Saturday, January 23, 2016

Looking Back on the Jan. 19th Chapter Meeting

This week was a busy one – the two-pronged musical work set up with risers for warm up and contest music work, then chairs near the stage with the piano for “Milk” work.

The risers were full and lots of non-members who will sing with us (YeEd notes we are calling them “milkmen”) were in the house too.

Before singing, Bill Colosimo with input from Education Director Vickie Dennis made a thorough report to the chapter about CHOYCE – Comprehensive Harmony Outreach for Youth Choral Education.  This is the launch of our total program which was also the basis for the grant awarded to the Alexandria chapter from BHS.  Bill, Vickie,  plus executive director Terry Reynolds and director Joe Cerutti are the leadership team for the program. This is a huge expansion from our previous Youth Harmony events or workshops. It is very much involving educators.  SIGNATURE quartet will be coming to Northern Virginia and DC to help with recruiting participation.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups for all singers. Then Joe worked with the chorus on the contest ballad.  The recent Saturday all-sections rehearsal was beneficial.

Terry made all submitted announcements. The chapter communications director Scipio Garling will likely be publishing them each week. This week’s included word that ticket sales info for the AcaChallenge will be coming soon.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented a name tag to Vickie Dennis as a member of the Ops Team.

He also presented quartet registration cards to our chorus section leaders who make up THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE quartet registered with the Society for about 40 years. It is a long-standing tradition to register them as a quartet from our chapter.

Chris gave a membership renewal card to Art Medici  for 6 years. 

Director of Membership Rich Hewitt welcomed Doug Smith and Larry Dennis back and he  presented new member materials to Jim Kirkland – our newest member. Rich reported the good news that Peter Hubbard and his wife Alyson have a new baby boy – Eli. Rich also invited everyone to come over to the afterglow at LaPortas – and a big crowd did show.  In addition to all of the “milkmen” with us, there were several men who came as guests to learn about joining the chapter.

After break, we worked til closing time on the “I An Harvey Milk” oratorio.  Tom Jackson provided piano support for our learning.  There will be an extra rehearsal Thursday nite at the Clarendon Presbyterian Church at 7 pm. 





In other news, chapter president Randall Eliason announced the members of the chapter’s operations team:

Executive Director ............................................. Terry Reynolds

Music Director ................................................... Joe Cerutti

Communications Director .................................. Scipio Garling

Contest Director ................................................. Craig Kujawa

Development Director ........................................ Josh Roots

Education Director ............................................. Vickie Dennis

Finance Director (BHS) ..................................... Carl Kauffmann

Finance Director (AH) ....................................... (TBA, pending final 501(c)(3) status)

Membership Director ......................................... Rich Hewitt

Operations Director ........................................... Doug White

Director of Shows .............................................. Todd Ryktarsyk

Volunteer Activities Director ............................ Robyn Murane

Archivist/Historian ............................................. TBA


For those who plan ahead, here is an opportunity for more barbershop fun and education.  Here is info about the opportunities at Harmony College East (HCE). While registrations come later in the year, it’s important to put HCE on your personal calendar - HCE takes place June 16-19 at Salisbury University.

First, those who have never attended HCE in the past will want to consider their summer plans and schedules, ponder course offerings, talk it over with others with whom they may wish to room, and discover that HCE provides a fantastic opportunity to learn about our hobby from the best teachers in the society.

Secondly, we hope to inspire those who have attended HCE in the past so that they will consider attending again (and again). Yes, the school offers many of the same basic courses that get taught every year but they, too, are worth taking again – classes in music theory, vocal training, performance skills, directing, etc., for example. In addition, there are always new offerings which may provide new opportunities to learn, hone skills, etc. For example, one new course this year will be “Look Inside the Music,” taught by Steve Tramack.

