Friday, September 23, 2016

Looking Back on the Sept 20th Chapter Meeting

This week the chapter returned to First Baptist Church to do some more recording.  The technical crew asked guys to bring pieces of carpet for the floor area around the risers in the fellowship hall there. But in the end, we used the choir suite on the second floor.


Mike Kelly and Dennis Ritchey did the yeoman job of setting up all the equipment needed for the recording. A number of arriving members helped haul things into the suite.


While the set up was underway, Carlos Barillo was helping guys choice the shirts and slacks they will wear in the second half of the fall show.  Lots of color!! And some amazing finds from local thrift shops!


Director Joe Cerutti auditioned several guys for solos for the show during this time too.


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups.  We had sectionals before each of the two songs we recorded this week.


Chapter executive director Terry Reynolds announced more auditions at break; no chapter meeting on 9/27.


The show on Sat. Sept. 24th will be at Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. Call is 5:30 pm.  Wearing the black suit with the narrow black tie.  Still need a few more basses to sign on for this one.


President Randall Eliason reported that Bruce Roehm’s father died last week.  Any memorials are requested to be made to the Alexandria Harmonizers.


Dick Hall is back in rehab in Waldorf MD and making progress to recover from his heart issues. He loves to get calls on his cell from members.


Randall also congratulated DA CAPO for winning the district quartet championship this past weekend in Lancaster, and Dennis for his election as M-AD president along with Bob Eckman as EVP and Keith Jones as Secretary and Chuck Harner as MAL who were elected to the board.


Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Jim Kirkland for 7 years; Chris Yates for 17 years; Ken Fess for 32 years; and Terry Reynolds for 33 years.

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

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

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Looking Back on the Sept 11 Rembrance Ceremony and the Sept 13th Chapter Meeting

A nice sized chorus turned out for the 4:15 pm call at Market Square on Sat. Sept 10th.  Director Joe Cerutti was there early as part of the riser set up crew and helped Todd Ryktarsyk (recently back from a duty assignment in Viet Nam) and Nick Leiserson with the sound set up too.  (The Harmonizers provided the sound for the entire city event, not just our musical portion.)

The City of Alexandria’s 9/11 Remembrance Committee planned the event and invited us.  Mayor Allison Silberberg was emcee and invited other city leaders to speak. She thanked the chorus in her wrap up remarks and mentioned how proud the city is of our group and the music we provide.  A combined color guard of police, sheriff and fire fighters posted the colors and then we sang “The Star Spangled Banner.” To close the program for the large crowd of citizens, we sang “God Bless America” and Joe invited the audience to sing along.

As usual at Market Square, we warmed up inside city hall.  Chapter executive director Terry Reynolds collected our parking cards and had them validated for free parking for all.

Great to see former member Spencer Wight in the audience.

The Tuesday Sept. 13th rehearsal was back on the risers!! We were on the newest old risers this week.


Director Joe Cerutti did the vocal warm ups and then went right to work on the fall show music.  He did spend some time during this week’s rehearsal allowing guys to audition for the solo parts in several of the songs.


Choreographer Carlos Barillo did some work to simplify plans for “Friday” song.  Also, Carlos spoke about costumes for the fall show – a ‘70s look.  Each guy will find his own. Bring your suggested items for his review next week. Muted fall-like colors.


Chapter executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the announcement time as usual. Next week, Sept 20th, we will be meeting at First Baptist Church on King Street to do recordings again.  Anyone who has pieces of carpet to bring to the church hall to help muffle the sound should bring them.


On Sept 24th we have a show again at Asbury Village.  Take a look at this week’s announcements for details.


President Randall Eliason reported that Dick Hall is back in the hospital for a temporary visit to readjust some medications.


Randall also asked more members to fill out the recent chapter survey.


And also, Randall presented a chapter support check to the five quartets with Harmonizers singing in them: HERSHEY TRANSIT CO., THE BOURBON STREET FOUR; HANDSOME REWARD; YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT and DA CAPO. They will all sing Friday nite in the first round of the Mid Atlantic District contest starting at 5 pm in Lancaster, PA, at the Marriott on Queen Street. A good crowd of us will be there to cheer. The chorus contest is at 9 am on Saturday.


Randall presented a framed photo of the Nashville contest chorus to Joe which brought out lots of cheers and applause from the chorus.


Terry continued with announcements about the request for us to sing for the Wounded Warrior fund raiser at the Alexandria Yacht Club on Nov. 6th.  Then we are doing a show the next Sunday, Nov. 13th at First Presbyterian in Arlington (Joe really asked us to all get to this one). And finally a reminder that a group of us are singing holiday music for a ladies club in the afternoon on Thurs. Dec.1st.


Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Ben Roberts for 5 years and Don Thompson for 24 years.  He also reminded those who have not paid their dues to do so ASAP.


Terry reminded guys to get show flyers during break. 


Membership director Rich Hewitt welcomed two new singer guests.


After break, we worked on more holiday music and the “Milk” music for the show including taking some time for solo auditions.


In other news, please keep the Carl Kauffmann family in your thoughts for their grandson who fell off a roof at work and was seriously.

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