Saturday, February 18, 2017

Looking Back on the Feb. 14th Chapter Meeting

Even tho it was Valentine Day nite, we had a great crowd of men.  We formed the ring around Durant hall again for warm ups with associate director Tony Colosimo. He invited director Joe Cerutti to front and center to take over. Joe started with comments about why were are doing the gospel pieces and trying hard to do them correctly for that genre.

We worked on the two songs we have already started learning, and then each man was given a 5x6 inch card and a golf pencil to take notes on another new gospel song, “Roll Jordan Roll.”

We will sing “Summertime” with choreography, “There Must Be a City” and “All We Need is Love’ as our part of the evening for the Whiffenpoof concert March 5th.  Uniform for that appearance will be the black suite with the narrow black tie. At one point this week we consolidated into a chorus formation to review the stage presence plans (that we used years ago) and taught it to the many new men who had not performed the song.

Part of the nite we also had sectionals.

Executive director Terry Reynolds thanked Reed Livergood for helping get the sound equipment up and running.

And Terry thanked all the men who sang Valentine tributes this weekend and especially those who just had arrived at Durant after singing for Alexandria City Mayor, Allison Silberberg, who was very gracious and welcoming to the Harmonizer quartet composed of Brian Ammerman, Ben Roberts, Chuck Hunter and Dean Rust. After greeting the men in the hallway, she ushered them to the front of the Council chambers and, with mic in hand, introduced them to those present and to those watching the Alexandria Comcast channel, saying the Harmonizers have been performing in Alexandria for 69 years. The quartet members were invited to introduce themselves, including the number of years in the chapter/society. They then sang two songs: “Heart Of My Heart” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” At the Mayor’s insistence, they then sang a third song: “My Wild Irish Rose.” (Thanks to Alan Wile for this coverage of that appearance.)

According to Terry, there were five quartets who delivered 20 Singing Valentine gigs. He thanked all those members who sang and those who offered to sing if needed.  YeEd believes Clyde Crusenberry, Mark Klostermeyer and Joe Cerutti Sr. helped schedule those gigs.

As has been the case since 2000, a quartet composed of different singers every year called FOUR FROM THE HEART sang at two oncology units in Burke and McLean and did some telephone call gigs.

Stay tuned for a full report of our chapter’s Singing Valentine efforts.






ACA Challenge chairman Reed Livergood sends this message to all members: This is the 4th year we have produced the ACA Challenge with 2016 being the most attended and closest competition yet. For this year's edition, we have six highly-qualified competitors (see list below) that come from both the professional and collegiate a cappella communities. They are located around metro DC, Virginia, New York, and the Atlantic Coast. We are honored to have our own Tony Colosimo as emcee (again) this year with judges such as Catherine Lewis, Mike Rowan, John Ehrlich, and potentially Tom Kraus. As a reminder,  guys should continue telling their friends, family, co-workers, anyone who loves modern a cappella to visit
Lincoln Theater's website or our Harmonizer Facebook Event page. Joe and Terry will be announcing the songs the chorus will sing as part of the program after the contestants have performed.  Call time has not been announced yet.  The contestants are Backtrack;  Blackout;  Faux Paz; Polaeris; The BlueStones and The Originals. Reed needs a number of volunteers for the house operations, back stage and such. Speak to him ASAP if you can help.

Jeff Burkey took a minute to helped all members present to get info about this event on Facebook with a step-by-step walk-thru.

President Randall Eliason reported that Terry Jordan has been in the hospital this week with new internal health problems.

Randall also explained the chapter’s angel fun to support guys who need help paying for things – like attending the Harmony University this summer with the chapter.  Both those who might need some help and those who are willing to chip into the fund should speak with Randall.

There are special plans for the Feb. 28th meeting – the first half we will hear about a possible trip to Russia.  Jack Pinto will be out speaker.  Then after the break, all of us will go into Old Town to the restaurant that is contributing 20% of any checks that use the Harmonizer code – 310-500-050.  It is Vola’s Dockside Grill at 110 N Union – in the Torpedo Factory on the corner by the high water marks.  Hope all Harmonizers and former Harmonizers can come join in the fun that nite. DA CAPO is scheduled to sing for us too!!!

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Walter Page for 23 years; Dean Rust for 37 years and Will Cox for 39 years.

Membership director Rich Hewitt welcomed guests and applicants, reminded section leaders about auditions tonite, and spoke to members of his team.

Thanks again to those who brought goodies, and candy for the break.  And to those who have continued to keep making donations to the kitty.

In other news, be sure to check out the current issue of BHS's The Harmonizer magazine, which arrived in the mail this week. It contains an excellent article by Scipio Garling called "Facing Outward," about our experience performing in "I am Harvey Milk."

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, February 13, 2017

Looking Back on the Feb. 7th Chapter Meeting

We met in a ring or circle in Durant again this week.  Guests were on the stage (The 50/50 team is gonna set up in the kitchen next week, so more of you can get your tickets).


Director Joe Cerutti did the vocal warm ups and taught us a new tag as part of that time. Before we started work on our music, he announced that the bus trip to NED has been cancelled and consequently, we will not be singing “New York, New York” or “Ring of Fire.”


We worked a lot on the new gospel songs which we will do as part of the FAIRFIELD FOUR shows.  In fact, near the end of the nite, Joe had us face the stage and he stood there and filmed us singing the chorus for “There Is a City” to send to the quartet.


The chapter leadership organized another team building session and every singer went  to attend one of the operations team meetings for a 20 minute session.


Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted a meeting before the break.  Our efforts for Singing Valentines is ongoing and quartets will make appearances that the chapter arranges to promote a cappella singing and our chapter.


Late breaking news about the March 5th Whiffenpoof show – if a member wants to hear them, he needs to buy a ticket too.  The space at Convergence won’t hold all of us and an audience too.


Aca Challenge is underway too. Contestants have been chosen. Chorus will sing. Event will again be held at famous Lincoln Theater, 1215 U Street NW from 8-10 pm.  The audience will vote for their favorite too. 


President Randall Eliason announced that Calvin Schnure is recovering from a vocal nodules situation and missing the chance to sing.


Randall also signaled the date for this year’s Spring to Action – Wed. April 5th.  Last year the chapter earned a significant amount.  One new wrinkle – all customers who eat at Vola’s Dockside Grill, 101 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314,  between Feb. 10 and Mar. 10 and check the Harmonizer code 310-500-050 will earn the chapter 20% of the bill. Spread the word and get lots of folks to eat there.  The local group that earns the most with this plan also earns a $500 bonus.


Robyn Murane, volunteer chairman on the operations team, passed out a pink slip for each member with this message: “As volunteers supporting the Harmonizers, we usher and run the house; sell snacks, CSs, tickets, and take donations at shows; work on fundraisers like White House ornaments and the holiday show silent auction; create, sew and mend costumes.  We help with membership, host parties and events, help populate databases and assist with correspondence, and are admitted to the shows we work free of charge.  Any member or family member or former member or chapter friends can help.  Contact Robyn at”


Rich Payton has stepped up to be chairman of another of our popular Put Together Quartet contests for the chapter and all barbershop singers in the area.  It will be March 28th – sort of a Dog –Days-type event for quartets.   All our singers should work on a song to sing. Some comedy songs would be a happy addition. Figure there will be trophies as usual.


Conventions chairman, Craig Kujawa, has sent a very detailed message to all members about registering as a chorus for Harmony University in Nashville.  Don’t delay in making your plans.


Secretary Chris Buechler presented a four year membership renewal card to Aaron Simoneau.


Ike Evans was taking mug shot pictures of members for the picture board that is hung in the meeting hall each week. 


Membership director Rich Hewitt welcomed guests and applicants and a new member, Jerry Foil.


Thanks to all those who brought goodies to share, and those who put cash in the kitty to help cover costs.  Keep it coming.


After break, we worked more on our gospel music.


In other news, the chapter’s education committee hosted a meeting for local school music educators on Sat. Feb. 4th at First Baptist.  Chairman Vicki Dennis was in charge and director Joe Cerutti was the major presenter.  He spoke about the art form, how we teach, how we involve students and men (and women) in a cappella singing.  SAI quartet CLASS RING was present to demonstrate good quartet singing (They have reached fifth place in their organization’s International contest.) Harmonizer executive director Terry Reynolds managed the audio tasks for the presentations.  President Randall Eliason and a few other members were present to welcome and greet attendees and help with coffee service.


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