Thursday, December 11, 2014

Looking Back on the December 9th Caroling in Old Towne

Despite another rainy nite, a good group of just over 30 Harmonizers gathered at Durant on Tuesday, did a little warm up with Tony and Joe, got a little briefing on meeting at Market Square and how we would sing in the various restaurants, and headed out.


We sang at seven places (which Mark Klostermeyer had prearranged) and were hugely received by their patrons.  It was fun.  The rain held off actually and even tho most of us had holiday sweaters or Santa hats etc, it got warm in the eateries.


Don’t forgot that we have a special chapter election next Tuesday nite at chapter meeting.  Also it will be our last meeting til after New Year’s.


Be sure to settle up on your White House ornaments sales matters with Sandy Stamps.  And contact Christina Ammerman to order scrip cards to be delivered to you on Tues nite the 16th.  She needs to hear from you before Dec. 11.


Alan Wile sends his usual invite:  Yes, it’s that time again – time for the annual TubaChristmas concert at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. The time is 6:00 p.m. and will run for about 45 minutes. Expect to see (and HEAR) a collection of 250-300 tubas and euphoniums/baritone horns play Christmas carols in four part harmony. It’s not quite like barbershop but is definitely a musical “happening!” It’s a free show, too. Go, enjoy the music, and then eat dinner upstairs.


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.

Looking Back on the Dec 5-6 Holiday Dinner Theater Shows

This year’s holiday shows were a great success in lots of ways including great singing, a great mix of new music for our audiences (including a sneak preview of “Thriller”), new fund raising efforts, a huge silent auction extension of our online auction, great team work by all chorus members and their families and the FRIENDS OF HARMONY, a sold out show for all three performances including an extra table for a two shows, many fun costumes, and some great laughs.


There were a lot of former Harmonizers in our audiences and there was a great tribute to our friend Roger Day in memory of his efforts to help us get into the holiday spirit over the years.


The chorus worked almost all week on the show with Tuesday nite rehearsal at First Baptist, tech nite, dress rehearsal, all day Thursday to decorate and convert the church hall into Santa’s workshop, and then Friday nite at 7:30, Saturday afternoon at 1 and Saturday nite at 6 for the shows. 


At  the shows, we did the usual warm ups with Tony, Will, Reed Livergood and Joe.  Joe took some extra time to help us all rediscover the meaning/story behind some of our holiday songs that helped us give them a fresh performance.


Here is the thank you note sent recently from show chairmen Josh Roots and Scipio Garling that gives a great summary of how many team players it took to make the show weekend go!


Josh and I would like to thank all of you for the time and effort you put into making this year's holiday show the best ever as well as a delightful experience for us, the participants, and the audience.


  • The ultra-competent Production Triumvirate of Nick Leiserson (Producer), Christina Ammerman (Stage Manager) and Robyn Murane (House Manager), upon whom everything relied and who made the show run so freakishly smoothly;
  • Our hilarious principals Terry Reynolds as the incomparable Jack-in-the-Box, Tony Colosimo as Cousin Juan-in-the-Box, and Nick Leiserson as Johann Sebastian Box;
  • our masterful musical directors at the show, Joe Cerutti, Tony Colosimo, Mike Kelly, and Terry Reynolds; TBD director Tom Kraus; and Choreography Carlos Barillo;
  • our adorable bit-players/cousins, Troy Hillier, Amy Roots, Dave Kohls, Kellen Hertz, Todd Ryktarsyk, Jeremy Richardson. Peelee Clark, and Hawaiian Cup Girls Diane Halick, Kristen Halick, and Elizabeth Ryktarsyk;
  • our able tech crew (Master Carpenter Doug White, Mike Kelly and Dennis Ritchey on Sound, Dixie Kennet and Chris Buechler on Lights, Joia Hertz on Videography, Tena Branstetter on Photography, and Noah Van Gilder on Programs);
  • the efficient outgoing and incoming Ops VPs, Bob Blair and Todd Ryktarsyk on Strike;
  • our Auction Masters Brad Jones, Randall Eliason, and their crew, as well as Major Donator Steve Sutton;
  • our welcoming Head Usher Bob Rhome and all the Ushers;
  • our efficient Head Waiter Randall Eliason, his Table Captains, and all the Waiters;
  • Kitchen Masters Janet and Joe Cerutti Sr (with special guest start Gary Plaag) and their Kitchen Crew;
  • confident Chorus Manager Mark Klostermeyer:
  • sweet Cookiemonsters Jack Pitzer and Kevin Kaiser;
  • Truckmaster Bob Blair for hauling everything in the world;
  • Sandy Stamps and the entire FRIENDS IN HARMONY for the many roles they played;
  • our entertaining guest performers Word of Mouth and Bruce Minnick as Santa Claus;
  • The 12 Days Quartets and TBD;
  • Ever-cool Ticketmaster Ian Poulin and the brave Will Call Crew;
  • The inspired Decorating Team;
  • charming Greeters Shawn Tallant, Clyde Crusenberry, and Brian Ammerman;
  • Eleemosynary donation masters Alan Wile and Jeremy Richardson with their Square Crew;
  • The board members whose generous contributions made our wildly successful Matching Grant Program possible.
  • The singers of the chorus, who are the centerpiece of our holiday tableau.

Truly, it is great to be a Harmonizer!   Scipio Garling and Josh Roots


So that is a wrap up of another great Harmonizer holiday show weekend.


