Friday, October 20, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 17th Chapter Meeting
The chorus members were back at work on Tuesday nite in the music suite at First Baptist with the launch of our holiday music for the shows and singouts during the coming season.
Director Joe Cerutti did the warm ups using the “Jingle Bells” melody that we all know.  Then, using the piano to set the pitch and mood of the songs, we touched on each of tunes we will use.  Some new ones are more difficult and Joe encouraged guys to work seriously on “Mary Did You Know.” Mike Kelly was able to project the music for the songs for all to have in front of them – especially until the holiday music books are ready for the guests and newer members.
There was a longer meeting period this week as we did the wrap up from the fall shows and launched the holiday performances. Steve Murane acted as meeting chair.  Ken Rub was saluted for his leadership and direction in getting the fall show to the stages. Ken thanked all of his chairmen and team leaders.
Brian Ammerman is producer heading up the holiday shows Sat. Dec. 2 at 8 pm at TC Williams on King Street, and Sun. Dec. 3 at 2 pm also at TC Williams.  He spoke about the projected ticket sales campaign to retirement and senior centers. He spoke about the proposed ticket prices and possible discounts for seniors and youth.  He spoke about the need for all members to sell tickets and promote the show. The flyers are due soon.  There are 6 ½ weeks til the show.
Note that all the chapter meetings will be at First Baptist for the rest of the year except Tues. nite Nov. 28th.
Special thanks to Dean Rust and John Oswald Greene for their work in helping with the gathering at Alfred Street Baptist Church on Wed. Oct. 25th. The event is being co-hosted by the men’s choir and us.  It will bring together the Harmonizers, the Alfred Street men’s choir, the Alexandria Singers (directed by Bill Colosimo) and a Spanish choir from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.  Start time is 7 pm.  Chorus wear black camp shirt and jeans outfits. Singing should be finished by 8:30 and then refreshments.
The sanctuary of the church is at 301 S. Alfred St. Alexandria, Va.    Church is on the corner of Duke and S. Alfred St.  Entrance to sanctuary is on Alfred Street.  Plan ahead, allow extra time. On the street there is both metered and non-metered parking, but it is limited to two hours during the week up to 11:00 PM.  Enforcement after dark may be spotty, but…  Private lots may be your best choice. They are owned by businesses in the area, but available to the church at no cost after 5:00 PM
All during the day on Sat. Dec. 9th the chorus will be singing at a number of senior centers around the area – likely smaller groups each singing at different ones. Clyde Crusenberry is organizing this event.
Sandy Stamps was at the meeting to distribute White House Ornaments for members to sell.
Mark Klostermeyer presented Joe a framed photo collage from the Carnegie Hall concert the chorus did in Sept.
Liz Birnbaum, president of the AH Inc. board spoke about the important work and team effort needed in the area of fund raising or building our income levels.  She announced that Johan Westberg is the new development director for the group. And there was an announcement about the silent auction slated to be held at the holiday shows.
Randall Eliason, president of the BHS Chapter board, reports that Chris Buechler is home but uncomfortable after his surgery.
Randall also invited members to consider attending the DC Chapter’s annual Harvest of Harmony on Nov. 4th.  It will be the last time DA CAPO sings, and Bill Colosimo’s last show as director with the DC Chapter. CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB will also be on that show.
By the way, the DC Chapter is in the middle of a director search – so anyone interested should contact Bill.
Membership director Dave Kohls reported on the significant response to the strategic survey from chapter members.  He also asked for help in getting fall show ticket customers from the past weekend to respond to the additional show survey (he suggested that could include any of us who saw the show too) at
Dave’s team member Rick Wagner introduced the guests: Brad Jayne, Chris Leyen and Serena Eber.
Steve White introduced the MYSTIC CHICKS quartet from the local Harmony Inc. chapter.  They are Rachael Storey (tenor), Erin Casidy-Whong (lead), Jerri White (bari, Steve's wife), and Debbie Smith (bass, Jerri's sister) They are all members of the Bella NOVA Chorus (director, Richard Lewellen). The chorus and quartet qualified earlier this year to compete in the Harmony Inc. International Competition which will be held in two weeks in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
A good crowd of guys went to the afterglow at Ramparts.
In other news, the chapter's past presidents group met Wed. Oct. 18th to provide feedback to current chapter president Randall. This group meets about quarterly as his request.
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

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 13-14th Fall Shows
The Harmonizer fall shows, titled “Rock My Soul,” were great and provided high energy, great music and fun times for the audiences.

The 8 pm Friday night performance was at the First United Congregational United Church of Christ at 10th and G NW in DC. It was a great sanctuary space that was modern and alive; and there was a parking garage connected (or close to Metro for others).

