Thursday, December 22, 2016

Looking Back on the Dec 20th Chapter Meeting

This annual “pub crawl” event is really fun for all of us.  We met at Durant at 7 pm as usual.  A little warm up time for the singers, and a little admin time for any chapter announcements.


A major one – there will be no chapter meetings on  Tues. Dec. 27th nor on Jan. 3rd but come back on Jan. 10th for major announcements about plans for 2017 and beyond.  Director Joe Cerutti hinted that there are some major events on the horizon that are new to all. Also watch for the weekly announcement email so you can sign up for the annual Presidents’ Banquet that is on Sat. Jan.28th at 6 pm at Arlington/Fairfax Elks Lodge, 8421 Arlington Blvd.  See Art Medici to make your reservations. . Let’s all attend this year to kick off things for 2017.


Note that there is a guest nite on Jan. 24th at our chapter meeting that nite.


And mark your calendar to attend the BLAST party Tues Dec. 27th hosted by Dundalk MD Chapter – fun tag singing, pick up quartets, guest quartets, cold drinks and hotdogs to eat.  There is a $15 fee at the door. It goes from 7:30 to midnite at Michael’s 8th Avenue club, 7220 Grayburn Dr., Glen Burnie MD.  It is fun and there are always a lot of our guys and their guests there.


So about 7:30 pm everyone headed down into Old Town Alexandria and re-assembled at Market Square.  Bob Blair brought the Santa hats for guys to wear. Then we followed chorus manager Mark Klostermeyer from restaurant to restaurant where we sang two holiday songs and then left right away singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  Mark and Joe Cerutti Sr. were downtown early and prearranged for us to make the stops, but this year, some of the firms called and wanted to be sure we were coming this year again, so they could alert their favorite dinner customers to be there.  Every year the customers in the restaurants are really happy to see us and hear us and sometime join in on the songs.


Alan Wile noted that all the members of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts were at Virtue Feed & Grain when we stopped to sing there.  Also the director of the arts for the City of Alexandria was there with them. 


After singing in six or seven places, those that wanted a little afterglow time stayed at our last stop to unwind.


It was great to see Ian Poulin up and about this past weekend for the show and at this week’s sing after the recent knee surgery.  Great to have Lew Klinge come along and sing with us this week too.


President Randall Eliason reports two items of family news:


Dennis Malone posted on Facebook that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. He is currently on a "leave of absence" from the Sound of the Rockies. He will be remembered by many of our longer-time members; he was a musical leader in the chapter for 10 years back in the '90's. He was a member of the SIDE STREET RAMBLERS gold medal quartet in 1983. In his typical style, Dennis posted: "Been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.. got my first shot of a hormone loaded with estrogen. Estrogen shrinks the prostate and the cancer along with it. Side effects include hot flashes and having to buy a training bra. There is no cure but is manageable."


Terry Jordan's wife Ginger had what the doctors have diagnosed as a "full bore" (Terry's words) stroke this weekend. She has been moved from the hospital to a rehab facility, HealthSouth Rehab Hospital of NoVA in Aldie VA.  Meanwhile, Terry is still unable to walk or drive, so things are complicated. Friends and neighbors have helped get him to the hospital.


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

 Looking Back on the Dec. 16-17th Holiday Show for 2016

This year’s holiday show was a great success with lots of musical diversity with our outside-the-chapter talent groups. The shows were at Harris Theater on the campus of George Mason University on Friday nite, Dec. 16th at 8 pm; and on Saturday, Dec. 17th at 2 pm and 8 pm. The bad weather on Saturday morning was a bit of a challenge, but things worked out.  The parking garage hassles caused us to delay the start of our shows for a few minutes so more guests could make it into their seats.

 The theme was “A Family Christmas with the Harmonizers” and the show included The Reen Family Singers from the Ohio/Indiana area, the VINTAGE MIX QUARTET  from WI, guest baritone soloist Jobari Parker-Namdar; and percussionists Josanne Francis playing the steelpan and Kelton Sherry on drums.  Members of the Pride of Baltimore Sweet Adeline Chapter sang with us on some special numbers, as well.  Our own a cappella group TBD sang in each half of the show. Harmonizer soloists for the show were Mickey Robertson, Jeff Burkey and Andrew Havens; plus Heather Krones from POB.   Mick Stamps was producer for this major show.

The stage was decorated with lighted trees, and many wrapped gift boxes plus some lighted box pieces.  Gift boxes also lined the path from the parking garage to the lobby.

The chorus wore red, green or blue sweat shirts with a white felt scarf in the first half, and our black suits with a solid red tie for the second half.  When the SAI members joined us, they wore black with red accent pieces.

There were some funny moments in the shows – Will Cox and Mickey Robertson did a gag bit with Mickey teaching Will how to use a cell phone while the chorus vamped during “Text Me Merry Christmas;” and Mike Edison, dressed in his auto repairman garb, explaining to show emcee, Terry Reynolds, why the chapter needs a new truck (as a hint to the audience to contribute).

There was a very special moment in the afternoon show when Joe dedicated a song to Dick and Carolyn Hall who were able to attend the matinee thanks to former chapter treasurer Bob and Sally Hoffman.  Joe said “no chapter meeting was complete without a handshake from Dick,” and then Joe left the stage and did a handshake exchange. Tough to sing a ballad after that tender moment.

Robyn Murane thanked the following volunteers for their help in making the lobby and house run smoothly; “Saundra Deltac, with help from her husband, Don Dillingham and Randall Eliason coordinated a very successful raffle, with four prizes at each show. She did a great job and put over $1000 into the AH bank account!”

