Friday, February 3, 2017

Looking Back on the Jan 31st Chapter Meeting

This week’s meeting was wall-to-wall singing.  We didn’t set up risers, but formed a huge circle all around the main hall at Durant.  And because there was such a great number of members present, we actually had to form a ring-inside-a-ring to fit everyone comfortably.  At some points during the nite, he would have a section form a smaller ring to solidify some parts of a song.


Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups from the center of the circle and then director Joe Cerutti worked from that point too.  We did have mics for all speakers which helped us all get instructions.


Joe commented on the successful Presidents’ Banquet and thanked Randall again for his leadership to make it happen. Joe also recognized the guys who played in the rock n roll band, Riptide, at the end of the party.


First music we sang was “There Must Be A City” which we are learning by rote.  It is a song from the FAIRFIELD FOUR and will be part of our series of gospel shows with them in the fall. Joe did prepare a small handout sheet with the words, accent points, and some other hints.  That was helpful.  After working on this one for a while, we moved on to “Rock My Soul” which Joe also provided a cheat sheet to help us learn it.


Musical work for the nite also included songs we are bringing back into our repertoire to use when we sing at the NED in the spring – old favorites like “New York, New York,”  “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “All You Need Is Love,” and “Summertime.”


The chapter meeting was conducted by executive director Terry Reynolds.  He thanked the operations team members for their work in conducting team meetings last Tues nite at our meeting.  That format will be followed again next week.


Terry alerted the chorus that contest team leader Craig Kujawa will be giving instructions to all chorus members on registering for Harmony University in Nashville this summer July22-30.  We will each register but must follow special instructions since we are going as a chorus.  The fee for room board and all is $600. Watch for Craig’s instructions.


Community relations guy, Clyde Crusenberry, spoke about for the Little Theater of Alexandria performance of “The Fabulous Lipotones” comedy about a barbershop quartet.  It will run from April 22-May 12.  They are looking for guys to try out for the show and of course for folks to attend. The chapter is arranging to attend as a group on Sat. April 29th.  Tickets are about $20.


Terry asked for guys to sign up to be in quartets for Singing Valentines events in Feb.  We will continue our program to deliver Valentines to places and people that are important to our chapter and its musical program.


Don’t forget the concert by the Yale Whiffenpoofs on Sun. March 5th at Convergence Church.  We will sing at this event.


Time to get geared up for the Aca Challenge March 25th at the famous Lincoln Theater on U Street in DC.  Contestants have been chosen and the $25 tickets are on sale via the web site.  Here again we will sing as part of the program for that nite while the judges tally their scores. And we need to sell tickets. Reed Livergood is producer for this event.


President Randall Eliason reported on the passing last week of Terry Jordan’s wife, Ginger. She had been recovering from a stroke.  Condolences can be mailed to Terry. Plans for memorial services will be announced at a later date. She will be buried in Dunbar, West Virginia.


Bob Wells is having a hip troubles and a replacement soon and is thus not able to attend our meetings regularly.


Randall also presented two awards to recipients that were not able to attend the Presidents’ Banquet last Saturday nite. See the earlier “Looking Back” report about all of the awards given.


Liz Birnbaum, president of the AH, Inc., Chapter explained that the Development Team, with coordination by Dean Rust, is looking to make contact with any member who works for a firm or company that might make community donations.  Speak to Dean if you fit into that category.


More of the One-On-One sessions with musical leadership are scheduled this week.


Ike Evans was taking mug shot pictures for the member photo board at break time.  Be sure to see him if you want to replace your picture or are a new member and not on the board.


Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal card to Matt Doniger for five years.


Membership director Rich Hewitt introduced a several applicants for membership and first time guests.  Rich had music for the guests to use for the nite too, since we no longer are projecting onto a screen. Assistant director emeritus Will Cox directed the Harmonizer Welcome song.


