Friday, June 2, 2017

Looking Back on the May 30th Chapter Meeting
ALERT – the chapter will celebrate our 69th anniversary on Tuesday nite, June 13th!  All current and former members are welcome for the event.  Cake too!! Our sponsoring chapter, Washington DC, will have representatives too.  Also note, the chapter meetings on June 6 and June 13th will be at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. in Alexandria, in the music suite.
This week the come-early-to-tag was at 6:50 with associate director Tony Colosimo teaching.  The crowd continues to be good for that event.
There was some clatter in the hall before our start time as we rented our risers to the DC Gay Men’s Chorus for an event and the risers came out from under the stage in Durant.
At start time, we formed a huge circle in the hall and Tony did the vocal warm ups before turning the chorus over to director Joe Cerutti. Joe was full of compliments and thank yous to the quartets that represented us so well at Southern Division and to the chorus for its work to earn the good score on Saturday, and also to the many men who stayed around for an impromptu rehearsal on our new music.  That session appeared to help many men when we got to those songs this week.
Joe thanked Johan Westberg for the idea to make the extra rehearsal open to all at the convention and reported he had gotten a nice note about it from other chorus leaders. This prompted Joe to revisit briefly the topic of inclusion and diversity and Joe spoke some about next steps, his promise to strive for more open communication, and his desire to create more dialog with members about the topic.
The musical workout sessions for this week concentrated on the “Chicago” medley and new songs for Harmony U. There is one more song to come – very soon.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the meeting and expressed thanks to the chapter quartet, NATURAL SEQUE,  for filling a request from the American Legion to sing at Alexandria National Cemetery on Memorial Day.  Terry also announced an addition to the chapter calendar – an all-sectionals rehearsal on Saturday morning June 24th  in the music suigte at First Baptist.
Ops team chairman Mike Edison recognized and thanked Matt Doniger for his above-the-call-of-duty efforts on the weekend when our truck hauling risers for the contest had a blowout and had to be towed to Reston!!  Matt managed it all and got the risers there in time!!!
Terry encouraged all members to review and note the recent start of communications from events chairman Craig Kujawa for the fall district contest weekend in Reading PA.  See his first edition of “Magic City Countdown” (referring to the run to get to the International contest in Orlando in summer of 2018).
President Randall Eliason reported that Dick Hall is in a rehab facility (Restore Health Rehabilitation Center, 4615 Einstein Place, White Plains MD 29695, his cell 301-928-4379) and eager to hear from chapter members and that Bob Ulibarri is making progress on his heart health issues.
Randall presented another of his Presidential Valor Awards – this time to Jeff  Burkey for his great work on the chapter’s new website.  Congrats and thanks, Jeff.
Ike Evans was taking photos of members for the member photo board that hangs in the hall. All newer members are encouraged to get their mug up on the board!  And old timers who don’t look like their mug, should remake theirs!
Membership director Rich Hewitt introduced guests, and asked for volunteers to work at sending cards to members with health and family issues.
Private vocal lessons will continue to be available with Vicki Dennis on Tuesday nites.
The Chapter Nominating Committee is gearing up to consider individuals to serve on next year’s Board of Directors. To ensure the broadest possible coverage, your input is welcomed for (1) names of individuals you believe would serve the chapter best in a particular position, and/or (2) your own name for consideration. The nominating committee includes Brad Jones, Clark Chesser, Mark Klostermeyer and Todd Ryktarsyk with Alan Wile as chairman.
Everyone sends congratulations to Andrew Havens and his wife on the birth of their baby girl today! Greg Tepe was in the hall this week as was Jerry TePaske.  Great to have Ross Felker in town for a couple weeks from his home in Texas.  Also was fun to hang out with several guys at Southern Division we don’t get to see often like Larry Silva and Chuck BottsTerry Jordan was up and moving and was fun to share the weekend with him too.
No one can believe Will Cox won the 50/50 again this week! So Matt Doniger directed “Keep the Whole World Singing.”
Some new guys made it to the afterglow at LaPortas at 1600 Duke Street – short walk or drive from Durant. Also easy access to the Metro. Plenty of free parking.  Everyone is welcome.  You don’t have to stay late – come for a short stop before heading home.  Late singers manage to get in some tag singing tho.
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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Looking Back on the May 26-27th Southern Division Contest
The Alexandria chapter was busy all weekend at the Reston Hyatt as participants and leaders for the 2017 Southern Division Contest as part of the Mid Atlantic District. 
Friday nite the quartet contest started at 5 pm and our seven quartets represented us well. 
First place was won by CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB with Mario Sengco; Jordan Haedtler, Chuck Hunter, Ken White.

