Friday, January 17, 2014

Looking Back on the January 14th Chapter Meeting         

Everyone came prepared to show director Joe Cerutti how they had worked on the two new songs for next year.  But he was in Germany, so we demonstrated for  associate director Tony Colosimo and the section leaders that many of us had worked hard during the week (or in many cased, built up their own confidence to sing thru the songs well). There were 88 of us on the risers this week.

It was foggy outside and traffic a mess again in some parts of town.  New member Jim Kew arrived from CT via train and met a bunch of us at Hard Times for dinner before rehearsal.  In fact, there were three tables full of Harmonizers there for dinner this week  -- a couple meetings of chapter leaders and the usual gang in booth #1 at 5 pm.  Come by if you are in Alexandria early on a Tuesday nite.

Chuck McKeever was on the stage at Durant at 6 pm to refresh and/or teach the stage moves for new members and those who wanted to review.  This week he worked on “Anything Goes.”

Assistant director Will Cox did the warm ups this week and Tony was in charge as main director this week. The first part of the nite he worked on some “clean up” issues for “Glenn Miller Medley” and then he presented his weekly barbershop craft session.

That followed a great session with Carlos Barillo teaching a new visual plan for the same song.  After teaching it to us, he worked in the lobby with 25 men to learn a dance routine. Chuck worked with Tony to help the riser singers review and drill the plan.

The FRIENDS IN HARMONY had a meeting off site this week and then were back to Durant in the later part of the meeting.

Operations vp Bob Blair conducted this week’s chapter meeting at about 8:30.  He thanked those who were wearing name tags and encouraged more to get on the bandwagon and wear their nametag too.

President Terry Reynolds thanked Steve White for his years of dedicated editorship of the pre-meeting HarmoGram every week.  The new editor (since Steve was elected music and performance vp this year) is Dave Branstetter.

Continuing Terry’s theme, It’s Great to Be a Harmonizer, he cited having our own creative choreographer, Carlos Barillo, on the team!

Shows vp Nick Leiserson brought us up-to-date on shows for the next couple months:

* Feb. 23 we will participate in SingStrong in Reston at 2 pm. This is a major a cappella event in for the DC area.  Google SingStrong and learn more about it.

* March 15 we sing for American Society of Public Admin.  In the evening at the Mayflower in DC.  Need about 60 singers – knowing that a bunch of us might be in Reston that nite for the finals of the quartet contest at our M-AD International Prelims competition.

* We host and sing at A CA Challenge (that stands for a cappella challenge) at Lincoln Theater, 1216 U St. NW on Sat. March 22nd. Event starts at 7 pm.  Tickets will be $25 for friends to attend.  There are six contestants already lined up, and YeEd hears there are some prominent judges on tap for the event.  The chorus will sing also.  This is an event to promote a cappella singing, and to introduce our chorus and barbershop harmony to other singers in the DC area.

Mick Stamps was taking deposits for the Normandy trip this week. Ken Fess announced prior to the meeting that the Normandy trip planning committee is finalizing the roster and plans for the trip this January. If there are any Harmonizers that are still considering joining us on this great trip, he needs to know your intentions as soon as possible. You may join the trip until 1 March, 2014. If you have any questions or need any additional information please contact Ken.

The Choral Director at Edison High School in Alexandria has asked us to conduct a harmony workshop for about 100-150 students on Saturday, January 25 from noon – 1:30. Joe and Tony will provide the training for this event, but we are in need of a voice-balanced group of strong singers to serve as the demonstration group. Some of you have done this in the past and know how rewarding it is to work with youth singers as they explore their musical interests. We are hopeful that this brief introduction to barbershop harmony will inspire some of these students to attend our Youth Harmony Festival in April. If you are a confident singer and know the repertoire well, please consider giving a couple hours of your time to this community outreach/training activity. Steve White will collect names for this activity.

Note that event is the same day as the chapter’s annual Presidents’ Award banquet and installation of our 2014 board. Steve Murane is coordinating the event and collecting $20 per person for attendees.  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. 

Steve White also announced plans to release the learning schedule for the other new songs for 2014.  Stay tuned.

He also announced the recent passing of Joe Mazzone, district quartet champ and BHS gold medal quartet lead.

Secretary Chris Buechler present membership renewal cards to Scipio Garling for 18 years, and Bob Sutton for 30 years.  Bob also was presented his 30-year lapel pin from the chapter.

Membership vp Jeremy Richardson reminded all of us about the Open Audition on Monday nite, Jan. 27th. 

After coffee break, it was back to work in sectionals and then reassemble on the risers to work on “Something About a Soldier” and “Tribute to World Peace.”

We closed the meeting and rehearsal and put all the equipment away and some of us headed to the afterglow at LaPorta’s on Duke Street.

YeEd noted Garrett Garner favoring his leg and discovered he had had a chain saw accident.  TJ Jones reportedly fell recently in his home and was home to get well. Joe Cerutti was coaching in Germany.

Stay tuned for more info about the sale of scrip cards by the FIH group – Ninamarie Maragioglio is gonna take over the project.  Thanks to Ian Poulin for having managed it for the last few years. 

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.)