 “Carol Dangel and Sandi Ulibarri sold CDs; Sandy Stamps sold White House Ornaments and fluffed the trees on the stage; Mike Mullen and Kristen Colby helped the chorus arrange their scarves; and Peggy Wagner hosted the Reen Family. Carol Fuller, Krissi Folsom, Ginny Wells, Ninamarie Maragioglio, Patti Edison, Naida Harrington, Judi Kern, Charity Struthers, and Lydia Golden sold raffle tickets, stuffed programs, sold raffle tickets, answered patrons’ questions and sold raffle tickets. Sam McFarland acted as goodwill ambassador. This year's Holiday Show volunteers did their very best, in a very cold lobby, and made each patron feel welcomed!!!”


Thanks to the members who donated or solicited items for the raffle.

Rich Payton and his family hosted VINTAGE MIX for the weekend too (at one point the Reens joined them so there were 17 kids all at one table!).


In addition to all the guys on the risers (plus producer Mick Stamp and production assistant Ben Roberts), attendance-meister Keith Jones reports the following current or former chapter members attended one or more of the shows: Dennis Ritchey, Tim Buell, Jacob George, Shawn Tallant, Phil Ashford, Mike Moncibaiz, Jeremy Richardson, Sam McFarland, Dean Sherick, Walt Page, Martin Banks, Bill Colosimo, Austin Cotton, Ken Fess, Ross Johnson, Lew Klinge, Dave Reyno, Joe Wagovich, Bede Bender, Len Dornberger and John Thompson


This weekend was the first performance (and definitely their first Holiday Show) for Johan Westberg (bari) and Derrick Smith (bass).


Thanks to our music team for helping us prepare for the show and for creating another great musical experience for our families, friends and patrons: Joe Cerutti, director; Tony Colosimo, associate director; Carlos Barillo, choreographer; Terry Reynolds, assistant director and executive director; the section leaders; and Reed Livergood, musical director for TBD.

There was a fun afterglow on Saturday nite at Oh George Tap and Tables across the street from the campus.  There was lots of tag singing, performances by our guests and good food and fellowship. Ken Rub made arrangements for the location.

Here is the historical record of the songs on the show:

Act I

armonizersHHarmonizers – “Welcome Christmas,”  “What’s This?” with Jeff’s solo and “Let It Snow”

Vintage Mix – three songs

Harmonizers – “Text Me Merry Christmas” (We had fun with this one – many chorus members played with their cell phones and texted each other during the song!)

TBD – “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”

Harmonizers – “White Christmas”

Act II

Reen Family – a variety of vocal and instrumental numbers including  “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (boys barbershop quartet THE REEN BROTHERS)

 Reen Family and Vintage Mix together for “Go Tell It on the Mountain”

 Harmonizers – “O Come O Come, Emmanuel,”It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” followed by audience sing-along “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night,” “Gloria” with Mickey solo, “Mary Had a Baby” with Jobari solo

 TBD – “We Three Kings”

Harmonizers – “This Little Light of Mine” with Jobari and SAI, “Kyrie” with percussion and SAI

All – “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with curtain calls

The riser crews worked hard to get things set up Friday nite despite traffic with many members lending a hand on stage for set up and take down. Matt Doniger was Harmo truck driver 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

Monday, December 19, 2016

Looking Back on the Dec 13th Chapter Meeting

This week’s chapter meeting and tech rehearsal for the holiday show was at Harris Theater on campus of GMU.  Guys had a challenge to beat traffic and find their way on campus but there was a full chorus before chorus manager Mark Klostermeyer gave the familiar, “Harmonizers on the Risers.” The truck and riser crew set up the new set for the show.


Associate director Tony Colosimo was director up front for the nite and show producer Mick Stamps helped navigate the many non-singing details the chorus had to practice such as entrances and such.  The staff at the theater seemed to be on top of things too.


Mick has done a good job of sending our reminders and details for us all.  And a suggestion we tell our show patrons the tips he offers for parking. (Free in Lot K, or if you use the pay parking deck, exit on the third level to exit right toward Harris Theater.) The chapter announcement emails also informed  us about call times (5:30 pm Fri nite and 11:30 Sat morning). Suggesting pay attention to details about avoiding evening rush hour traffic, and eat before you arrive.  Dressing space is not really available, so wear slacks and shows and just plan to change shirts back stage.  Don’t bring anything you don’t need!  BUT two wrapped empty boxes, in colorful paper, for stage decorations should be brought in Fri eve.


Be sure to check your red, blue or green sweat shirt and white scarf.


Tuesday was the last time to turn in unsold WHOs to Sandy Stamps.  Rick Wagner was issuing consignment show tickets too. Robyn Murane was helping with getting guys their sweat shirts, and Tom Kern getting uniform parts to our newest members who are doing the show.


Great to see Ian Poulin on the risers (with a crutch to support the knee/leg where he had an operation last week). 


Chapter secretary Chris Buechler reports the following men have renewed – guys who are not able to attend chapter meetings, so good to see them still members!


Ross Johnson 40 years - with a new lapel pin

Larry Walker 37 years
Jeff Ashford 32 years

Vince Cazenas 30 years - and a lapel pin

Bert Phillips  8 years


Chris also sent this note: “Thanks also to the many men who sent notes and cards wishing me a speedy recovery. I’m getting around slowly but improving each day. Still need a kidney transplant, but this procedure is keeping me going for awhile.”


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