Everyone was ready for a break and some goodies – thanks to those who pitched into the kitty to help cover some of the costs.  Also thanks to those who brought in goodies to share.  Always glad to get them.  Also we could use some napkins if anyone had an assortment of all kinds of holiday napkins they would like to get rid of.


After break, it was back to work on our show music.


There is a effort underway in the chapter to encourage some quartet formation, and especially to get formed in time to sing at the Southern Division contest in Reston in May.


A huge crowd of guys were at the afterglow at LaPorta’s this week for tag singing, refreshments and getting to meet other members and guests.  If you have not attended, ask Jack Pitzer, Tom Jackson or Joe Cerutti about.  If you need a ride, those same guys can help.  If you take the Metro to chapter, it is close to our afterglow spot as well. If you have not been in a while, come check it out.  Chuck McKeever was back last nite and had a ball relaxing after a busy chapter nite.


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 Jan 28th Presidents’ Award Banquet and Board Installation

This year’s Presidents’ Award Banquet was at the Elks Club on Saturday nite, Jan. 28th .  This was our 43rd such event. About 150 of the Harmonizer family attended the buffet banquet. 


Our 2016 chapter president Randall Eliason served as master of ceremonies and kept us laughing with his references to the current political scene in DC.   Social hour was from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, then Randall invited folks to find their seats at the tables and the buffet.  Terrific table center pieces were created by Jerri White. Robyn Murane, Janet Cerutti, Lydia Golden, Judy Huber, Sandy Stamps and Kristen Colby helped set up for the banquet. 


After the meal, Randall thanked others who had helped with the banquet event including Steve Murane and Jack Pitzer for the printed program and year in review; Alan Wile for helping get all the awards for the nite; and Art Medici for help with tickets and reservations.

Each year this event is hosted by the past presidents of the chapter – thus the name Presidents’ banquet.  Presidents attending this year included Terry Reynolds, 2014-15; Steve Murane, 2011-12; Mick Stamps, 2008; Rick Wagner, 2005; Ken Fess, 2004; and Jack Pitzer, 1976 (the first Presidents’ Ball was during his term – some years the event has been even more formal and other years it has been a potluck). To continue a tradition begun at the first banquet, each man presented a rose to his significant other as we sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”


Randall  thanked his 2016 board and recognized those men retiring from the board: Mike Edison, Kevin McKenzie and Steve White.


A number of the Board Members of our sister corporation, AH Inc, were also introduced at the banquet: Steve Sutton, Clyde Crusenberry, Bruce Roehm and Rick Wagner.

Randall  shared. “2016 was an exciting year with some wonderful musical and artistic achievements of which you are all aware and which are summarized in your program.”  [See the recently released Harmonizer 2016 Year in Review.]

 “Organizationally we completed the rollout and starting up of AH Inc. as our separate 501(c)(3) corporation, and we are now moving forward under that new structure. I’m very enthusiastic about the year ahead and the many initiatives that we have underway to make it even greater to be a Harmonizer in 2017 and beyond.”

“For years our friends and family have given us tremendous support through volunteer activities. It takes a lot to keep a group like the Harmonizers going. Our volunteers help with membership; help host parties and events; run the house and usher at our shows; sell snacks, CDs, tickets, taking donations; work on fundraisers like White House ornaments; work on the silent auction; and sew and mend costumes to help us deal with any last-minute wardrobe malfunctions. It’s honestly no exaggeration to say we could not succeed in all we do without their help. The volunteers team is headed by Volunteers Director, Robyn Murane, and a long list of 2016 volunteers were listed in the banquet program.  Many thanks to all of them.”