This event organized in our own district: Costs only $220 per person and doesn’t involve expensive airfare, and extends only for a weekend, so limited vacation time isn’t used up by a longer commitment. For more details on classes, schedule, registration, etc., go to:

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 Chapter Award Banquet and Installation of 2016 Officers

This year’s Presidents’ Award Banquet was at Ft. Myer on Saturday nite, Jan. 9th .  This was our 42nd banquet event. About 100 of the Harmonizer family attended the buffet banquet.  


Our 2015 chapter president Terry Reynolds served as master of ceremonies.  Social hour wwas from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, then Terry invited folks to find their seats at the tables which had been decorated by Robyn and Steve Murane. 


After the meal, Terry thanked others who had helped with the banquet event including Scipio Garling and Jack Pitzer for the printed program and year in review; Alan Wile for helping get all the awards for the nite; and Howard Nestlerode and Bruce Minnick for help with tickets and reservations. [See the recently released Harmonizer 2015 Year in Review.]


Each year this event is hosted by the past presidents of the chapter – thus the name Presidents’ banquet.  There were 10 presidents attending this year: Steve Murane, 2011-12; Mick Stamps, 2008; Rick Wagner, 2005; Ken Fess, 2004; Bob Wells, 1996; Chris Buechler, 1995; Terry Jordan, 1984-85; Chuck Harner, 1979-80; Alan Wile, 2013,2007, 1997-98; and Jack Pitzer, 1976 (the first Presidents’ Ball was during his term – some years the event has been even more formal and other years it has been a potluck). To continue a tradition begun at the first banquet, each man presented a rose to his significant other as we sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”


Terry thanked his 2015 board and asked them to stand to be recognized by the chapter: John Roots, Steve Sutton, Liz Birnbaum, Michael Gilmore, Chris Buechler, Carl Kauffmann, Dave Branstetter, Todd Ryktarsyk, Rich Hewitt, Nick Leiserson and Steve White.


Terry shared. “We administrators love to administrate and organize things but we are after all a chorus.  It is all about the music.  We have amazing broad and deep talent on our music team lead by Joe, Tony and Carlos. 

“We’ve made some significant organizational changes this year, but the primary inspiration and motivation behind those changes is our musical director and his vision of what the Alexandria Harmonizers can become in the future.  “Ladies and Gentlemen, still my number one reason why it’s great to be a Harmonizers, your Musical Director, Joe Cerutti, and our speaker for tonite.”


Joe spoke from the heart and seriously to share that “without the “why”, the “what” of our efforts is void.”


Alan Wile, past chapter president and past district president then installed the board for the Alexandria Harmonizers BHS Chapter


President – Randall Eliason

Secretary – Chris Buechler
Treasurer – Al Herman

Members at Large – Mike Edison, Kevin McKenzie, Steve White

Immediate Past President – Rick Wagner


Terry presented an update for the FRIENDS IN HARMONY. “For years our friends and family have given us tremendous support through the FRIENDS IN HARMONY and the Harmonettes which used to be the group’s name.   They cheer us on and make us feel special with a keepsake to carry on the competition stage with us.


“But they also do a lot of the work of keeping the harmonizers going, from the helping with membership, helping throw parties and events, running the house at our shows selling snacks CDs, tickets, taking donations, the silent auction, sewing and mending costumes, and particularly last year with thankless task of wrangling our Steam Punk outfits for Pittsburgh.

“According to the Breathless Moments book, the first president of the Harmonettes was Ceil Rodda in 1966.  So it’s been 50 years.

“For those that haven’t heard, the FIH has decided for now to put the formal organization on hiatus.  With our new Harmonizer organizational structure that isn’t based on chapter membership, significant others and friends can hold positions in the organization as much as chapter members such as Robyn Murane our Volunteer Activities Director and a member of the Operations Team.   And through Robyn the current members of FIH are committing to continue to provide great support the Harmonizers as they have for 50 years.

“On behalf of all Harmonizers, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for past, present, and future dedication and support that has been such an important part of the history and successes of the Alexandria Harmonizers.”

