Friday, October 10, 2014

Looking Back on the October 7th Chapter Meeting

Our annual chapter election was held tonite.  Thanks to the nominating committee for offering a slate of candidates – Scipio Garling, Troy Hillier, Mark Klostermeyer, Bob Rhome and Alan Wile, chairman.

Current president Terry Reynolds called the annual meeting to order.  Chapter secretary Chris Buechler responded that no members had been nominated according the bylaws provisions to oppose the slate and that a quorum was present. Immediate Past President Alan Wile conducted the official election and invited all the candidates up front for all to see. All were present.

The chapter elected the following slate to serve in 2015:


    President – Terry Reynolds

    VP Chapter Development – Rich Hewitt

    VP Marketing & Public Relations – David Branstetter

    VP Music & Performance – Steve White

    VP Operations – Todd Ryktarsyk

    VP Shows – Nick Leiserson

    Secretary – Chris Buechler

    Treasurer – Carl Kauffmann

    Board Members at Large for 2014-2015 Ross Felker and Michael Gilmore (not subject to election)

    IPP – Alan Wile (not subject to election)

In addition to those on the above slate, four members of the community have been identified as potential At-Large Board Members. When they all agree to serve, two will be asked to join the chapter as non-singing members and two will serve as non-Society members. These board members will be elected at another time.

This week’s rehearsal time was packed!!!  We have good news that we will now be able to conduct our meetings from 7-10 pm from now on!!! We will also continue the 6:30 time slot for visual review on the stage for riser singers and in the lobby for the front row. The young man and woman who have been at the front desk of Durant the last few weeks are the new management team – Tyler is head of the team. We welcome their enthusiasm to help us. Thanks to our chapter leadership for working to make this change!

But it seems there is always a snag – this week the AC was not working and we about died in the heat.

But we worked thru it.  Carlos Barillo conducted a vigorous physical warm up and Tony Colosimo conducted a strong vocal warm up. Then director Joe Cerutti took over and went immediately to work on the contest songs.  We touched on many spots of the songs, with moves and visual plans being used at all times.

Joe was also pleased with the rehearsal with the Pride of Baltimore SAI chorus on Monday nite in prep for our singing with them on the Harmony of the Harbor show Nov. 3rd in Baltimore.

After working on the contest set a long while, we switched to the new holiday show songs.

Operations vp Bob Blair conducted the general chapter meeting.  Calvin Schnure announced his throat issues and the need for vocal rest and possible surgery. We are all pulling for him and happy he is gonna perform at volume zero for the fall contest. Chuck McKeever announced that John Pence is home following a repair operation to fix his broken arm last week.  He will be getting home care as needed. Hang in there buddy!!

Brad Jones announced final plans for the online auction that he is operating for the chapter.  We need about 75 more items to add to the auction – things worth at least $25.  Give them to Brad or let him know what you are planning.  He even offered to come haul heavy things. He wants to launch the online operation in time for the fall Mid Atlantic District contest.

Ken Fess provided a gift bag where guys could drop in donations to buy HoH tickets for youth which Joe will identify.

Chapter secretary Chris presented membership renewals to Marvin Evans for four years; Ken Henderson for 11 years; Dave Reyno, Bob Blair and Chris Yates for 15 years; Bob Mattes for 16 years; John Pence for 30 years; and Terry Reynolds for 31 years.  The secretary reports that all men planning to sing in the fall contest are full paid members!

Interesting how many long time members continue to rejoin the Harmonizers even tho they are not able to sing with us such as Rick Taylor for 46 years, Ed Allen for 40 years; Mike Geipel for 23 years; Nick Aiuto for 19 years; and Rob Korsan for 9 years.

Rich Hewitt welcomed our guests this week which included a group of young men and women from Germany.

For the break, there was a nice supply of special goodies which guys brought in.  Thanks to all for that and for donations to the kitty.  The cupboard will be full now for a good while.  But we all love the homemade goodies guys brought in to share!!!

After break, we worked on some of the holiday music from last year as well as used the longer meeting time to revisit the contest set.

Everyone was drained from the heat and hard work, and it was raining hard when we had to load everything into the Harmo truck.  A crowd of regulars did make it to the afterglow too.

Planning ahead – there is not a chapter meeting on Tuesday Nov. 4th since Durant is a polling place for the election.

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, October 5, 2014

Looking Back on the September 30th Chapter Meeting and Fall Retreat

This past weekend we had our fall chorus retreat in preparation for the fall contest.  Great crowd of guys were there for the 9-5 event with an 8:30 start for coffee and donuts (lemonade in the afternoon).