Under our new structure much of the day-to-day operation of the chapter has been moved from the duties of the BHS Chapter Board of Directors and given to an operations team composed of directors with various responsibilities.  Randall recognized the “Ops Team” for 2017:

Executive Director:       Terry Reynolds

Music/Artistic Director:  Joe Cerutti

Finance Director AH Inc:  Carl Kauffmann

Finance Director BHS:  Bruce Minnick

Volunteers Director:  Robyn Murane

Communications Director:         Steve Murane

Contest Director:          Craig Kujawa

Education Director:  Vickie Dennis

Development Director: Nick Leiserson

Membership Director:  Rich Hewitt

Shows Director:  Mick Stamps

Operations Director:  Mike Edison

For the next event in the banquet program, Dennis Ritchey, our fellow chapter member, front row guy, and current Mid Atlantic District president, installed the board for the Alexandria Harmonizers BHS Chapter


President – Randall Eliason

Secretary – Chris Buechler
Treasurer – Al Herman

Members at Large – Dave Branstetter, Don Dillingham, Art Medici

Immediate Past President – Rick Wagner


Moving on, Randall acknowledged the many “riser rats” who continually execute the hard work to set up the risers, sound equipment, refreshments, guest chairs, admin table, screen and av equipment, membership sign-in kiosk and member picture board.


Randall  used his presidential prerogative to present three Meritorious Service Awards for exceptional service to the chapter. 


This first recipient was Keith Jones.  He has been a Harmonizer for nearly 40 years. He has held chapter offices, has produced shows, chaired conventions, been a section manager, and performed just about any other duty for the chapter that you could imagine. When life took him outside of the Alexandria area he was an active member in a number of other barbershop chapters around the country. In addition to work within the chapter, he has served as the board secretary for the Mid-Atlantic District for at least 10 years. He was a BHS judge and has served on the faculty at Harmony College East. Even after he stepped off the risers, he has continued to attend virtually every rehearsal and provides invaluable service to Joe and the rest of the music team behind the scenes.

The second recipient was Terry Reynolds.  They say in any institution such as ours no one person is indispensable – but Terry comes close. He has served in many, many capacities for years as an integral part of the music and management team of the Harmonizers.  As well, he has served in various capacities for the BHS. The transition we have undergone this year to create the new 501©(3) was the vision of a small number of people, but Terry was spearheading it as chapter president for two years. And since then he has been working tirelessly as our first executive director. Randall said, “This award really seems inadequate when compared to his contributions, but I just wanted to personally thank him for all the work he has done and continues to do on behalf of the chapter, and all of the help that he has given me personally.”

The third recipient was Liz Birnbaum (actually presented at the Tues Jan. 31st chapter meeting).  The final recipient of the Meritorious Service Awards goes to an individual who contributed a great deal to the successful creation of our new 501(c)(3) corporation and the division of accounts and responsibilities between the two corporations. Many Harmonizers devoted a great deal of time and effort to this project, but this award goes to someone who is not a Harmonizer but nevertheless devoted an enormous amount of time and effort to that project. As a lawyer with experience in the nonprofit world she was instrumental in drafting the many corporate organization documents and state and federal filings necessary to create AH Inc. She was deeply involved in the creation of our new Organization Manual that sets out the responsibilities of the different members of the Ops team and division of responsibility between the two corporations. She has served as one of our inaugural community board members for the BHS Chapter – becoming the first female chapter board member in the history of BHS – and then as a community board member in the new AH Inc. organization.  Within AH Inc., over the past year she spearheaded the development committee to focus on things like fundraising and consolidating our mailing lists of patrons, and now for 2017 she has taken the helm as President of AH Inc.


Next Randall honored these recipients of the six chapter memorial awards given each year with a description of the award.


New Note of the Year Award

 (Nominated by the President, VP-Membership/Chapter Development, and VP-Operations; selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to a Harmonizer who has contributed outstanding service to the Chapter in his first year of membership.  All new members for the previous 18 months prior to October 31 of the current year will be considered.  Attendance, attitude, and accomplishments of duties, both volunteer and assigned, shall be considered.


2016 recipient – Matt Doniger  This was a tough field this year, as we were fortunate to have a number of new members who are already contributing a great deal. This year’s winner is an enthusiastic chorus performer and quartet man. In addition to singing, he is always one of the first to volunteer to assist when anything needs getting done. He is consistently there when we call for extra hands to help with a show set-up or tear down, as well as helping with the risers every Tuesday. He has volunteered as an active member of the operations team and now regularly serves as one of the drivers of the truck, as well as working on loading and unloading the truck.


