Saturday, July 19, 2014

Looking Back on the July 15th Chapter Meeting

Well highway traffic was BAD this week and it took some guys two hours to get to chapter meeting and thus they missed dinner or arrived late.  The Beltway was a parking lot.


But it was a good crowd in the end and we worked hard. The invitation song to get on the risers at the new start time of 6:30 pm was “Danny Boy” as sung by the Harmonizers from one of our earliest CDs titled Having Fun.


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and then launched our musical work time on songs for the Thursday nite outdoor concert at John Carlyle Square Park in Alexandria – just a few blocks from the King Street Metro.  BTW – encourage your friends, family and fans to bring chairs for this outdoor venue.  Casual black camp shirt with jeans and any black shoes. Chorus call is 6:30 pm for the 7:30 show.


Greg Tepe has sent an email with details and he was at chapter meeting to brief us on them.


Director Joe Cerutti was in Nashville to prepare to head up the staff for the BHS Harmony University the  last week of July.  But we connected with him via FaceTime and he was able to coach us on the parts of the new contest ballad that we are working on as we launch the song.  It was fun to see him, hear him well and have him hear us.  He will be back in town for the Thursday show and for Roger Day’s funeral on Friday.


Joe spoke about Roger and what he has meant to the chapter and welcomed former members to come and sing their best with us.  President Terry Reynolds has provided information by email.  Many of the details were suggested by Roger himself, including singing “Danny Boy.”  Chorus call is 11:45 Friday at the National Memorial Park, 7482 Lee Hway, Falls Church 22042. Wear a suit and tie. Visitation is at 12:30; service at 1; interment at 2.  A reception will be held at the Trio Grill, 8100 Lee Hway.  Donations may be made in Roger’s name to the Harmonizers.


Operations vp Bob Blair conducted this week’s chapter meeting. Ike Evans assured all that the order for shoulder briefcase bags with the Harmo logo were ordered and due soon.


Shawn Tallant announced he had done some digging and found a hotel in Wildwood NJ that could provide a room block for the Harmonizer contingent for the fall district contest weekend, Oct. 24-25-26.  Stay tuned to sign up for the great room rates he got for us!!


President Terry Reynolds congratulated John Santora upon his election to the BHS board of directors. Without fanfare, he also reminded us all that celebrating the life of a fellow Harmonizer is why we all belong!!


Ken Fess thanked Peter Hubbard who was one of the major team members in planning for the trip to Normandy.  Peter was on travel when it was first announced. 


Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Peter for 3 years; Tony Colosimo for 21 years; Brad Jones for 22 years; Mike Edison for 23 years; and Ken Rub for 23 years.

Rich Hewitt announced and welcomed our guests for this week.


After break, Tony conducted a great barbershop craft session. And then he and the assistant directors worked on songs for the show.


Terry reminded the board of their meeting on Wed. nite this week at Durant


In other news, Dan O’Brein sent word to all of us about his relocation for a year of professional development. “I am taking a year's leave from the Harmonizers. I am moving to Bloomington, IN, soon to teach, write papers, etc. at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University for the 2014-2015 academic year. I am looking forward to my break from the "daily grind" of Washington to enjoy "all the things you are, Bloomington IN." We will miss you Dan O!


YeEd wanted to report a couple more things from the International convention in Vegas:  the chapter sponsored a great ad on the Jumbotron in the contest arena with a title “from Normandy to Vegas” saluting our competitor friends; and when Alan Lamson gave his retirement remarks from the BHS board, he said he had had many wonderful experiences in his years as a barbershopper, but none could top his singing in Normandy with the Alexandria Harmonizers!!


There was another big crowd at the afterglow at LaPorta’s this week. Some good tag singing, some good chow and fun visiting.  Several guests have been coming too. There was more talk at the afterglow about singing in the chapter quartet contest coming up too.


Calvin Schnure reminds everyone to push on with forming a quartet for the chapter’s annual Put Together Quartet Contest to be held on Tuesday July 29th at Durant.  There will be special refreshments that nite too – we have finally eaten up all the left over cookies from the freezer!


A top-notch quartet from our area will be the judges, and the popular emcee hired for this event will be worth the admission fee!  Here’s hoping for some comedy numbers this time again!!  Tell Calvin you plan to sing, the name of your quartet or that you need another part.


For those new guys in the chapter, you heard them call Calvin “Dr. Put Jr.” on Tuesday nite -- and here is why.


“This contest is dedicated to the memory of the late Wilbur Sparks. Wilbur created the Put-Together Contest some 30 years ago, and organized it every year until his passing.  Affectionately known as “Dr. Put,” Wilbur was well known for recruiting unsuspecting chorus members to sing in quartets for the contest.  He also had a knack for finding creative and funny names for quartets that were not quick to name themselves.  Over the years, the Put-Together Contest has become a part of the Alexandria Harmonizers’ tradition, and we celebrate it again this year in Wilbur’s memory.”


