Thursday, April 4, 2013

Looking Back on the April 2nd Chapter Meeting

Guys came prepared to work and perform this week.  Many had submitted vocal self-eval forms and were on the list to sing live for their evaluator. The set up crew worked hard to have the hall ready for work too including the new area behind the risers with printer and office materials for the Music and Performance Committee.


The many sales operations were in place too especially the scrip sales by Ian Poulin for guys to make deposits for Toronto hotel; 50/50 by Dick and Carolyn Hall; and deposits for the France trip to Mick Stamps.


As we were all arriving, news came from Peggy that Rick Wagner had suffered a heart incident and was getting care in the hospital.  Waiting for an update at the end of the meeting.


Another big crowd of guys were on the stage working hard to learn the nuances of the stage moves for the contest uptune with Chuck McKeever.  Chuck has stressed with all singers to use the visual self-eval forms along with the videos he has posted online already and submit them right away.  That will prompt our visual evaluators to get us passed or to give us feedback.


The current visual team starts with director Joe Cerutti at the head, along with choreographer Carlos Barillo. Chuck McKeever is head riser coach and instructor; TJ Jones and Keith Jones are assistant riser coaches. Craig Kujawa is front row coach and Randall Eliason is”faces” coach.


Row Leaders and our visual evaluators are

Bob Blair – stage left, row 2

Nick Leiserson – stage left, row 3

Ian Poulin – stage left, row 4

Troy Hillier – stage left, row 5

Chuck Powell – stage right, row 2

TJ Donahue – stage right, row 3

Carl Kauffmann – stage right, row 4

Don Thompson – stage right, row 5


The call-to-the-risers music played by our AV team was the Dallas, TX, Vocal Majority singing their gold-medal performance of  “Runnin’ Wild.” Associate director Tony Colosimo conducted the vocal warm ups for the evening before turning the chorus over to Joe. We went right to work on the ballad and the many changes in the interp (using the very thorough 1-page charts with breath points, anti-breath points, melody reminders, volume plans all on a word structure that is part-related).  We also had 20-minute sectionals to tighten up unit work on the ballad.


We have another recording session on the upcoming calendar and Joe had us working on “Drunken Sailor” to show each singer the spots that need homework in order to make a good cut for the recording.


Just before break, we were did several runs of the ballad for self-recording and/or for live evals.


Operations vp Bob Rhome conduced the weekly chapter meeting.  President Alan Wile read a brief note from Ross Felker who has been reassigned to Germany. And then Alan read the proclamation of Barbershop Harmony Week in Alexandria as released by the Mayor of Alexandria and the City Council.  The document also saluted the chapter for its 65th anniversary year and the BHS for its 75th.


Ian Poulin distributed Toronto hotel scrip cards to many members who had made purchases last week.


Assistant director Terry Reynolds reminded all singers to confirm their availability for vocal studios coming up soon on the calendar.


Also the chorus is supposed to bring in the black suit coat next week.  Be sure to mark it with your name. YeEd senses there is something afoot for our contest uniform in Toronto!


TJ Donahue is looking for guys with carpenter skills – also for the visual plan in Toronto.  Contact him right away if you can help.


Ike Evans was available at break this week to take replacement mug shots for the member photo board that is up each week at Durant for all to see.  This also includes photos of new guys.


Secretary Chris Buechler encouraged any member who got special registration coupons when they joined in the last year or so to be sure and use them this year, as that program will be discontinued by the BHS.   


Membership vp Mark Klostermeyer and Ken White introduced the guests including applicants and regulars with us this week.


Southern/Western Division contest and convention chairman for our chapter, Chuck Harner, is seeking three helpers for the stage and set up crew on the early morning time slot of Friday, April 26th  at the Reston Hyatt.  You will be working with Bob Blair.  Please volunteer to Chuck or Bob.


After coffee break, Tony held a barbershop craft session with emphasis on two craft maxims – Awesome Breath = Awesome Tone, and Small in Front – Tall in Back.


Then for the second time in the nite, the chorus was placed in new singing positions on the risers.  This time we tried singing the uptune intro with the first lineup, and when we switched to the second lineup, you could see the smiles come across the faces of Joe, Tony, Chuck and Terry who were out front.  So that is settled – with Terry making a specific chart and adding in the other names of guys who were not with us this week such as the Special Forces singers.


Then, with time short, the visual team asked us to perform the uptune for the cameras.  No one fell or stumbled and most seemed to have adjusted to doing the placements even if they were on a new row or side.  (Gotta have helped to have been well trained early on.)


Joe then had us sing “Great Day” as a prep or reminder that it will be sung at the next recording session.  And after that we worked on singing and performing “That’s Amore” since we will be using it in the months ahead for shows. It was first for many of the new members but went well.


We worked all the rest of the nite on the package and then closed the meeting with KTWWS directed by Ken White who won the 50/50 (a lot of guys bought tickets this week, so he won a nice amount and the chapter received a nice amount to be contributed to the M-AD Endowment Fund.


After the equipment was put away, a good crew made it to the new, fun and relaxing afterglow location – LaPortas at 1600 Duke St.  Everyone is invited. Come join in the fun.  The food is good, the prices are decent, there is space to sing tags if you like, and there is easy free parking.  It is also an easy walk to the King St. Metro.


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.)