Thursday, August 1, 2013

Looking Back on the July 30th Chapter Meeting (Summer Camp) and Carlyle Park Show

The Harmonizers Summer Camp lets us have some fun, relax the Tuesday nite schedule, and cover for the week that many Harmonizer musical leaders are at Harmony University in MO.


According to reporters at HU, there are nine of our members there. Joe Cerutti, Tony Colosimo and Gary Plaag are on the faculty.  Sean Devine is likely working as a staff member all week. Jorge Acevedo, Chris Buechler, Tom Gannon, Chuck Hunter and Kevin Kaiser are students attending this concentrated barbershop school event.


At Durant, we did have fun.  No risers – chairs facing the stage, the usual screen and other av equipment. Assistant director Will Cox did the warm ups using typical camp songs such as “Swing Lo” and “If You’re Happy…” to fit into the theme for the nite.


Camp director, Terry Reynolds, shared that the plan for the nite was “to have fun in barbershopping.”   Chapter historian, Martin Banks, prepared an informative display about our chorus contest appearances with photos and score sheets and more.


For the first activity, we reviewed the music for “Sweet and Lovely” with assistant director Mike Kelly – one of the popular songs to sing with other barbershoppers.  Those who were solid on the song, were encouraged to try another voice part. Our second activity was a push-out quartet activity singing that same song.  Lots of guys did it, and many switched parts.


For our third activity, Dan O’Brien did an overview of the contest and judging categories.  He reports that anyone interested in getting into the judging program need to know that applications are due Dec. 31.  Go to the BHS website for info.


(BTW YeEd confirms that Dan O’Brien, in music category, and Tony Colosimo, in singing category, were recently certified as new judges.  Joe Cerutti, Gary Plaag, Sean Devine, Chuck Harner and Chris Buechler were recertified as judges.


Our fourth activity was to learn a couple new tags taught by Terry.


Our fifth activity was to work with Will to brush up on the “Harmonizer Welcome” song we sing to our guests each week. After working on the song, we put it to the test to great another long line of guests.  Mark Klostermeyer and Jeremy Richardson presented the guests – some first timers, an applicant or two, some summer interns working in DC, barbershoppers passing thru and barbershoppers who have moved here and will join us.


Operations vp Bob Rhome conducted the weekly chapter meeting.  He reminded all to turn in their new 3rd  place bronze medal to Bruce Lauther to be engraved. Bruce has the form you need to turn it in and pay the $8.      


President Alan Wile was selling more Harmonizer lapel pins, and invited any newer folks to submit their Harmo Hero forms.


Other announcements included reminder of Market Square show on Friday, Aug. 9th.  NOTE THIS DATE – MANY OF HAVE IT WRONG ON OUR PERSONAL CALENDAR.  Also plan to bring the family, some chairs to sit on, bring the neighbors and future ticket customers. And then maybe go out in Old Town for dinner with Harmonizers.  Metro Riders need to plan ahead to take the shuttle from King Street Metro that runs down King St. to Market Square.  Allow time!


For refreshments, we had sweet cold watermelon as a special treat.


Our seventh activity was “Ask The Directors or President” any question.  There was lively discussion – many from newer members about traditions.


For our eighth activity we watched the video of our International performance of “Steppin’ Out” and the video of the Ambassadors of Harmony “76 Trombones” gold medal performance.


Ninth there were breakout options: more videos; tag singing’ and how to read a barbershop cord.


When we reassembled, the taggers sang the tag they had learned.  The 50/50 winner took us out with “Keep the Whole World Singing” and we went right to work putting the chairs and tables away.


In other news, our show producer Greg Tepe sent a thank-you to the 72 singers who performed Thursday night, July 25th, at John Carlyle Park. Big thanks to our three directors - Terry, Will and Mike. Thanks to Bob Blair for driving the truck. Thanks to the riser crew: Michael Gilmore, Bob Griesemer, Chuck Hunter, Kevin Kaiser\, Carl Kauffmann, Chuck McKeever, Bob Rhome, Shawn Tallant, Doug White and Alan Wile.

Thanks to Mike Kelly for setting up sound, to our MCs Shawn Tallant and Scipio Garling, and thanks to our a cappella group, TBD,  for rousing the crowd with two songs.

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.)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Looking Back on the July 23rd Chapter Meeting   

This week we sang a lot of repertoire songs for the up-coming show; and chapter admin and music-and-performance leaders launched a huge amount of plans and exciting events for the chapter in the next 24 months.


We actually had to meet at First Baptist Church since there was a major conflict at Durant.  (Also we all have noted the many fences and changes around Durant as they redo the adjoining school facility and take away parking spaces!) We used one third of their social hall.


The front row guys came early at 6 and worked in the room while we set up risers in order to revamp and simplify the “Anything Goes” visuals for normal package shows in the months ahead.  They also are now gonna carry the visuals for “Jersey Boys” so the chorus can just sing the heck out of.