The 2 pm Saturday afternoon performance was back in Alexandria at the Schlesinger Concert Hall on the NVCC campus.

Our audiences were treated to three awesome singing groups that filled the stage with sound and excitement and followed the show theme. The show began with the Harmonizers and TBD setting the stage with both gospel and barbershop songs, followed by the Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University and their 25 voices rocking the stage and getting the audiences up on their feet. Our a capella group TBD, directed by Reed Livergood, prepared two great new songs that fit the show theme – kudos to the guys in the group who sang solos and special parts.

The second-half of the show was all done by the three-time Grammy award winning quartet THE FAIRFIELD FOUR who got everybody all fired up and clapping and having fun.

The finale had quartet and the Alexandria Harmonizers singing “Roll Jordan Roll” followed by all three groups performing “Rock My Soul” and getting the audience to sing along. We had printed the words in the program to make it easier. THE FAIRFIELD FOUR belting out the song and the Harmonizers singing with them and the Howard choir providing the rhythm, clapping as they entered the hall.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups for the shows. Director Joe Cerutti pulled us into formation as we took the stage. The church stage was smaller so we couldn’t do choreography for “Blow Gabriel Blow” but we did the full presentation on Saturday.

Emcee for the shows was our own Ken White. Tony and Clyde Crusenberry sang solos. Mark Klosermeyer helped as usual as our chorus manager. Dennis Ritchey announced one song too.

Also on Saturday, the show was streamed live via FloVoice outside the DC area to that group’s large audience of viewers. This was their first barbershop show broadcast. They filmed segments from warm up and other aspects of the production during the afternoon.

Ken Rub did a top notch job as show producer and manager. Mike Kelly helped with the sound and such. Chorus members helped Matt Doniger unload and set up risers from the truck for the shows. The chorus wore their black suits with narrow tie and a new green pocket stuffer. This was the first show for new member Ben Watsky.

Many volunteers, coordinated by Robyn Murane, staffed ticket tables, will call desks and CD sales for all three groups, passed out the printed programs and helped usher guests. Great to see so many former members, new members and recent singer guests in the audiences too.

There was an afterglow after Saturday’s show at Clyde’s on Beauregard in Alexandria so guys could have dinner and visit more with THE FAIRFIELD FOUR. Thanks to Liz Birnbaum for those arrangements.

Several VIP guests were at the Friday nite show in DC. Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, who has become a friend of the chorus and helped us learn more about singing with others, was there! Her background is singing with Sweet Honey in the Rock. Frank Albinder, artistic director of Men’s Camarata and former director of Chanticleer attended too. And a group of music educators from Nashville who just happened to meet Joe and THE FAIRFIELD FOUR while touring the White House came to the show after an invite from our guys.

An audience survey was conducted at both shows by the membership team headed by Dave Kohls and several plugs inviting men to come sing with us were made by spokespeople.