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, December 8, 2014

Looking Back on the December 2nd Chapter Meeting and Calvert County MD Show

Despite the rainy nite, the gang made it to the rehearsal and meeting at First Baptist Church.  We have not often, if ever, gotten to use the church hall for our Tues nite meeting during show week – so it gave everyone a few extra chances to get things set, moved in, hauled into place and such.  Tho there is still much to do.


Lots of guys brought their two wrapped boxes with many more expected on Thursday at our dress rehearsal 7pm at the church.  Guys can start bringing in their three dozen holiday cookies on Thurs nite too.  (NOTE the cookie operation will be on the other end of the hall – near where Santa meets the children.0 at Clariden Presbyterian Church this past weekend.  ing with guys in prep for the Pittsburgh ou)


Assistant director Will Cox did the vocal warm ups in the rehearsal room so the tech guys and producers could work in the dining hall and stage area. Then director Joe Cerutti was up front helping us add more interp and quality to the songs for the show.


Some time was used to assign guys to lead the 12 days of Christmas singing groups.  And of course there were lots of announcements about ushers and table captains and such.  We did some drills and will do more Thurs.  The show team did a good job getting things out in advance – that were well written and clear.  Robyn Murane will be house manager. Christina Ammerman is stage manager. Randall Eliason is head waiter. Bob Rhome is usher captain. Mark Klostermeyer is chorus manager.  Bob Blair seems to be moving boxes all week!!  Thanks to all for their extra work.  More thanks yous as the week rolls on.


To prepare for the Thursday, Bob Blair needs a load out crew at 8:30 am to unload the huge amount of holiday decorations from storage and bring to the hall.  Contact him as to the location to meet. The decoration team will begin at 10 am on Thursday – not Friday this year – in the church hall.


Most important announcements for all – chorus call times for rest of the week:


Thursday – 7 pm rehearsal at church

Friday – 5:30 pm chorus call for the 7:30 pm show

Saturday – 11 am chorus call for the 1 pm show; 4:30 pm chorus call for the 6 pm show


Good to have all our sound guys working hard to get ready – Mike, Doug and Dennis.  And Joe Sr and Janet Cerutti were on hand as usual – YeEd hears they are heading up things in the kitchen.  Thanks to all.


There was a pretty active buzz in the hall before rehearsal of uniform wranglers working with guys in prep for the Pittsburgh outfits.


Congratulations to Clark Chesser and Michael Bagwell who were married at Clarendon Presbyterian Church this past weekend!


Note this special tax related suggestion from president Terry Reynolds: “If you agree that "It's Great To Be A Harmonizer" and are still deciding what to do with your 2014 charitable giving, don't forget that donations to the Alexandria, Virginia Chapter of SPEBSQSA are indeed tax deductible. If you would like to give, you may write a check and hand deliver it on a Tuesday night, mail a check to our Po Box, 11274, Alexandria VA 22312, or donate on our website at (click Donate).  If you'd like you can specify a specific purpose for your gift (e.g., Youth Programs, Music Program, Harmonizer Endowment Fund). Happy Holidays! Terry

 For the record, the chorus did a hugely entertaining, EXHAUSTING concert Sunday afternoon Nov. 21st, in across the bridge in MD.  We were hired a band booster group to help them raise funds for their band. The crowd loved the show and wants to know if we'll be back next year. We gave a fitting “possibly” final performance for some of these songs.


Show producer for Harmo gigs, Greg Tepe, offered big thanks to the directors - Joe, Terry and Mike.  And big thanks to the truck driver - Bob Blair! Thanks to the early riser crew -Todd Ryktarsyk and son Luke, Craig Kujawa, Ross Felker, David Hood, Joel Golden, Shawn Tallant, Michael Gilmore and Harold Weinberger. Thanks to the tear down crew - Rusty Orvik, Craig Kujawa, David Hood, Michael Schwartz, Scipio Garling, Stan Quick, Don Dillingham, Carl Kauffmann, Peter Hubbard, Brian Ammerman and Dean Sherik


Thanks to Mike Kelly for sound; thanks to emcees - Don Dillingham, Gerry Fuller, Ross Felker and Terry Reynolds.


Greg thanked John Pence for the song board for the show and Chuck McKeever for transporting it.


He also thanked TBD – our modern a cappella group who appeared on the show with us; and the soloists for the long afternoon show - Andrew Havens, Josh DesPortes, Terry Reynolds, Noah van Gilder, Rick Savage, Mike Kelly, Don Dillingham and Drew Fuller.


Greg also offered that it would be nice to see more names helping with risers. He concluded with this wrap up – “it was a busy day for all. Thank you for your time, effort and entertainment today.”


This past weekend was also the annual meeting of the M-AD honor club (DELASUSQUEHUDMAC – named for the four rivers in the district).  A large number of Harmonizers have been invited to become members of that group over the years.  In fact, 28 of our members were there from Nov 21-22 near Carlisle at an old resort in Boiling Springs Pa.  Our chapter quartet MAYHEM was part of the weekend’s entertainment.


The chapter secretary has announced a general chapter meeting to elect the four new community members to the chapter board on Tues. Dec. 16th.  Please plan to attend.  

Chorus members are invited to come support our own modern a cappella subgroup, TBD, by attending their joint concert with other DC area a cappella favorites VOX POP and THE DISTRICT.  The concert will be in Chinatown at the First Congregational United Church of Christ on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 8 pm. Tickets are now available for purchase online. TBD would certainly appreciate your supportive attendance at this event, which is part of the chapter's strengthening ties with the broader a cappella community.

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.