Thursday, March 5, 2015

Looking Back on the February 24th Chapter Meeting

It was cold outside, but the Harmonizers turned out, ready to get to work on the music and stage presence for our performances.


A huge riser swap was orchestrated to change the old risers and the new risers in the truck vs storage.  Good to see so many guys helping.


The front row worked from 6 pm with choreographer Carlos Barillo and the rest of the chorus worked with Chuck McKeever – all to drill stage routines.


Carlos did some visual warm ups; baritone section leader Reed Livergood did vocal warm ups and turned the chorus over to associate director Tony Colosimo.  Director Joe Cerutti was on travel. 


Tony revamped chorus riser positions while the chorus worked on the performance package for “Thriller” which we sing in a couple weeks for the SingStrong event Sun. March 8.  Assistant director Terry Reynolds will direct this number and do the voice over during the vamp section.


Carlos alerted us to a new Performance Standard document or set of guidelines for each singer’s personal work.  It will come out electronically. This standard will become part of the visual self-evaluation form.  It gives emphasis to three major areas for the performer – Character Development, Communications, Choreography.


After the riser reshuffle, we worked on two of our other new songs – “Lullaby” and “Sweet Caroline.”


Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting. He reminded everyone that next week’s meeting and rehearsal will be at First Baptist, 2932 King St. where we will do a recording session.  Chapter technology coordinator Mike Kelly asks guys to bring large pieces of carpet to place on the floor to help manage the sound.  And Bob Blair asked for a crew to come early to help use WD40 on the risers to cut down on the extra noises.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Clyde Crusenberry for 5 years, Bob Rhome for 14 years, Tom Kerns for 17 years, Mike Fasano for 19 years, TJ Jones for 24 years and Dean Rust was presented his 35 year pin and membership card.


Our Pittsburgh chairman, Craig Kujawa, prompted everyone to make their room reservations immediately in order to use up our block.  Bob Rhome who is working with Craig on housing offers to help anyone who needs the link to the hotel or has questions.


President Terry Reynolds reminded everyone about Aca Challenge coming up on Mar. 21 at Lincoln Theater.  The chorus needs to push ticket sales so the house is full for the contestants and for our appearance there.


Terry announced the Jean Wachter is in recovery from her heart surgery at Inova Hospital and is making progress thru these tough days.  Lew Manfre had a heart event earlier this week and is in the process of doctor visits and such to take care of the situation.


Terry then recapped the annual awards ceremony and presented two more awards to men who could not attend the banquet.  A complete report of that event was sent to all members last nite after the chapter meeting. 


Membership vp Rich Hewitt reported on the successful Open Auditions last week and then introduced a number of guests with us after that event, plus other guests who found us (both are former barbershop singers from the Far Western District who are now working in the area).


Rich asks guys to follow up and join the online “Meet Up” group.


After the break, we worked on the uptune with Tony and with Carlos teaching the visual plan for the first part of the song.  Before we adjourned the front row joined us to add their part of the plan.


Harmonizers, especially new members, might wish to consider attending Harmony College East (HCE). For those who are not familiar with this weekend event (and even if you’ve attended in the past), here are the basics and some of the details:

HCE is held in our backyard, on the campus of Salisbury University. It is on the weekend of June 18-21 (Thursday evening through Saturday night ... with departure normally early Sunday morning). Attendees stay in the dorms, eat all meals in the large cafeteria, take classes on various subjects such as music theory, vocal training, performance skills, directing, chorus voice coaching, planning a great chapter meeting, components of a great chapter show, repertoire arrangements from BHS, etc. Also included will be a mass sing prior to the Friday night show, a master class given by a top international quartet prior to the Saturday night show, and a room reserved for informal quartetting (with copies of lots of tags available).  There are shows on Friday and Saturday nights

The cost is $215 per person for three nights (double occupancy), six meals, individualized and group instruction, and all sorts of opportunities to meet district barbershoppers and sing, sing, sing. For all the details about classes, schedule, etc., check out this link:

In other news, Jane Arberg, widow of our famous former chorus director, Bud Arberg, died Feb. 20.  She was 96 and still lived in Arlington, VA.  There will be a service in the future at Arlington Cemetery. Bud was our director from 1951-62 in the early years of our chapter.  He earned a reputation as the originator of the term barbershop craft in the Barbershop Harmony Society, and worked for the US Army as an arranger of songs for service men to sing.  Check out that story in the chapter’s Breathless Moments history book.   (Sunshine chairman - Jack Pitzer)

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 67th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.


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