Friday, June 15, 2018

Looking Back on the June 12th Chapter Meeting 

Seems like everyone arrived at Scottish Rite Temple in Alexandria ready to get back to work and continue the success achieved at the weekend retreat!!

Risers were left up from last week and so that made things go fast for set up.  

Steve Murane and a crew of helpers brought back all the black chorus suits to reissue to everyone for use in Orlando.  That seemed to go well – thanks to Steve and his helpers.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups and reminded the singers many of the major vocal changes taught by Steve Scott at the retreat.

Director Joe Cerutti and Tony invited all singers onto the risers for work on songs for the fall anniversary show.  We worked on reviewing the stage presence for them as well with choreographer Carlos Barillo and instructions from Craig Kujawa and Chuck McKeever.

The Joe welcomed our friend and coach Cindy Hansen Ellis to help us with our contest set.

Joe revisited some of the connection exercises from the retreat to set the mood for work on the ballad.  And certainly Cindy’s skill at adding polish and details for greater performance effectiveness were a great addition to the nite’s work.  

Steve Murane also conducted the chapter meeting reminding everyone that all meetings and rehearsals in June will be at Scottish Rite Temple – including the send off for Orlando on June 26th.  That nite the chorus will work from 7-8 pm and then guests will get to see us perform the set a couple times.  Everyone is invited to attend.

As acting uniform chairman while Robyn is out of town, Steve mentioned that all new contest chorus singers who need a black suit should send Steve their coat and pants sizes so he can help you get a black suite and such for Orlando. Don’t delay if you are one of the new guys. 

Also stay tuned for word about a new tie and pocket stuffer for the contest outfit.

Our convention coordinator, Craig Kujawa, announced that we will have a Harmo Hideaway in Orlando at the Hyatt.  He asks everyone who is staying there to let him know their room confirmation number so that he can work with the hotel to get our folks into rooms around the suite and thus avoid noise problems.

It was also announced that we WILL meet on the Tuesday nite after the International convention, July 10th.  (In past years we have not met on that Tuesday.)

Members were encouraged to consider attending the Mid-Atlantic District Harmony College East back up at McDaniel College this weekend.  Go to

Chapter president Shawn Tallant thanked Chuck McKeever for his leadership and hard work in organizing another really successful retreat. 

Shawn also confirmed the announcement that the Harmonizers are going to England and Scotland in August of 2019. All those going need to pay $200 deposit immediately to Brad Jones. About 70 singers are going.
Shawn reported the Bob Wachter is still in the hospital and that Dixie Kennett is also in the hospital but hoping to get released soon.

Finally, Shawn announced that the board of directors has officially changed the name of our Spirit of Harmony Award to the Dick Hall Spirit of Harmony Award.  Great news.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Craig Kujawa for 15 years and Mike Edison for 27 years.  Chris also reminded the three or four guys who still need to pay their dues that they need to get that done.

Mark Klostermeyer welcomed former members Jim Gammon and Doug White; Reed Livergood’s parents and his wife and new daughter; Tim Cash who we have not seen for a while; and singing applicants Peter, John, and  Dale.

After the break it was back to work on the contest songs – especially on the uptune, making sure of continued great singing and the performance details for the song. But there was time for a bandana check for the Class of 2018.  And there were a couple without their obligatory bandanas visible – so they performed a “I’m A Little Teapot” for all to enjoy!!!

For those who did not see it, here is the great news about the chapter’s recent award from Terry Reynolds:

Wednesday night, June 6th,  was the 2018 Greater Washington DC Area Choral Excellence "Ovation" Awards, sponsored by the Choralis Foundation.   Associate Director Tony Colosimo, President Shawn Tallant, and Assistant Director Terry Reynolds attended the event representing the Harmonizers.   We were nominated in the category "Best A Cappella Ensemble" this year and when it came time for the announcement, complete with opening of an envelope and a room full of musicians hitting our tables in group drum roll, the announced winner was "The Alexandria Harmonizers."  Tony went to the podium and proudly accepted the award with a gracious and brief acceptance speech.
This year as each of the nominees was presented, a recording played of the group singing.   Joe had submitted ours with an excerpt of America and an excerpt of “Deep River.”   It sounded amazing.    The only voters for these awards are the musical / artistic directors of the Washington area choral groups. 
Earlier in the evening, five choruses celebrating major anniversaries were recognized: 20 years, 25, 30, 40, and of course, the Alexandria Harmonizers with 70 years.  There was a nice oooooooo reaction from the crowd when they announced "70 years".
Choralis has different award categories each year.   Last year we were nominated for "Outstanding Specialty or Show Chorus" (but we didn't win).

A good crowd of guys went to Ramparts for an afterglow – the new location now that we are meeting at Braddock Road.

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

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