Friday, March 29, 2013

Looking Back on the Mar. 26th Chapter Meeting

Everyone came to chapter meeting this week ready to work, knowing full-well that after the coaching session with Tony DeRosa on Saturday, we had lots to review and relearn.


Meanwhile the usual cast of characters were busy with set up of the hall, practice on stage with Chuck McKeever for uptune stage moves, front row drill in the lobby, and a typical array of business matters to be taken care of.  The new book Visions of Excellence edited by our director Joe Cerutti was available for $20 (it will be sold again next week while the supply lasts).  


Assistant director Will Cox did the vocal warm ups, and then director Joe gave a brief recap of the weekend (he is still laughing after the fun he had with Tony D on Saturday!).  Joe also introduced the four section leaders and then introduced the visual row leaders.  And he also announced a new visual team member, Randall Eliason, who will be the “face guy” for the chorus.  So Randall will be out front a lot, working to improve facial expression.  He announced a new craft maxim – “Your Face Matters!”


Before we really got to sing, assistant director Terry Reynolds called off the exact new riser positions for the guys and so we got up onto the risers.  This realignment is a result of the weekend coaching session too.


Then we went to work on the uptune with changes and with visual drills. We worked a long slot of time on it with input from Carlos Barillo and Chuck McKeever.  Then before break, took time for guys to record or make live evaluations for listeners.


Bob Blair was filling in for operations vp Bob Rhome and conducted the weekly chapter meeting.  He alerted all that Ike Evans is set up to redo and/or take mug shots of anyone whose picture is not on the wall board display.  He said “if you Mother would not recognize you in those pictures, get a new one taken tonite.”


Ian Poulin is eager to complete sale of scrip for the Toronto hotel costs. Note that he will not be with us in May!!


Mick Stamps and Ken Fess are also eager to collect the latest payments needed for the Normandy trip.


Shows vp Ken Rub confirmed the date change for the show and a cappella contest to May 18, 2013.  He recently signed the contract to hold the event at Lincoln Theater on U Street.  The contest has a $2000 cash prize for the best group.  He is interested in our input for possible candidates for the competition that will run from 8-10:30 pm.  There will be an afterglow too.


Terry Reynolds asked us all to sign up for the vocal studios on the clip boards he posted on the table behind the risers.  Visual studio sign up should be done on the Groupanizer site.  He also suggested we start getting a recording made of the ballad and submitting it. And finally, the video recordings for our private review will continue.


Chuck Harner, chairman of the chapter’s host committee for the Southern Division contest and convention, spoke about the need for volunteers.  Jobs needed are not hard nor time consuming.  Most are needed just Friday nite April 26 and/or Saturday April 27 in Reston. Typical tasks are being runners for quartets or choruses en route to the stage; passing out programs at the auditorium door and keeping the doors closed; set up and take down of the stage drapes and risers and auditorium set up.  There are shifts too, so you can get a break.  Sign up right away and join in the fun.  When we have done this before, a lot of guys helped and got to know each other better and met other barbershoppers.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented a new member kit to Josh DesPortes and a Man of Note pin for Dave DesPortes for bringing his son into the chapter.


Membership vp Mark Klostermeyer welcomed guests who were in town for the Cherry Blossoms and found us via the “Things To Do In Alexandria” brochure.  There were also two applicants with us.


During the break, YeEd heard that ACME CHORD COMPANY will be singing out-of-district in Seneca Land April 12.  Good luck guys.


YeEd also spoke with Don Harrington about his temporary assignment with USAID for the next few months.  He and his wife will be posted there and will miss the trip to Toronto.  He is planning to be back for the France trip.  Be safe over there, Don.


The second half of the nite we reviewed and worked hard to bring the ballad back up together with changes, new interp, revisions even from Saturday and a special session on getting the tag to work as planned, with help from Chuck Hunter.


We put things all away and some guys went over to the LaPortas for the afterglow.


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.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Looking Back on the Mar. 23rd Coaching Session with Tony DeRosa     

 The chorus worked really hard on Saturday, March 23rd from 9-5 at our regular meeting place with coach Tony DeRosa and director Joe Cerutti.  For sure we got in a lot of good laughs with Tony teasing Joe and all of us too.


But the hard work left us with an awesome interp and execution plan for the ballad and many improvements for the uptune.  It was just what Joe and his music team wanted to happen. And the chorus singers liked getting to drill it and get it first-hand.


The day started early with all the guys helping set up and get the room ready.  Ellen Dellert had brought donuts and goodies to go with the coffee – thanks.  Chuck McKeever’s visual team was sporting new t-shirts with “leave no point behind” in bold letters as a reminder for all.


Great to welcome long-distance singers with us as Special Forces guys for this special session – Bob Wilson, Mike Geipel, Dan Cook and Mike Wallen from the Richmond area, Dave Ellis from Denver and Kevin McKenzie from Cumberland, MD.  Mike Everard was present to cheer and keep an eye on us along with some fellas from the Harmony Heritage Singers. During the day various family members stopped in, and during the long lunch break, Peggy Wagner brought two yummy birthday cakes for all to enjoy in celebration of Rick’s birthday.


Associate director Tony Colosimo started off the singing at 9am with important warm ups before turning the chorus over to Joe and Tony D.


We basically worked on the uptune all morning until the release for lunch.  Many guys formed car pools and went off-campus for chow.


After lunch it was back to work.  Assistant director Will Cox did the afternoon warm ups.  And then Joe and Tony D. worked on the ballad. One good point Tony D. made – “when passion and precision meet – artistry and excellence happens!”


During the day, there was a good bit of teasing of assistant director Terry Reynolds by Tony D. each time Terry stepped up to change events or announce some new aspect of the work times!  Those included a major shift in riser positions after luncheon-talk by the team.  And it also included times for vocal assessment listeners to do their thing for some guys who were ready.


Terry also stressed the plan for the vocal studios and the visual studios.  Both are designed to bring a small segment of the chorus together with musical or visual leaders who can help them with interp and execution.  Terry asks all members to be prepared on Tues. March 26th to sign up for one of the vocal studios that will all be at Durant: Wed. April 17 at 7-8:30pm or at 8:30-10pm; Sun. April 21 at 1-2pm or 2:30-4pm or 4:30-6pm; or Mon. April 29 at 7-8:30pm or 8:30-10pm. The visual studios will be Saturday, May 4th at Durant and parts of each row will be assigned specific times. Stay tuned.


Thanks to the AV team who had sound equipment working and to Sam McFarland and others who helped record notes and points made by our coach and director.

Other announcements for all – the Youth In Harmony festival scheduled for April 6th has been canceled since not enough students could attend.  Also the April 20th show at Lincoln Theater has been rescheduled to Saturday May 18th.


We ended a little early and Tony D. took us out with KTWWS.  All the guys got the hall back in shape  and a bunch of quartets were singing tags and even some registered quartets were using the extra half hour to work on songs for Southern Division, YeEd is guessing.  Some guys were talking about attending the Fairfax Chapter show Saturday nite featuring DA CAPO.


For sure there is a ton of individual work needed before next Tuesday!  But we made huge progress this weekend. Thanks to all who were there.


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.)