Saturday, December 26, 2015

Looking Back on the Dec. 22nd Chapter Meeting

Yes, the Harmonizers met on the Tuesday of Christmas week and a big crowd of singers were on hand for the introduction of our work on the “I Am Harvey Milk” music which we will perform in April 2016.

We sat in chairs facing the stage with director Joe Cerutti on stage and Tom Jackson playing the piano accompaniment for us as we embarked on the learning process.  We were divided earlier in the month by associate director Tony Colosimo and got our assignments as to Tenor 1 or Tenor 2 or Bass 1 or Bass 2.  We stopped about 9:15 after some announcements.  (That meant a big crowd went to afterglow at LaPortas including a bunch of avid tag singers.)

We will also meet next Tuesday nite, Dec. 29th in the same format to let as many guys as can make it during the holidays get a head start on the music. Each member planning to sing this special event should have signed for and gotten a notebook of the music – if not gotten yours yet – see assistant director Terry Reynolds.  (Hint – put your name on the cover sheet.)  (And also bring a pencil and maybe a highlighter to use as Joe and Tony give us clues and suggestions.)

The rehearsal format will be a little different in future sessions with the piano and chairs facing the stage on one end of the hall for “Milk” music; and risers on the other end of the hall for working on our new contest package.  According to Joe, we generally will start contest work at 78 pm and then at 8:30 switch to the “Milk” music.

The announcement period before we left Durant included greetings from Bob Wachter who stopped in to see everyone. He reported on his wife Jean’s health improvements. Dick and Carolyn Hall sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to all their Harmo “kids”  - since they claim to be older than almost everyone in the chorus!

Chris Huber reported on a recent phone conversation with our friend Peggy Harris who we honored in France.

And president Terry Reynolds pointed out the date and place for the Presidents’ Banquet – Jan. 9th, Spates Club at Fort Myer, VA from 7-9:30ish. The banquet is a great time to socialize with fellow Harmonizer family members, install our 2016 officers and board, and to honor those fellow members receiving Distinguished Service Awards.   The cost is $40 per person for the delicious buffet.  Cash or check payments in advance should be made to Howard Nestlerode.

In other news, our modern a cappella group, TBD, participated in the annual White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony on December 3. Despite some challenging acoustic circumstances, the group strolled around the Ellipse and sang for crowds bundled up waiting for the start of the program. According to Jeremy Richardson, “We also got to remain onsite to watch the program (which included Michelle Obama and Miss Piggy reading “The Night Before Christmas”). We were cold and hungry by the end but had a blast!”

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

Looking Back on the Dec. 12th Holiday Show

This year’s holiday show was a great success with lots of musical diversity for our large audiences with many great new Harmonizer songs on the program.

Our shows were at 2 and 7:30 pm Dec. 12th at Schlesinger Hall on the NOVA Community College Campus in Alexandria.  It is a great venue and great to be performing there again.

This year’s show featured several guest artists and a complete break away from the long-running dinner party with elves and toys in Santa’s workshop (actually the First Baptist Church – which was not available this year). Our guests were Marilyn Moore, operatic soprano; Positive Vibrations, youth steel orchestra; Word of Mouth a cappella ensemble and former winner of the Harmonizer Aca Challenge; and a contingent of the Pride of Baltimore SAI chorus. Our chapter a cappella group, TBD, also sang several songs on the show. Will Cox did his annual humorous recitation of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” when he forgets his lines and gets some of the words wrong.  It was back by popular demand!

The Harmonizers sang the first half in green, red or blue sweatshirts and everyone had a long white scarf.  Thanks to the team headed by Robyn Murane for getting them for us and having them organized for all to wear on the show. The second half we wore our black suites and the SAI singers wore black dresses when they were sharing the center section of the risers with the Harmonizers.

The steel orchestra, directed by Josanne Francis was placed on the orchestral apron of the stage.

Nick Leiserson was shows vp and helped with the show management along with Eleanor Dicks who joined his team. The FRIENDS IN HARMONY coordinated by Christina Ammerman and Robyn Murane managed the refreshment sales and merchandise in the lobby and other non-stage duties.  There was a large silent auction with different items for each show that was coordinated by Randall Eliason and Don Dillingham with much help from Don’s wife Saundra Deltac.  Several non-singing members were pressed into service for CD sales, auction operations and ushering. Bruce Minnick was Santa Claus in the lobby for all the big and little kids!! Of course a lot of the members helped with riser and equipment set up including the items for the steel orchestra. And everyone brought extra large wrapped gift boxes to help decorate the stage. Clear Harmonies provided sound support. Several chapter family members including Brigit Gilvary and Dixie Kennett were back stage helping with the flow of people from one part of the theater to the stage.

Here is a historical list of the songs on the show (abbreviation codes - AH is the Harmonizers; TBD is our a cappella group; WOM is Word of Mouth; PV is Positive Vibrations; MM is Marilyn Moore; and POB is Pride of Baltimore):


“Welcome Christmas”  AH

“Sleigh-ride” AH

“White Christmas” AH

“Let It Snow” AH


“Here Comes Santa Claus” TBD

“Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” TBD


“It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” AH

“Fa La La” AH


“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”  AH/Sing Along

“Joy to the World” AH/Sing Along

“Silent Night” AH/Sing Along

“Do You Hear What I Hear” WOM

“This Christmas” WOM

Two  songs PV

“Ave Maria” PV/MM



“Twas the Night Before Christmas”  Will Cox

“O Holy Night” TBD

“O Come O Come Emanuel” AH

“Mary Had a Baby” AH/MM

“This Little Light of Mine” AH/POB/MM

“Kyrie” AH/PV/POB

“Tribute to World Peace” AH/MM/POB/PV

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” ALL

The musical leadership team included Joe Cerutti, director; Tony Colosimo, associate director; Terry Reynolds and Mike Kelly, assistant directors; Carlos Barillo, choreographer; Reed Livergood, musical director of TBD; and Steve White, music and performance vp (who also provided the sleigh bells accompaniment with the heirloom bells from his family).

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