mark Klostermeyer and introduced 5 guests – some who are applicants and some who were at the audition event on Monday.

After break, the chapter meeting session continued with operations vp Bob Rhome in charge.

Immediate past president Steve Murane reminded all of the Chapter Awards Banquet Jan. 26th from 6-10 pm at Durant. It is the nite we honor those who worked hard all during 2012 and we present several long-standing chapter awards. There will also be installation of the 2013 officers and board. 

It is a potluck event – the main course will be provided by the chapter and then everyone brings food to share: leads and basses bring sides, baris bring salads and tenors and Friends in Harmony bring desserts.

The chapter will provide wine/beer/sodas/mixed drinks and coffee.  Dress is casual. Everyone is welcome – especially former members and chapter friends.  Please RSVP with numbers of attendees directly to Steve Murane NLT Jan.

Then back to singing – Tony continued his craft sessions and used the tag of the new uptune for teaching us how to put ideas into practice.

We sang more repertoire songs and closed the hall.  After tag singing and other business matters, many guys went to afterglow at the nearby Hilton.

The Friends in Harmony group met Tuesday nite too and went to dinner off site.

YeEd has reporters in place to cover the mid-winter who will report news of Harmonizers in action there.  We know too that some folks are going on a cruise after the convention with Joe Cercutti and Cindy Hansen as coordinators.

YeEd also hears reports of several quartets from the chapter at work preparing for the spring contest they will compete in order to get to go to Toronto as a quartet.  The spring contest is in Parsippany NJ, March 15 and 16.  Let’s get a good crowd there to cheer for them.

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.)