The first place senior quartet and fifth place overall was SILVER ALERT with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane.

Sixth place quartet was NATURAL SEGUE with Scipio Garling, Noah Van Gilder, Jeff Burkey, Terry Reynolds.

Seventh place was YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT with Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Hardman Jones, Vic Owen Jr. Seventeenth place was MISFIRE with Jay Sorenson, Brian Ammerman, Litic Murali, Matt Doniger. Eighteenth place was OLD TOWN SOUND with Carl Kauffmann, Randall Eliason, Bob Mattes, Dave Welter. Twentieth place was FOUR IN THE MORNING with Mike Geipel, Ron Nichols, Gene Thompson, Emmitt Totty.

Emcee for that event was our own Shawn Tallant and three Harmonizers were on the judging panel for the quartet contest – Chris Buechler, Alan Lamson and Tony Colosimo. Mic tester quartet was SERENDIPITY, the recently crowned mixed quartet champs in M-AD with Sheryl Berlin, Anne Bureau, Bill Colosimo and Ig Jakovac.

The chorus contest was Saturday morning in the Hyatt ballroom at 10:30 am. With eleven chorus entries, Alexandria sang fifth.  Mic tester for the chorus contest was our friends in the Mount Vernon VA Harmony Heritage Singers.
The Alexandria 73-man chorus placed first with an 87.8 score. We sang “Summertime” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” from our repertoire. We wore black suits and the thin ties. This was the first contest performance for several guys – Johan Westberg, Rob Barnovsky, Jerry Foil, and Mickey Robertson.

We began the day with warm ups at 9 am with director Joe Cerutti, who also congratulated all of our quartets for their work in representing the chapter.  Most of us arrived in our uniforms for the day. \

District executive vice president Bob Eckman was emcee for the chorus contest and Chris and Alan were on the panel. After the contest ended, folks took a break for lunch in the Reston TownCenter area or rested or went home to come back for the jamboree appearance Saturday nite.

There was an informal chorus rehearsal on our new songs to take to Harmony University and the “Chicago” medley. Joe had the 40 or so guys form a circle for this session For the jamboree we sang one of our new spiritual songs, “There Will Be a City” and “All You Need Is Love” which included a fun audience sing-along.

The jamboree included quartets who will be going to International this summer, top placers in the quartet and chorus contest from the weekend. Harmonizer Rick Taylor spoke during the weekend to encourage more folks to join and support Harmony Foundation. District president Dennis Ritchey was working all weekend to help make things run smoothly and was emcee for the jamboree.

As is often  the case at contests, our guys participated with several other choruses too. 

The mic tester chours, Harmony Heritage Singers, is directed by Drew Fuller with Mike Everard, Jim Kirkland, Lou Manfre, Bruce Minnick, Howard Nestlerode and Bob Wachter singing on the risers. The DC Singing Capital Chorus was directed by Bill Colosimo and Al Hanenbaum sang with them. Mike Wallen directed the Richmond chorus and Mike Geipel sang with them. Also Drew Fuller, Sam McFarland, Art Medici and Bruce Minnick sang with Fairfax.

We wrapped up the weekend with “Keep The Whole World Singing” directed by Joe with our chorus on the stage.

President Randall Eliason hosted an impromptu Harmo room in the hotel both Friday and Saturday nites. Fun for all.

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