Thursday, July 23, 2015

Looking Back on the July 21st Chapter Meeting

In other news that happened before Tuesday nite, our a cappella group, TBD, performed for the summer show at Carlisle Park at 7 pm Thurs. July 16.  They were great and attracted a good sized audience in the park.  Mike Kelly was sound engineer and used the new mics to make the performance really fill the space.  Some other chapter members attended as well.


And Saturday July 18th, there was an all sectionals rehearsal at First Baptist Church in Alexandria from 9-noon.  Tony was overall director and then the section leaders worked in break out sections in various parts of the music suite at the church.  New member Tom Jackson was recently named as a bass section leader to join Andrew Havens and replace Jim Lake had left the chapter. We worked on songs for the Icon show mostly.


On Tuesday, the set up crew was hard at work early and the risers were in place by 6 pm.  Then the other crews went to work for sound, av, refreshments, membership, seating for guests, and a FRIENDS IN HARMONY meeting.


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and then director Joe Cerutti pushed right into singing on the shows for the Icon show in Sept.  He did welcome the many guests who are members of Barbershop in Germany (BING) who are staying in the area hosted by members of our chapter and several other chapters and Sweet Adeline chapters. 


After we sang a while, Joe invited Tony to explain a plan from the executive music committee (Cerutti Jr, T Colosimo, Reynolds, S White, Barillo, Kelly) to implement a Certified Singer Program for the fall and then the summer contest seasons. A pilot group of 25 will be named to start the process and work out any details before all members will be added.


Operations vp Todd Ryktarksyk conducted a chapter meeting.  Bruce Lauther is coordinating engraving of the Pittsburgh medals - so see him to pick up or drop off your medals. Just $8 to get them engraved with the logo and your info.


Craig Kujawa explained using our scrip sales program a new way – using your phone to buy scrip onsite at restaurants and stores when you need it.  He asked about interest from the members and got a good response.  So he will develop a handout about how it works.


Secretary Buechler has announced membership renewals for some long-time Harmonizer guys we don’t see at chapter meeting regularly: Scott Werner - 53 years, Don Johnson - 47 years, Phil Stern - 29 years, JJ Jackson -28 years and Dave Cureton - 24 years. Chris also reminded members to pay dues in order to be eligible to sing in the fall contest.

Josh Roots announced that when David Hood left for his military assignment, he donated his 2002 car to the fund raising team of the chapter.  Josh offers it first to any member who needs a car at the Blue Book price.  Contact Josh immediately as he plans to sell it on the market this weekend if no member takes it.

President Terry Reynolds welcomed again the BING members and reminded everyone about the BBQ picnic Thursday nite at 6 pm.  Be sure to sign up online so planners know who to expect.

Terry also promises that Icon show tickets should be on sale online by Aug.1st  - if not before!!

Finally Terry happily reported that the chapter has received a grant for fiscal year 2016 of $10,548 from the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and the Office of the Arts.  Thanks to Clyde Crusenberry, our community service chairman, for his work to submit the paperwork for this grant.

Membership vp Rich Hewitt welcomed a ton of guests this week including the singers and friends from the BING group. And then there were several new local guests in various stages of membership – first timers, returnees, applicants.  He presented Jeff Burkey as our newest member.  Rich also announced the next Open Auditions nite for Wed. Sept. 23rd – right after our Icon show.

After our break for lemonade and cookies and snacks, it was back to singing.  The Ladies First chorus from BING sang for us as well.

Another good sized crowd of members and guest came to the afterglow at LaPortas at 1600 Duke Street where there is lots of good tag singing for those who want to join in.  And there is plenty of fellowship and food too.

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, July 20, 2015

Looking Back on the July 14th Chapter Meeting

This week was another busy one for the Harmonizers. We had a huge number of guests, a big crowd on the risers and there was lots of work to do musically and administratively.


