Looking Back on the Dec. 2nd and 3rd Holiday Show Weekend
Our holiday show was held at TC Williams High School auditorium on King Street. It had been many years since we did a show there – in fact there is a whole new school building. The auditorium and stage were great with plenty of warm up space and dressing space.
The theme was “Peace and Joy – an a cappella holiday concert” and featured the Harmonizers doing 11 songs, TBD doing two holiday pieces, current M-AD district quartet champs PRATT STREET POWER, and a local bell ringer group Virginia Bronze Resonances. Also Will Cox did his funny and well-liked “The Night Before Christmas” story.
Many thanks from all of the chapter to Brian Ammerman for his leadership and dedication and “push” to make it a successful show for the chapter. Of course there were lots of other helpers and volunteers.
There was a tech rehearsal on Fri nite Dec. 1 and chorus members were there to help decorate the stage, set up risers, and the lobby for the silent auction and other sales efforts. Mostly we worked on entrances and staging.
The stage set was well done – snowdrift effect on the edge of the stage (cotton bunting with white lights inside), and many lighted Christmas trees above and behind the risers and on the edge of the stage.
Warm ups before the shows were in the orchestra room. We wore holiday sweat shirts with white scarves the first half, and our black suits with red tie on the second half. This was the first show holiday show for new members Chris, Jon, Ryan and Ben. Dean Rust brought waters and snack items for the chorus which was much appreciated by all. Alan Kousen also brought a cake on Sunday to share.
Director Joe Cerutti and associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and helped us prepare for the start of each show. Executive director Terry Reynolds did much to keep things flowing at the tech rehearsal and back stage, plus he served as the major emcee for the show.
At the Sunday show there was a pledge during intermission of a generous gift from chorus fans (Bill and Charli Sowers) if Tony would sing a solo in the second half of the show. So we added “O Holy Night” just minutes before the curtain went up!
The finale of each show was “Do You Hear What I Hear” with PRATT STREET singing the solos and the bell choir coming in on the last verse and the tag. It was wonderful and the audience jumped to their feet both shows.
Our own SILVER ALERT quartet sang a verse of one song, some guys stepped forward to do the intro of another, and Mickey Robertson sang a solo spot too. Steve White provided the sleigh bells for “Sleigh Ride” – they were made by his grandfather for him when he was little. Always great addition to our holiday show. TBD lead by Reed Livergood did a great song in each half of the show including a Hanukah song.
The printed show program created by Adam Afifi with help from Ken Rub, Jeff Burkey and Liz Birnbaum was also great.
The chapter had a lot of activity in the lobby of the auditorium selling CDs for the guest artists, and a silent auction with all the many items the members of the chapter had solicited or collected or donated. There was a membership table too.
Director of volunteers, Robyn Murane, submits this thank you note to the huge number of members, their significant others and chapter friends who handled all sorts of tasks as part of the show:
Dear Holiday Show Volunteers, -- You are amazing! Thank you all for your hard work this weekend! You rolled with the flow, jumped in wherever you were needed and did everything with a smile.
Saundra, the Silent Auction was a great success, and your work and organization in advance was wonderful! You and Kristen ran a smooth auction, and y'all were a great team!
Rebecca, you sold a lot of CDs, (I had to re-stock Choir of the World for the Sun. show!) and took on the added duties taking on credit card sales for tickets, donations, WHOs and the silent auction.
Ken, your scouting for Donations was a huge success!
Aideen, Litic and Carol F. had the huge job of manning the ticket desk with Jason. Even with the challenges thrown your way Sat. night, you sold a lot of tickets and kept our patrons happy.
Sandy, you bounced from WHO to Silent Auction and back again, and did a great job on both!
Janet, Jessica, Jerrod, and Naida did a great job ushering, handing out programs and getting everyone in their seats and ready for the show.
Aideen, Sam, Judy, Debbie, Will and Kitty did double duty ushering and wrapping up the Silent Auction, and were awesome at both!
Judi and Carol D worked both as an ushers and jumped it to help break down the set on stage while Tracy and Grace helped the Silent Auction winners gather their loot and got them on their way!
Krissi, Rob, Janet and Joe were amazing utility players, setting up trees, running electrical to the trees, ushering, running the video camera, striking the set, and taking on any task I need to have taken care of! I know any task I threw at you would be handled without question!
Thank you ALL!
When I receive a complement of the way we run things, I always say I couldn't do it without you, the volunteers, and it's so very true!
If you can find the time before this all becomes a distant memory, please send me your thoughts on what went well, and where (and HOW) we can improve our systems. I'd love to get us all together for a "lessons learned" session, but with the Holidays approaching, we'll just have to do it via email! Robyn
Many teams worked behind the scenes to ensure this show would be a success: ticket sales team at the show was headed by Jason Lee; silent auction team was headed by Saundra Deltac; the riser crew headed by Matt Doniger; the show marketing efforts were headed by Steve Murane for ticket sales, Frank Fedarko and Clyde Crusenberry for retirement ticket marketing, Jeff Burkey for the website, and Walt Page for the “Alexandria Gazette” contact; back stage work included Dixie Kennett; and an admin team included Chris Buechler who did the ASCAP paperwork and Carl Kauffmann as treasurer.
Just before the Sunday afternoon show, we sang farewell “A Place on the Risers for You” to Rick and Peggy Wagner. They are moving to Hawaii where they have family. They say they will only be gone a year! Both Rick and Peggy have served in leadership positions for the chapter, were dedicated volunteers and are recipients of the annual Wilbur and Ibbianne Sparks Award.
Sunday we learned the sad news that Mark Klostermeyer’s mother had died during the nite. And then on Monday we got word that Bob Wachter’s wife, Jean, had died. Details about any arrangements will come from the president.
Our schedule for the weeks ahead do not include an actual chapter meeting on Dec. 5th. However on Fri and Sat Dec. 8-9, we will sing at a large number of senior homes or facilities. Watch for details as to meeting places and details. We need more guys to sign up so we can send two mini choruses around the metro area.
Next event is the annual and fun pub caroling in Old Town Alexandria on Dec. 12th - meet at 7 pm at Durant. The chapter’s Santa hats will be available as well as copies of the music book “Yuletide Favorites” for all to use including any and all former or inactive members.
On Dec. 19, we will have a Heat Glow (an afterglow in the winter) at the home of Jack and Pat Pitzer, 7801 Suffolk Ct., Alexandria VA 223155, for singers and their significant others. Near Hayfield Hi School on Telegraph Rd. Arrival at 7:30 pm. Bring finger foods to share and your favorite drink too. A holiday grog will be served too that is from the original recipe from Harmonizer Heat Glow events begun in the 1960s when the chorus sang for the annual burning of the greens (discarded Christmas trees) in the City of Alexandria. Car pools would be a good idea since the parking will be a little tight or you could walk from one of the nearby schools. Jack’s cell is 703-627-9424.
Then our first actual meeting and rehearsal will be Jan 2nd and Jan 9th. On the second we will have a state of chapter session including the exciting news about 2018 and 2019 events and opportunities.
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