Moving on, Terry introduced the many “riser rats” who continually execute the hard work to set up the risers, sound equipment, refreshments, guest chairs, admin table, screen and av equipment, membership sign-in kiosk and member picture board.


Terry used his presidential prerogative to present three Meritorious Service Awards for exceptional service to the chapter. 


The first recipient was Shawn Tallant who is ever-present in stepping forward to take on projects, usually at his own initiative.  He volunteered to help with preparations for our Normandy trip and used personal Air Force connections to arrange for the special rehearsal at the US Air Force band complex.  He stepped up to the critical role of coordinating housing and the other details of our trip to the 2015 District Convention and within a day of taking on the position had arranged with our Ocean City Hotel.


The second recipient was Reed Livergood who came to us from a successful career in another top five chorus and has quickly moved into duties as a leader within the front row, and as the baritone section leader. He has been appointed to fill the shoes of Assistant Director Emeritus Will Cox as the chorus’s regular warm up director; and has been named as successor to TBD founder Tom Kraus as director of our contemporary ensemble


The third recipient was Bob Rhome who has constantly worked in front of and behind the scenes to make things happen in the Harmonizers. He maintains the chapter calendar on Groupanizer.    He arranges and coordinates all our rehearsal space and manages our relationship with Durant staff and First Baptist Church.

And then we honored these recipients of the six chapter memorial awards given each year with a description of the award.


New Note of the Year Award

 (Nominated by the President, VP-Membership/Chapter Development, and VP-Operations; selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to a Harmonizer who has contributed outstanding service to the Chapter in his first year of membership.  All new members for the previous 18 months prior to October 31 of the current year will be considered.  Attendance, attitude, and accomplishments of duties, both volunteer and assigned, shall be considered.


2015 recipient – Tom Jackson  – Although he is one of our newest members, he has also become one of our most visible, in part because of his willingness to contribute his substantial musical expertise and experience to our efforts to improve our singing and expand our performance offerings.  When most new members are still getting their harmonic feet wet, he jumped in the deepest of choral waters as one of our new bass section leaders.  He’s been an active participant in non-concert events, such as the Tag-a-Thon and off-site sectionals, and most recently began providing his talent as a keyboardist for “I Am Harvey Milk” rehearsals.


Spirit of Harmony Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Presented to the Harmonizer who during the past year best exemplified the fundamental Society membership qualities of congeniality and good character and worked hardest to encourage participation in vocal harmony by Chapter visitors and members.  The awardee must reflect the spirit and ideals of O.C. Cash (Society founder) by his enthusiasm for good fellowship and good harmony and by his unselfish dedication to and obvious joy in barbershopping.

2015 recipient – Rich Hewitt –    Even though he is a comparatively new member himself,

Rich embodies the spirit of the Spirit of Harmony Award.   Few Harmonizers have shown the passion for making new people feel welcome. From welcoming guests and introducing them to the chapter, to shepherding prospects through the application process and new members through the hurdle of onboarding the chorus, his boundless enthusiasm has put wind in the sails of the goal of expanding our ranks.


Ibbianne and Wilbur Sparks Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to recognize the important contribution of Harmonizer family teams to the success and well-being of the Chapter.  The award will be made only to a truly outstanding team which has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a period of time.  The team can be a Harmonizer and any family member or significant other.

2015 recipient –  Carol and Dick Dangel – He is a strong musician having served as our pitch man for years and as a member of the music committee for several years.  She has worked many years as a FRIENDS IN HARMONY volunteer, including being its secretary for five years. She has worked at contests and shows and wherever or whenever the Harmonizer’s sang. Her work as our seamstress has been invaluable repeatedly in sewing costumes for shows and Internationals, as well as creating hundreds of Harmo costumes for the teddy bears we sold as a chapter.

Harmonizer Honor Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to a Harmonizer for service which is above and beyond the usual service expected of members during the past year.  It is not intended as a reward for discharging a single specific duty, but for continuous service in several activities.