Spirit of Harmony Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Presented to the Harmonizer who during the past year best exemplified the fundamental Society membership qualities of congeniality and good character and worked hardest to encourage participation in vocal harmony by Chapter visitors and members.  The awardee must reflect the spirit and ideals of O.C. Cash (Society founder) by his enthusiasm for good fellowship and good harmony and by his unselfish dedication to and obvious joy in barbershopping.

2016 recipient – Dave Branstetter (actually presented at the Tues. Jan. 31st chapter meeting). This year’s recipient absolutely embodies the criteria for this award. He is a dedicated member of the chorus who clearly relishes not only the singing but the fellowship that the chapter provides. He has been an enthusiastic and energetic performer on the front row. He has served the chapter on the board of directors and has volunteered in other ways, most recently stepped up to help with publicity for the holiday show by working on a mass mailing. 

But perhaps his standout contribution is his weekly memo to all of us, describing what will be happening at next week’s meeting and beyond. The centerpiece of these memos is his weekly philosophical musing on some topic related to the chorus, what we are doing, or what Joe and the music team are trying to teach us. It’s always uplifting and positive and encourages us to focus on something important. Maybe you love them, maybe you skip over them, but the time and obvious care that he spends on these messages really demonstrate his love for the chapter.. 

Ibbianne and Wilbur Sparks Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to recognize the important contribution of Harmonizer family teams to the success and well-being of the Chapter.  The award will be made only to a truly outstanding team which has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a period of time.  The team can be a Harmonizer and any family member or significant other.

2016 recipient –  Saundra Deltac and Don Dillingham – She is a stalwart member of Robyn’s volunteer team, particularly working at shows to sell tickets, sell concessions, make signs, help organize, and do basically anything else that needs to be done. In the past few years she has also taken the lead in organizing and running the Silent Auction (or, this year, the raffle) at our Holiday Show.

He is a solid member of the bass section who also contributes to the chorus in many other ways, including as an occasional motivational speaker and cheerleader. He took the initiative to organize and teach the New Zealand Haka to a group of men before we went to International at Nashville last summer, and they performed it for a New Zealand chorus. That chorus was so moved that their director was in tears and the Harmonizers have now formed an enduring bond with that group as a result. He has also been active in our youth outreach programs this year, including helping to bring star quartets to local high schools to sing and promote our youth harmony festival.

Harmonizer Honor Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Given to a Harmonizer for service which is above and beyond the usual service expected of members during the past year.  It is not intended as a reward for discharging a single specific duty, but for continuous service in several activities.


2016 recipient – Carl KauffmannWe completed the rollout this year of our new 501©(3) organization, AH Inc. One of the most complicated parts of that process involved the finances and budgets of what would now be two organizations. Books and accounts had to be set up for each corporation, along with separate budgets. A number of people on the finance committee and elsewhere did a great amount of work in this process, but Carl made it work. Through it all he demonstrated his great attention to detail, and always asked the hard questions to make sure we were doing things right. He started out last year as the treasurer for the BHS Chapter, and then transitioned to the position of finance director for AH Inc., where he currently serves. In addition, of course, he is a long-time member of the tenor section, consistently and reliably at every performance and engagement.


Oz Newgard Memorial Award

 (Nominated by the President, VP-Music & Performance, and Musical Director; Selected by  the Board of Directors).  Presented in memory of Oz Newgard (Musical Director 1962-70).  It is given to the Harmonizer who has made a significant contribution to the musical program of the Chapter during the past year.  The awardee's contribution need not be highly visible or of a technical musical character, but it must be related directly to the musical program. It should show the intent to make the musical program superior and enjoyable for all members.  The awardee should be a dedicated Harmonizer who has endeavored to improve the Chapter image in the Society and in the Alexandria community through musical excellence.  Any Harmonizer who has been a chapter member for more than one year shall be eligible for the award.