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.)


Monday, July 14, 2014

Looking Back on the 2014 Las Vegas International Convention


The Alexandria Harmonizers did not compete this year because of our trip to Normandy and Germany in June; but Harmonizers were there in large numbers to sing, medal, work, attend meetings, cheer for our friends from M-AD, meet old friends and hang out with each other without the stress of rehearsals and early wake calls!


The MUSICAL ISLAND BOYS from New Zealand won the quartet contest as many expected, tho the finals round was still close.  FOREFRONT from OH/KY/IN area came out of the pack to take second and that pleased a lot of our guys who were cheering for them.  MAIN STREET took third with our coach and Harmonizer friend Tony DeRosa singing lead and dancing with them. Our own Sean Devine was in the seventh place quartet, THROWBACK with a young new bass singer, Michael Skutt, who was also in the championship collegiate quartet, THE ACADEMY.


Two other quartets with Harmonizers in the contest were LAST MEN STANDING with TJ Barringer, Drew Feyrer, Ed Bell and Mike Kelly, ranked 29th; and MAYHEM with Matt Fellows, Pookie Dingle, Mike Pinto and Ken White, ranked 33rd.  MAYHEM sang second in the contest and sang “I Am What I Am” as their ballad.  LAST MEN STANDING sang last in the first round of 53 quartets – a play on their quartet name it seemed.


Unfortunately, DA CAPO had to withdraw for health reasons, but they got a mention by the crazy guys in LUNCH BREAK, who were as amazed as anyone that they made the finals round.  So when they started their finals package, they thanked DA CAPO and a couple other quartets for taking a year off!!


Other M-AD quartets included ROUND MIDNIGHT, 12th; UP ALL NIGHT, 31st; and GIMME FOUR, 40th.


The chorus contest this year was a barn burner with Dallas Vocal Majority coming out on top over Masters of Harmony from CA. This was the first time those two powerhouse choruses had met head-to-head.  Greg Clancy, a former Harmonizer coach, directed the VM and on the Saturday nite show, he thanked his dad and let him direct one song as tribute to his many years at the helm.


The Great Northern Union from Hilltop, MN took the third place chorus medal with a holiday winter uptune song featuring an ice skater on a “pond” on stage.  This year we had ice skating, dancing in water (Singing in the Rain) on the stage, fire explosions from inside the chorus, a circus tent, and a pirate ship.


The pirate ship was created by the Denver chorus who took fourth.  They built the whole thing in the same time it took the men to get on stage.  Our own TJ Donahue, who is back in CO now (tho in Alexandria for the summer working at the National Science Foundation) designed the set and props and made it all work so smoothly.  The chorus made some fun of the other competitors and so invited two of our guys to do walk-on parts – Terry Reynolds “walked the plank” as Justin Miller from the Masters and Ken White “walked the plank” as Aaron Dale from KVU.  The whole fun package was choreographed by Carlos Barillo. Congrats to our guys.


Our M-AD chorus rep, Voices of Gotham from Hell’s Kitchen NY, were 15th. They too sang “I Am What I Am” in a medley with “My Way.”  It was great to see all of our friends from their chorus.  Some Alexandria guys attended the very well done VoG session during the convention about marketing and brand building for their chorus.


The Toronto Northern Lights chorus did a terrific swan song as outgoing chorus champs while the judges’ scores were tallied for the chorus contest.  They did a snippet from each of their famous contest sets and it was terrific.  And then they concluded with a love song to all of us in the audience.  It was an emotional high for all barbershoppers!!! 


And no surprise, there were 15 former or current Harmonizers who appeared on stage with various choruses.


Before the convention started, Joe Cerutti was in Vegas helping his fellow staff members prepare for the convention and especially the collegiate quartet contest. He also made some stage introductions and directed the youth chorus on the Saturday nite show.  Bill Colosimo headed up the meeting of district presidents.


Carlos Barillo was producer for the Saturday nite Spectacular which featured some great Vegas style entertainment, some great video interviews and a super presentation by CEO of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Marty Monson.


At the Society board meeting, Chris Buechler helped as a parliamentarian.  Gary Plaag is wrapping up his term as a board member and Alan Lamson is outgoing past president.  John Santora and Ken Fess were among the four members nominated to be new board members and John was elected.


Chris was also busy as contest administrator of the contests all week along with Chuck Harner as assistant administrator. Chris serves as chairman for that judging category.