2015 recipient – Craig KujawaIn the past year, Craig went above and beyond in his excellent performance as our contest chairman for the Pittsburgh international convention.  His "Steel City Updates" were informative, entertaining, and did an excellent job of providing all Harmonizers with step by step information about the convention.  All convention logistics and arrangements went off without a hitch under his guidance and leadership and we are fortunate that he has agreed to take on the expanded responsibility of the Operations Team Contest Director for 2016.  In addition, in 2015 he took on the task of handling scrip sales as a fundraising tool and moving those sales toward an automated, on-line model. If there is anyone that exemplifies the intent of this award you would be hard pressed to find someone more deserving.  He has, year after year, pitched in wherever and whenever needed – and never more so than this past year.


Oz Newgard Memorial Award

 (Nominated by the President, VP-Music & Performance, and Musical Director; Selected by  the Board of Directors).  Presented in memory of Oz Newgard (Musical Director 1962-70).  It is given to the Harmonizer who has made a significant contribution to the musical program of the Chapter during the past year.  The awardee's contribution need not be highly visible or of a technical musical character, but it must be related directly to the musical program. It should show the intent to make the musical program superior and enjoyable for all members.  The awardee should be a dedicated Harmonizer who has endeavored to improve the Chapter image in the Society and in the Alexandria community through musical excellence.  Any Harmonizer who has been a chapter member for more than one year shall be eligible for the award.


2015 recipient – Mike Kelly Since joining us in 2008 as a former director of another local chorus, Mike has contributed to our musical program as a pillar of the bass  section for seven years, and for most of that time as its section leader. As a quartet singer, he has represented us a number of International level quartets.  As an assistant director, he’s reliably filled in whenever needed

Behind the scenes, as our chief audio-visual manager, he’s provided or overseen our sound, amplification, and mixing needs both at rehearsal and in performance.  His diligence in this role   resulted this year in our most recent CD, “American Icon.”  His relentless pursuit of the project enabled us to sell that CD at the show this fall.


Harmonizer Memorial Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Presented in memory of those men who died while members of the Chapter.  It is the highest recognition which the Chapter can bestow on a member.  It is given to the Harmonizer who, during his entire period of chapter membership, has devoted himself most unselfishly in rendering outstanding service to the Chapter.  The award is made only to a truly outstanding member who has regularly attended Chapter activities and who has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a long period of time.

2015 – Bob Blair   Bob embodies selfless dedication to the needs of the Harmonizers. For the past ten years, he has been the go-to-guy for all of the tough, unwanted tasks within the chapter. He has been the Harmonizer truck pilot, load master, and master mechanic. He has always stayed on top of an ever changing support schedule, including the important Harmonizer Performance support and riser rental programs. He has consistently been the first to motivate the riser crew, a task he performed through example. Always there, always working, never complaining.

He has managed the Harmonizer off-site storage facilities and has initiated steps to save the Harmonizer thousands a year in storage costs. For the past four years he has been a very active member of the chapter history team, ensuring the upkeep and security of the critical chapter archives. He has worked with the visual team as leader and has repeatedly contributed his casual competence as a former professional drummer on any our stage productions that needed one.


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 66th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Harmonizer 2015 Year In Review

We began our 2015 year with the Presidents’ Award Banquet and board installation on February 7th at Fort Myers club. The Harmonizer auxiliary, FRIENDS IN HARMONY helped decorate the tables.  Christina Ammerman was named their president. Guest speaker was Marty Monson, CEO of the BHS.  Terry Reynolds repeated as chapter president for ’15 and he and his board were installed for service including new community board members Liz Birnbaum, Paul Dolinsky, John Roots and Steve Sutton.

Also in February we had a tribute to honor Will Cox who retired as assistant musical director after 34 years.  He was noted for outstanding warm up sessions all around the BHS and there were video messages from former directors and Marty Monson. 

