Friday, August 15, 2014

Looking Back on the August 12th Chapter Meeting

A good riser full of guys was on hand to work on their music for the upcoming shows and fall contest.  There were traffic challenges that made the drive in take twice as long, and the early start at 6:30 pm is tough for many guys. 


Director Joe Cerutti and associate director Tony Colosimo did vocal warm ups and got the chorus ready to sing and perform.  Choreographer Carlos Barillo helped us get our “game on” too for performance. Chuck McKeever conducted a review session on the stage at Durant at 6 pm for those wanting to catch up for contest.


This Friday nite is the annual appearance at Market Square in Old Town by the court house. Chorus call is 6:30 for the 7:30 show. Parking is under the square for new guys who have not been there before – bring your parking ticket with you for validation by the city staff. Family and friends in the audience will want to bring some chairs for comfort.  This is a good chance to invite potential show patrons to get a taste of our showmanship.


Shows producer Greg Tepe was at the meeting to remind us as to uniform and other such details.


We did quick reviews of songs for the show – sometimes just getting them off to a good start – with the various directors for the songs, with soloists and choreography changes for the front row for this particular performance.


We also dug into the two new songs recently released to us for learning – “Undecided” which we will sing with the Pride of Baltimore SAI chorus on the fall Harmony on the Harbor show; and “Welcome Christmas” which will be a new song for our annual holiday dinner theater show.


Operations vp Bob Blair conducted this week’s chapter meeting.  Secretary Chris Buechler reminded us all that it is not enough to report contact info changes, or other personal info, to BHS or on Groupanizer – if you want it correct in the chapter directory.  You need to give Chris an alert too for he can publish correct info in the rosters.  Thanks to Chris for doing that periodically for the chapter. 


Secretary Chris presented membership renewals to Duncan Woodbury for 2 years, Ben Roberts for 3 years; Greg Tepe for 23 years; Alan Wile for 33 years; Mike Kelly for 34 years’ and Carl Kauffmann for 42 years.  Ken Fess received his 30 year renewal card and the traditional lapel pin our chapter gives members for milestone years of membership. Alvin Figer was presented his new membership certificate and materials package from the BHS; and Carlos Barillo received a Man of Note for bring Alvin.  Ben Roberts received a Man of Note award for bring David Jarzen.


Rich Hewitt introduced this week’s line of guests to the chorus.


After break (thanks to Ben for baking the great chocolate cake/brownies and Dick Dangel for the watermelon!), we concentrated on the two songs for fall contest.  Also we are expecting to have coach Cindy Hansen come help us soon, so it is good to get off the music all the way.  Most of us are. 


Joe did leak word that the new uptune arrangement by Clay Hine has arrived and will be issued soon.  We will be learning it in preparation for Pittsburgh in 2014.


We sang our farewell song to Jeremy Knobel who has finished law school and moving to start his law career in NYC with a large firm up there.  It is always tough to sing “A Place on the Risers for You” when we send off a friend from the chapter. Incidentally, he had the winning 50/50 ticket this week, so he directed “Keep the Whole World Singing” as we ended our nite together.


Jeremy and a large crowd of guys were at the afterglow at LaPorta’s on Duke Street.  Director Joe was there too as well as some of our guests. Lots of tag singing too for those who like it, or just visiting and getting some chow.


Any Harmonizers who travel long distances to attend chapter meetings or shows are welcome to contact Peggy Wagner about a Bed and Breakfast sort-of plan if they ever need to stay overnite before going home the next day.  This might be good if weather is bad, the show goes late, etc.

Peggy is also eager to hear from any members who are willing to offer a room now and then. Sooo -if you need a place to stay, contact her. If you have a room to spare, contact her at  703-626-1836 or 703-754-0935

In other news, sadly must report that Nancy McKendree, wife of long time Harmonizer and former treasurer and bulletin editor Jack McKendree died August 8th after a battle with cancer.  They retired to Williamsburg VA and often came up for shows and major Harmonizer events.  She was 78.  A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 3PM, at Bruton Parish Church, 331 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185. Interment will follow in the church yard.


Gary Mankin reports he has been taking Burt Stueve to the doctor recently as Burt is about to get prosthesis after his recent surgery.  Gary says Burt says hi to all!

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.)


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Looking Back on the August 5th Chapter Meeting and a Report from HU

As you might expect, the Harmonizers were well represented at Harmony University on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville from July 28-August 3. YeEd’s reporters sent word that it was great event (and the new campus, different from past years, was well received).  Joe Cerutti was dean of the school in his capacity as a BHS staffer (filling in for Mike O’Neal who left the staff recently to take a music educator position).  Joe was emcee for each morning’s general session.  By the end of the week, he was being called “Headmaster Cerutti.” 


