(Thanks to Jerry Jayjohn for taking notes at the event. YeEd.)
Our time at the Choral Fellowship of Male Choruses held at the Alfred Street Baptist Church in downtown Alexandria, was a great night of fun and fellowship with other male choruses we haven’t seen for a while if at all. To encourage fellowship, Melvin Bryant, Jr. asked that we sit by part, Tenor 1, Tenor 2 etc. but to sit beside people that do not sing in our respective chorus.
Service started at 7 pm with the welcome of Joyce Garrett, the Music and Worship Arts Ministry Director, followed by the invocation and introduction of the choruses who came to sing by Melvin Bryant, Jr.
The evening three 3 parts, one part for each chorus.
Part 1 – Alfred Street Baptist Church Male Chorus, Melvin Bryant, Jr. Director
The men’s chorus did a great job singing “Praise to the Lord, The Almighty,” an one of the Harmonizer’s favorite songs “Rock My Soul,” although it was arranged in a little different style than we are used to. Then Melvin, taught all the men a song they sing at Alfred Street, called “Goodbye and Amen,” arranged by Melvin himself.
Part 2 – Combined male choruses from Metropolitan Baptist and Woodstream Churches from Largo, MD. Director Brandon Felder.
Their selections were “My Help,” “As the Deer,” and “Let Everything That Hath Breath (Psalm 150).” All three selections were very moving, and received a standing ovation. After the combined chorus was done, their director taught the men a song called “We Are Men,” that was fairly easy to grasp and the audience in attendance really enjoyed it.
Part 3 – The Alexandria Harmonizers, directed by our director Joe Cerutti.
To start our set as we were getting placed, Joe made the announcement about the Harmonizer Award of Harmony that was given to Joyce Garrett at our 70th Anniversary Show.
To start we opened our set with “Great Day” which the crowd loved. Followed by “Bring Him Home,” with Anthony Colosimo as the soloist, and we rounded out our set with the “Armed Forces Medley,” which Joe asked all those who are serving or have served in the past stand up when their particular branch song was sung. The audience participated as well as the men from the other choruses equally about 2/3 of the people in the sanctuary. After our final song, Joe taught everyone the “Irish Blessing” arranged in barbershop style.
To close, Melvin said we hope to continue to grow and have it again next year, which Joe replied “we definitely should continue.”
We closed with a prayer and blessed the snacks that were set up in the multi-purpose room. As the choruses went to the refreshments, there was genuine comradship that was felt among the members of the choruses. Most everyone went for refreshments and continued the fellowship, with Gary Cregan reuniting with an old Army colleague, who is now a member of one of the other choruses. As the night continued the groups dispersed to their separate ways to come together again soon.
(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