Thursday, April 6, 2017

Looking Back on the Mar. 31st M-AD International Prelims and April 4th Chapter Meeting

Several Harmonizers had a busy weekend in Reading PA, at the M-AD International Prelims Quartet contest where quartets can try to qualify to compete at the contest this summer in Vegas.  We did not have any contenders in the pack this year, but Bill Colosimo sang in SERENDIPITY and won the district Mixed Quartet contest with Sheryl Berlin, Anne Bureau and Ig Jakovac.  Both men have been district presidents and both women are chorus directors.  Their quartet will be in the mix to see which USA mixed quartet scores the most points and will get to compete in Germany next year.  Congrats to Bill.

There were a number of former Harmonizers in quartets and a long list of members working at the contest, helping with District administration, or there to cheer and support quartets and the many youth groups who sang in a youth adjudication event on Saturday afternoon.

Rick Taylor and Dennis Ritchey were emcees for contest events. Rick represented the Harmony Foundation at the convention. Dennis is also the current district president.  His executive vp is Bob Eckman.  His secretary is Keith Jones. Mike Kelly is on the district events team and did the photography and recording for contestants too.  The Pretzel City Chorus in Reading was host chapter. Our president Randall Eliason was our official delegate at the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday morning and headed up a large delegation of our leaders at that meeting.  Alan Wile was busy all weekend gathering collections for the M-AD Endowment fund which included his giving away LB records in exchange for donations.

The contest was a good one and M-AD will send six quartets to Vegas: PRATT STREET POWER, ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, FORECAST, FRANK THE DOG, ROUTE 1 and GIMME FOUR.

Also this past weekend, other Harmonizers were busy too. Our 13-member a cappella group TBD held a retreat at Assateague near the shore. Tony Colosimo was there to coach them.

Tony and Andrew Havens, Joe Sawyer and Ricky Savage sang as a quartet and represented the chapter at this year’s University of Maryland invitational men’s sing on Saturday nite.  Great to keep up that tradition.

Tuesday nite April 4th, was a hard working session again at Durant. Associate director Tony Colosimo was there for a tag sing at 6:50 and a large group of guys joined in the fun.

This week we were back on the risers for warm up with Tony and then with director Joe Cerutti for work on our new spiritual songs, a review of songs for Spring2ACTion, and then after break work on the “Chicago Medley.”

It was great to have Bob Wells back with us after his hip replacement (looking good Bob); and Kris Zinkievich back after a busy school concert season.  We will see some of Kris’s family members at the Youth Harmony Festival again.

Alan Wile and Walter Page worked as a team to build up participation in the 50/50 effort. This week it yielded a good sum to the winner and to the M-AD Endowment Fund.

Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the chapter meeting. He reminded guys to sign up for the two new events this month – the community sing with Dr. Barnwell on April 19th, and the join sing with the Alfred Street Baptist men’s choir on Wed, April 26th.

Tim Cash gave a plug for the Fairfax Show this weekend, featuring a quartet from his former chapter in Mammoth Cave, KY, called the GUYER BOYS (a dad and his triplet sons).

President Randall Eliason reported all the latest developments regarding the chapter’s involvement in Spring2ACTion on Wed, April 5th.  He explained two giving points – anytime all day, and then another chance between 3-4 pm to see if we could rack up the most donors in one power hour.  He explained how to do that.  Here is the link:

He also suggested members use social media to promote our efforts. 

And he relayed the details for the sing at Virtue Feed and Grain at 106 Union St, about 6 pm (come when you can if not at 6). He suggested taking the free trolley from the King Street Metro down King Street to Union Street. We will be in the room upstairs. Wear jeans and the black camp casual shirt.

AH, Inc. Chapter president Liz Birnbaum spoke briefly about the importance of this fund raising effort and encouraged guys to believe in our brand and our product in order to gain confidence in asking for donations from supporters.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal to Andrew Havens for 8 years, and a renewal and lapel pin to Dennis Ritchey (our district president too) for 25 years.

Terry announced that the membership team would meet during break on the risers, and the shows team would meet on the stage.  Next week, all leadership operations teams will meet.

Membership director Rich Hewitt welcomed a bunch of guests including barbershop singers from the Vocal Majority and the Ambassadors of Harmony.

Thanks to those who brought in goodies to share at break! And for the donations in the kitty that helps keep the supplies coming.

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 69th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Looking Back on the March 25th ACA Challenge Event

The Harmonizers hosted its fourth ACA Challenge at Lincoln Theater on U Street in DC (This theater was once part of Black Broadway and is a landmark.) on Saturday, March 25th at 8 pm. We had another record year of ticket sales (0ver 750 sold) and another year of audience participation


The chapter invited northeast area a cappella groups to audition – many submitted materials and 6 were chosen to compete. The competitors this year were

  • Blackout from NYC;
  • Backtrack from NYC;
  • Polaeris from DC:
  • UMD Faux Paz;
  • The JMU BluesTones; and
  • CMU Originals.

The chapter offered a $1000 first prize, $500 for second, $250 for third, and $100 for all others.  Judges for the event were Catherine Lewis, musical arts writer; Josh Ehrlich, Voices of Gotham arranger; and Mike Rowan, Chorus America Member Services Director. Also the audience was invited to vote via text during the contest for their favorite.


First place winner was Backtrack.  They received their “big” check presented by last year’s winners All Natural. Second place was BluesTones and third place was Blackout. Emcee for the night was Tony Colosimo.


Event producer Reed Livergood offered these post show comments: The complete list of volunteers who were helpful in making the 2017 ACA Challenge a success is long, but a sincere thank you  to everyone who helped in some capacity. I would like to extend a special thank you to the judges and Tony as our emcee, and the Lincoln Theater staff. Also our production crew of Nick Leiserson, associate producer; Todd Ryktarsyk, associate producer; Scipio Garling, talent scout plus communications; Robyn Murane , house manager; and all the wonderful volunteers who helped her; Greg Tepe, stage manager; Mike Kelly, technical coordinator; Ken Rub and Clark Chesser, Harmonizer venues; Terry Reynolds, Harmo executive director; John Roots, audience voting manager; and the hard working riser crews.


The song package for the chorus (“All You Need Is Love,” “Summertime,” and “Rock My Soul”) was a huge success with this mostly young a cappella-fan-crowd that filled the auditorium and balcony.


 The audience also cheered wildly for our own modern a cappella group – TBD – with their mics and enlarged group. The singers are Scipio Garling, Noah Van Gilder, Jeremy Richardson, Josh Roots, Nick Leiserson, Terry Reynolds, Kellen Herz, Troy Hillier, Todd Ryktarsyk, Joshua Desportes, Clark Chesser and Jeff Burkey. Reed Livergood is the musical leader of the group.



The chorus assembled about 4 pm and did warm ups in the lobby with assistant director Terry Reynolds.  Chorus manager Mark Klostermeyer got the chorus onto the stage for mic test time and associate director Tony did parts of each song. Greg Tepe coordinated the show finale with all contestants.


At 5:30 we were dismissed to get dinner.  The weather was nice and many ate at outdoor spots. Chorus members reassembled in the parking lot to visit, prep for the Put Together Contest, and sing tags.  Then at 7:45 director Joe Cerutti took us to the Walker Memorial Baptist Church around the corner on 13th for a concentrated practice time.  Our uniform was the black suit, hidden button white shirt, black tie, dress black shoes, black sox and belt.


There was a fun and successful afterglow across the street from the theater. 


Chapter director for volunteers, Robyn Murane send this thank you note to the many volunteers who helped make this year’s ACA Challenge a success.  “Saturday night we had an amazing group of 20 or more volunteers at the show, supporting TBD and the Harmonizers!

Sam McFarland, Ninamarie Maragioglio, Jerri White and Keith Jones worked with our contestants and judges, and helped Greg Tepe backstage.


