Thursday, April 10, 2014

Looking Back on the April 8th Chapter Meeting

As usual, things at Durant were busy starting way before 6 pm, with the good news the air conditioning was working!!! Guys and family members everywhere working to set up, review stage presence plans with Chuck McKeever, make the coffee and put out goodies for those guys who come right from work and grab a snack before chapter.

(BTW – a growing number of members gather at Hard Times CafĂ© on King Street about 5 pm on Tuesdays for some dinner before chapter. Come join us.  YeEd)

Then at 5 til 7, we heard Dallas Vocal Majority singing “Runnin’ Wild” over the loud speaker system and that was out signal to get on the risers.  Assistant director Will Cox did the warm ups.

Director Joe Cerutti took over then and thanked all for a great youth harmony festival last Saturday with special appreciation to Brad Jones. Joe welcomed John Pence with us this week.

And finally Joe shared some great new details about our singing in France for many major events to honor the veterans.

We worked hard the first half of the evening on our songs for France and took a chunk of time to review the visual plan for “Something About a Soldier” with choreographer Carlos Barillo.

Operations vp Bob Blair conducted the chapter meeting.  He presented the “Ooops I Forgot My Badge" badge to Brad.

The mystery handshaker this week was Jack Pitzer – the 7th guy to shake his hand, and wearing a name tag, was Tom Kern, who got a new BHS logo t-shirt.

Reminder:  there is an all-sectionals work session at First Baptist, 2932 King Street on Saturday, April 12th at 9am.

Randall Eliason announced the plans for a D-Day Veteran’s Tribute show as part of the Normandy preparation retreat at First Baptist Church, May 17th (which is also Armed Forces Days).

President Terry Reynolds announced the date for the 2014 Presidents’ Award dinner will be Feb. 8th, 2015, with BHS CEO Marty Monson as our guest.

Terry also reports that the chapter received a thank you note from Michelle Obama for singing at the White House during the Christmas holidays.

Terry presented a check from Harmony Foundation for $4008.15 to our treasurer David Welter to deposit.  These monies are a result of 36 of our members contributing to the Foundation and designating the chapter to receive a “give back” to the chapter.

Terry saluted the great Youth Harmony Festival too and suggested it was another example of why “It Is Great to Be a Harmonizer!”

Membership vp Jeremy Richardson with help from Rich Hewitt introduced and welcomed the guests for the evening.  And Jeremy reminded us of the Open Auditions event on Wednesday eve at Durant.

After coffee break, associate director Tony Colosimo conducted his barbershop craft session.

A new effort to prepare the chorus for singing in Normandy will be launched next week and will continue for the following 3-4 Tuesdays, The “Make Me Better” program for all singers performing in Normandy is being to managed by Michael Gilmore for the music team. It is not a qualification process; rather, an opportunity for section leaders or assigned listeners to see how each man is doing on using craft maxims etc. in their singing. There will be time each week to do some parts of songs and then a few minutes for follow up.

For the rest of this week’s rehearsal, we worked hard on our music for shows and the trip to France in ’14. This included some work on some old songs too.  Joe also announced that we would be asked to sing the National Anthem and a two-part-harmony piece with a marching band when we are in France.

In other news about our members: John Pence has announced plans for a memorial service for Janene at 2pm on May 31 at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax. Specifics on the service to be announced later.

Dick and Carolyn Hall celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past week.  Congrats to them both.

A former Harmonizer, Frank Perka, died recently in Alexandria.  He was a member 1970-74, He was born in 1919.

Our friend TJ Jones has had some tough physical accidents of late including the last fall on ice after the last snow we had, breaking the lower extremity of the fibula bone. So he is back to sitting in a chair again for a number of weeks, instead of being on the risers.

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.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Looking Back on the 6th Harmo Youth Harmony Festival 2014

The Harmonizers held its sixth all-day Youth Harmony Festival Saturday April 5th at Durant Center.  There were 24 boys and 29 girls participating. There were five music educators involved for the day too. The chapter sponsored the event with additional support from Barbershop Harmony Society, our friends at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and Sweet Adelines International.


Brad Jones was coordinator of this year’s successful event and offered this thank you note: “thanks to everyone who helped make the weekend such a success. The kids had a great time and many have already said they can't wait until next year. Thanks to all who brought snacks and desserts for the Festival. One of the greatest compliments we receive on comment forms is for the food we provide during the day and you all contribute to that success.


”Thanks also to our faculty - Joe Cerutti, Tony Colosimo, Erin Cook, Carlos Barillo who conducted the workshops for the youth.  Helping them with training, tag singing and encouragement were GIMME FOUR quartet from NJ and SHADES OF JADE Sweet Adeline quartet. The students soaked up the information these folks provided and Carlos' approach to putting moves and meaning to the songs opened up a lot of performance concepts the students had not seen before.


“Our volunteers from the Harmonizers and FRIENDS IN HARMONY were amazing from setup on Friday night through the cleanup at the end of the day. I'm sure I've missing some folks who pitched in when I was in other areas of the building but just a stab at those who helped includes - Sandy and Mick Stamps, Jack and Pat Pitzer, Chris Buechler, Dixie Kennett, Ken Fess, Ellen Dellert, Chuck Harner, Christine and Todd Ryktarsyk, Bob and Sandy Ulibarri, Alan Wile, Bob Wachter, Carl Kauffman, Keith Jones, Bridgette Cerutti, Catherine Colosimo, Dean Rust, Bob Rhome, Steve Murane, Austin Cotton, Ben Roberts, Tom Berky, Michael Gilmore, TJ Donahue, Peelee Clark, Terry Reynolds, Kris Zinkievich and many others who pitched in during the setup and cleanup.


“A special thanks to TBD, our a cappella group, and the 60 chorus members who performed on the evening show and helped show the students that singing is for life beyond school!  The chorus sang four songs including their debut of “Bring Him Home” with Tony doing the solo.


“A couple of our members sang with the youth boys’ chorus – Tommy Garner and Ben Roberts.  New member Peelee Clark operated the sound board for the show.”


A girl’s youth quartet sang on the show as did the boys’ chorus and girls’ chorus. The finale was a combined chorus of the boys and girls. Many parents and family members attended as did Harmonizer family members and friends. 


And as president Terry Reynolds always says...all the above is one more reason "It's great to be a Harmonizer!"

Each student was given a Youth Festival burnt-orange t-shirt with the great logo (design by Scipio Garling). Brad has a few adult size shirts left as follows: small - 1, medium -5, large - 5, and XL - 2. He will have them at rehearsal on Tuesday and they are available for $10 each.


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 with the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.)