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and then director Joe Cerutti welcomed all the singers and some special guests from Germany – John and Marci Warner from Germany where they sing barbershop and she is a director. They have worked with Joe in coaching sessions. But there is more – her Dad is former Harmonizer Seth Huisman. And

 Seth was with them. He had a great time renewing friendships with guys he sang with 1975-81 in the chorus and quartets such as Walt Page, Jack Pitzer, Randy Lazear, Rick Savage and Steve White who Seth brought to barbershop.


Joe started the singing with patriotic music which will be our package for city shows like Market Square in Old Town Alexandria on Fri. eve Aug. 7.  These are mostly the same songs we used last year for our trip to Normandy France.


Then we worked on some parts of the songs we will use for the American Icon show on Sat Sept 19. 


After the music work, Joe welcomed about 25 of Peelee Clark’s theater students from West Potomac Hi School.  They have been invited to the Fringe Festival in Scotland this summer and so they came to sing one of their numbers for us.  They sang a number from their show “Spelling Bee” which brought the chorus to their feet in cheering.  The West Potomac Theater Dept will present the whole show at their school Thurs and Fri July 23 and 24 at 7 pm, and then on Sat 25th at 2 and 7.  Tickets are $12 at the door one hour before show time.  The school is at 6500 Quander Rd., Alexandria VA 22307.  Several of the guys in the group had joined the chorus on the risers for the first part of the evening including our own David Jarzen.


Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting.  We heard from Chuck McKeever that our retreat contact at McDaniel College, Wesley Brown, had joined the Carroll County chorus up in Maryland. He was motivated to find a chapter after watching us  and singing tags with us at retreat.


Pittsburgh chairman Craig Kujawa expressed his personal thanks to the admin team that made things move smoothly for housing, tickets, travel, equipment hauling, meeting space and events like the Togetherness Breakfast.  He asked us all to respond to a survey he will issue soon.


Bruce Lauther is heading up the plan to get our recently acquired medals engraved.  You fill out a simple form for him and put it in an envelope he provides with $8 and your name on the outside of the envelope.  It comes back to you in a week or so.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented new member certificate and materials from BHS to our newest member, Nathan Vomocil.  Chris changed hats to his duties as a member of the BHS contest and judging committee and presented Master Director Joe a plaque in recognition of his 5 years as a music judge.


President Terry Reynolds reported that John Hohl had a mild stroke over the weekend but has headed home to FL where he can consult with his own doctors. Austin Cotton’s wife is still in the hospital.


Terry announced that our a cappella group, TBD, will be the singers for the summer show at Carlisle Park at 7 pm Thurs. July 16.


The chapter is helping host a ladies chorus from Germany this month who are on their way to Harmony University in Nashville.  There will be a barbeque for all the evening of the 23rd. Stan Quick is helping coordinate this project.


Membership vp Rich Hewitt then tackled the huge job of welcoming all the guests in addition to those already mentioned.  There were several prospective singers, some barbershoppers from other chapters on vacation in the DC area, some new arrivals to the DC area and some applicants who are in the process of joining.


For break there were tons of chips and goodies AND a delicious dark chocolate cheese cake made by Marvin Evans to share with us all. It was a hit!


After break it was back into the main hall for a meeting/presentation by president Terry with input from community board member Liz Birnbaum.  The thrust of the report (which will likely be coming to all members soon), was a proposal to form a parallel 501(c)3 organization called Alexandria Harmonizers, Inc. The current board will decide at their July 22nd meeting if they will go ahead.  Much of the work for this proposal came out of a governance review committee headed by Liz, with  John Roots, Chris Buechler, Brad Jones and Nick Leiserson plus Terry.  There was time for a few basic questions with a promise to offer a chance next Tuesday nite as well.


Then we got to see the webcast performance of our contest package in Pittsburgh. 


Joe then spoke about some major upcoming events as part of the new direction of community outreach for our chapter.  He spoke of some major social events as well.


Finally we sang “A Place on the Risers for You” for Jim Lake who has decided to leave the chapter.


We closed the nite with “Keep the Whole World Singing” directed by our guest from Germany, Marci Warner.


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.