Sunday, March 22, 2015

Looking Back on the March 17th Chapter Meeting

There was plenty of green worn this week – best t-shirt was the one worn by math teacher Alvin Figer – Geometry – It is Pointless!  And speaking of clothing – it was fun to see the various costumes guys were assembling for the contest package.  Many “costume wranglers” were helping guys add final touches and offering to help the members.


Our hard working front row worked from 6-7 in the lobby at Durant, and Chuck McKeever worked with guys on the stage. The set up crew also had to swap old and new risers from storage and the Harmo van. Sooo – it was a busy hall.


Choreographer Carlos Barillo kicked off our nite with warm up exercises which we learned are hints as to new moves he will teach for the uptune.


Director Joe Cerutti announced the warm ups which got us ready to go right to work on the songs we will sing this Saturday for Aca Challenge.


Amidst this singing period, president Terry Reynolds asked for hands of any members on the risers who had never sung with the Harmonizers on the International stage.  They become the Class of 15 (it is another large class!!) and they left the rehearsal for a few minutes for an orientation session so they know what to expect in Pittsburgh and the weeks leading up to the International chorus contest.


Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting.  Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Andrew Havens for 6 years; Doug White for 8 years; Calvin Schnure for 20 years and Ken Ives for 30 years and his membership lapel pin.


Pittsburgh honcho Craig Kujawa announced that members should plan to arrive there in time for a Tues. rehearsal about 9 pm.  Front row at 8:30.  A full Harmo schedule will be coming from Craig for planning the week – our rehearsals and other chapter events amidst the convention and contest events.


Craig also suggests guys get a room tied down.


Shows vp Nick Leiserson and Aca Challenge show producer Todd Ryktarsyk reminded us of the 5:30 pm chorus call at Lincoln Theater, 1215 U Street NW, in DC. Singers should have eaten before their arrival. A riser crew will be needed about 2 pm.  The show starts at 8 pm.  We sing near the end of the show and will likely be done about 10:30.  We will warm up in the theater and off-site in a nearby location. Uniform is black suit, Toronto hidden button white shirt, black/red/gray tie and pocket stuffer, dress black shoes, black sox and belt. No medals.


There will be an afterglow across the street from the theater at the Ulah Bistro, 1214 U Street NW.  (Thanks to Ken Rub for locating this venue.)


The Aca-Challenge last year was a great success with an impressive array of talented groups, but this year's lineup is even better. We had more than two dozen applicants this year to compete, of which we could only choose six -- the competition will be fierce. The competitors this year are

  • The Virginia Sil’hooettes, the University of Virginia’s most award-winning female group;
  • Vox Pop, a mixed vocal band based in DC for the past ten years;
  • The JHU Allnighters, an all-male group based at Johns Hopkins University that has competed numerous times in the International Collegiate Championship of A Cappella;
  • The District, DC’s newest all-female vocal band;
  • The GW Vibes, a mixed group from George Washington University that has performed at notable venues throughout DC; and,
  • Tomorrow’s Harmony, a new all male group based in Northern Virginia that showcases a wide variety of repertoire.

Please continue to push ticket sales to make this the best event possible for performing groups. Tickets are available at the following link:


Our local group TBD will also sing at the contest.


Overall show producer Greg Tepe announced that everyone should change into their contest costume during the break and return to the risers.


President Terry Reynolds announced that Terry Jordan  is recovering from his broken ankle and leg as a result of a fall on ice.  Vince and Nancy Cazenas are both suffering with bronchitis. Skip Coburn is in the ICU at Howard University Hospital with pneumonia.


Terry showed a packet of thank you cards sent to the chorus from the children in Oakton School where we sang for Veterans Day.


He also congratulated our quartets who earned a slot in the International contest in July – MAYHEM and LAST MEN STANDING.


He stressed that next week is another recording session at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. Alexandria.  In addition,  he urged all riser chorus performers to attend a special choreography session on Thursday, March 26th at Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria VA 22314 from 7-9:30 pm.  (Earlier it had been scheduled for Durant, so note this change in location.)  Chorus choreo coach Chuck McKeever  invites us to reinforce  “Me Ol’ Bamboo” choreography. Just a reminder … stockinged-deet only on the dance studio floor.


Membership vp Rich Hewitt welcomed 7 active guests – many are applicants and seem to be working toward going to Pittsburgh too!!  Great to see the new handbooks with new music in them that are available for guests each week.  Thanks to librarian Bob Mattes for making them.



During the singing part of the nite we also worked on another new song for the Sept. Icon Show – “Happy.”  And after the break we concentrated on the contest songs.  Wranglers photographed the costumes so the committee could review the overall look of the riser scene.


Before the end of our evening, the guys were given the chance to record for their vocal self-evaluations.


And we recorded a Harmony Foundation Tag Challenge in response to one given us on FaceBook challenging our fellow M-AD choruses Voices of Gotham, Brothers in Harmony and Long Island Sound.


Everyone pitched in to load the truck and put things away.  The afterglow was especially exciting this week with our tag singers simulating the LaPorta crowd to respond to the singing.

In other news, quartet promotion chairman Calvin Schnure alerted YeEd  that the chapter has a new quartet planning to compete at Southern Division. LAST PITCH EFFORT. (Brian Ammerman – tenor, Tony Romero – lead, Jeff Salino – bari, Steve Murane – bass

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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