Thursday, September 14, 2017

Looking Back on the Sept. 12th Chapter Meeting
There was an extra rehearsal on Thursday, Sept. 7th at Plymouth Haven at which there was vigorous drills on the contest set.
In other news from that meeting, president Randall Eliason reported that Steve and Jerri White and their families want to thank the Harmonizers for their many condolences and contributions to the Harmony Foundation in memory of Ben Smith, Sr., Jerri's father and a former Harmonizer. Randall noted that they are just a bit short of the $1,000 goal for contributions to the Harmony Foundation "Keep a Melody Ringing" program to have Ben's name inscribed on the wall at BHS headquarters is a little short of the $1,000 goal. So if any Harmonizers were still considering a donation in Ben's memory that would be greatly appreciated."
Tuesday nite Sept 12th was another great rehearsal session at Plymouth Haven. Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups and brought our coach, Kevin Keller (sporting his own Harmo shirt!)  from the Ambassadors of Harmony.  Tony and director Joe Cerutti worked with Kevin to polish the contest songs even more.  Kevin continued his terrific work started at HU to motivate the singers and his help to the musical leaders on their role up front.
They worked on the ballad the first half of the nite and the uptune after break.
The hall was full of guests and friends.  Some guys from other chapters.  Many family members. Two guests from Savannah, GA here to escape Hurricane Irma stuff - Colin Harrison who directs the chorus down there and sang with Adam Afifi, and Colin’s dad, Goeff. And some guys we have not seen for a while – Bob Wachter, Mike Schwartz, Nick Murane and Jeff Taylor. Mike Everard was present too and Joe presented him his 50-year membership pin from BHS. In that presentation, Joe shared remarks about Mike’s years of service as a barbershop leader, quartet man and communications worker.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted a chapter meeting and reminded everyone that there is a rehearsal Wed nite, Sept. 13th at Plymouth Haven (YeEd will not publish a Looking Back report for that meeting.) AND we will be back at Durant on Sept. 19th for one nite.
He reminded all to post the afternoon gig on Oct 7th.  And reports that tickets will be on sale for our “Rock My Soul” shows Oct 13 and 14.
Sandy Stamps has brought the White House Ornaments in for the start of the sales this year.
Terry also prompted all members to read carefully all the email messages about the busy weekend ahead of competition, hosting the fall district contest and the appearance at Carnegie Hall. Ian Poulin, Bob Rhome and Shawn Tallant are key players in this weekend’s schedule.
Terry reports that we will have new pocket stuffers issued in Reading for the contest.
Finally, Terry reminded all that the first chorus gathering time in Reading will be rehearsal at 10:15 pm Friday nite in the Crowne Plaza Dior Ballroom.
President Randall Eliason encouraged the chorus singers to support our quartets at the competition on Friday evening.  That contest starts at 4:57 pm at Santander Performing Arts Center. Mic testers will be our own DA CAPO with Ryan Griffith, Tony Colosimo, Joe Sawyer, Andrew Havens.

As is our chapter’s tradition, Randall presented a check of support for our chapter-member quartets:

Singing 12th - CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB with Mario Sengco, Jordan Headtler, Chuck Hunter, Ken White

Singing 21st - SILVER ALERT (seniors quartet) with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane

Singing 22nd - NATURAL SEGUE with Scip Garling, Noah Van Gilder, Jeff Burkey, Terry Reynolds

