Thursday, May 9, 2013

Looking Back on the May 7th Chapter Meeting

No doubt the chapter members were eager to get to work on their performance skills for Toronto.  Most of us participated at the very helpful visual studio sessions this past Saturday. A big thanks to Chuck McKeever, Carlos Barillo, our various visual row leaders and the “face” coach, Randall Eliason.


Still there was a big crowd of guys reviewing the stage moves at the 6 pm session on the stage; and the front row guys hard at work in the lobby at Durant.  Seems the list of front row participants had settled to the following 15 guys.  Congrats to all – including the newest addition, Ben RobertsKen White, Scip Garling, Doug White, Randall Eliason, Peter Hubbard, Carlos Barillo, Steve White, Josh Roots, Ken Rub, Terry Reynolds, Chuck Hunter, Mike Vlcej, Craig Kujawa and Chris Clark.


Assistant director Will Cox did the warm ups this week. When he turned over the chorus to director Joe Cerutti, we were ready to get to work.  Joe welcome former member Bill Conway who sings in a Carolinas district champs chorus who will also be singing in Toronto.  Bill was in town for a work conference, and word is he is renewing his Harmonizer membership too!  Joe also read a letter from our fan Ellen who gave Joe some $25 gift cards for him to award as he wishes to guys who go above-and-beyond at rehearsal. (At the end of the evening, he presented one to Peter Hubbard.)


We did a little review for the recording session set for next Tuesday nite at First Baptist Church at 2932 King St. in Alexandria.  NOTE:  Joe asked everyone to come that nite, even if they don’t know the songs to record (he says you can bring the music), cause more the half of the nite will be used to follow up on our work on the contest song.  Joe also suggested we dress in short sleeves etc. since we will have the AC turned off so recording will be better.


We started on the uptune and then associate director Tony Colosimo stepped up with some applicable barbershop craft lessons.  Then he and Joe worked as a team to improve spots in the two contest songs.  There were lots of smiles as we locked and rang some important chords.

Tony also touched on some visual points as part of the musical performance skills.  A great session!


Before the meeting, there was time for self-eval taping and time for listeners to check more guys on the songs.  Assistant director Terry Reynolds orchestrated this session. Terry also pleaded with guys to make sure their attendance plans are updated on the website – since May sessions are mandatory, we need to know if guys are on business travel, etc.


Ops vp Bob Rhome conducted this week’s chapter meeting.  His opening announcements were (1.) Brian Miller recently received his PhD.  Congrats!; (2.) The Pride of Baltimore SAI chorus is having a tea May 18th – see Sam McFarland for tickets; (3) at break buy scrip cards to pay for your housing in Toronto from Carl Kauffmann who is covering for Ian Poulin, get 50/50 tickets from Dick and Carolyn Hall, order a Toronto polo shirt from Roger Day before cutoff date of May 21, see Ken Fess to pay the current installment for Normandy, sign the sympathy card Bruce Lauther brought in, and if your Society dues expire in June or July you should be sure you pay them early so you are eligible to sing in Toronto.


Chuck McKeever announced the final visual studio sessions will be Wed, May 8th at Lee Center at 7 pm.


Membership vp Mark Klostermeyer with help from Ken White welcomed the guests for the week.


After coffee break, we had sectionals to work on unit sound.


And then worked and worked on the contest songs – especially the uptune with and without visuals.


We closed at 10 pm, put the risers and props and av equipment away.  Some quartet singing was heard and the section leaders auditioned another prospective singer. And a good crowd made it over to the afterglow at LaPortas.


President Alan Wile was on travel this week, but last week he announced he had received word from Gary Mankin about former Harmonizer and assistant chorus director, Dave Barton, who is in the Sunshine District Seniors champion quartet. Congrats Dave (a regular reader of our Looking Back column.)


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.)

Looking Back on the April 30th Chapter Meeting and Recent Southern Division Contest

More hard work was in store for this week’s rehearsal and meeting nite.  Cindy Hansen was present to add another spark to the excitement and that she did in spades!


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and got the chorus ready to work and apply their skills. We welcomed some Special Forces men too – Dave Ellis, Bob Wilson, Kevin McKenzie and Sean Devine.


Director Joe Cerutti welcomed Cindy and turned the chorus over to her for comments.  And we jumped right to work on the uptune.  We were given many suggestions on how to do our job as performers with more zing and zip and enough reps to get them under-our-belts.


A large crowd of guys had come early to work with Chuck McKeever on the stage to be prepared for the visual workout. The front row had actually worked with Cindy before the meeting started in another room, and then they came into the main hall where they could hear the uptune being played from the stage.


At the halfway mark, assistant director Terry Reynolds orchestrated what seems like nearly the final round of vocal qualifications. 


Operations vp Bob Rhome conducted the weekly chapter meeting. President Alan Wile thanked all the men and FRIENDS who helped host the division contest this past weekend.  


