Thursday, May 28, 2015

Looking Back on the May 26th Chapter Meeting

This week was another hard working recording session at First Baptist Church.

Wranglers worked on costumes for many guys.  Front row came at 6 to drill with PeeLee Clark and Carlos Barillo!  They are all planning to go to the retreat on Friday evening and will meet at 8pm.

And a good crowd of men worked on the stage with Chuck McKeever to review the “enHancenments” to the stage presence plan for the uptune.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and when director Joe Cerutti took over, he went right to work on singing.  We recorded too songs by working right up til cut off time.

Everyone helped reload things onto the Harmo van.

Ops vp Todd Ryktarsyk ran the brief chapter meeting.  McKeever reminded guys to pay for the retreat or at least tell Howard Nestlerode they will pay onsite at the retreat.

Pittsburgh coordinator Craig Kujawa asked guys if they had any questions in planning their trips in July to the International. A few guys met with him privately. He is still seeking some helpers for the Harmo events in Pittsburgh.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Tim Buell for 11 years, Craig Kujawa for 12 years, Ken Rub for 24 years.

President Terry Reynolds brought to everyone’s attention that the Tuesday after International there WILL BE a regular chapter meeting and rehearsal. The annual sing at the hospital will be on the last Tuesday in July.

Terry also pointed out the members of the board that any of us could speak with if we have ideas or suggestions of questions about chapter operation.

After a break, it was back to work on the risers.

We ended the evening with a run of the contest package.

Tag singers had a great session at the afterglow this 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.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Looking Back on the May 22-23 Southern Division Contest and Convention

Wow – there were Harmonizers everywhere for this weekend contest and convention at the Reston Hyatt.

In the one-round quartet contest on Friday evening, FORECAST with Mike Fitch, Tyler Rackley, Travis Murray and Dan Cook took first place.  This makes the 14th year in a row that a quartet with at least one Harmonizer member has won the contest!!  They earned 75.4 percent.

Another Harmonizer quartet took second place – YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpy, Hardman Jones and Vic Owen Jr. earning 72.1 percent.  These guys also won the senior’s contest held in conjunction with the division contest.

Third place quartet was LoCo 4 – all friends from neighboring chapters we have seen at the annual Dog Days event each year.

Fourth place was our own guys, BRAVADO with Doug White, Kevin McKenzie, Chris Odell and Todd Ryktarsyk.  Great first time shot for this foursome and they earned 69.7 percent.

HANDSOME REWARD with John Reece, Mike Edison, Vince Lynch and Michael Gilmore took fifth place with 66.1 percent.

Sam McFarland’s new quartet, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN, took eighth as well as second in the senior’s contest. Brian Ammerman sang in two quartets:  LAST PITCH EFFORT along with Steve Murane was ninth, and MISFIRE was eleventh. MISFIRE was named division novice champ quartet in the contest.

Harmonizers Bill Colosimo was emcee for the quartet contest and Dennis Ritchey was emcee for the Saturday chorus contest. There were 11 choruses in the contest and six of them were directed by current or former Harmonizers: Richard Lewellen with Fairfax. Gary Bibens with Harrisonburg, Kris Zinkievich with Germantown, Mike Wallen with Richmond, Bill Colosimo with DC and Brian Allen with Norfolk.

Richmond won the chorus contest with a score of 70.8 percent.

Interesting was the number of current or former Harmonizers, in addition to the directors named above, who sang on the contest stage with other choruses: Harold Weinberger and Sam McFarland with Fairfax; Chuck Botts with Carroll County; Gary Bibens, Michael Calhoun and Dewey Feuerhelm with Harrisonburg; Mike Edison with Germantown, Frank Beahm with Smith Mountain Lake; Mike Giepel, Paul Lensch and Jim McConnell with Richmond; and Bob Hirsh, Alan Hanenbaum and Bob Wells with DC.

Some of our guys also sang in the mic tester chorus: Carl Kauffmann, Brian Ammerman, Bob Wachter, Chris Buechler, Alan Hanenbaum. Two former members were on the judging panel: Steve Tramack who also has arranged several of our important new songs, and Joe Sawyer who sings with DACAPO.

The Saturday nite show of champions featured a number of our folks as listed above plus MAYHEM with Matt Fellows, Pookie Dingle, Mike Pinto and Ken White was also featured guest quartet.

The Fairfax Chapter was hosts for this weekend’s convention.  Mike Kelly and Carl Kauffmann are on the events team that helps run the contests, and Gary Plaag is district vp for contests. Our guys on the district board include Bill Colosimo, IPP; Dennis Ritchey, exec vp; Bob Eckman, treasurer; Keith Jones, secretary; and Chuck Harner, member at large.

