Thursday, May 14, 2015

Looking Back on the May 12th  Chapter Meeting Which Was Canceled

The Durant Rec Center was closed by the city because the AC was broken since last Friday.

Cbapter leaders thanked all those guys who had made the effort to get to Alexandria before they heard the news online.

Leaders were quick to schedule a make-up session.  Here is the notice from president Terry
: I hope most of you got the message about tonight's cancellation before hitting the road. With the show this Saturday and Cindy coming next week, this is not a good week to miss a rehearsal.

Therefore, we will have a makeup rehearsal on Thursday May 14th at Plymouth Haven Baptist Church in Alexandria, down toward Mt. Vernon. It's not far from the Aldersgate Church where we rehearsed once last year. Thanks to Harmonizer Rob Nutt for making it available to us.

Plymouth Haven Baptist Church
8600 Plymouth Road
Alexandria, VA 22308
(703) 360-4370

We realize this is short notice, but please plan to attend if at all possible. The plan is to execute the rehearsal plan that was scheduled for tonight, with contest work, recording run-throughs, prep for Armed Forces Day show on Saturday, and work on American Icon repertoire.

Our reservation begins at 6:30. Please don't arrive before then. Therefore we will NOT have early Visual rehearsal with Chuck or early Front Row rehearsal.

Directions (from their website):

From Capital Beltway: Take the Rt 1 / Ft Belvoir exit south, turn left on to Ft Hunt Road. Go 4.6 miles on Ft. Hunt Road (pass Belle View Shopping Center on left, Hollin Hall Shopping Center on right, then Collingwood Rd and Aldersgate Methodist Church). Just past Sandburg Middle School (on right) and Waynewood Blvd (on left), turn left on Plymouth Road. Take the second RIGHT into the church parking lot.

From Alexandria: Take the George Washington Parkway South out of Old Town. Turn RIGHT onto Waynewood Blvd. Turn LEFT onto Fort Hunt Rd. Take the second RIGHT into church parking lot.

From points South: From Route 1 north turn RIGHT onto the Mt Vernon Memorial Hwy. At the Mt. Vernon traffic circle, go 3/4 around to the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Continue North. Turn LEFT onto Vernon View Dr. (just past Cedar Knoll Restaurant). Vernon View Drive becomes Fort Hunt Rd. Turn RIGHT onto Plymouth Road. Take the second RIGHT into the church parking lot.

Other important news – if you have not paid for the chorus retreat here is a reminder from Chuck McKeever.  For those attending Sat and Sun the fee is $55.  If you are coming on Fri, it is another $30.  Give checks to Dave Welter, Bruce Minnick or Howard Nestlerode.

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.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Looking Back on the May 5th  Chapter Meeting

The chorus has had several off-site rehearsal events recently.  An all-sections rehearsal was held on Sat. April 25th at Convergence Church on Quaker Lane til about noon.  A good crowd attended for lots of work on new songs with section leaders.

Also on Saturday May 2, there were “studio” sessions – small groups of singers met with musical team leaders for coaching and personal help with vocal and visual times.

The memorial service for Skip Coburn was held on May 2nd at Mary Mother of God Catholic Church in DC.  Harmonizer sat in the loft and sang “I’ll Walk With God.” Ken Rub rang the funeral bell at the end of the service == 69 times at 10 second intervals.  The wake was held across the street at Irish Channel. The gathering was impressive with former Mayor Gray, three serving Council members, three former Council members, the Deputy Chief of Police, the head of DC’s Volksmarch club, the president of t he nightlife association and several others, all of whom spoke glowingly about Skip. We all were aware of Skip’s involvement with most of the organizations represented but not the depth – he was truly a force for good in DC! Many city leaders shared with Ken how they appreciated the singing tribute.

Tuesday May 5 we were back at Durant the risers were packed with guys working to improve themselves personally for Pittsburgh. As usual, the front row worked at 6 pm with choreographer Carlos Barillo.  Many chorus members worked with Chuck McKeever worked on moves for the uptune.  Costume wranglers worked with members and with each other to keep things on schedule for Pittsburgh.

Carlos did a warm up session to help us be in the environment of our song.  Then associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups in concert with what Carlos had taught us.

