Saturday, September 12, 2015

Looking Back on the Sept. 8th Chapter Meeting

Musically, this was a great nite including a fine rehearsal and many special groups working on things for the show.


But early in the evening, Chuck McKeever reported the sad news that John Pence died at 3:30 pm today at his home. Chuck was with him at that time along with family.  JP was 79 and had battled with multiple myeloma and more recently was diagnosed with myelodysplasia.  He was a long-time Harmonizer and a strong spokesman for clear writing and editing of chapter publications. For many years JP prepared the song board for our shows and sing outs.  No memorial plans have been announced at this point by the family.


Before the chapter meeting, the front row worked on the stage to prepare for the contest.


After set up and greeting guests and fellow members, we took the risers at 7 pm.  Choreographer Carlos Barillo worked with us to warm up our bodies and gave us some previews of moves and body language we will use for our Icon show songs.  Reed Livergood did the vocal warm ups.


Director Joe Cerutti took the reins and successfully worked on adding some great new dimensions to our contest songs. We spent the first half of the nite on the contest set.


Joe commented on how happy he was with the group of singers who sang for Chuck and Donna Powell’s wedding on Saturday.


Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the chapter meeting.  (The FRIENDS IN HARMONY held a meeting tonite also.)


Community services chairman Clyde Crusenberry asked for a show of hands of guys who could do a Sunday afternoon gig at the boat club in Alexandria at 2 pm on Nov. 8th. There were enough to decide the show is a go.


Fall contest weekend coordinator Shawn Tallant reminded the last few guys to make their room reservations before the room block is lifted.  Anyone who does not have a ticket yet, should order them online at this point.


Frank Fedarko has International chorus photos for those guys who ordered them.


It was announced that Cindy Hansen will be with us for the fall chorus retreat on Sat Oct 17th starting at 9 am, instead of a Tuesday nite session.  That will be great. 


Craig Kujawa continued his terrific work in encouraging us to use electronic methods of buying and using scrip to make routine and special purchases. According to Craig, several people have already signed up and started earning money for the chapter simply by changing how they pay for things they would buy anyway. As this effort starts to build momentum, the revenue promises to swell from hundreds of dollars per month to THOUSANDS of dollars per month, but only if everyone makes a conscious effort to spend a few minutes and set themselves up to participate. This is a TEAM effort, and the results are directly proportional to how much each of us supports the team.


President Terry Reynolds reported that Joel Golden’s mom passed away recently.


Terry also urged singers to sign up for and maybe even change their plans so they can sing on the Sept 26th paid job in MD.


He alerted the chapter that a survey will be coming soon to measure the pulse of members regarding all aspects of the chapter operation and its programs. 


NOTE: He reminded all that next Tuesday nite we will meet at Schlesinger Hall on the campus of No Va Community College – use this address for GPS: 4915 East Campus Drive, Alexandria 22311.  For those who have not been there, they have a huge parking garage just at the entrance to the hall.  ALSO NOTE: we are to wear/bring our red/white/blue picnic-like costume for the last set of the show to this rehearsal.


And then NOTE AGAIN:  there will be an extra rehearsal on Thursday nite, Sept. 17th at Durant at 7 pm.


And finally he reported that our a cappella group, TBD,  sang a show on Labor Day and earned a nice fee for the chapter. Thanks to those guys.


Membership vp Rich Hewitt welcomed a number of guests and applicants.


After the break we worked on the songs for the Icon show – all coming along great.  And Carlos prompted us to use the moves and exercises and stances he taught in the warm up session for these songs.  Joe was pleased and the chorus seemed proud to have made the leap to this level.


Next task is to sell a whole lot more tickets for the show.  The chapter needs more individual push from all of us.  Dig into that mailing list you used to maintain when we mailed letters to prospects – get the word to them this time.


A good crowd was at the afterglow and it was fun hearing Joe share stories of his early days in barbershop.  The tag singers got their fill too. Come join in on the fun some Tuesday nite.  Also there is a growing number of the Harmo family to come to eat an early dinner at Hard Times CafĂ© on King Street on Tuesday nites before chapter.  Come check it out if you are in Alexandria early some Tuesday nite.


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, September 7, 2015

Looking Back on the Sept. 1st Chapter Meeting and Election of AH Inc. Board

This was another important milestone nite for the Alexandria Chapter and a busy meeting nite too.  The many usual pre-meeting events occurred such as performance review on the stage with Chuck McKeever, meetings of committees, front row work with choreographer Carlos Barillo and the huge set up task for the main room and for refreshments.


Reed Livergood did the vocal warm ups, Carlos did the physical warm ups and director Joe Cerutti worked the chorus hard on preparation of songs for the Sept 19th American Icon show. Besides that we worked on continued polishing of the contest set for the fall contest.  One big project is to help many new men prepare for the contest who did not sing with us in July.


Joe shared some new insights into how barbershop singers might present their songs.  Here is the link to the Deke Sharon - presentation video or look up "Deke Sharon" on Facebook.


