Friday, September 12, 2014

Looking Back on the September 9th Chapter Meeting

We all knew the challenge had been thrown out to the chorus for this week – to start the nite at the high level where we left things last week.  So the musical team helped us and prepared for that goal.  And it worked.  Joe was happy – and we responded in spades.

Choreographer Carlos Barillo did physical warm ups getting us headed to the right brain side for the nite.  Later he presented a skit to help us understand the story or scenario of the ballad that we had discovered last week with coach Cindy Hansen.  It worked. (Thanks to Peelee Clark, Reed Livergood and Robyn Murane – improv actors!)

Vocal warm ups were conducted by Rich Hewitt.  Since long-time assistant director Will Cox has retired as warm up director, the chapter will be auditioning new directors for this task.  We learned some new exercises with Rich.

When director Joe Cerutti took over the ready-chorus, we jumped right into the ballad and made tons more progress to raise the performance bar.  We took time to self-record as part of the “Make Me Better” program before chapter meeting.

Operations vp Bob Blair conducted the meeting. Ken Fess, chairman of the Harmony on the Harbor show Nov. 3rd  just before the start of the Sweet Adeline International convention in Baltimore, reported what kind of tickets are still left.  He announced plans for an afterglow.  He announced incentive prizes for ticket sellers and he reminded us that we need a ticket to get into the hall after we sing to see the major part of the show. Ken is also asking for help to sell ads for the printed show program.  This is a good way for guys to help Ken and the team. 

Did you know that our online auction will go live in just 6 weeks! We need to add at least another 100-150 items to our auction and it takes time to write descriptions and photograph items for the auction...please bring in your auction donations and give them to either Randall Elliason or Brad Jones as soon as possible. Let one of them know in advance if you have a larger item to donate. At chapter meeting on Tuesday, Randall announced the auction needs items to be valued at $25 or more and that gift cards or certificates from business firms or tourist spots are good ideas.


President Terry Reynolds invited Rick Wagner to the mic to explain his health concerns.  We are all pulling and cheering for Rick and his medical team as he resumes his battle with the returning cancer.


Terry also reported that the reason some guys are not here tonite – our a cappella group TBD had a paid gig to represent the chapter tonite.


NOTE:  our TBD guys also invite us all to come see them at another gig this weekend:  TBD's performance is this Saturday Sept. 13th from 3-4 pm in Market Square for the King Street Arts Festival. If any Harmonizers are area in the area, they’d love to have them drop by (and the King Street event is a lot of fun!).


Rich Hewitt introduced the guests for the evening and welcome them to our rehearsal.

After the break, it was back to work on the risers.  A chunk of time was used on our contest uptune, and then some time on the newest songs we are learning including “Thriller” and a couple holiday show songs.

At the end, we rushed to put things away.  The afterglow was fun as usual.

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, September 8, 2014

Looking Back on the September 2nd Chapter Meeting

Everyone arrived knowing we had a busy nite ahead of us.  It was a great to discover the new parking spaces around Durant and the new school building. Thankfully the AC unit was working well on this really hot summer nite.

Associate director Tony Colsoimo did the vocal warm ups and then director Joe Cerutti welcomed our friend and coach, Cindy Hansen Ellis.  He told the new guys about Cindy’s success as a coach and how she had become part of our chapter family along with her husband, David.

Joe also kicked off his time in front with news about “all the goings on in Harmo-land lately – Steve Murane and Robyn McQueen were married Aug. 30th; Jeremy Richardson and Andy Woo were married in DC on Aug. 22; and Chuck McKeever retired from the blood bank in Inova Hosptial after about 42 years. Cheers for congrats from all to them.

We worked briefly on the song we will sing with Pride of Baltimore SAI chorus on the Harmony on the Harbor show we are hosting prior to the SAI contest, and one of the new songs for the holiday show, “Welcome Christmas.”

Then we reviewed the new tag for the contest ballad and launched a fantastic session with Cindy and our choreographer Carlos Barillo to build the story, emotion and presentation package for “Someone Like You.”  We worked hard and even officially skipped break (although the guys managed to eat all the goodies anyway!) so we could take advantage of having Cindy in house with us for the nite.  We also worked on “Anything Goes” adding new fresh aspects to that plan as well.

We did take time for chapter business. Ops vp Bob Blair conducted the meeting. Ken Fess spoke about tickets for the Harbor show – if you want some you better act fast! Steve White announced plans for this year’s Make Me Better work – watch for an explanatory email. Nick Leiserson announced that there were only 40 tickets left for the December holiday show, and suggested that customers who didn’t get tickets might want to come to the show we are doing Nov. 23rd to hear most of the same music.  That show is in Calvert County MD.

The events previously scheduled for Sept 20th and Oct. 18th have been postponed.

President Terry Reynolds reported that the chapter board took action to add community members to the board for next year.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented new member materials to David Jarzen – welcome aboard. Then Chris gave out membership renewals to Todd Ryktarsyk for 9 years; Jim McConnell for 12 years; Don Thompson for 22 years; Bob Ulibarri for 32 years, John Santora for 38 years and Jack Pitzer for 49 years.  Mick Stamps was given his 35 year pin and renewal card.  

Thanks to the FRIENDS IN HARMONY for cleaning up the kitchen and helping put things away.  BTW – the cupboard is pretty much empty, so if anyone wants to bring in some goodies to share for breaks, that would be great. 

Everyone worked hard to put things away, take care of the 50/50 and head over to the afterglow.

This Saturday is another all-sections sectional at First Baptist Church from 9 til noon.  Good way to catch up on the new music.

In other news, it is time to get out our t-shirts in support of Rick and Peggy Wagner and get back into the cancer battle.  DAMM!  We are all pullin for you guys.  Jim Gammon was in town this week to wrap up affairs after his father died in June while we were in France.  Jim sings in FL choruses and was a long time member here in Alexandria and quartet man.

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.)