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups after choreographer Carlos Barillo did the presentation warm ups.  They worked then all day with director Joe Cerutti to coach and push us to new heights on the contest songs. Joe and his team expressed their appreciation for everyone spending the day to Make Me Better.

We worked hard using with many tweaks on the song and a huge physical push on the ballad.  We also worked at putting the two songs together as a package.  In the afternoon we worked on uniform props also.

At noon we took a long break to get lunch.  After lunch the chorus presented thank you gift to Ken Fess for his work in getting all of us to Normandy and back!!

Then we had a coaching session via Skype with Steve Tramack, the arranger of the ballad.  He was in his home and added many points, plus shared his pride and excitement of hearing the Harmonizers sing his chart.

Joe thanked the truck and riser crews, the refreshments crew and his av staff.

At one point Carlos worked with the front row on the uptune and Chuck McKeever helped the riser singers get the moves precise

For those of you who were not at our Retreat this past weekend, Ken Fess presented complete details about our participation in the Harmony on the Harbor show, Nov. 3rd. If we could sell an additional 500 tickets or so between now and the show on Monday, Nov 3rd, we can bring significant income into our bank account,. So, let your patrons know that good tickets are still available, even if you personally are not staying for the show. (As a reminder, everyone needs a ticket to get into the theater after we sing.)

The quality of the entertainment on our show will be great, and anyone that enjoys a cappella singing will love the talent we are presenting. Tickets are available at, or you can call the box office, 877.276.1444. If you want to order tickets, or take a few out on consignment, without paying the $4 service fee, please let Ken know the number and type of seating you are interested in and he will pick them up for you in time for delivery at our next rehearsal

Also the HoH Committee has agreed to sell seats at only $20 per ticket that Joe can give to Youth In Harmony, musical students, high school choral groups, and the like, that’s a 40% discount off the public price! In the past we have “sponsored” as many as 50 kids at out shows; it’s a great investment for the future. Send Ken an email if you are interested in purchasing some tickets for Joe’s distribution.

Tuesday nite Sept. 30th was a busy one for the chapter.  Director Joe Cerutti was in Germany coaching there, so associate director Tony carried the ball.  Warm ups continued with Carlos and Tony to get us ready to perform.

We spend a major portion of the nite on the contest songs, helping new guys catch up visually, drilling moves with Chuck McKeever, filming for our personal review in the Make Me Better campaign conducted by the music team.

We did take time to work on holiday show music, both the new songs and a recall session for some songs we sang last year.  Assistant director Terry Reynolds conducted, and assistant director Mike Kelly staffed the computer/projector.

During the chapter meeting period, there was a reminder of this Saturday’s all-sections rehearsal at First Baptist at 9 am in the choir suite.

Sandy Stamps announced the start of sales for White House Ornaments -- $20 this year.  Take some on consignment and help increase our chapter income.

Thanks to all those who made donations to the refreshments fund.  Bring in some goodies some time and any leftover holiday napkins from home you don’t want anymore.

There was an announcement about the rehearsal on Mon Oct 3rd with the Pride of Baltimore Sweet Adeline Chorus in prep for our combined song for the Harmony on the Harbor show.

If anyone wants to have their mug shot retaken for the Harmo Photo board, see Ike Evans at break.

Rick Wagner continues he battle with the cancer and awaits reports from recent hospital consultants.  Troy Hillier was in the house after suffering a mild stroke recently.  We are plugging for you guys!!

Secretary Chris Buechler present membership renewal cards to Dick Dangel for 22 years, Chuck McKeever for 28 years, and Randy Lazear for 40 years (he also got his lapel pin).

Membership vp Jeremy Richardson with help from Rich Hewitt welcomed our guests this week.

We ended the rehearsal and meeting right at 9:30 and  hurried to put everything away.  The usual crowd adjourned to the afterglow at LaPorta’s.

In other news, it may seem like the Holiday show is a long way off with the contest and the fabulous Harmony on the Harbor show pending...but before we leave for District Brad Jones needs to have items prepared and listed on our online auction site and the online portion of our annual auction will go live before the Harmony on the Harbor show! Please bring those items in immediately. Last year we earned the equivalent of around two fully paid shows at our auction. Please bring in your items and give to Brad or Randall Eliason. Remember new or nearly new items, service, gift cards, collectables (especially barbershop and sports collectables)...anything with a current value of over $25 is welcome. Services and giftcards almost always sell!

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.)