Monday, June 29, 2015

Looking Back on the June 23rd Chapter Meeting and International Send Off

We celebrated and proudly performed our contest package for a huge crowd of fans and family and many other barbershoppers on Tues. 23rd at Durant. It was our 25th send off!!  Most of our guys and guests managed to get parked and inside before the heavens dumped huge rain and brought heavy winds to the area.


The ops team headed by vp Todd Ryktarsyk and many volunteers set up the rises backed up against the stage, then all the chairs we could get were set out facing the risers.  Sound guys managed to get that all set in too – tho many of the sound crew are also in the front row that was practicing early.


Some guys met with riser coach Chuck McKeever too.


The FRIENDS IN HARMONY also helped Jack Pitzer and Kevin Kaiser get the refreshments ready to put out during the evening break.  The FIH also cleaned up! Thanks to them for that.

Also the FIH helped usher and help guests find their way around Durant, they helped cover the meeting room windows so guys could use those rooms for changing, and many of them are costume wranglers so they were busy sewing or fixing uniform parts for the guys. Thanks to Robyn Murane for her leadership and the FIH support of the Send Off.


Our props team this year gets many kudos – Dennis Ritchey created the bamboo poles (with accents) and Steve White took the boxes Dennis made and painted and sanded and decorated them.  Great job – over-and-above your leadership jobs in chapter and district.


Former chapter president Terry Jordan did the announcing of the chorus just as it will happen in Pittsburgh. It was great to see him since his fall on the ice last winter.


The chorus assembled on the risers at 7pm  with associate director Tony Colosimo doing the warm ups.  Director Joe Cerutti helped us with our exercise tags and then worked on important spots in the ballad,”Some One Like You,” and the uptune “Me Ole Bamboo.”


At about 7:50 we stopped and guys finished dressing into their costumes.  We took the stage from the lobby with directions from chorus manager Mark Klostermeyer.


After doing the set one time, president Terry Reynolds welcomed the fans and Joe spoke to the crowd explaining the contest situation, sharing how the chorus has grown in 8 years, and shared with the audience how they could support us further.


We did the set a second time and then joined the audience for refreshments of lemonade and coffee and cookies in the lobby.  We changed back into cooler clothes to work more the second half.


During break there were many business matters to be taken care of like Togetherness Breakfast tickets distribution, t-shirt sales and contest photo orders.


Rick Wagner thanked guys for signing up to bring things to Pittsburgh for the Harmo Hideaway.  He suggested that coolers and heavy items could go on the Harmo truck to convention.


Thursday nite is our special rehearsal at Bolling Anacostia in the Air Force Band facility. Everyone needed to get their name on the list for the entrance onto the base.  Thanks to Stan Quick for working on those details. And thanks to Shawn Tallant for coordinating the use of the facility at Bolling.  Shawn shared that the entrance we are to use will be near the Harmo truck parking spot – look for the sign.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Duncan Woodbury for 3 years and Jeff Berman for 33 years.  In an recent email to all, Chris shared that the following men who don’t sing with us regularly have renewed: Paul Greiner 45 years - and a new lapel pin; Bill Colosimo 39 years; Bob Bates 37 years; JT Price 36 years; Al Herman 32 years; Dave Ellis 29 years; and Wayne Adams 12 years.

Stan Quick has also agreed to coordinate hosts for the Ladies First chorus from Barbershop in Germany (BingG) that will be visiting Washington, Jul 21-25 on their way to Harmony University. They fly in on Tuesday and will join us at rehearsal. They fly out on Sunday to go to HU in Nashville. We are primary looking for Harmonizers that can host 2 or more ladies for some or all of the five days. We are also hoping to host an informal get together / barbecue on Friday evening July 24.


Looking ahead to after International, here is important info from music and performance vp Steve White: Our first full rehearsal when we return will be on Tuesday, July 7. The INOVA hospital strolling sing out will be later in the in lieu of “summer camp” when many guys are at Harmony University/Director’s College in Nashville. We have just 1 summer concert scheduled this year … Market Square in Old Town Alexandria on Friday, August 7. This show will feature some of our standard patriotic songs, the contest set, and 1-2 teaser American Icon Show songs. The summer rehearsals will be primarily focused on preparing you for the American Icons Show. Our off-site all-parts Saturday Sectionals have been highly attended this year (60-65 men each time). There are 2 more scheduled for the summer … July 18 and August 15 from 9 – noon in the Music Suite at the First Baptist Church in Alexandria.



In other news, Kathy Kauffmann’s mom, Mary McCarthy, passed away Tuesday, June 16, at age 92. She was in hospice care.


The audience drifted out as we continued to practice until closing at 10.  We dismantled and a big crowd made it over to LaPortas for afterglow, including some singers from the audience. Joe, Terry and Tony were there and there several tag groups singing away.  The chow is good and the atmosphere is fun.


There will not be a Looking Back column/blog after our Thursday June 25th rehearsal.


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.