Official contest scores are posted on website. (Thanks for notes from Dixie Kennett, Keith Jones and Alan Wile for this report! YeEd)

In other news, the Atlantic Division was held May 15-16 in Cherry Hill and our own Dan O’Brien was a music judge.

The Western and Northern Division contests will be June 5-6, also in Cherry Hill, and two Harmo quartets are on the list for that one: WAREHOUSE FLATS with Brett Thomas, Jay Butterfield, Adam Porter and Steve White; and HERSHEY TRANSIT CO. with Bill Kent, Pookie Dingle, Frank Resek and Steven Matuszewski

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.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Looking Back on the May 19th Chapter Meeting Plus Armed Forces Show and Flag Ceremony

Before reporting on chapter meeting news, there were two chorus appearances over the weekend.

First was our second Armed Services Honor Show.  It was at First Baptist Church on Saturday, May 16th at 3 pm.  We sang our patriotic package.  We served refreshments to attendees with help from the FRIENDS IN HARMONY.  Alexandria mayor William Euille spoke as did Congressman Don Beyer.  We also showed two videos that are from our trip in France.  Bill Colosimo was emcee.  Several veterans were present for the tribute.

Sunday, May 17th, a mini-chorus sang at the celebration for the new flag ceremony at Old Dominion Boat Club at the end of King Street. Clyde Crusenberry, community service chairman, organized this event as part of the Harmonizer community outreach program. (Interesting history note: in the ‘60s the Harmonizer afterglow following our spring tonic was at the ODBC. -  YeEd) Mayor Euille spoke again as did vice mayor Allison Silberberg. Assistant director Terry Reynolds directed the chorus.  The president of the ODBC was emcee.

Tuesday nite’s rehearsal was hard work, but the Durant air conditioning was working well and a welcome treat.

Cindy Hansen Ellis was with us for the evening and concentrated on embellishments for the uptune.

Before the meeting there were the usual extra work sessions for the front row, chorus member review, costume/uniform wranglers meeting with guys and helping newest members get their Pittsburgh attire organized.

Reed Livergood did the vocal warm ups and then director Joe Cerutti introduced Cindy to the new men who had not worked with her before. We started singing on two songs we will record next Tuesday when we meet at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St.

Then we did the contest package for Cindy to see and moved right on to working on the ballad which we did all evening.  Several times the front row joined the chorus after having working separately on their routine.

Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting.  First off, music and performance vp Steve White introduced two quartets that will be singing this weekend at the Southern Division contest at the Reston Hyatt. (You can get tickets on site. Quartet contest starts at 6:45 pm Fri eve.) Our first quartet for the evening was MISFIRE with Brian Ammerman, Jay Sorenson, Litic Murali and Matt Doniger.  Our second quartet was LAST PITCH EFFORT with Brian Ammerman, Tony Romero, Jeff Salino and Steve Murane.

Secretary Chris Buechler reminded all singers going to the contest in Pittsburgh must be paid up on their dues.  He also presented membership renewal cards to Rich Hewitt for 4 years, Marvin Evans for 5 years, Mike Fasano for 20 years, Craig Odell for 46 years and Dick Hall for 51 years.  (The chorus rose to a round of applause for Dick.)

Chris also presented a 30-year renewal card and lapel pin to Chris Buechler and a 40-year renewal and lapel pin to Howard Nestlerode.

Director Joe welcomed Tom Kraus to the mic and thanked Tom for his 6 years of leadership for the contemporary a cappella group TBD.  All members of TBD joined Joe in the tribute and presented Tom a memento/plaque.

President Terry Reynolds reminded us of the recording session next Tuesday at First Baptist, the retreat in western MD over the weekend of May 29-31. NOTE WE ARE ALL ASKED TO BRING ALL PARTS OF OUR PITTSBURGH COSTUME/UNIFORM.

He also announced the plans for the International send off at Durant on June 23rd, and reminded us of the extra rehearsals on June 11 and June 25.  He asked everyone to update their attendance plans on Groupanizer.

Membership vp Rich Hewitt introduced several guests with us for the evening.  It was good to see Michael Schwartz in the hall this week and Dick Newton who was passing thru the area and came to see everyone.

Then we had a busy break with lots of cookies to eat (thanks to Steve and Robyn Murane for bringing in all the cookies from the Saturday show); the front row using the main hall at Durant during break to block out their routine in relation to the risers, and some quartet singing of other groups planning to be in the division contest.

After the break we did some self evaluation recordings and then concentrated on the uptune.

We worked a few minutes past 10 pm, so Joe asked everyone to pitch in and help dismantle the hall.

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.