Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Looking Back on the March 10th Chapter Meeting and SingStrong Appearance

The chorus appeared on the DC SingStrong show at 2 pm on Sunday, March 8th at South Lakes Hi School in Reston.  It was a great hit with three of our new songs which were cheered wildly by the younger audience at the event.  Earlier, Tony Colosimo, Terry Reynolds, Doug White and Chris Odell taught a tag-singing class to the attendees at the event.  We assembled about 2 hours in advance to warm up and review and to do a stage test for the presentation of our package.  Carlos Barillo and Tony did the warm ups and prepared us for the show.  Joe arrived from travel just in time to join us on the stage. 


Here’s a great summary by Dave Branstetter in his weekly pre-meeting communication: AN ENCOURAGING DEBUT . . . Today at Sing Strong we debuted three of the songs we’ll be performing at our huge “American Icons” concert in September. I think we can safely say all three were very well received!! And if nothing else, that’s an indication that the bold step of recreating our repertoire was a good step to take. But it says so much more. It’s an indication of what this chorus is capable of. Think about it – “Thriller”, “Lullabye”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, and “Sweet Caroline” – could four songs be more different in terms of style and character? Our ability to perform those songs at a high level says something about us. We are a barbershop chorus, but we are MORE than a chorus that just sings barbershop. Simply put, we are musicians – delivering artistry and emotion through song.


Tuesday nite was a hard working nite and a huge crowd of guys were present – over a hundred chorus members on the risers.  Len Dornberger decided to sing again for Pittsburgh and was back from Delaware. Mike Geipel was back up from Richmond. The FRIENDS IN HARMONY held a meeting this week too.


The front row worked before the rehearsal in a separate room with choreographer Carlos Barillo and Peelee Clark.  On the stage, Chuck McKeever was leading choreo review on the uptune.


The 7 pm start time began with a welcome-to-the-risers song by FOUR VOICES.  Carlos and Reed Livergood conducted warm ups for all.  Director Joe Cerutti welcomed Brandon Guyton, our coach for tonite. Brandon won the collegiate quartet contest with FOUR VOICES and they went on to win the BHS gold medal.  He also sang in CROSSROADS and earned a second gold medal. Brandon worked with Joe all evening on the contest. We are all excited that he will return to work with us for our major weekend retreat, May29-31 at Westminster College in Western Maryland, along with David Wright.


Bob Blair substituted for operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk and conducted the chapter meeting.


Quartet promotion chairman Calvin Schnure recognized our chapter quartets that will appear at the International Preliminary Quartet contest in Harrisburg, PA, this weekend.  They will be vying to the right to sing in the quartet contest in Pittsburgh.  Quartets are MAYHEM, LAST MEN STANDING, YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT and FORCAST.


Shows vp Nick Leiserson thanked all who made the SingStrong appearance go well.  And he announced the dates for the annual holiday show.  It will be Saturday December 12th at 2 pm and

8 pm at Schlesinger Hall on NVCC campus in Alexandria.

Nick also gave a plug for the Aca Challenge event on March 21st at Lincoln Theater on U Street in DC. The chorus call is 5:30 pm – singers should plan to eat prior to arrival.  Details about uniforms and such to come to all via email.  Tickets for the show are available on the website. The event has drawn over 30 groups to apply for the slots in the contest.


Music vp Steve White reminded singers to begin serious work on “Happy” and to be prepared for another recording session on March 24th.


President Terry Reynolds announced that Jean Wachter is still in the hospital and is slowly making progress. Ross Johnson is still in the hospital and recovered. Skip Coburn is in Howard University Hospital with double pneumonia.


Marketing vp David Branstetter gave an update on the chapter marketing logo. More info to come to all members.


Don’t forget to bring your Pittsburgh costume/uniform to chapter meeting next week.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to new member Mike Moncibaiz for 10 years ; Josh DesPortes for 3 years; Chris Odell for 6 years; Noah Van Gilder for 8 years; Sam McFarland for 28 years; Will Cox for 37 years; and Bob Wachter for 63 years.  The chorus rose and applauded in tribute to Bob.  Alan Lamson was given his 35 year card and a lapel pin.


Membership vp Rich Hewitt announced the I-Pad Brigade that is available each week before the meeting, at break or after the meeting to help guys update their Groupanizer attendance plans.  These are important for show planners. Then he welcome a good line up of guests – several new men have completed applications.


After break, we went back to work with Brandon.  We ended the evening with a chance to make a self-evaluation recording.  There was a video recording made as well, so that members could begin the process of self-evaluation for their visual work.


Another good crowd made it over to LaPortas for the afterglow.  For any tag singers, there is a crew of guys at the afterglow who can help you and welcome you to join them.


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.


Looking Back on the March 13-14 International Prelims Contest Weekend

This year’s prelims contest was in Harrisburg, PA this past weekend at the Harrisburg Hilton. There were lots of Harmonizers there both in admin positions, in competing quartets and in the audience.

Two of our quartets earned scores that will qualify them to sing at the International in Pittsburgh in July. MAYHEM with Matt Fellows, Pookie Dingle, Mike Pinto and Ken White and LAST MEN STANDING with TJ Barringer, Drew Feyrer, Mike Kelly and Ed Bell.

Our other two quartets were also in the finals on Saturday nite: FORCAST with Mike Fitch, Tyler Rackley, Dan Cook and Travis Murray; and YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Vic Owen and Hardman Jones.

The weekend included some other contests too – a senior’s contest, a youth adjudication event, a mixed quartet contest (the quartets could be any combination of men or women).  The 2014 World Mixed Quartet Champs from the contest in Germany, DOUBLE DATE, served as mike testers quartet, and conducted a class about forming a mixed quartet. That quartet includes Nathan Johnson, Michaela Slamka, Blair Brown and Ravi Raghuram.  They are all from the St. Louis area and involved with the Ambassadors in Harmony.

In addition to our two quartets going to Pittsburgh to represent M-AD, there will be three others from our district – GIMME FOUR, ROUND MIDNIGHT and FRANK THE DOG. THROWBACK also qualified and they will represent the Sunshine District.  YONGE GUNS  from the Ontario District qualified for the collegiate contest in Pittsburgh.

Great to see our advertisement on the inside cover of the printed program promoting the ACA CHALLENGE event!

Other fun news from the weekend is the formation of a new chapter in Hershey, PA, with some of our special forces guys in the forefront of the new organization – Sean Devine, Jay Butterfield.  Pookie Dingle is a member there too.

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.