Thursday, February 4, 2016

Looking Back on the Feb. 2nd Chapter Meeting

There was a huge crowd at Durant for this week’s meeting after the big snow weekend.  All of the risers were full for the first half of the nite to warm up vocally with director Joe Cerutti. Then for the second half where we sat in chairs facing the stage and piano (accompaniment by Tom Jackson), the crowd was so large we had to scare up some extra chairs and/or some singers decided to stand.

Membership director Rich Hewitt had his hands full welcoming all the “milkmen” for the oratorio as well as several men seeking membership in the chapter.

After warm ups using the tag from “Mary Had a Baby,” Joe went right to work on singing the new contest ballad.  He ended that session declaring, “We have a ballad to work on now.” 

During the work on “I Am Harvey Milk” we were proving to ourselves that we are getting closer to doing several of the movements by memory.  Joe encouraged everyone to come to the extra rehearsal for this work on Thursday Feb. 4th at 7 pm at Convergence Church, 1801 N. Quaker Lane in Alexandria  (rehearsal actually in their lab theater across Crestwood Street); then stay for the showing of “Milk” the movie with Shawn Penn.  Popcorn and sodas too.  Joe also told us that a choreographer for the April performance will be at Durant on Feb. 23rd.

Executive director Terry Reynolds did a presentation about the qualification process for contest this year.  It includes an evaluation phase in Feb-Mar and then a qualification phase late April and May. There will be consideration for vocal, visual and valor categories (valor – how much you chip in to help with the chapter operation).

Announcements by Terry were published on Wednesday by communications director Scipio Garling and sent to all members – major items needing attention are (1) follow up on your room reservations for the 2016 International contest (Craig Kujawa); (2) quartet singers needed for Singing Valentines gigs (Calvin Schnure); and not-singers who could help with videography are needed (Scipio Garling).

Terry shared some info about how the chapter was involved at the recent MidWinter convention in Reno, NV.  This list from Alan Wile gives you a hint at how many current and former chapter members were there to work, attend meetings, work as staffers, leaders or committee/board members or just enjoy and have fun:

Duane Gunn – part time staffer of Chapter Leadership Education; Ryan Killeen – Harmony Foundation Inc. (HFI) Director of Development; Carlos Barillo – show director for the convention and BHS Show Producer; Joe Cerutti – BHS staffer for Outreach/Chorus Director Development; Mike Kelly – audio visual support; Rich Payton – Deke Sharon escort for the convention

Darryl Flinn – Former BHS Executive Director (1996-2004) and Harmonizer coach who captured the term “Breathless Moments”

Terry Reynolds – Harmonizer Executive Director and Scipio Garling, chapter communications director, both represented us at a chapter leadership exchange

Dennis Ritchey – M-AD Executive Vice President; Chuck Harner – secretary of HFI Board of Trustees; John Santora – Society Board Member

Chris Buechler – Contest Administrator for contests held at Reno; Ben Roberts – sang in “East Coast Sound” (which won the AAA Plateau (with a score of “Superior”); Mark Rodda – (sang with the chapter when he was in high school with his father) – sang baritone in FINAL COUNTDOWN (an North South Carolinas Seniors Quartet – finished 17th); Mike Wallen – tenor in YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT in the Seniors’ Quartet contest (finished 8th)

Other attendees included John Adams, Sean Devine, David Ellis, Tom Gannon, Ross Johnson, Jim Lucey, Sam McFarland, Bruce Minnick, John Rettenmayer, Chuck Roots and Paul Wietlisbach  

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Looking Back on the Jan. 28th Make Up Meeting to Replace Cancelled 26th Chapter Meeting Plus News from BHS Midwinter

The snow storm caused the city of Alexandria to close facilities, so Durant was closed on Jan. 26th.  Thus the chapter did not meet that nite, and chapter leaders hustled to find a make-up date and place. That meant another Thursday, Jan. 28th at First Baptist.

Director Joe Cerutti and many other chapter members were in Reno for the BHS MidWinter convention.  So associate director Tony Colosimo carried the musical leadership banner for the nite.  Bass section leader Tom Jackson did the vocal warm ups.  The chorus members set up chairs as we did not haul in risers – still a lot of snow in the parking lots where the Harmo truck is parked, as well as at the church.

A decent crowd of men were there.  For the first half we worked hard on the contest ballad. 

Then after a break we worked on the music for “Milk” and we were joined by several of the “milkmen” who are singing with us. Tom Jackson helped with piano accompaniment.

As mentioned above, there are a number of Harmonizers in Reno, so reporter Dixie Kennett filed this report from Reno and the BHS MidWinter convention.

Joe and Carlos Barillo are here on staff — Carlos responsible for all evening shows and is working community outreach by escorting Westminster Chorus and youth quartet(s) around to various area schools. Joe has both Youth Chorus Festival and YBQC Prelims to deal with.

Chris Buechler is here as a member of the contest and judging committee and will be making a report to the board. He is also contest administrator for both the Youth Chorus Festival and Seniors Quartet competition.

Dennis Ritchey was participating in the District Presidents’ Council meetings yesterday and today with the Society Board. John Santora is here as part of the Society Board.  Terry Reynolds is coming in today and will participate in the “Magnificent Seven” meetings on Saturday morning (seven larger chapters in the Society meet to compare and share). (YeEd heard that Mike Kelly was there too, likely helping with technical support.)

Mike Wallen and  his quartet YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT are here to compete in the Senior’s Quartet contest representing the Mid Atlantic District.

Chuck Harner with the Harmony Foundation Inc., Sam McFarland, Alan Wile and Bruce Minnick are here. I’m sure I’ll see more today and tomorrow. I expect Ross Johnson and Tom Gannon here too.

Former Harmonizer Duane Gunn who moved from VA after his twins were born is now on staff and reports his twins are now 14 years old!  - Dixie

Also in other news, Shawn Tallant was recently chosen to be M-AD membership director on the district ops team. Congrats to Shawn!

And Friday, Jan. 29th, Doug White was promoted to Lt. Col. in a ceremony at the Pentagon.  His quartet BRAVADO with tenor fill-in Kellen Hertz, Kevin McKenzie, Chris Odell and Todd Ryktarsyk sang the National Anthem and the Air Force song during the ceremony.  His installing officer reminded all attendees that this promotion is based on his great work up to now and his potential to serve as an Air Force leader in the future. Doug’s wife and three daughters and his parents plus other family attended. Cograts to Doug 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