Saturday, April 25, 2015

Looking Back on the April 18th  Harmonizer Youth Harmony Festival
The 2015 Alexandria Harmonizers Youth Festival was a great success.  We had 63 students and 6 music educators participate. 
Our many thanks to the gentlemen of MAYHEM  -  Matt Fellows, Pookie Dingle, Mike Pinto and Ken White, who acted as our teaching quartet for the young men’s chorus.  Pookie also served as the director of the young men’s chorus. They were well received by the students and, as always, their “Unicorn” song was a lesson in how to get enthusiastic audience participation in the evening show.
We also appreciated our female teaching quartet made up of half of SHADES OF JADE and GQ  - Erin Cook, Kasey Cox, Ali Hauger, and Amanda McNutt.  Erin also served as the director of the young women’s chorus. In addition to helping with the young women’s chorus, these ladies found they knew one song in-common, they brought tears to the eyes of some of the audience with their heart-felt delivery of “It Is Well With My Soul”. 
The young men’s chorus (with choreography by Terry Reynolds) performed “Break Up is Hard To Do”.  The young women (with choreography by Erin Cook) performed After You’re Gone.  The combined chorus (with choreography by Joe Cerutti) performed “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better”.  We also had a great young women’s quartet – winner of the local Sing Strong event – AFTERGLOW who performed several songs on the evening show.  
AFTERGLOW participated in the festival as a quartet and was coached during the day activities by Joe.  We also had a great roundtable with our music educators that gave us many ideas for future festivals.  It was great to hear both their enthusiasm for the event and appreciation of the Harmonizers giving their students an opportunity to sing with what was a much larger chorus than they usually do.
Finally there was the great support of TBD who kicked off the evening show with their well-received version of more contemporary a cappella.
Such an event does not happen without the support of many people. Chairman Brad Jones thanked a long list of Harmonizers, FRIENDS IN HARMONY and Durant staff for helping with reservations related to the Durant Center, preparing the hall on Friday night, bringing ice to the Center, helping with signing in students at registration, passing out water bottles and T-shirts, food preparation and service, providing the sound system and audio services, setting up the hall and taking down the risers and chairs at the end of the night these folks all were key contributors to the event:

Bob Rhome

Dean Rust

Jacob George

Alan Wile

Clyde Crusenberry

Dean Rust

Chuck Harner

Randall Eliason

Leland Jones

Keith Jones

Ken Fess

John Smith

Bridgette Cerutti

Lydia Golden

Ellen Dellert

Doug White

Dennis Ritchey

Nick Leiserson

Don Dillingham

Garret Garner

Kris Zinkievich

Bruce Minnick

Gerry Fuller

Cheryl Anne Colton and the Durant Center Staff

TBD members that stayed to help with the riser storage

Terry Reynolds

Todd Ryktarsyk

Elliot Roseman

And the many Harmonizers who came to the show and stayed after to help with cleanup!


Congratulations and a big thank you to Brad Jones for providing leadership and coordination for this annual event.  Kudos to Brad.


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


Friday, April 24, 2015

Looking Back on the April 21st Chapter Meeting

The set up crew moved everything into the center hall at First Baptist great to have a bunch of guys lend a hand to Bob Blair.  Many men brought in carpet or moving blankets for the floor to absorb sound. And the sound guys (Mike Kelly, Dennis Ritchey and Doug White) set up the mics and equipment to do recordings.  We spent the whole time on that this week.  Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups.  We mostly worked on recording “Happy” and “Me Ole Bamboo” – doing shorter pieces.


Director Joe Cerutti and Tony took turns directing and coaching us, while the other person listened to the recordings. 


Several of the contest uniform wranglers were working in another room to prepare accent pieces for members to take home.


The chapter meeting was a little shorter than usual as we did not have guests to introduce. President Terry Reynolds reported that Jean Wachter is about the same in her progress in the hospital.


Terry also suggested we support two of our guys working on The Addams Family musical at West Potomac High School this weekend.  David Jarzen has a leading part in the production directed by Peelee Clark.  Check the website  Joe encouraged us all to go support the arts locally and for our guys.


There were sign-up sheets for vocal and visual studios being held in early May – sessions for guys to be coached in either aspect of their performance.


Chuck McKeever, our contest retreat coordinator, instructed us to choose a roommate and report that to him.  We will be in a dorm with two guys per room (not the suited as in previous years).  That means you might need to bring a cooler for supplies. 


Joe thanked Brad Jones for his huge effort at running another successful Youth Harmony Festival for our chapter.  This one had the most students ever.


As a reminder, this coming Saturday morning will be another all-parts sectional from 9-noon at the Convergence Church, 1801 Quaker Lane, Alexandria VA 22302. We’ll spend much of the working on new music, particularly the “Nat King Cole Medley” and “Ring of Fire”, and boning up on some of the patriotic repertoire for the Armed Forces Day Show.


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.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Looking Back on the April 14th  Chapter Meeting

This week was more work on the contest set – especially so that we are totally prepared for our coaching retreat in Westminster MD, May 30-31. Will be great to have David Wright and Brandon Guyton on hand to take us further down the road to great singing and performance.


Retreat master Chuck McKeever has published a very detailed info sheet for that weekend. Be sure to make plans – such as car pooling, deciding to come early for the Fri nite May 29th fun too, paying your fee to Howard Nestlerode by May 26, plan your packing list (wear some Harmo gear), and be prepared for the Class of 2015 to entertain us with this year’s skit!!


As usual this week, there was a crew practicing stage presence at 6 pm with coaches Chuck McKeever and Carlos Barillo.


There are some quartets forming in the wings for the Southern Division contest in Reston, May 22-23. Stay tuned for news about them.


The important Youth Harmony Festival is this coming weekend.  Coordinator Brad Jones has published another appeal for helpers since the attendance numbers have jumped pretty high this year. At least be sure to come by on Sat nite April 18th to see the final results of the weekend for young men and women singers. He could still use a couple more folks to help setup the hall this Friday night, April 17th. The other time he definitely needs help is for 5:30 -7 on Saturday evening so we can put away the dinner tables and reconfigure the chairs so we have the hall set up for the show. TBD will be performing along with MAYHEM  before the students take the stage to show the results of a long day of work on their part. We would like to have a full house for that show.


In addition to the contest work this week, we continued introducing work on the songs for the Icon show in Sept.


The chapter meeting conducted by ops vp Todd Ryktarsyk including reminders about the recording session next Tues at First Baptist, and the sectionals coming up on a Sat.


Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented Man of Note pins to Bob Rhome for sponsoring Blake Albertson and to Josh Roots for sponsoring John Roots.  Blake and Rick Payton got new member papers. Chris had renewal cards for Spencer Wight for 1 year and Brad Jones for 23 years.

These Harmonizers renewed their membership recently and secretary Buechler made sure these long-time members know they are still “part of our gang” in the chapter: Tom Hansen 39 years, Andy Smith 39 years, Terry Traylor 28 years, Jim Lucey 26 years and Bill DePuy 25 years - and a service pin!


Membership vp Rich Hewitt introduced guests to all of us. Rich also coordinated more auditions for applicants.


Choreographer Carlos Barillo asked each contest singer to continue to work with their costume wrangler so that he could move forward with giving a final approval for each costume.


President Terry Reynolds reports that Jean Wachter is in the hospital for continued care.


In other news, kudos to Jeremy Richardson for his solo appearance and performance as part of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop cabaret this past weekend.  The show was in their center at 7th and G SE.



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.