Our Singing Valentines program took on a new twist as we sent quartets to make public relations appearances in the Alexandria community. There were some quartets who presented Valentine messages for requested customers or for senior citizen facilities. Community Service Vice President Clyde Crusenberry, assisted by Ninamarie Maragiglio coordinated the appearances and Calvin Schnure organized the quartets.

The chorus appeared on the DC SingStrong show Sunday, March 8th at South Lakes High School in Reston.  It was a great hit with three of our new songs which were cheered wildly by the younger audience at the event.  Earlier, Tony Colosimo, Terry Reynolds, Doug White and Chris Odell taught a tag-singing class to the attendees at the event. 


This year’s prelims contest was in Harrisburg, PA and lots of Harmonizers were there both in admin positions, in competing quartets and in the audience. Two of our quartets earned scores that qualified them to sing at the International in Pittsburgh in July – MAYHEM with Matt Fellows, Pookie Dingle, Mike Pinto and Ken White and LAST MEN STANDING with TJ Barringer, Drew Feyrer, Mike Kelly and Ed Bell.  Our other two quartets were also in the finals on Saturday nite: FORECAST with Mike Fitch, Tyler Rackley, Dan Cook and Travis Murray; and YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Vic Owen and Hardman Jones.

The Harmonizers hosted its second Aca Challenge at Lincoln Theater on U Street in DC Saturday, March 21st at 8 pm. The chapter invited DC area a cappella groups to audition – about 30 submitted materials and 6 were chosen to compete. The chapter awarded a $1000 first prize. First place winner was Vox Pop.  They received their “big” check presented by last year’s winners Word of Mouth, who have also appeared with the Harmonizers during the year.  Judges were leaders in the DC a cappella community. Also the audience was invited to vote via text during the contest for their favorite. Emcee for the night was Jonathan Minkoff who was emcee for the recent SingStrong show event where the chorus sang.


Shows vice president Nick Leiserson, shows producer Greg Tepe  and Aca Challenge show producer Todd Ryktarsyk assembled a team of chapter members to make the event a success including an all-important crew from the FRIENDS IN HARMONY  who worked back stage and in the lobby and auditorium.  The 80-man chorus sang “Thriller,” “Lullaby,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and “Sweet Caroline.” TBD also sang on the show


Our 8th annual Youth Harmony Festival was April 18th at Durant with 63 youth singers and 6 music educators. Brad Jones was coordinator.  MAYHEM performed and Pookie Dingle was director for the men’s chorus.  Erin Odell Cook directed the women’s chorus. TBD sang at this year’s festival.


In May we held our second WWII Veteran Tribute at First Baptist Church where we used our patriotic package for the concert.  Bill Colosimo was emcee.  Mayor William Euille spoke as did Congressman Don Byer. The FIH served refreshments.


We also did a patriotic package for the new flag ceremony at Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria.


Several quartets from the chapter competed at the Southern Division Contest in Reston in May. FORECAST with Dan Cook won it.  That is the 14th year in a row when a Harmo quartet won that contest.  YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECTwas second. BRAVADO was fourth. HANDSOME REWARD with Mike Edison and Michael Gilmore was fifth.  Several members sang with and/or directed other choruses in the contest too.


In early June we were hired by Marriott Corp. to appear at the Washington DC Gay Pride Parade where we sang “Happy” on the street with their float in the parade.


Our appearance at the International in Pittsburgh was a major event for the year.  Our chorus of 121 men earned 90.2% and ranked fourth!  It was our 19th medal and our 25th time to compete at International.  Our songs were “Someone Like You” arranged by Steve Tramack and “Me Ol’ Bamboo” arranged by Clay Hine. Our coaches for the contest cycle were David Wright, Brandon Guyton and Cindy Hansen.  The musical preparation team with director Joe Cerutti at the helm, was associate director Tony Colosimo, choreographer Carlos Barillo and chorus riser coach Chuck McKeever.  Chuck headed up the team to manage our annual pre-international retreat at Westminster, MD. There were 24 guys in the class of ’15 and Spencer Wight was president.  There were a number of special forces guys who joined us for this contest.  Craig Kujawa was Pittsburgh chairman for our events that week.  The FIH provided lots of support all week – especially with the punk steam costumes. Rich and Peggy Wagner headed up the Hideaway for all of us to enjoy.