At break, our a cappella group, TBD, rehearsed in the lobby as they will be on the Carlyle Park show this week with the chorus.


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and when he turned the chorus over to director Joe Cerutti, we went right to work on our newest song, “Glenn Miller Medley,” which we will sing in Normandy. Then Joe asked the assistant directors, Mike Kelly, Will Cox and Terry Reynolds, to direct the songs for the show.


Operations vp Bob Rhome conducted the chapter meeting portion of the evening. President Alan Wile reported on the progress of John Hohl in FL.  He is actually home now recovering and accepting correspondence.  Alan also reported that Burt Stueve had an operation in recent days for his leg circulation problems. And Alan received a call from John Adams, former tenor section leader and quartet singer with Alexandria. John lives and sings in NC now and reports that his wife Jean is now in a care facility. John sent kudos for the chapter’s contest set which he watched on the Web.


Alan gave a plug for the Germantown, MD, chapter show coming up and welcomed their director Kris Zinkievich.


Greg Tepe, our show producer, outlined details for the show July 25th at Carlyle Park in Alexandria. Uniform is black “camp” Harmo shirt with blue jeans, black shoes and belt. No t-shirt showing. With medal.


Speaking of medals – bring them next week to have them engraved.  It costs just $8.  You will turn them in with your name to Bruce Lauther.


And speaking of next week – we will be back at Durant for Summer Camp – a fun nite of singing, games, good refreshments, shows, and chatter to fill a nite when many of our musical leaders will be at Harmony University in St. Joe MO.


Membership vp Mark Klostermeyer, with emcee help from Ken White, introduced a long line of guests – some first timers, several returnees including Tom Kraus and his family. Tom was on the front row singing along and is one of the bass singers in TBD.


Mark also gave a plug for guys to post the recently released Auditions Nite poster everywhere – not just on Facebook.  Take some copies to the doctor office, or leave them on the desk by the concierge in your office building, or where ever people slow down enough to see it.


After a break, the leaders gave a well organized visual and verbal report of plans for the chapter thru 2014.  (For those who missed, be on the lookout for an email relaying the report for your study.)


The first big point is the strong possibility of our singing at Ocean City this fall, as well as hosting that convention for the M-AD events teams.  Everyone should have gotten a groupanizer email for an RSVP.  Joe wants as close to 100 singers as possible. Mark your calendar to attend.


We got a sneak preview of the theme for the holiday shows scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7 at First Baptist. Songs to learn are in the email message.


We learned that plans are set to host an a cappella competition March 22, 2014 at Lincoln Theater.  You can help the organizers find contestant groups.  AND truly VIP judges.


The chapter goal is to host another youth harmony camp in April of 2014.


The trip to Normandy is June 3-10.  Many new developments and details were announced so watch for that email message too. But key among those new details are (1) a plan to sing at Notre Dame and (2) a plan to sing at the Cathedral in Cologne.  Already 112 singers have signed up and more are coming (special forces singers will be joining us - they must audition and become Harmonizers to do so). The email will also give a rundown on the songs to learn. Tim Waurick will sing with us on one special number. There will be a total of 245 travelers.


Another huge new event is a joint show with the Ambassadors in Harmony June 21, 2014 – likely at National Theater in DC. Guest quartets will be CROSSROADS and VOCAL SPECTRUM.  The Harmonizers are preparing to host the AOH member in their homes as we have done in past shows with Dallas and Cincinnati.


And finally, November 3 we expect to host a huge show in the days prior to the Sweet Adelines International convention that will be in Baltimore.  This show will be much like our show we did prior to the Philadelphia BHS convention.


To wrap up the evening, Tony presented exciting details with input from Joe about a new Master Singer Program being launched by the chapter.  Complete details also coming to all members.  It basically is a self-initiated individual singer improvement program to help the chorus achieve mastery.  It is a very thorough educational program we will be using over the next year or so.







In other news, the chapter is proud of DA CAPO quartet who opened for The Manhattan Transfer Saturday in Newport News, VA.  Congrats. We will all wanna hear stories about it.


Additional inputs about the Toronto convention operation in July:   First off, YeEd forgot to mention that Tango the Harmo Dog also attended most rehearsals (Tango helps Brian Miller’s wife.)  Carl Kauffman gave YeEd the names of the many men who helped haul risers in Canada – Bair, Griesenmer, Ashford, Clark, Rust, Hunter, Powell, Tallant, Sherick, Ammerman, Hubbard, Quick, J Fuller, Eliason, Branstatter and Hook.   Also Phil Ashford helped drive the Harmo truck back to VA.


 Several members sang with other barbershoppers at the funeral service for Billy Ball last week – Bill Colosimo, Bob Wells, Randall Eliason, Jack Pitzer, Alan Wile, Mike Everard, Terry Jordan and Bob Wachter. 


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.)