Singing 23rd - YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT (seniors quartet) Mike Wallen, Roger Tarpey, Hardman Jones, Vic Owen Jr.
Note also that the following chapter members who are District Quartet Champions will be performing on the Saturday Night Show with the Mid-Atlantic District Association of Quartet Champions . Bill Colosimo, Tony Colosimo, Will Cox, Andrew Havens, Mike Kelly, Rick Savage, Rick Taylor, Mike Wallen, Ken White, and Steve White.
Joe asked all the members to wear their Harmo black camp shirt for a quick video shoot Wed. Sept. 13th for our possible making contact with CHICAGO when they are performing in DC.
Membership director Dave Kohls reported that Ben Watsky   and Will Theuer passed their auditions last Tuesday nite. Congrats to them.  He asked for the section leaders to audition another prospect tonite.  Welcome to guests this week – Nick F, Jon, Collin, Goeff and Bill.
Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Don Dillingham for 8 years; Todd Ryktarsyk for 12 years; Ken Henderson for 14 years; Randall Eliason for 22 years; Tony Colosimo for 23 years; Jeff Taylor for 25 years plus his lapel pin; Mike Geipel for 26 years; Chuck McKeever for 31 years; Terry Reynolds for 33 years; Mike Kelly for 36 years; Mick Stamps for 37 years; John Santora for 40 years plus his lapel pin; Carl Kauffmann for 45 years, and Jack Cameron for 48 years.
After the break there was a quick review of “New York New York” for the Carnegie Hall show. 
Then CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB SANG their two contest songs for us and earned loud cheers and applause from the chapter. 
The second half of the nite was used for work on the uptune and then a run-thru of the whole set.
Coach Kevin gave final remarks and we closed the hall and loaded the truck.
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Looking Back on the Sept. 5th Chapter Meeting
This week’s meeting was back at Plymouth Haven Baptist Church on Ft. Hunt Road where we had met years ago when the Durant Rec Center was under reconstruction.  According to executive director Terry Reynolds, the Rec Center was not available for our use. 
NOTE that we will be at Plymouth Haven for the extra rehearsal Sept. 7th, for Tuesday Sept. 12th and for the extra rehearsal Wed. Sept. 13th. We are back at Durant for at least one week on Tuesday Sept. 19th.
Lots of extra group meeting were at the church at 6 pm – basses with director Joe Cerutti, front row dancers outside on patio drilling their routines, and then tag singing with associate director Tony Colosimo.
Tony did the vocal warm ups and also conducted a silent drill with visuals of uptune.
Then with trumpet fanfares from the loudspeaker, he introduced director Joe to take over!
With the fall contest so much earlier this year (Sept. 15-16 in Reading PA) Joe worked hard to help the singers prepare for that performance. He also was preparing the chorus for the coaching session with Kevin Keller on Sept. 12thJoe also thanked all the men who came to the Dog Days event in Manassas and those who came to the extra rehearsal last week with Joe and choreographer Carlos Barillo.
Terry conducted the chapter meeting. 
To confirm, the uniform for contest is black suit, thin tie, black shiny shoes.
President Randall Eliason reported on a number of members health situations:  Kevin McKenzie is recovering from some serious back issues but happy to report a no-cancer test result; Brad Jones had a bad shoulder issue; Bob Mattes has back issues; Don Thompson is recovering from knee surgery; and Bob Wachter and Jean are both in the hospital – he at Mount Vernon and she at Alexandria. Word is that Bob was due to go home on Wed. 6th.
Randall also spoke about our busy weekend with hosting the district contest, competing early Saturday morning, and then the appearance at Carnegie Hall in NYC.  And then home again for our fall show weekend!
Carnegie Hall tickets are available from Walt Page.
Secretary Chris Buechler reported that all members have paid their dues and eligible for competition.
Membership chairman Dave Kohls remarked about his request for helpers in various membership duties – he is working hard to create a team instead on one many doing it all. Then he welcomed Nick Murane, plus guests Nick, Will and Ben.  During the break, a learning quartet worked with the guests preparing for their auditions.
After a break, Joe worked with the chorus to revive “New York, New York” for Carnegie Hall.  The front row guys who had done the chorus line routine stepped up and performed it too!
Then after confirming riser positions, and the correct spacing on the risers, Joe had the chorus perform the contest set several times.
Ken Rub directed “Keep the Whole World Singing” and we adjourned.  A group of guys went to Southside 815 on South Washington Street for an afterglow. 
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 70th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd