Friday, June 12, 2015

Looking Back on the June 9th Chapter Meeting

This week’s chapter meeting and fantastic rehearsal was at First Baptist Church because our usual meeting place was being used for a voting place.

With so much work in preparation for our appearance at the International convention in Pittsburgh, July 3rd, the hall was packed early – front row in front of the risers from about 6-7 with choreographer Carlos Barillo, other guys doing visual reviews with Chuck McKeever, costume wranglers at work in a side room at the hall, and other guys welcoming guests and former members on hand this week.

There were a lot of men who made special trips to be here for this important rehearsal time: Peter Hubbard from Atlanta, Alan Lamson from CT and feeling much better after his back problem on retreat weekend, Bill Conway from SC, Mike Geipel from Richmond, and Len Dornberger from DE.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and then director Joe Cerutti took the reins and went right to work on spots in our contest songs. We worked all evening on those songs – only once doing the whole set.  Carlos and Tony assisted Joe by injecting ideas and reminders and teaching points to help us perform even better.

Mid-evening, ops vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting.  Josh Roots did an update and challenge from the newly formed development committee. They are seeking donations or contributions to match a $1000 gift. All of this toward a larger goal of $10,000 for the new CD project.

Todd announced the play at West Potomac Hi School this coming weekend.  They are doing “Next to Normal” at 7 pm on June 11-12-13, at 7 pm at West Potomac Hi Kogelman Theater, 6500 Quander Rd., Alexandria 22307.  Tickets are $12 and available at the door.  Our own member David Jarzen is appearing as Gabe in the play and Ben Roberts is appearing as Dan, The director is our front row guy, Peelee Clark. 

Shawn Tallant reminded everyone of the International send off appearance as part of the Tues June 23rd meeting at Durant.  Best time for guests to come is 8 pm.

Shawn also stressed the need for guys to have their important personal info on the list for getting into Bolling base for our special Thurs June 25th rehearsal at the Air Force Band rehearsal space.  It is get you name on the list, or you can’t get on post for the event.  Send it to Stan Quick today.  They have to get the list turned in to officials several days in advance.

Nick Leiserson and Terry Reynolds promised details about the special appearance on Sat June 13th for Marriott.  Singers need to get Nick their t-shirt size ASAP.

Steve White recapped the results of the M-AD division contests for us.  See below for news from this past weekend.

Craig Kujawa reminds all to get your Togetherness breakfast tickets from Steve Murane ($30 for any guest you are bringing) and Randall Eliason (free for any chapter member going), order Pittsburgh photos from Frank Fedarko, and look to receive your convention registrations (tickets) from Craig in the next week.

Secretary Chris Buechler was excited to report that all competing chorus members have renewed their membership.  He presented membership renewal cards to Carlos Barillo for 4 years, Peter Hubbard for 4 years, Stan Quick for 4 years, Steve Szyszka for 4 years, Jim Lake for 22 years, Tony Colosimo for 22 years, Mike Edison for 24 years, Greg Tepe for 24 years, Bob Wells for 24 years, and David Welter for 39 years.

Doug White reports his promotion to Lt. Colonel came thru and so he brought cake for a little celebration during break. Congrats Doug!

President Terry Reynolds reminds us that there WILL BE a chapter meeting on the Tuesday after International, July 7th and the next week on the 14th.  This is a change from past years when we didn’t meet at Durant the week after convention.

Terry saluted Ross Felker for his recent retirement from the Air Force. See below.

Membership vp Rich Hewitt welcomed some members in house what we don’t see regularly: Ross Johnson, TJ Jones, Bob Caldwell. Greg Tepe, our producer of shows, was in house too.  Rich then welcomed some singer guests with us this week.

After eating cake and making contact for many points of chapter business, it was back to work on our music.  Joe had taught a great new tag, “What a Day” earlier in the nite and so we reviewed it after break. He wants us to sing it every time we meet this month.

The members all pitched in to put things away into the Harmo truck.  We will return to First Baptist on Thursday nite this week again. The afterglow crowd had fun as usual at La Porta’s.

In other news, the final two M-AD division contests (Northern and Western) were held June 5-6 in Cherry Hill, NJ, combined into one weekend.  Joe Cerutti was a music judge on the panel.

In the Western Division contest, a Harmonizer quartet, WAREHOUSE FLATS with Brett Thomas, Jay Butterfield, Adam Porter, and Steve White, took second place. Also there were a number of current and former Harmonizers who directed choruses in that contest:  Sean Devine and Jay Butterfield are directors of the new Hershey PA chorus that took first place.  Rick Taylor directed the Dundalk MD chorus that took second.  John Santora was acting District contest and judging chair and sang with Patapsco Valley, MD. Pookie Dingle sang with the Hershey chorus.

In the Northern Division contest, another Harmonizer quartet HERSHEY TRANSIT CO. with Bill Keet, Pookie Dingle, Frank Resek and Steven Matuszewski, took third place.

In other news, Bruce Lauther reports that the chapter has a contract signed for the chorus to sing at Ashbury Methodist Village, 201 Russell Avenue, Gaithersburg MD, 20877. This will be a full performance starting at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, September 26th, 2015. Our sponsors by donation are former members of the Alexandria Harmonizer family, Hal and Margaret Gaut, who reside there.

Also in other news, Lieutenant Colonel Ross Felker was honored at a retirement ceremony at Joint Base Anacostoa-Bolling Friday June 5th at 2pm.  Several of his fellow Harmonizers were there and remarked about his amazing Air Force service career that was explained during his many recognitions at the event. At the end of the ceremony, Ross lead everyone in singing the “Air Force Song” and our guys joined in the fun. Ross and his wife Gail will be moving to their home in Texas after the contest is Pittsburgh and some vacation time in Michigan.

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.