In the quartet contest in Pittsburgh, MAYHEM ranked 25th, BSQ ranked 29th and LAST MEN STANDING ranked 32nd.


In the summer we did our usual summer “caroling” at INOVA Alexandria Hospital and the summer outdoor concert at Market Square. Our a cappella group TBD sang at Carlyle Park (and used the new sound equipment funded by supporter contribution). Reed Livergood is the musical coordinator for TBD.  They also appeared at the National Christmas Tree Lighting in December. One of our other major chorus paid jobs was for the Asbury Methodist Village.  Bruce Lauther is our agent and lined up this show. Over 65 of us had great fun at the annual sing with other local chapters at Dog Days hosted by the Prince William Chapter.


Much of our musical work for the year was in preparation for the American Icon Show September 19th  at Schlesinger Center on NOVA Alexandria campus. Our FIH sold CDs and refreshments in the lobby and helped usher. This show was created by Carlos Barillo and yielded our new CD titled “American Icon” which we recorded during the weeks prior to the show.  Mike Kelly was lead technician for our recording sessions at First Baptist. The 97-man chorus sang songs made famous by these icons: Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson,  Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder , Pharrell Williams, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and Neil Diamond. Some songs were sung by TBD, some by DA CAPO, some by BRAVADO, some by soloists Steve White, Don Dillingham and Andrew Havens, and one song sung by a small ensemble of guys from the chorus.

At the fall M-AD contest, the 97-man chorus sang the same two songs we sang at Pittsburgh.  We scored 90.9% and won the contest – our 26th time. We will go to the contest in Nashville in 2016. Shawn Tallant was our convention chairman. Many Harmonizers serve in leadership capacities for the district – Bill Colosimo is IPP; Dennis Ritchey is EVP; Bob Eckman is Treasurer; Keith Jones is Secretary; Chuck Harner is at-large member.  Mike Kelly and Carl Kauffmann are on the district events team.

Our quartets in the fall contest were FORECAST, HERSHEY TRANSIT CO., YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, and BRAVADO.  LAST MAN STANDING did their swan song as past champ.

Terry Reynolds and Mike Kelly were elected to the district Hall of Honor for their service to M-AD.

Other fall events included Veterans Day singouts at two schools – Oakton Elementary and George Washington Middle School where Casey Belzer is the teacher; and a singout to help raise money for an Alexandria Wounded Warrior project.

The annual holiday show was also at Schlesinger Center and featured the chorus singing several new songs with other artists on the show including Positive Vibrations youth steel orchestra, Marilyn Moore operatic soprano, Word of Mouth a cappella ensemble.  TBD sang on the show too.  Members of the Pride of Baltimore SAI chorus also joined us for some songs. We did two shows at 2pm and 7:30pm on Saturday, Sept. 12th.  We wore colored sweat shirts and scarves for one part of the show. The silent auction team was headed up by Don Dillingham and Randall Eliason. Will Cox did his annual humorous presentation of    “The Night Before Christmas” which was the usual hit for our audiences.

Also in December we sang holiday music as we strolled from restaurant to restaurant in Old Town Alexandria on Tuesday Dec. 15th.

As part of our major thrust this year to improve our singing, the musical leadership launched the “Certified Singer” program with a goal that all will have gone through it by the time we head to Nashville for the international convention/contest. This is an approach to make each member a better singer and contributor to the whole of the chorus. Associate director Tony Colosimo is heading up this project.


Also during the year, the chapter administrative team launched a companion 501 (c) 3 corporation called Alexandria Harmonizers, Inc. with Ken Fess as its president. This group will work with the Harmonizers BHS chapter to develop funding and operational support needed.