There are 26 Harmonizers singing in division contest quartets April 26th in Reston.  The weekend actually was a southern division contest and a western division contest – combined to build a crowd.  MAYHEM won first in the southern division contest. That means a quartet from Alexandria has won that contest every year since 2001. The number in the list below is their rank in the contest, with names in order of tenor, lead, bari, bass; and Harmonizer names in boldface.

1st  MAYHEM – Matt Fellows, Neil Dingle, Mike Pinto, Ken White

2nd  ACME CHORD COMPANY – Dan O’Brien, Chris Susalka, Paul Grimes, Chris Yates

4th  THE MONORAIL FOUR – Kellen Hertz, Phil Ferguson, Bobby Seay VI, Andrew Havens

5th  THE ESTABLISHMENT – John Reece, Bill Colosimo, Joe Cerutti, Dean Martin

6th  YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT – Hardman Jones, Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Vic Owen

8th  GOOD GUYS – Jim Lake, Frank Fedarko, Joel Golden, Don Dillingham

9th  MINT CONDITION – Bob Rodriguez Jr., Kevin McKenzie, Drew Fuller, Arthur Louis

10th  HANDSOME REWARD – Mike Sengco, Mike Edison, Vince Lynch, Mike Gilmore

15th  BLARNEY BROTHERS – Pappy DeVoe, Mike Calhoun, Ron Davidson, Tom Pearce

19th  SOUVENIR – Carl Kauffmann, Brad Jones, Drew Fuller, Roger Day


4th in Western Division   SURPRISE! –  JC O’Donovan, John Grant, Bob Hirsh, Bruce Minnick

Reporters for YeEd noted that many former and even current members sang in 12 of the 20 choruses in the two contests. In the chorus contest, those choruses that score at least a 63.0 qualify to compete at the Fall Convention in Ocean City.   So, at this past weekend, 7 Southern Division and 2 Western Division choruses qualified.  Soundworks (James River) took first place overall, scoring 75.3. The Harmonizers did not compete in this contest as we are going to the International this summer and that entitles us to compete in the fall if we wish and if we do not win the gold. Interesting to note that several of the choruses this weekend were directed by current or former Harmonizers. The mic tester chorus was Harmony Heritage Singer, Mt. Vernon with Bob Wachter directing.  Joe Cerutti was emcee for the chorus contest and Bill Colosimo was emcee for the Saturday nite show.

(For those wondering – the list of quartets that are invited to compete at the District Fall Convention in Ocean City, MD will not be determined until after the combined Northern and Atlantic Division Contest at the end of May.

Also there are a lot of folks helping our chapter host the weekend’s contest.  . Chuck Harner was our team chair. He presented Alan the check for $1300 which we earned as hosts. There were some team captains who helped coordinate various aspects of the weekend’s work: judges services and printing of score sheets – Keith Jones; judges transportation – Joe Cerutti and Dean Rust; judges hospitality – Chris Buechler and Dixie Kennett; staging coordinator, setup, risers and trucks – Bob Blair; auditorium coordinator – Alan Wile; chorus and quartet coordinator – Carl Kauffmann; registration coordinator – Dick Dangel; door monitors and hall coordinators – Ninamaire Maragioglio; sign coordinator – Drew Fuller.

President Alan also promoted the need for us all to buy scrip to use in paying for hotel rooms in Toronto. Ian Poulin added to that plea with the note that Carl Kauffmann will fill in while Ian is on travel as scrip sales person.

Bob Rhome reminded everyone of the visual studios this Saturday at Durant in the main hall.  The first and last groups will have to set up and take down risers.

Randall Eliason gave one last chance for guys to see him about joining the Harmo group to go to a baseball game in Toronto.

Ken Fess gave us a little update on the behind-the-scenes work on the Normandy trip for 2014.  See the recent newsletter he and his co-chairman, Mick Stamps, sent out.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler gave new Harmonizer name tags to Dave Ellis, Dean Sherick and Lou Bergner. Chris presented membership renewal cards to Noah Van Gilder for six years; and Dan O’Brien for nine years.

Membership vp Mark Klostermeyer, with help from Ken White, welcomed this week’s gusts.  Mark reminded all that we should keep bring folks so they can get into the queue for joining and learning the music for fall shows and events.

As a reminder, Rick Wagner and his wife Peggy are hosting the Harmo Hospitality room in Toronto and want to collect party supplies, decorations, paper plates and such – no matter what event or theme - “anything goes.” Give’em to Rick any Tuesday.

After the coffee break, we went back to work on the risers. Cindy made some “enHansenments” for the tag. And she concluded her time with us in remarks about our homework, her thanks for Carlos Barillo and Chuck McKeever for their work to prepare the chorus for tonite, and her eagerness to see us explode.

Before the meeting ended Tues nite we gave a cheer for Sean Devine’s quartet THROWBACK who will be competing in the Land O Lakes District at the International prelims this weekend, hoping to qualify for Toronto.

In other news from the Harmonizer family, we extend sympathies to Josh Roots and his family in the recent passing of his Mom after a 20-year battle with cancer.

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.)