Friday, January 10, 2014

Looking Back on the January 7th Chapter Meeting

The Harmonizer family was out in force to kick off the new year with lots of new music to sing, new places to sing, new guys to sing with, new goals, new officers and even a new craft maxim!

Usual guys were there early to help set up for the production we call chapter rehearsal and meeting.  Traffic was tough in DC so some guys didn’t get there as early as they had hoped to help set up.

It was cold and so the coffee was a welcome treat.  Many guys brought in goodies left over from holiday events – thanks.  If some of you have left over holiday napkins, we would be glad to help use them up for chapter coffee break time.

Assistant director Will Cox did the vocal warm ups and then welcomed director Joe Cerutti to take over the full risers!  Over a hundred were there.  Several new members were present to get started on the music for Normandy – Alan Lamson and Jim Kew who took the train down from CT, and Jim McConnell who came up from Richmond area. John Santora was back from Bel Aire too. New member Tony LaRosa was able to get back with us after a tough work conflict for the last few months.  And members Don Johnson and Donnie Harrington, who haven’t sung with us for a number of years, were on the risers too to sing with us. Tom Kraus and Bob Eckman were back on the risers with us.

Joe was eager to welcome these men and all the guys back. He was full of compliments about the successful holiday show and also the 50% sold shows in 2014! Joe received a holiday greeting card from the chapter in Germany we will sing for this summer.  He is excited to share the new music for the France and Germany trip with us in the weeks ahead.  And he is looking forward to the big show with Ambassadors of Harmony June 21st and then another big show as a kick off before the Sweet Adeline International Convention being held in Baltimore.

After the welcome, we went right to work on a long list of repertoire songs that will be used for the events of next year.  Some of them are from a while back. We kept our pitch man, Jim Lake, busy this week, for sure. The many Special Forces guys singing tonite have a lot of catching up to get them all down.  There was a new member boot camp for a while during the early part of the evening to help them with questions and integration into the chapter operation.

Associate director Tony Colosimo stepped forward a few times to remind us of important craft maxims and then did a full 20 minute session as a kick off to this year’s improvement.

We sang right up til about 8 pm when Bob Blair, current operations vp, conducted the chapter meeting session.  He welcomed new president Terry Reynolds first.  Terry spoke of how honored he was to serve and excited about the prospect of where the year will take us.  He acknowledged the 2013 board and welcomed the 2014 officers in place tonite and working. Terry also suggested to all members that these board members are their representatives so communicate ideas, suggestions or recommendations to the board. In that connection, Terry has created a special email for responses to him –

Terry is particularly interested in helping members, like the Class of 13, find additional ways they can help operate the chapter.  His leadership year theme is a resurgence of   “It’s Great to Be a Harmonizer!”

Details about the funeral for Jon Abel and our singing at the service at Quantico will be coming out soon.

Bob Blair reminded guys to get their name tags out and into their chorus brief case with music and such so they can wear them on Tuesday nites.  The finance committee met during break. President of the FRIENDS IN HARMONY auxiliary, Sandy Stamps, announced that the FiH is selling special magnet attachments so folks can wear their name tags on sweaters or other garments, without putting new holes in the garment.  $2 each.

Quartet promotion chairman Calvin Schnure offered a ‘quartet” of opportunities for guys to sing with three other men. 1) Another fun Harmonizer "Put-together" quartet contest will be Tuesday January 28th. Now is the time to look around for those guys you've been itching to sing with. Here's your chance to have the stage to yourself and show what you've got! If you have only part of a quartet and are looking for a spare part or two (or three other parts!) let Calvin know, he will try to match you up.

2) After having so much fun at the Put-Together contest, no doubt some new quartets (and many of those already registered and singing together) will want to take their show on the road and sing in the Southern Division contest in Roanoke, VA, weekend of May 30th. Note that quartet entries are due by April 30th.

3) We will need some quartet singers to take time off from work and help us deliver Singing Valentines on Friday, February 14th. Guys who have done this know how much fun it is! If you haven't, you should find out. Let Calvin know you are available.

4)  The Atlantic Harmony Brigade rally is a weekend where 120 men who love singing in quartets get together for a full weekend of harmony. Singers are fully prepared to sing 12 great songs, informally in quartets, and in a quartet contest, as well as a show for the public on Saturday night. You will have a chance for more high-level quartet singing of fun and challenging songs than you ever imagined!

This year's rally is August 22-24, 2014 in Wilmington, DE. Gold medal winners, OC TIMES (with our own Sean Devine) will be the headline act on the Saturday show and the judges for our quartet contest and (so here is your chance to sing with them during the rest of the weekend!). Last year we had two full quartets of Harmonizers attend the AHB rally. Let Calvin Schnure know if you have any questions about the event.

Ike Evans is always eager to take photos of members to update the photo board posted each week in Durant.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented new member materials such as name tags and Harmonizer history books to Reed Livergood, Mike Edison, Alan Lamson, Jim Kew and Jim McConnell. Chris also presented quartet registration cards to the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, a quartet of our section leaders registered for 27 years by the chapter. (Rick Savage, tenors; Tony Colosimo, leads; Ken Ives, baritones; Mike Kelly, basses).

Finally, Chris presented member renewal cards to Gary Fuller, 3 years; Tom Kraus, 7 years; Shawn Tallant, 7 years; Ken White, 15 years; Jeremy Richardson, 17 years; Drew Fuller, 24 years; Steve White, 37 years; and Chuck Harner, 46 years.

Immediate past president, Alan Wile, (especially happy of his new title),  reminded new members to submit their Harmo Hero forms.

New membership vp Jeremy Richardson with help from Rich Hewitt welcomed the many guests, former members and new members present for the nite.  The crowd was large a number of guys chipped in to welcome them help get them signed in. 

Jeremy also asked for help in getting membership prospects to sign up for the open audition on Jan. 27th at Durant. He also suggested more guys come out for the afterglow at LaPortas on Tuesday nites.

After coffee break, it was back to the risers, standing by voice parts, to work on the two newest songs, “Something About a Soldier” and “Tribute to World Peace” for Normandy and shows next year.

A few wrap up reminders were offered and we closed the meeting nite with KTWWS.

As a reminder: the annual Presidents’ Award banquet and installation of our 2014 board will be Sat nite, Jan. 25th, at Durant starting at 6 pm.  The chapter will provide a main dish and all of us will bring things for the potluck – bass and bari bring sides, leads bring salads, tenors and Friends in Harmony bring desserts. Chapter will also provide plates and utensils.  There will be a bar and drinks provided too.  Fee is $20 per person.  You can pay Steve Murane in advance or at the door.  Be sure you have spoken with Steve if you plan to attend and didn’t already tell him.

In other news, if you ever go out to lunch in the Del Ray area of Alexandria, try out Holy Cow burger shop.  Great chow. And for every burger they sell, they contribute 25 cents to a charity of your choice – the Harmonizers are on their approved list!  Check it out.

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 66th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)