2016 recipient – Rick Savage This year’s recipient is one of those heroes of the chorus, who quietly serves year after year to make the Harmonizers the best they can possibly be. He  has been a Harmonizer for more than four decades, has sung in a variety of competitive quartets, has been an outstanding performer both on the front row in the past, and currently on the risers. He also served as uniform chair in the past. He’s a reliable member of the chorus who can be counted on to attend virtually every performance.  But perhaps his most stand-out musical contribution has been his service as the tenor section leader for so long that no one can remember for sure – at least more than two decades.  He can always be relied upon to help out when needed, including last summer in Nashville when we called on his sartorial skills to help fit and alter uniforms for the competition.

Harmonizer Memorial Award

 (Selected by the Board of Directors).  Presented in memory of those men who died while members of the Chapter.  It is the highest recognition which the Chapter can bestow on a member.  It is given to the Harmonizer who, during his entire period of chapter membership, has devoted himself most unselfishly in rendering outstanding service to the Chapter.  The award is made only to a truly outstanding member who has regularly attended Chapter activities and who has contributed greatly both in volume and quality of services over a long period of time.

2016 – Mick Stamps   Throughout nearly 30 years in the chapter, Mick has always stepped forward to contribute.  He is a devoted performer with the chorus and has also been a long-time successful quartet man. He has held offices in the chapter, including president. He has been a producer or co-producer on a number of successful shows, including serving as a co-chair organizing our recent very successful trip to Normandy. He has produced three separate CDs for the chapter. He has worked on numerous committees related to fund raising, music, uniforms, and shows. He and his wife, Sandy,  have for years spearheaded our successful fundraiser selling holiday ornaments each year.

Most recently, when the chapter suddenly and unexpectedly found itself without a producer for our holiday show, he stepped up on extremely short notice to be the producer, and his professionalism and experience made it an extremely successful show. He has now agreed to continue his service to the Chapter as our new Director of Shows on the Ops team.

Before the banquet was adjourned, director Joe Cerutti thanked president Randall for his work and leadership. And then we sang Happy Birthday to Randall.

After the banquet, guests were invited to dance to the music of Riptide band which includes Chris Huber, Kellen Hertz, Joe Cerutti Sr. and Joel Golden.  They invited Rusty Orvik to sing one of their numbers too.

 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, February 1, 2017

Looking Back on the 2016 Harmonizers Events and Milestones

We began our 2016 year with the Presidents’ Award Banquet and board installation on January 9th at Fort Myer club. Randall Eliason was installed as chapter president for ’16 along with his board (a revised board structure per BHS bylaw options) Chris Buechler, secretary; Al Herman, treasurer; Mike Edison, Kevin McKenzie and Steve White, members-at-large; and Rick Wagner as immediate past president. A large operations team was also formed to take over the work for the chapter: Executive Director, Terry Reynolds; Music Director, Joe Cerutti; Communications Director, Scipio Garling;  Contest Director, Craig Kujawa;  Development Director, Josh Roots;  Education Director, Vickie Dennis; Finance Director (BHS chapter), Carl Kauffmann;  Finance Director (AH chapter), TBA, pending final 501(c)3 status; Membership Director, Rich Hewitt; Operations Director, Doug White; Director of Shows, Todd Ryktarsyk; Volunteer Activities Director, Robyn Murane; and Archivist/Historian, TBA.


The chapter also formed another 501(c)3 group called Alexandria Harmonizers, Inc. with Ken Fess as president, Clyde Crusenberry as vice president, Liz Birnbaum as secretary; Julie Rizzo as treasurer; Bruce Roehm, John Roots and Steve Sutton as board members; and Randall Eliason and Rick Wagner as representatives from the BHS chapter . This group concentrates on fundraising.

A major chapter change was the news that our traditional auxiliary group, FRIENDS IN HARMONY, decided not to reform for 2016.  Much of their duties will be managed by the volunteer coordinator on the operations team, Robyn Murane.

