Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Looking Back on the Sept 16-17 fall M-AD Contest and Convention


There was nearly 50 Harmonizers at the fall contest for our Mid Atlantic District in Lancaster, PA, at the Marriott and Convention Center Sept. 16 and 17. The members were there as leaders and workers to conduct the district business, as quartet competitors, as fans of the quartets in the contest from our chapter, as supporters of our fellow chapters’ choruses several with current and former Harmonizers on the stage with them, and as friends to have fun and relax.


We had a lot to cheer about as DA CAPO won the quartet contest – getting a district championship for new bass Andrew Havens. Tony Colosimo and Joe Sawyer earned championship medals as members of IGUANAS IN FLIGHT quartet in 2005. Ryan Griffith won his medal in New RELEASE quartet in 2008.  (In other news, the convention audience was invited to vote for some of their favorites of the weekend. Ryan won favorite tenor, Tony won favorite lead and Joe won favorite bari!)


The quartet was welcomed into the association of past district champs (MADAQ) as part of the Saturday finale with several fellow Harmonizers on the risers for that event.


Other quartet placements: PRATT STREET POWER with Ed Schubel was second. THE BOURBEN STREET FOUR with Mike Pinto was fourth.  HERSEHY TRANSIT COMPANY with Pookie Dingle and Joe Eckert was eighth. YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen was seventeenth. HANDSOME REWARD with Mike Edison and Michael Gilmore was twenty-second. Great to have them all represent our chapter in the exciting quartet contest.


The chorus contest on Saturday was a close battle. Our chapter decided not to compete this year so there was a certain amount of scramble for this year’s championship which was won by the relatively new Hershey, PA, Parkside Harmony Chapter. Former members Sean Devine and Jay Butterfield are the directors.  In addition to those two on stage, there were several other current or former Harmonizers on the risers with Hershey including Chris Yates, Mike Vlcej, Fred Womer, Kenny Toula, Joe Eckert and Scott Disney.


Second place chorus was Hells Kitchen NY, the Voices of Gotham, with Spencer Wight on the risers with them.


Third place was East Coast Sound Chorus from Caldwell, NJ, headed by members of GIMME FOUR             quartet.


Fourth place chorus was The Garden Statesmen directed by Jack Pinto with our own Joe Cerutti doing a cameo appearance as part of the comedy routine.


Fifth place chorus was newly formed Baltimore Vocal Corps directed by Rick Taylor. Kellen Hertz and Tom Jackson sang them.


Bill Colosimo, Jim Lake, Bob Hirsh and Al Hanenbaum sang with the DC chapter. Mike Fasano sang with Queen Anne’s County. Sam McFarland, Art Medici, Drew Fuller and Austin Cotton sang with Richard Lewellen with Fairfax.  Jim Herrick sang with Red Rose Chorus, Lancaster, who were hosts for the contest weekend.


A chorus mic tester group labeled as the Joe and Jane Barbershopper Chorus met early Saturday morning to be prepared for the 9 am start.  Harmonizers singing in that group included Bruce Minnick, Howard Nestlerode, Matt Doniger and Mike Wallen.


Dennis Ritchey and Shawn Tallant worked back stage all weekend as district leaders and helpers for the operations team.     Mike Kelly was the sound and light guy for the weekend and provided recording services for the contestants.


Dennis was elected as incoming president of M-AD. Also Bob Eckman was elected as executive vice president, Keith Jones as secretary and Chuck Harner as member at large.


John Santora and Jay Butterfield were elected to the M-AD Hall of Honor joining 22 other Harmonizers previously honored:  Snyder, Sparks, Dominy, Werner, Casey, Latzko, Pitzer, Wachter, Arberg, Hohl, Gorham, Plaag, Jordon, M. Wallen, Wile, Harner, S. White, B. Colosimo, R. Taylor, K. Jones, T. Reynolds, Kelly.


President Randall Eliason headed up our chapter’s contingent at the House of Delegates meeting Sunday morning.  Executive director Terry Reynolds attended the special session on Saturday afternoon with Gary Plaag explaining the new performance category for contests. Chris Buechler assisted the contest administrators for the weekend.

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 68th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

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