A special period of the evening was the tribute and salute to former director John Hohl  who died last Tuesday nite in Florida.  Martin Banks prepared a great display featuring John’s barbershop career and included the huge list of songs arranged by John for his fellow barbershop singers. Here is a link to a video of the chorus with John in a quartet on stage at the Kennedy Center tribute for Perry Como.


Harmonizer appearance on Perry Como Tribute


Membership vp Rich Hewitt introduced the many guests and applicants present this week.  He also reminded everyone of the Open Audition nite coming up Wed Sept 23rd at Durant.


This week’s business meeting was an important one too.


Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk invited guys to make the usual announcements needed: Josh Roots announced the successful fundraising effort to help defray costs of the CD production.  And he hinted about another fundraising idea to be launched – a Tag A Thon event.


Shawn Tallant reminded folks to get their room reservation made for the fall contest weekend in Ocean City MD – do it in the next week before the rooms are released to other convention attendees.  Also get your ticket/registration before the early bird cut off of 9/23. Frank Fedarko was collecting payments for tickets. 


Frank was also distributing photos guys ordered from the Pittsburgh contest.


Show vp Nick Leiserson reminded folks about the Sept 26 show in MD where we will sing the Icon songs again.  And Nick pushed for guys to promote ticket sales for the Icon show Sept 19th.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal card to Elliott Roseman for three years.


President Terry Reynolds announced a recent performance of TBD for a Coast Guard group, announced that those men singing at Chuck Powell’s wedding would meet on the stage during break tonite, and reported that Bob Wachter’s wife Jean is finally home after her hospital time.


Then president Terry presided at an official chapter meeting.


The chapter nominating committee and the chapter governance committee presented the following slate to be the incorporators of Alexandria Harmonizers, Inc. (the chapter’s new 501(c)(3) organization.):


Three members from  the Alexandria Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society:

Clyde Crusenberry

Kenneth Fess

Bruce Roehm


Four members from the community:

S. Elizabeth Birnbaum

Julie Rizzo

John Roots

Steven Sutton


Current Alexandria Chapter President (not subject to election):

Terry Reynolds

Current Alexandria Chapter Immediate Past President (not subject to election):

Alan Wile


They were all elected at this week’s special business meeting. 


The chapter business meeting also included motions to reduce the size of the Alexandria BHS Chapter board from 13 to 7 by removing the VP Operations, VP Shows, and all six Member-at-Large positions from the chapter board effective Jan 1, 2016. The remaining seven board positions will be President, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate-Past President, VP Membership, VP Music & Performance, and VP Marketing.  These motions passed.


The 2015 nominating committee includes Alan Wile, chair; Randall Eliason; Scipio Garling; Mark Klostermeyer; Bob Rhome.


The committee will continue to identify chapter members to serve as officers of the 2016 Alexandria Chapter Board. This slate will be published separately to the membership prior to the election on October 13th.


Here is the background of the non-BHS members elected to the new AHInc. Board:


S. Elizabeth Birnbaum is the wife of Harmonizer Dave Kohls. She has extensive management experience as the staff director of a congressional committee and as the director of a federal agency. In the nonprofit world, she served as vice president and general counsel of American Rivers and as counsel for the Water Resources Program of the National Wildlife Federation. She also served as counsel to the House Committee on Natural Resources.


Julie Rizzo is the Director of Development and Licensing at BBB Wise Giving Alliance, where she is responsible for donor relations and retention, database management, and online and annual giving programs. She markets the BBB Charity Seal to national accredited charities to expand the Better Business Bureau brand and assist donors in making wise giving choices. Previously, she served as Membership Director for the Smithsonian American Art Museum where she marketed the museum's membership program and was responsible for membership retention, volunteer supervision, membership programs and new member acquisition.

John Roots is the father of Harmonizer Josh Roots. Both a licensed attorney and a decorated Marine (Col, USMC (Ret)), John served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and a Forward Air Controller at the Battle of Khe San. He retired from the military after 33 years of service. Outside of the Marine Corps, John worked for several major corporations in DC as a vice-president of government affairs. Additionally, over the past 15 years, John has served on the boards of both the national USO and the Armed Services YMCA. Now retired, he lives in Virginia.

Steven Sutton is a friend of Mark Klostermeyer and fan of the Harmonizers. He has now assisted with our Silent Auction for the last two years and this year brought in over $3,000 from over 90 sold items. Steve is Vice President of Development (fundraising) for a $12 million a year non-profit. Prior to his non-profit career, he worked as a Chief of Staff to four freshmen members of Congress over a 14 year period. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and coincidently is a classmate of Harmonizer Shawn Tallant.


In other news, Craig Kujawa has coached members in buying and using electronic Scrip instantly via their home computers and smart phones with an eye toward tripling or quadrupling our fundraising via this program. The response was significant, and this is the first, introductory step in that initiative.


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.