Our Singing Valentines program continued with a plan of sending quartets to make public relations appearances in the Alexandria community. There were also some quartets who presented valentine messages for requested customers or for senior citizen facilities.

The Harmonizers hosted its third Aca Challenge at Lincoln Theater on U Street in DC Saturday, March 21st at 8 pm. The chapter invited DC area a cappella groups to audition and six were chosen to compete. The chapter awarded a $1,000 first prize to All Natural, alums of U of MD a cappella groups.  They received their “big” check presented by last year’s winners Vox Pop.  Judges were leaders in the DC a cappella community. Also the audience was invited to vote via text during the contest for their favorite. Emcee for the night was Tony Colosimo.


Shows vice president Nick Leiserson and Aca Challenge show producer Reed Livergood assembled a team of chapter and family members to make the event a success including an all-important house crew headed by Robyn Murane, who worked back stage and in the lobby and auditorium.  The 80-man chorus sang “America,” “Yesterday,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and “Friday Night in the Castro.”  TBD also sang on the show.


A new event for this year was the University of Maryland Men’s Choral Invitational at the Memorial Chapel on campus, Saturday April 2nd. It was coordinated by Greg Graf from the U of MD. There were about 200 singers combined from the Harmonizers, U of MD Men’s Chorus, The Rock Creek Singers from the DC Gay Men’s Chorus, Towson Men’s Chorus, Washington Men’s Camerata, and Manner Musik. Each group sang and then the combined group sang three songs.



Our 8th annual Youth Harmony Festival was April 18th at Convergence Church with nearly 60 youth singers and 10 music educators. Bill Colosimo was coordinator with education director Vickie Dennis.  Tony Colosimo and Vera Crosue were clinicians. THE NEW FANGLED FOUR and C’EST LA VIE were guest quartets to sing with the youth. This year’s festival was part of our CHOYCE (Comprehensive Harmonizer Outreach Youth Choral Education) program that was funded in part by a BHS grant.  The Harmonizers sang on the evening show for parents and friends who came to hear the students perform. In February, SIGNATURE quartet from Florida also came to sing at schools in the DC area and help them discover choral music and invite them to the festival.


Also in April, president Randall lead the effort of the chapter and its many friends to raise over $20,000 in our first participation in Spring2ACTion in Alexandria.


A major musical experience for the Harmonizers was singing two performances of “I Am Harvey Milk” at Strathmore with the National Philharmonic; Kristin Chenoweth, well known for her role in “Wicked;” and Andrew Lippa, creator of the oratorio. We rehearsed on this choral piece in tenor one, tenor two, baritone and bass sections starting in January leading up to the April 23-24 shows.  There were 12 works in the piece. There were 110 singers – we were joined by a dozen men who auditioned to sing with us for this event. We worked with Strathmore executive producer Rolando Sanz in the weeks leading up to the performance, along with, Joel Fram, musical director for the performance, and a Broadway choreographer. Our music team worked hard to help us prepare with dedication and inspiration from director Joe Cerutti, learning materials prepared by Tony Colosimo, and choreography preparation by Carlos Barillo.


In May we held our third Armed Forces Show -  at Fort Meyer Memorial Chapel this year -where we used our patriotic package.  Bill Colosimo was emcee.  We also did a patriotic package for the City of Alexandria’s Sept. 11th Remembrance Ceremony at Market Square; a package at the Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria to raise monies for Wounded Warriors; and our annual sing at Oakton Elementary School on November 11th.


The chapter held a charter night celebration June 28th in honor of our 68th year. Many long-time members were present for the brief celebration, refreshments and then rehearsal for contest.