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Looking Back on the Oct. 7th Alexandria festival show and Oct. 10th  Chapter Meeting
The Art on the Avenue show on Sat. Oct. 7th in the Del Ray area of Alexandria was fun for the chorus and our a cappela group TBD.  The roving audience was appreciative and we got in several plugs for our fall show and for recruiting singers.  Sam McFarland staffed a table near our show stage.  The materials for this table were prompted by membership director Dave Kohls with help from the communications director Steve Murane plus Robyn Murane and Liz Birnham.
Associate director Tony Colosimo was director and assistant director Terry Reynolds helped with some of the song introductions as did Randall.  The crowd really responded to an old audience favorite, “Summertime” and also to “Blow Gabriel, Blow.”
TBD sang three good songs and also got the attention of the audience.  Reed Livergood is their director.
Kudos to Mike Kelly for helping with the sound work and Matt Doniger for the Harmo truck and riser set up and reloading. Also thanks to all the men who helped with the riser move in and move out so fast.
The Tuesday nite Oct. 10th meeting and rehearsal were packed full with fall show preparation and the annual chapter meeting. A number of family members were there to watch too.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups after the riser crew got the room set up.  Director Joe Cerutti met with the fall show producer and then came into the rehearsal.  He was full of encouragement and responses from those who have heard us recently (including a youth quartet in CA who heard us do one of the spirituals at HU and decided to learn it too – Joe played a recording of them for us). Joe has actually been under the weather with flu symptoms but is on the mend now.
For the music working time, we went through the show songs in order (and for timing).  Joe and Tony offered some reminders.
When we stopped singing to have our chapter meeting, we took a minute to sing Happy Birthday to secretary Chris Buechler and to Rick Wagner’s brother who was visiting from NY.
Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the usual business portion of the meeting starting with a reminder that we meet back at First Baptist next Tues, Oct. 17th.
AND note that there will not be a tech rehearsal on Thursday, Oct. 12th.
Anyone who didn’t sing in the fall contest and is planning to sing in the fall show, and who has not asked for a new green pocket stuffer should contact Robyn Murane.
Reminder of the fun evening Oct. 25th at Alfred Street Baptist, hosted by the men’s choir there to bring together the Harmonizers, the Alfred Street men’s choir, the Alexandria Singers (directed by Bill Colosimo) and a Spanish choir.
For those looking ahead, the holiday show music is on the website.
The Veterans’ Day singout is at Oakton Elementary school again – Friday Nov. 11th.  An 8:30 am chorus call – wear a suit and tie or military uniform.
Sandy Stamps is eager to issue White House holiday ornaments to the chapter members and friends – get some before we get involved in our own holiday shows. $25 each.  Get some on consignment.
Fall show producer Ken Rub issued a 5:15 pm arrival time for the Fri. nite show.  The parking garage there opens at 5 pm. Uniform – black suit, white shirt that covers buttons, thin black tie, black shoes. Riser crew at 4:30.
President Randall Eliason welcomed Don Thompson back after knee surgery, reported that Bob Mattes has a compression fracture. And Mike Edison reported talking to Kevin McKenzie who is also suffering from a compression fracture.
As many of you know, the Harmony Foundation offers a Donor Choice program for those who contribute to the Foundation. Donors have the option to designate up to 30 percent of their contributions to be returned to the chapter or district (or both) of their choice. President Randall extended appreciation for the very generous support provided by many Harmonizers and their families, which allowed the Foundation to send the chapter a check for $3,244.70 representing our 2017 Donor Choice proceeds for the six months ended last June. (Donations received in the second half of the year will be distributed to us next March.) In addition to supporting the good work of the Harmony Foundation, this program provides an important source of revenue for our chapter.
The annual chapter meeting was called to order by Randall.  Secretary Buechler declared a quorum was present. The slate was elected by acclamation.
·        President – Shawn Tallant
·        Immediate Past President – Randall Eliason (not subject to election)
·        Secretary – Christopher Buechler
·        Treasurer – Alan Herman
·        Member at Large – David Branstetter
·        Member at Large – Clyde Crusenberry
·        Member at Large – Matthew Doniger
The nominating committee included Alan Wile, chair with Clark Chesser, Bradley Jones, Mark Klostermeyer and Todd Ryktarsyk.

After adjournment, the regular business continued.

Secretary Chris explained he’d be missing the show following surgery this weekend. Take care, Chris.  He presented membership renewal cards and appropriate lapel pins to Carlos Barillo for 6 years; Tim Cash for 19 years; Phil Ashford for 40 years; Dick Dangel for 25 years; and Don Thompson for 25 years.

Membership director Dave Kohls thanked the many men who have filled out the strategic planning survey and asked the rest to do so too. He also asked for non-singers in this weekends’ shows to help staff a membership info table at the two shows. His membership team member Rick Wagner welcomed the guests: Ryan Kasperski, Carter White, Mario Sengco, Cyrus Lawyer (who saw us sing at the Sat. afternoon show in Del Ray), and Jim and Amy Deavers from NY.

We had a nice break with goodies and coffee.  Speaking of break refreshments – when we get back to First Baptist, PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND TIDY so we can leave the church clean after we leave.  We will not be fixing coffee or bringing drinks – bring you own water and such.  Thanks.

After the break, we worked mostly on “Gabriel” for the show – especially considering that the Friday nite show space is smaller and we will only be on five risers that nite.

Throughout the nite, there were requests, suggestions, pleadings for action to sell show tickets.  Here are the facts for your customers.  A major point is to speak in person to people and not count on social media.

Harmonizer 2017 Fall Show
The Alexandria Harmonizers and Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University
Celebrating Barbershop’s Gospel Roots
Featuring Grammy Award Winner THE FAIRFIELD FOUR
Friday, Oct. 13th  - 8 pm
At First Congregational United Church of Christ, 945 G St. NW, Washington DC 20004
General Admission - $35
Saturday, Oct. 14th – 2 pm
At Schlesinger Concert Hall, 4915 East Campus Dr., Alexandria VA (on NVCC Alexandria Campus at the corner of Beauregard and Braddock Rd.)
Orchestra - $45     Rear Orchestra or Box - $35      Balcony - $25
Go to to order tickets
The afterglow was at LaPortas.

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