Keith Jones and Dixie Kennett helped keep notes on members, former members and coaches in Vegas.  If you read down the list and the notes below, you get a terrific capsule look at how the Harmonizers were present and involved at the 2014 International convention.


Jorge Acevedo – enjoyed week with wife Cathy

Carlos Barillo – producer of Saturday nite Spectacular

Lou Bergner – sang with Toronto

Chris Buechler –judging panel, category specialist, contest administrator, attended judging committees

Bob Caldwell – enjoyed the week

Joe Cerutti – BHS staff, managed collegiate quartet contest, directed Next Generation chorus

Dwain Chambers – president of Dixie District

Bill Colosimo – moderator of district presidents council, chair of BHS Music & Perf  Committee

Bill Conway – sang with Palmetto SC chorus

Dan Cook – enjoyed week with wife Erin

Steve Delehanty – arranger for us

Larry Deters – former Harmo music team, former Dixie District president

Sean Devine – sang with Masters of Harmony and THROWBACK

Pookie Dingle – sang with MAYHEM

Ron Dionne – enjoyed the week

TJ Donahue – sang with Denver Sound of the Rockies

Dave Ellis – enjoyed week with wife Cindy Hansen Ellis, our coach

Ike EvansYeEd guesses he was the tuba player for Dixieland Band event

Ken Fess – candidate for BHS board

Thom Faircloth – enjoyed the week

Darryl Flinn – former BHS ex director and Society president, coined Breathless Moments title

John Flynn – sang with THX chorus from Florida

Jim Gammon – sang with Hawaii chorus in World Harmony Jamboree and with THX, FL chorus

Tom Gannon – enjoyed the week (former Harmo House owner)

Jim Haggerty – sang with Masters of Harmony

Chuck Harner – judging panel, member of Harmony Foundation Inc. board of trustees

Andrew Havens – enjoyed the week

Bob Hirsh – enjoyed the week

John Hohl – enjoyed the week and hearing Senior Champs quartet sing his arrangement of “It All Depends on You”

Chuck Hunter Sr.Chuck’s dad and mom enjoyed the week

Ray Johnson – sang with Masters of Harmony

Ross Johnson – enjoyed the week with wife Susan

Keith Jones – reporter for this copy

Kevin Kaiser – enjoyed the week

Mike Kelly – sang with LAST MAN STANDING, and did video work for the Harmony Foundation such as the Sing With The Champs activity

Ryan Kileen – sang with Nashville chorus, with TNS quartet, works on Harmony Foundation staff

Craig Kujawa – enjoyed the week

Alan Lamson – enjoyed the week as retired BHS president with wife Janet

Richard Lewellen – judging panel

Mike Louque – collegiate contest judging panel

Denny Malone – sang with Sound of the Rockies

Bob Mattes – enjoyed the week with wife Sandy

Dick Newton – enjoyed the week with wife Nancy

Mike Pinto – sang with MAYHEM

Jack Pitzer – enjoyed the week and YeEd

Gary Plaag – BHS board member

Bill Power – sang with Masters of Harmony

Ken Potter – sang with Masters of Harmony

John Rettenmeyer – member of Central States District Board

Terry Reynolds – attended BHS meetings and appeared with Sound of the Rockies

Jeremy Richardson – enjoyed the week

Mark Rodda –sang with ZERO HOUR from Carolinas District.  His dad Brian was bari in the NOVA CHORDS.  Mark’s mom, Ceil Rodda, was at her first convention in 30 years.  She was the first president of the Harmonettes – the chapter auxiliary in 1966

Ron Rogers – sang with Vocal Majority

Ken Rub – enjoyed the week

John Santora – elected to BHS board

Larry Shelton – enjoyed the week

Greg Tepe – enjoyed the week

Steve Tramack – arranger and coach for us

Terry Traylor – sang with Spirit of Phoenix chorus

Rick Wagner – enjoyed the week with wife Peggy

Eric Wallen – enjoyed the week

Mike Wallen – enjoyed the week

Ken White – sang with MAYHEM and appeared with Sound of the Rockies

Paul Wietlisbach  - sang with Nashville

Alan Wile – Harmony Foundation committees

David Wright – arranger and coach for us with wife Sandy and our many Ambassador of Harmony friends

Kirk Young – arranger and coach for us and collegiate quartet contest judge


As usual, it was a great week for meeting old friends and making new ones, for singing some great songs and for the proud moment of singing our National Anthem and the Canadian Anthem! Great to see the new generation of singers on stage and the many old timers still hanging in there on stage and at the convention. The store was popular and after a while, we all got so we could wander right on past the casino.  The webcast was fun and we know some Harmonizers watched here in VA.  YeEd heard that Bob Wachter watched the whole contest and shows!


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