Our appearance at the International in Nashville was a major event for the year.  Our chorus of 103 men earned 89.6% and ranked sixth!  It was our 25th time to compete at international.  Our songs were “Yesterday” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” arranged by David Harrington. This package allowed us to honor our director Emeritus Scott Werner who appeared on stage with us. Our coaches for the contest cycle were David Wright, Tony DeRosa and Cindy Hansen.  Chorus Riser Coach Chuck McKeever headed up the team to manage our annual pre-international retreat at Westminster, MD. There were 24 guys in the class of ’16 and Casey Belzer was class president.  There were a number of ‘special forces’ guys who joined us for this contest.  Craig Kujawa was Nashville chairman for our events that week.  The traditional Hideaway was available for all of us to enjoy.  In the quartet contest, DA CAPO  ranked 10th, and LAST MEN STANDING ranked 30th. Our sendoff event at Providence Presbyterian Church in June included sharing the stage with barbershop friends from Germany.


In the summer we did our usual summer “caroling” at INOVA Alexandria Hospital and the summer outdoor concert at Market Square. TBD sang many shows in the DC metro area and appeared with the chorus on most major shows or concerts. Reed Livergood is the musical coordinator for TBD. One of our other major paid jobs was for the Asbury Methodist Village Foundation in MD.  Over 65 of us had great fun at the annual sing with other local chapters at Dog Days hosted by the Prince William Chapter.


Our “fall” show October 15th, at  Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on NOVA Alexandria campus, was another major musical effort for the chapter. Todd Ryktarsyk was producer. The show theme was Revolution – a musical celebration of the art of change. The first half of the show featured all Beatles songs including our contest package and an audience sing-a-long with a guest pianist/entertainer, fellow barbershopper from Pittsburgh, Drew Tepe.  Some songs were sung by TBD, some by DA CAPO, our guest quartet for the show. The second half featured a portion of the songs from “I Am Harvey Milk” with soloist Larry Freidman and accompanist, former Harmonizer, Allan Weber.

The chorus did not sing at the 2016 M-AD contest having announced our plan to not compete until 2019.  But there were over 50 of us there for meetings, and to cheer on DA CAPO who won the district quartet championship! Other Harmonizer quartets included PRATT STREET FOUR that placed second; BOURBEN STREET FOUR that placed fourth, and HERSHEY TRANSIT COMPANY that placed eight.  YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT placed seventeenth and HANDSOME REWARD placed twenty-second.    John Santora was elected to the district Hall of Honor for his service to M-AD. Dennis Ritchey was elected president of the district and Bob Eckman was elected executive vice president.

The annual holiday show in December, with three shows at Harris Theater on campus of GMU, December 15-16, presented “A Family Christmas.”  It featured the chorus singing several new songs with other artists on the show including a high school quartet of quadruplets from WI, VINTAGE MIX; and the Reen Family Singers including their four sons who sing some songs as a quartet.  TBD sang on the show too.  Mick Stamps was show producer. There was a silent auction too.

Also in December we sang holiday music as we strolled from restaurant to restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, sang on a benefit concert, and sang for a ladies luncheon at Fairfax Country Club, .

Membership at the end of the year was over 225.  Three Harmonizers died during the year – Burt Stueve, Jim Stockton and Michael Organ.


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, January 30, 2017

Looking Back on the Jan 24th Chapter Meeting and Wrap Up from Midwinter

Thanks to Dixie Kennett for reporting on Harmonizers who were involved at the Midwinter in San Antonio last week and many who attended.

Chris Buechler attended Society Contest and Judging Committee meetings and was contest administrator. John Santora serves on the Society Board of Directors. Dennis Ritchey and Bob Eckman attended District Presidents Council meetings as they are both assuming leadership in our district.  Chuck Harner participated in Harmony Foundation events; Terry Reynolds helped the Leadership Operations Team, Mike Kelly did filming for Harmony Foundation. Rick Taylor is on the Harmony Foundation staff and of course Joe Cerutti is on the BHS staff.  John Adams sang with Association of Intl Seniors Quartet Champs chorus.

Other attendees include Keith Jones, Chuck Hunter, Sam McFarland, Alan Wile, Ross Johnson, Chuck McKeever, Darryl Flinn, Tom Gannon, Alan Lamson, Pete Frank and Jim Lucey. It was great to see some former members, including Jack Stevens who served as Volunteer Chairman for the convention, Mike Louque who was a presentation judge for the contest, Sean Devine with Harmony Foundation, Dave Binetti working on new contest scoring software, Ed Schubel singing with Collegiate Quartet champion PATT STREET POWER, Paul Wietlisbach, Dan Cook, Chuck Botts, Bob Hirsh, Mark Rodda singing in a seniors quartet, Dave Ellis and Gary Plaag.

YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT seniors quartet with Mike Wallen did not compete because of bass Vic Owens’ heart surgery. However PARTY OF FIVE, representing the Mid-Atlantic District, brought home the seniors quartet gold, outscoring the second place quartet by just two points.


Keith Jones reported this news from Midwinter:  Bob Eckman, Sam McFarland, Chuck McKeever and I performed in the All-Chapter Chorus (about 200 men) that opened the Saturday Night Show with three songs. Youth Chorus Festival sponsors included Ross Johnson & Susan Williams and Darryl & Meredith Flinn. John Santora also taught a Harmony U class during the convention. Some Harmonizers will be interested to know that past M-AD president Dick Powell was installed as Society EVP.


Tuesday nite Jan. 24th was another busy one for the chapter. Associate director Tony Colosimo started off the music portion of the  nite with vocal warm ups.  A crew of guys had pitched in to set up the risers and all the other equipment for the operation (a bit late, since the battery in our truck would not start the engine earlier).  Thanks to Bob Blair for taking fast action to get a jump and get the truck to Durant.


Director Joe Cerutti welcomed Phil Ashford back on the risers, Brian Miller was back and Bert Phillips was visiting from TN.


Joe taught the chorus all of the new gospel song “There Must Be a City” by rote.  At one point, he played the Fairfield Four version of it for all to hear.

We also worked on some former Harmo favorites we will use for our show at the NED at Lake George.  The music team announced that we would not be projecting music after tonite – if guys need music, they should bring a hard copy.


After a solid music workout, the everyone was assigned to meet with an operations team director for a first-ever team meeting effort.  Teams included communications, membership, development, shows, finance, music, and such.  This was just a starting point.  Non singers (men and women) were invited to join the teams too.


Our chapter meeting time before the break included an introduction of Chuck Leonard explaining plans for the Little Theater of Alexandria performance of :The Fabulous Lipotones” comedy about a barbershop quartet.  It will run from April 22-May 12.  They are looking for guys to try out for the show and of course for folks to attend.


Our fourth annual AcaChallenge is coming up on March 25th.  We will sing. Candidates are lined up to compete for the $2000 first prize we offer. Tickets are on sale too.


Sunday evening March 5th we host the Yale Whiffenpoofs at Convergence.  We will sing and share the ticket sales with their group.


President Randall Eliason reminded all to sign up tonite for the Presidents’ Banquet on Sat nite Jan 28th.  It was confirmed that we will be dressy casual – no tie for the men.


Casey Belzer reported that his middle school concert is Tuesday, Jan 31st at 7 pm at George Washington Middle School in Alexandria.


The music team will meet with each singer, one-on-one, this week at Convergence.  The schedule was announced and posted for each guy. 


Secretary Chris Buechler presented quartet registration cards for the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES quartet in our chapter – a 31-year tradition of registering our section leaders as a quartet. Then Chris presented membership renewal cards to Matchan Takahashi for three years; Rob Barnovsky for seven years; Johan Westburg for eleven years; Frank Fedarko for 15 years; Bruce Roehm for sixteen years; Brian Miller for twenty years; Brian Ammerman for twenty three years; Chuck Powell for twenty three years; Keith Jones for thirty nite years; and Rick Savage for forty three years.. Outside the chapter meeting, Chris reports renewals for Mike Everard for 50 years too.


Membership director Rich Hewitt welcomed guests and applicants present for this week’s gathering.


After break, it was back to work on our music.


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