At year’s end, the producers of “I Am Harvey Milk” announced that the Alexandria Harmonizers are their choice to serve as the chorus in the DC premiere of the modern oratorio at the Strathmore Music Center, April 23 and 24, 2016.  The Harmonizers will be performing along with the National Philharmonic, Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, and composer Andrew Lippa.


Membership at the end of the year was 232.  Four members were added to the memorial roll during the year – Skip Coburn, John Hohl, John Pence and Phil Stern.

Until next time – editorjack!

(This message is prepared for your review for the year just past.) —YeEd




Looking Back on the Jan. 12th Chapter Meeting

(Thanks to Michael Gilmore for taking the notes for this week’s report while YeEd was in NYC.  Also thanks to Stan Quick for making coffee and getting refreshments ready.)

The usual crowd of members was busy setting up for split rehearsal session - risers and chairs.


We took our places on the risers to a new song to be learned for the U-MD invitational "Brothers Sing On" as performed by BGSU men's chorus.


Associate director Tony Colosimo led warm ups - again this week in a tie (salmon color!) He worked on projecting energy and getting the breathiness out.


Director Joe Cerutti then took over to work on “Yesterday.” He started work in sections with a new projector that made it easier to see for a lot of the guys. Feeling of resistance is the theme for the night. Joe talked about the thought that Herrington put into the arrangement, playing Boyz 2 Men as an example of what the feeling should be for the baritones. There are also some tricky rhythms that need to be worked on in all the parts.


Joe called out the guys who were ready and had them sing to the chorus. With a bunch of guys stepping down they were then split into smaller groups.


Joe then talked about what he had said in his remarks at the President's banquet and what makes us want to be Harmonizers. Why is the question. The tradition has been to depend on a coach or director to tell us the why. That won't be happening this year - that will be up to us. Think every week about the why. Why are we doing this, why are you a Harmonizer? Come with confidence, despite being busy. Come prepared. Trust yourself as an individual - get out of the feeling of being tested. Come next week confident, find and sing in a quartet before rehearsal and during break.


At the break, executive director Terry Reynolds mentioned former member Michael Organ passed. Michael brought great show and performance ideas to the chapter when he arrived on the scene.  Even after his move to Staunton, VA, he helped the stage presence teams develop show plans.  Often music team or SP teams met at his bed and breakfast for a weekend meeting.


Terry reported that $1000 in donations has been received by the Barbershop Harmony Foundation in honor of John Pence.  Therefore, JP’s name will appear on the wall at BHS HQ.


Terry also presented the final awards left unannounced at the recent awards banquet.  A separate “Looking Back” report will be issued regarding that event and all of the awards.

Secretary Chris Buechler then presented membership renewal cards to Gerry Fuller for 5 years, Jeremy Richardson for 19 years, and Gary Mankin for 43 years.


Membership director Rich Hewitt called on section leaders to meet at break.  He also thanked the guys filling Jan. 13th audition slots.


After break, work continued on “Harvey Milk.” We were joined by the several extra men helping us for that performance. An important note – “Leap” is to be memorized in two weeks. “You Are Here” off the paper next week, too.


Next Tuesday Bill Colosimo will speak about the Youth Harmony CHOYCE program that he is coordinating for our chapter.


A healthy number of guys helped tear down after rehearsal ended.

In other news, recently Chuck McKeever shared Ten Golden Common Sense Rules for any member of a singing ensemble.  Check them out next time you are at Durant where he has also posted them on the wall.

Here is news from the Harmonizer History committee: Local Programming Channel 36 (Verizon Fios - Fairfax County) broadcast the Harmonizers 2002 Sprint Tonic in its entirety Thursday Jan 7th, 2016,  from 10 AM- 12 Noon.  Historian Martin Banks reports, “This show, produced by Rick Wagner and Chad Hoseth, was Scottie's last chapter show prior to retirement and featured a theater seat honor at Schlesinger for Scott and Linda Werner.”


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