Friday, January 30, 2015

Looking Back on the January 27th Chapter Meeting

We were back to our regular meeting place on Tuesday at Durant Rec Center, where the chapter was founded!!


Long before the 7 o’clock starting bell, there was a lot going on:  Chuck McKeever was working hard to teach about half the chorus the details of  the moves for “Thriller;” front row was working on their routine for “Bamboo” with PeeLee Clark; and many of the costume wranglers were helping guys organize costumes for Pittsburgh.  Rich Hewitt conducted the warm up session this week for the chorus.


When director Joe Cerutti took over the chorus, he went right to work on “Thriller” to include both vocal and visual performance.  Joe formed octets to perform out front – some eights sang and another eight did the moves. 


Joe invited Don Dillingham to conduct a session on motivation and personal dedication as a Harmonizer.  It was great!! Don based his session on his experiences as a coach and teacher and ball player.  He had us going.  Likely we will see him up front again.


Then the chorus worked on new more new songs – “Lullaby” and “Sweet Caroline.”


Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting. Chris Huber announced a special celebration for the years of contribution by retired assistant director Will Cox.  The event will be at 8 pm on Tuesday Feb. 10th.  All current and former members and family members are especially welcome.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal cards and a lapel pin to Sam McFarland for 25 years and to Mick Stamps for 35 years.


President Terry Reynolds welcomed Rick Wagner to the mic to share details of his continuing battle with cancer.  Terry thanked Joel Golden for producing a “slowed down” version of “Bamboo” for our learning purpose.


Membership vp Rich Hewitt introduced all the guests with us for the evening.


After break, we resumed our work on the risers for the contest uptune. We had sectional work too.  We also had a chance to record the ballad.  Stay tuned for how to submit those recordings to review team members.


Everyone pitched in to put things away and get over to the afterglow.


Saturday is our day-long retreat at First Baptist Church, 2932 King Street, from 9-5.  Brandon Guyton will be the coach for the day.  He is a gold-medal quartet guy and major musical leader with the Ambassadors of Harmony.  What a treat it will be to have him help us.  Come early for some donuts and coffee.  Park east of the church. There will be a lunch break to leave the church.  Metro riders should plan ahead to get to the church on Saturday morning.


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, January 26, 2015

Looking Back on the January 20th Chapter Meeting

First off -- Ruth Marie Colosimo was born at 8:46 pm, Thurs. Jan 15.  According to her dad, associate director Tony, she and her mom are happy and healthy. Congrats to them all.

This week’s meeting was at First Baptist Church.  It made a little more work for set up crews and things were crowded with the front row working in an adjoining room, Chuck McKeever and about half the chorus working on the visuals for “Thriller” in a hall way, and the many friends and family guests. Next week we are back to Durant.


This was a hard working nite for the chorus starting with warm ups with choreographer Carlos Barillo and Rich Hewitt. Certainly work on “Thriller” and the new contest uptune.  We also sang another of the new songs for the Icon Show coming this fall.  President Terry Reynolds announced that yet another new song, “Sweet Caroline,” is on the website – and director Joe Cerutti announced that it is one of the songs we will sing for SingStrong and for Aca Challenge this spring.


We did have sectional breakouts for the uptune too.


Bob Blair filled in as operations vp this week for Todd Ryktarsyk.  Sandy Stamps announced results of our White House Ornament sales:  total sold was 1,050 by 58 members. Top five salesmen were Rick Wagner, fifth; Dick Hall, fourth; Ike Evans, third; Skip Coburn, second; and Dave Reyno, first having sold 300 ornaments.


Craig Kujawa prompted early bird reservations for Pittsburgh tickets with Ian Poulin for the Harmo block of seats.


Howard Nestlerode was collecting names, and payment, for tickets to the Presidents’ Banquet on Sat. Feb. 7.


President Terry thanked members for the responses to last week’s report to the chapter.  He announced that board minutes are now on the web site too.  The board will meet on Wed nite.

He also reminded members to post their calendars at home or personally with the dates passed out last week


Sat. Jan 31 – retreat with Brandon Guyton coaching

Sat. Feb 7 – Presidents’ Award Banquet

Sun. Mar 8 – SingStrong show

Sat. Mar 21 – AcaChallenge

Sat. April 18 – Our Annual Youth Festival

Sat. May 16 – Armed Forces Day Show

Sat. Sun. May 30-31 – Contest Retreat in Western MD (many of us go on Fri nite)

Thurs. June 11 and 25 – extra contest rehearsals

Tues, June 23 – sendoff performance before going to Pittsburgh

June 30-Jul 3 – International convention and contest in Pittsburgh

Sat. Sept 19 – American Icon Show

Fri. Sat. Oct 23-24 – M-AD Fall District Contest and Convention

He added that the VIP Reception will be on April 10th. 


Membership vp Rich Hewitt welcomed the guests for the nite and announced an Open Audition nite on Wed. Feb. 11th at Durant.  He is still seeking an Ipad to use for membership sign in operations.  Two men have completed guest members status – Pietro Perrino and Mike Moncibaiz.


After break, back to work on the contest uptune.  The riser singers were treated to a sneak preview of the front row’s routine for that song.  The front row guys earned a huge cheer and applause for their work.


In other news, members take note of the recent message about the chapter’s plans for Singing Valentines in 2015 from Randall Eliason, Cupid-in-Chief


We are gearing up to offer Singing Valentines again this year. As most of you know, last year the Board decided to change the focus of the program from a fundraiser to a community outreach opportunity. As such, we are offering the Valentines free of charge to Alexandria restaurants, schools, senior centers, and a select few city government offices. Tuxedo-clad quartets will perform our Valentines repertoire for the customers, students, guests or residents of these establishments. This is a great way to help us become better known and better connected within our home community - similar to the "pub crawl" that we do every Christmas season.


“A Singing Valentines request form is already up and active on the Harmonizer website. A couple things that we ask from you:


1) Help spread the word! If you have a contact with an Alexandria restaurant, school or senior center that might be interested in a Singing Valentine, please let them know about the program. A flyer is attached for your use, or you can simply refer them to the website.


2) Quartet-master Calvin Schnure is working hard to put together our Valentines quartets. If he calls on you to participate, please say yes! Singing Valentines are always great fun and are very well-received.


Important points to remember:


-- Singing Valentines will be offered on Friday Feb. 13 (for luck) and Sat. Feb. 14.

-- There is no charge, and Valentines are not available for hire from the Harmonizers.

-- They are for the named types of establishments only - not for individual sweethearts.

-- They are limited geographically to the Alexandria community.




Here are also the complete details about this year's Presidents' Award Banquet to be held Saturday, Feb 7 at the Spates Club and Conference Center at Ft. Myers in Arlington, VA from 7:00 - 10:00 PM. Address is 214 McNair Rd, Bldg #407, Fort Myer, VA 22211.

Dress is business casual (no jeans). Those that wish to dress up more are welcome to do so. Tickets are $30 per person. Dinner will be a buffet including Chicken Marsala, Beef Stroganoff, and Baked Cod Fish.


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.