Thursday, May 11, 2017

Looking Back on the May 9th Chapter Meeting and Inclusion Workshop
This week’s chapter meeting was really unique in the history of the Alexandria Harmonizers.
After a tag-time at 6:50 pm and short warm up period lead by associate director Tony Colosimo, the members assembled in chairs in the main hall at Durant facing a screen.
Our guest presenter and facilitator was Dr. Sheila Peters from Fish University in Nashville.  She was introduced by director Joe Cerutti.  He spoke about her work with the BHS International board and a session with the BHS staff in Nashville.
This week’s session was actually a continuation of those events but at the chapter level. She stressed the tasks needed for  us to accept change, improve inclusion by the chapter and work on all phases of diversity. She noted that we would need to be intentional about how we move forward – as a group and as individuals.
We did take a few breaks and sang some barbershop for her, as well as some of our spiritual music.
Clearly there will be follow-up and further discussion based on the inputs given by the members as part of the exercise.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted a chapter meeting as part of the evening before break for drinks and snacks.
A major part of the announcements was word about the GospelFest at Durant – co-sponsored by the chapter and the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, City of Alexandria. We are also bringing Grammy-winning Fairfield Four to appear at this event.  They will sing on Friday nite with several groups including Casey Belzer’s middle school chorus (they sing first). The Friday nite show starts at 6 pm.  Joe encourages all of us to go and get a full measure of the quartet’s great skill. All attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate to local food banks.
The Harmonizers will sing on Saturday – chorus call is 10 am, we sing 11-1 – for the GospelFest.  Communications chairman Steve Murane encouraged all members at the 5/9 meeting to open their phones and go into Facebook to spread the word.
Also the chapter will host an Armed Forces tribute event at Durant Saturday afternoon at 3 pm. Former members are encouraged to come to chapter meeting on May 13th to review a couple songs like “Armed Forces Medley” and sing with us for the tribute event.
Next Terry provided calendar reminders for the chorus appearance at the Southern Division at Reston Town Center on Saturday May 27.  We sing at 11:22 am with a chorus call at 9 am.  Watch for more details about uniform and such.  Also plan ahead to get there or get car pool rides.  Also Friday nite we will have 7 quartets in the contest that starts at 5 pm.
Terry reports that there will likely NOT be a bus going to Harmony U, and we have accepted the gig to sing at Carnegie Hall in Sept. (the same weekend as the fall M-AD contest).

Members were reminded to keep their contact info updated on Groupanizer. The chapter will no longer create a separate directory or roster.
President Randall Eliason stressed the importance of participation at the Armed Forces show. He also shared news the Bob Ulibarri is headed home after his hospital stay.
Chapter secretary Chris Buechler reminded us that we should also be sure we keep our contact info correct at BHS since it does not sync with Groupanizer.  Chris then presented membership renewal cards to John Oswald Greene for 6 years; Mike Edison for 26 years; Chris Buechler for 32 years; and Howard Nestlerode for 42 years.
We wrapped up the nite with the 50/50 drawing that was not claimed this week, and so the money was returned to the kitty for next week.  The work by Alan Wile and Walt Page is significantly building up our chapter contributions to the M-AD Endowment Fund (that is where half of the money goes each week).
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