Christina Ammerman led the ticket team redeeming Groupon coupons: Saundra Deltac, Charity Struthers, Aideen Mannion, Kristen Colby, Ellen Dellert and Carol Dangel.


Carol and Ellen did double duty selling CDs at intermission and after the show.


Joe Sr. and Janet Cerutti kept the traffic moving through the lobby guiding patrons to the theater.


Our ushers Naida Harrington, Rebecca Connor, Krissy Folsom, Carlos Correa, Kitty Fedarko, Lydia Golden and first timer Jessica Barnovsky helped patrons find their seats and monitored the doors during the competition.


Thanks to Don Harrington for reporter duties for YeEd for this event.


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


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Looking Back on the Mar. 28th Chapter Meeting and Put Together Contest for 2017

Many men were early this week and you could find quartets warming up for the Put Together Quartet contest all over the Durant building.

The tag singers assembled at 6:50 with associate director Tony Colosimo.

Then at 7 pm, Tony formed the chorus in a ring and we worked on all of our music after he did the vocal warm ups.  He changed the circle order several times getting us in parts or sections. We also worked on some music we will sing at the Spring2ACTion on April 5. 

Tony was covering for director Joe who was out of the country.  Tony spoke about one of our new contest songs and played the learning track for us to enjoy.  This is the first of two ballads and two uptunes we will be learning for our trip to Harmony University.  The first one introduced is “I’m Here” from The Glorious Ones.  It was arranged by Theo Hicks and the learning track done by Drew Wheaton.

Tony also spoke enthusiastically about behind the scenes work with Dr. Barnwell and Ms. Garrett for several events coming up in April where we will be part of a community sing organized by Dr. Barnwell April 19th, and then a singing meeting with Alfred Street Baptist Men’s Choir April 26th at their church in Old Town.

Chapter executive director Terry Reynolds thanked Reed Livergood for his leadership on the Aca Challenge this past weekend in DC.   And Terry reminded everyone to be on tap for the Youth Harmony event April 22 at Durant.  We will sing that evening too.

President Randall Eliason reported that Bob Wells is recovering after his hip replacement, that Vince Cazenas is on the mend after a heart episode, and that donations in honor of Chuck Harmer have earned him a Keep A Melody Ringing plaque at Harmony Hall in Nashville.

Then Randall gave an important update or run down on plans for Spring2ACTion on April 5th including our party and sing and fundraiser event at Virtue Feed and Grain in Old Town.  Watch for his further instructions via email.

He also reminded guys of the Friday midnite deadline to sign up for HU.  And that if anyone needed financial aid, to speak to him.

Finally Randall announced the order of singing for the quartet contest to begin right after break.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Dave Branstetter for 12 years, Chris Huber for 25 years, Sam McFarland for 30 years; and Derrick Smith got his new member packet.  Huber and McFarland also got their lapel pins. 

After break we held our Put Together Quartet contest. Rick Payton and Randall Eliason were coordinators.  There were 12 entries including one quartet from the Frederick chapter (all chapters in the area were invited to send contestants). Will Cox was emcee.  Mike Kelly did the sound.  Tom Kern did the photos. Judges were all M-AD officials – Shawn Tallant, Keith Jones, Alan Wile and Bob Eckman.  Contest score keepers were Jack Pitzer and Chris Buechler.  There were first – third place trophies for comedy or regular contestants.

First place regular quartet was BUTTER FUN with Garling, Van Gilder, Berkey and Reynolds. Second place was LOW TIDE with Hertz, Barnovsky, Golden and Huber. Third place was EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION with Miller, Simoneau, Golden and Derrick Smith.

First place comedy quartet was HAWAII 4-0 with Kousen, T. Colosimo, Szyszka and Murane. Second place was BRIANS’ RULE with Miller, Ammerman, Golden and Quick. Third place was ORANGE CRUSH with Ammerman, Eliason, Rub and Chesser.

Joel Golden gets the unannounced George Azzam Award for singing in the most quartets.

Will Cox finished up the fun evening and conducted us in “Keep The Whole World Singing.”

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 69th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd