Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 13-14th Fall Shows
The Harmonizer fall shows, titled “Rock My Soul,” were great and provided high energy, great music and fun times for the audiences.

The 8 pm Friday night performance was at the First United Congregational United Church of Christ at 10th and G NW in DC. It was a great sanctuary space that was modern and alive; and there was a parking garage connected (or close to Metro for others).

The 2 pm Saturday afternoon performance was back in Alexandria at the Schlesinger Concert Hall on the NVCC campus.

Our audiences were treated to three awesome singing groups that filled the stage with sound and excitement and followed the show theme. The show began with the Harmonizers and TBD setting the stage with both gospel and barbershop songs, followed by the Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University and their 25 voices rocking the stage and getting the audiences up on their feet. Our a capella group TBD, directed by Reed Livergood, prepared two great new songs that fit the show theme – kudos to the guys in the group who sang solos and special parts.

The second-half of the show was all done by the three-time Grammy award winning quartet THE FAIRFIELD FOUR who got everybody all fired up and clapping and having fun.

The finale had quartet and the Alexandria Harmonizers singing “Roll Jordan Roll” followed by all three groups performing “Rock My Soul” and getting the audience to sing along. We had printed the words in the program to make it easier. THE FAIRFIELD FOUR belting out the song and the Harmonizers singing with them and the Howard choir providing the rhythm, clapping as they entered the hall.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups for the shows. Director Joe Cerutti pulled us into formation as we took the stage. The church stage was smaller so we couldn’t do choreography for “Blow Gabriel Blow” but we did the full presentation on Saturday.

Emcee for the shows was our own Ken White. Tony and Clyde Crusenberry sang solos. Mark Klosermeyer helped as usual as our chorus manager. Dennis Ritchey announced one song too.

Also on Saturday, the show was streamed live via FloVoice outside the DC area to that group’s large audience of viewers. This was their first barbershop show broadcast. They filmed segments from warm up and other aspects of the production during the afternoon.

Ken Rub did a top notch job as show producer and manager. Mike Kelly helped with the sound and such. Chorus members helped Matt Doniger unload and set up risers from the truck for the shows. The chorus wore their black suits with narrow tie and a new green pocket stuffer. This was the first show for new member Ben Watsky.

Many volunteers, coordinated by Robyn Murane, staffed ticket tables, will call desks and CD sales for all three groups, passed out the printed programs and helped usher guests. Great to see so many former members, new members and recent singer guests in the audiences too.

There was an afterglow after Saturday’s show at Clyde’s on Beauregard in Alexandria so guys could have dinner and visit more with THE FAIRFIELD FOUR. Thanks to Liz Birnbaum for those arrangements.

Several VIP guests were at the Friday nite show in DC. Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, who has become a friend of the chorus and helped us learn more about singing with others, was there! Her background is singing with Sweet Honey in the Rock. Frank Albinder, artistic director of Men’s Camarata and former director of Chanticleer attended too. And a group of music educators from Nashville who just happened to meet Joe and THE FAIRFIELD FOUR while touring the White House came to the show after an invite from our guys.

An audience survey was conducted at both shows by the membership team headed by Dave Kohls and several plugs inviting men to come sing with us were made by spokespeople.

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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

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