Thursday, February 25, 2016

Looking Back on the Feb. 23rd Chapter Meeting

Special NOTICE:  chapter meeting will be at First Baptist Church on King Street next week, March 1st since Durant will be a polling place for the VA primary.

This week’s meeting was an important nite as we prepare for the Harvey Milk show in April.  We spent nearly the whole nite on Castro with choreographer Larry Keigwin.  Director Joe Cerutti conducted the music, our choreographer Carlos Barillo helped us polish the moves, Strathmore executive producer Rolando Sanz and his accompanist Isaiah Shim were with us to help with the music.

We did our warm ups on the risers with associate director Tony Colosimo and Carlos up front.  And we sang the whole nite on risers with all of our “milkmen” singers joining us there.

After break and some announcements, we did work on the contest songs, and one or two other Milk pieces.

Special guests for the nite were the men of SIGNATURE quartet, current district champs from FL and Sunshine District.  They are in Alexandria to sing for and introduce fun singing to about 1,000 choral music students in the area. They were making two appearances each day in a school and singing with a chorus each nite. Their program is all part of the CHOYCE program we are conducting as part of the BHS grant the chapter received.  Director of Education Vickie Dennis is coordinating along with Bill Colosimo who will be head of our Youth Harmony Festival this spring. They are staying at Jack Pitzer’s home.  Both Bill and Joe have been going with them to their school appearances.  The Harmonizers loved hearing them sing a couple songs at chapter and presented them with a Harmonizer lapel pin. They also joined a large gang of folks for the afterglow this week!

It was great to have Ross Felker and Peter Hubbard visit us for the nite as both were back in town this week.  Membership director Rich Hewitt also introduced our guests and applicants for membership as well as called down the “milkmen” for all to welcome again.

Major announcements included a plug to kick it into gear on ticket sales for the Aca Challenge show; everyone needs to heed the instructions to register for your room at International this summer per Craig Kujawa; and Joe shared some plans for the songs we will sing on the joint concert at U of MD.

Chapter president Randall Eliason announced a President’s Valor Award to Clyde Crusenberry, Calvin Schnure and Ninamarie Maragioglio for their work in organizing the Singing Valentines efforts for the chapter.

In other news, Don Dillingham is teaching the chorus how to perform the “Haka” that we will do for our New Zealand barbershop friends at the International convention in Nashville this summer.  Don spoke with Matt, the bass of the MUSICAL ISLAND BOYS at last year’s convention, and the two of them came up with the idea that our choruses would do the cheer to each other.

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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Looking Back on the Feb. 16th Chapter Meeting and Singing Valentines Performances

Chairman Calvin Schnure submitted this report to YeEd about Singing Valentine performances:

“The Friday evening gang called themselves "THE CONEY ISLAND HOTDOGS", which I think is quite fitting. Saturday evening was pre-formed from TBD. The rest I put together from the volunteers. Singers are listed from top to bottom – tenor, lead, bari, bass.



Friday afternoon
Friday evening
Saturday afternoon
Saturday evening
Sunday afternoon
Jeff Berman
Carl Kaufmann
Aaron Simoneau
Scipio Garling
Brian Ammerman
Randall Eliason
Clyde Crusenberry
Brian Ammerman
Noah Van Gilder
Ben Roberts
Ken Fess
Joel Golden
Harold Weinberger
Jeff Burkey
Chris Odell
Calvin Schnure
Steve Murane
John Smith
Terry Reynolds
Dean Rust

“Friday afternoon we sang for several senior activities groups, centers, nursing homes etc. Many were having parties and loved the cheer we brought. We also sang for a group of after-school kids at the Charles Houston Center. In addition to several polecats (we toned down the old schmaltzy songs for the kids) we showed how each part contributes its harmony to "My Wild Irish Rose", then sang with all four together. We even brought one girl up from the audience to sing a tag with us. She did a great job on the post of "When I leave the world behind" ("be-HIIIIIIIIINNNND!).


“Two noteworthy items were the Old Dominion Boat Club that the “Hot Dogs” did, and on Saturday evening, the quartet from TBD did many restaurants and clubs in the Old Town area.

As usual, FOUR FROM THE HEART, also sang Valentines over the weekend.  Bruce Lauther is the organizer for these appearances.  Friday’s foursome included Bruce , Bob Rhome, Joe Wagovich and Mick Stamps. They sang at two schools and also sang for Chuck Harner just as he was about to check out of the hospital after his open heart operation, and for Jean Wachter who was at home recovered from her recent heath matters.

On Saturday Bruce sang with his registered Society quartet, FOPAS.  Then on Tuesday, another version of FOUR FROM THE HEART including Bruce, Austin Cotton, Drew Fuller and Ken Fess did the annual appearance for the Kaiser Permanente Oncology department in Burke and McLean. 

After a snowy and icy start to the day on Tuesday Feb. 16th, the Durant Center was open and we were able to meet as usual.  It was a work-on-our-music nite.  The first half we did contest music on the risers. Reed Livergood did the vocal wam ups.

Important announcements were emailed to all members on Wed, but the major ones included: a reminder that we are the ones who have to sell tickets for the Aca Challenge event Mar. 28th; next Tues will be all work on “milk” music and will include choreography training; then finally, two important reminders about contests – Sat Mar 5 is contest coaching with Tony DeRosa and each guy needs to submit a recording and self evals for Phase 1 of the qualification process.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Jacob George for 6 years and Dean Rust for 36 years. Membership director Rich Hewitt introduced singer guests and new applicants.

And after break we did the music for the oratorio.  Rolando Sanz, executive producer for the Strathmore performances, was with us to help us get a feel for the flow of the music with the orchestra. Great to have so many extra singers to join us.

In other news, the widow of Past Society President Wilbur Sparks, Ibbianne, died on Wed. Feb. 10th. She was 96 and resided at Goodwin House West in Northern Virginia. Her daughter Nancy reports that the family will honor Ibbianne's wishes and hold a private grave side memorial service at a later date. Nancy's email is As most members will recognize, she and Wilbur were the an inspiration for members and their partners working together for the chapter – one major history note is that they mimeographed the chapter bulletin, The Echo, for many years and folded it and stamped it for mailing.  She was the major worker on the mailing project.

Carl Kauffmann was recently elected to the district honor club, DELASUSQUEHUDMAC  in recognition for his service to MAD. He was congratulated by many fellow Harmonizers who are already in that group at the chapter meeting this week.

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