Director Joe Cerutti began his time up front of the chorus with glowing comments about David Jarzen’s recent appearance as Gomez in “The Addams Family” at West Potomac High School, directed by Peelee Clark.  Many members and families have already attended.

Then Joe launched a solid work session for the contest songs and some of the new songs for the fall Icon Show.

Before break, operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting.

Show producer Greg Tepe spoke about our Armed Forces Day performance, Saturday, May 16th from 3 - 4 pm at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St.  Chorus call is 12:30.  Each guy is asked to bring a package of cookies for refreshments for the audience to go with the lemonade.  A riser crew is needed at noon.  Uniform is black suit, white hidden button shirt, red/white/blue tie, black patent shoes, black sox and belt. The Alexandria Mayor will bring greetings.  Harmonizers are encouraged to invited folks to attend the 3 o’clock show.

Chuck McKeever reminded us to get our payments in to Howard Netlerode for the weekend retreat which is May 30-31 in Westminster, MD.  Fees are $55 per man unless you decided to go Friday (like the front row) – then it is $85 per person.

Community service vp Clyde Crusenberry asked for hands of those who would do the May 17th singout for the Old Dominion Boat Club at 3:30 pm.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented a Man of Note award to Don Dillingham, and membership renewal cards to David Jarzen for two years and Ian Poulin for 12 years.

President Terry Reynolds reported on that Michael Schwartz is in ICU at Fairfax Hospital after some serious bleeding of the brain. He has avoided surgery and hoping to be released before too long.

Len Dornberger’s mother passed away this week and he has ended his vacation in AZ early to return to DE for services.

Jean Wachter is about the same. Physical therapy is continuing. Bob is cutting back on staying the night at the facility so he can get enough sleep. However he and their daughter are there most of the time during the day, spelling each other.


Terry Jordan no longer wears any boots, etc., but his ankle, foot, lower leg are still swollen. Evidently this is a concern for the doctors, and the docs want to find out why the swelling is persisting. He is now able to drive and still hopes to go to West Virginia by the end of the month.


Some Harmonizers will recall Wilbur and Ibbianne Sparks -- her birthday is Thursday. She’ll be 96. Doing well but doesn’t go out any more. Congrats to her as a regular reader of the “Looking Back” reports.


Terry also announced make-up nite for vocal and visual studios  on Thursday May 7 at Durant – vocal at 7, visual at 8:30.  Terry also thanked all those men who have helped with vocal and visual feedbacks.

Membership vp Rich Hewitt introduced the Class of ’15.He presented each of them their kerchief (a variety of blues this year) to be worn at any Harmonizer event until they go on stage in Pittsburgh.

He preseH

(The Harmonizers started having official international chorus “classes” about the same time we started international retreats (1992). The class is the year each member competes with the Alexandria Harmonizers for the first time at International. This is the case even if they might have competed with another chorus previously. Each year’s class is a somewhat moving target until we actually perform on stage, but we have a good idea prior the retreat (where the class presents its skit.)

Spencer Wight has been named president of the class.

Class members are Blake Albertson, Peelee Clark, Mike Edison, Marvin Evans, Mike Fasano, Ross Felker, Alvin Figer, Garrett Garner, Tommy Garner, David Jarzen, Alan Lamson, Reed Livergood, Jim McConnell, Mike Moncibaiz, Chris Odell, Rusty Orvik, Rich Payton, Ron Precup, Elliot Roseman, Todd Ryktarsyk, John Santora, Aaron Simoneau, Gene Swartz, Spencer Wight and Kris Zinkievich.

After break, we worked more on contest songs, took time for self recordings, and then spent some time for guys singing on the Armed Forces show to refresh that music.  Those guys who can’t make that show worked with Tony and Carlos on the ballad.

Congrats to Reed Livergood who is now musical coordinator of TBD, our chapter’s contemporary a cappella group. Thanks too for the years of work by Tom Kraus who started the group and kept it organized. 

Thanks to the many hands who help clean up refreshments each week so the chorus members can get back on the risers to sing.  And thanks to Ellen Dellert for making coffee and getting the goodies out last week.

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.