Thursday, February 27, 2014

Looking Back on the SingStrong Show and the February 25th Chapter Meeting

What fun we had singing at the SingStrong a cappella festival Sunday afternoon, Feb. 23rd for a screaming and cheering audience of fellow singers.  We wore our black casual shirts and jeans, looked good, had risers full with 70 singers, and did four great songs with a “hot” front row. Associate director Tony Colosimo directed along with assistant directors Mike Kelly and Terry Reynolds.  Producer Greg Tepe and chorus manager Mark Klostermeyer keep things rolling for us after arrived for the noon chorus call at South Lakes High School in Reston. 

Earlier in the weekend in Reston, several of our musical team attended the festival and Tony and Terry taught a class on tag singing.

Tuesday nite was an invigorating rehearsal and meeting.  Big crowd, high energy, success in learning more songs for Normandy, bunch of guests, and great dancing by new floor performers!

While the set up crew worked to prepare the hall for our nite, a big crowd of us worked on stage with Chuck McKeever and some of his SP team to drill moves for “Miller Medley.”

Tony did the warm ups and turned the chorus over to director Joe Cerutti to get to work.  And work we did.  The drills for stage presence was useful as we spend a huge chunk of time for choreographer Carlos Barillo adding important emotions and details to the moves for “Miller” and getting us comfortable.  Joe directed the chorus on the risers and Chuck helped him keep the guys in the right move plan. And during the 40-minute work-session, each of the singing sections spent 10 minutes with Tony on special musical spots.  When we put it all together, it felt good. 

Similar successes came out as we sang many of the other new songs for France, and Joe was happy with how well we were able to sing another new song, “I’ll Walk With God” for the first time.

Tony was full of excitement after the great reception we had at SingStrong on Sunday, as he conducted another of his very useful and educational craft sessions.

All during the evening, there were guys leaving the risers for auditions as emcees with Greg and Carlos.  Soloists and quartet try outs were conducted before chapter meeting.

Operations vp Bob Blair conducted this week’s chapter meeting. He suggested that guys without name tags buy a new one from Chris Buechler or at least get a paper name tag at the membership kiosk!

Ken Rub introduced marketing materials for the A CA Challenge at Lincoln Theater on March 22nd. This huge event is another new venture for the chapter into the a cappella world.  We will sing and debut two of our new songs!  Ken and chapter leaders are asking each Harmonizer to bring 1-3 people for the audience.  Also Skip Coburn is coordinating advertising sales for the show’s printed program.

Greg Tepe confirmed that we would wear the back suite outfit for Lincoln theater that we wore in Toronto.  New members all need to get them from uniform guru Tom Kern. 

Speaking of uniforms, any guys singing in the Mayflower hotel gig March 15th, you will need the tux and tails outfit, so be sure you have them.

Brian Ammerman’s father died recently and Brian reports that he used a recording of the chorus for the memorial service, since his Dad was a fan of our music. Christina Ammerman explained the scrip sales effort for the Harmonizers.  This ongoing fundraising project is being managed by the FRIENDS IN HARMONY, with Christina and Ninamarie Maragioglio leading the effort.

Speaking of FRIENDS, they are helping us prepare the gold scarves for upcoming shows. Soooo – bring in your gold scarf from Toronto on Tuesday, March 11th. And front row guys need to bring in those great gold vests Mar. 11th too. 

President Terry Reynolds welcomed Rick and Peggy Wagner as Rick undergoes the days of radiation! Terry also gave a brief update on Burt Steuve.

Terry reported the upcoming chapter history committee meeting, and related that the SingStrong show experience is another reason why “It’s Great to Be a Harmonizer!”

Secretary Chris Buechler presented a new member nametag to Aaron Simoneau, then renewal cards to Josh DesPortes for 2 years, Clyde Crusenberry for 4 years, Ed Schubel for 4 years, Bob Rhome for 13 years, Tom Kern for 16 years, and Skip Coburn for 25 years. Skip also was given an lapel pin.

Membership vp Jeremy Richardson with help from Rich Hewitt welcomed and introduced a bunch of guests, some new applicants and members from other chapters in town to visit us.  Jeremy plugged the next open audition nite, April 9th. Spread the word.

Ben Roberts announced his school theater department’s show ad sales and offered forms for any potential advertisers.

The hot coffee and goodies were welcomed by all.  Thanks to the several guys who brought goodies to share and some napkin.  Keep it up – especially salty items like pretzels and such.

After break it was back onto the risers for more great singing and the successful feeling as we demonstrated that we are making progress at learning all the new songs.  Plus we pulled up some more rep songs that we will use this summer.

In other news, several of our chapter quartets will be singing in the International Preliminary Quartet Contest in Reston at the Hyatt on Friday, March 14th.  This contest is how quartets earn the right to compete in the International contest this summer in Vegas.

As this point we have Harmonizers singing in 9 of the 17 quartets in the contest – DA CAPO. MAYHEM, YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, BSQ, THE MONORAIL FOUR, OLD TOWN SOUND, FORECAST, ACME CHORD COMPANY, LAST MEN STANDING.  The first round of the contest is Friday nite at 7pm.  On Saturday morning, there is an adjudication for college and high school quartets at 11am.  The finals contest is Saturday nite at 7pm. 

For those who might wanna stay out in Reston and sing tags and have a fun weekend in Reston Town Center, our own Bill Colosimo, who is district president, alerted us that the Reston Hyatt has extended the guarantee of a BHS block rate until March's only $120 for a lovely room! After that date, rates rise to $139. You can reserve a room by visiting and click the link under “Housing.” While you’re on the site, be sure to reserve your convention registrations, too! Or you can buy tickets at the door.

And finally, good news that MAYHEM has been invited to participate in the 2014 Mid Atlantic Harmony Sweeps  A Cappella Festival at The Birchmere in Alexandria on March 8th at 7:30 pm.  Let’s get a good crowd there to support them – besides it is a fun place for a Harmo social event. Birchmere is a dinner theater atmosphere, so go early to get food and a good seat.  General admission for $39.10 each. Here is a  link:

Thanks to Joel Golden for making the learning tracks for the new tag Dan O’Brien wrote and arranged for the “Armed Services Medley.”


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.)