Tony Colosimo and Carlos Barillo were coaching quartets and choruses during the week.  Mike Kelly was teaching a class on how to use technology at the chapter level and of course was always there for sound and av support at all sessions..  Terry Reynolds was teaching chapter leadership as part of a team to help those chapter choruses there for musical coaching also to address their organizational development.  Chris Buechler and Rich Hewitt attended the director’s college at HU.  Drew Fuller and Randall Eliason were student attendees. 
Drew sang in the Brigade Chorus on Saturday nite. Randall and Rich received Harmonizer scholarships to attend with the pledge to return service to the chapter. They both sang in the “green” rookie chorus that took the rookie chorus championship (everyone who was at HU for the first time got a ribbon designating which rookie chorus they would sing in).


About 700 students attended HU including music educators, women barbershop singers, youth as well as quartets and choruses.  It is a huge event and a powerful way to improve as a singer and barbershopper.


Besides the HU event, candidates to become certified BHS judges attended a school to help them prepare.  Chris Buechler was on the faculty.  Jay Butterfield is a new singing category candidate.


And in other news: our chapter visual team met last Sunday nite at Chuck McKeever’s home.  Carlos was back from Nashville to help Chuck.  The team includes Joe Cerutti, musical leadership (he was not back from Nashville);  Bruce Roehm and Craig Kujawa, front row leaders; Randall Eliason, faces coach; Keith Jones and TJ Jones, assistants to Chuck; and eight row leaders including Don Thompson, Carl Kauffmann, Dave Branstetter, Chuck Powell, Don Dillingham, Ian Poulin, Nick Leiserson and Bob Blair. 


This week the 6:30 start was hard for many to make it on time, since the DC area was in gridlock from the big meeting of African leaders in Washington.  But the risers ended up being full about 7 or so.  The welcome music to get us on the risers was one of our new songs.


Director Joe Cerutti did the vocal warm ups.  He was fresh back from Nashville and Harmony University – see above.


We went right to work on review of show songs since we have another outdoor concert, Friday, August 15th, at Market Square in Old Town Alexandria. Be sure to invite friends and family to come to this one.  Bring some chairs for comfort.  Make plans for after the show in Old Town.  Metro riders might want to check out the trolley shuttle from King Street station.




Then we also worked more on the new contest ballad as well as some spots in “Anything Goes.”  We are still looking to confirm more singers for the fall district chorus contest in Wildwood NJ during weekend of Oct. 24-26.  Goal is 115 and we are getting close. Members should be sure they have signed in on that they are gonna sing in the contest.


Operations vp Bob Blair conducted our chapter meeting and thanked chapter historian Martin Banks for the displays this week.


Bob thanked Calvin Schnure for his work on the successful Put Together Quartet contest last week.


Shawn Tallant reported that we have good numbers signed up to use rooms in the chapter’s hotel in Wildwood.  He also indicates we will have a chapter hospitality room in that property if some guys step forward to manage it.


Rick Wagner is accepting offers from members who are willing to host a fellow chapter member that needs a place to sleep some Tuesday nites after rehearsal – especially when weather is bad or when we have to be some place early in the morning in the DC area.


Ike Evans gave out the Harmo logo brief cases that guys ordered.


Several chapter leaders spoke about up-coming calendar items: all sections sectional on Sat. Aug 9th  at 9 am at First Baptist; Market Square show on Fri. August 15th; show with other DC area choruses on Tuesday August 26 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manassas; Cindy Hansen coaching us in Alexandria on Tuesday Sept 2 with emphasis on the new ballad.


Carlos Barillo is inviting men who want to be in the front row to speak with him ASAP.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Carlos Barillo for 3 years; Don Dillingham for 5 years; Tim Buell for 10 years; Ian Poulin for 11 years; Craig Odell for 45 years; and Don Johnson for 46 years.


Rich Hewitt welcomed guests this week.


At break time, we all enjoyed a big container of banana bread (rumor has it Don Dillingham brought it in for us – Thanks Don). Other folks have also brought in goodies to share including Rick Wagner, Sam McFarland, Dean Rust, Chris Huber, Randall Eliason and Ellen Dellert. (YeEd figures he has forgotten someone – sorry but thanks too.)


After the break we had an important presentation by president Terry Reynolds about the future of the chapter – in summary: the board is considering how to transition us into an arts organization and not just a barbershop chorus. We were assured that we would continue to be a member group of the BHS and we would continue to participate in BHS contests and events.  The recent change in chapter bylaws by the BHS board will make some of the transition possible. There was also adequate time for questions and discussion with the chapter membership.


A good crowd was at the afterglow again this week with some good tag singing and lots of jokes and stories from Harmony University with some of our rookie faculty guys sharing “tales out of school.”


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.)