It was a great night at the Washington Hilton Saturday night for the 31st Annual Humane Rescue Alliance Bark Ball. The Harmonizers were hired to sing one song for this major fundraising event and the chapter musical team asked Steve Tramack to create an arrangement of Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On.” The chorus went to work on it right after our major anniversary show and had the song read.
Because the banquet hall was so large and crowded (which meant the chorus was in two long rows), the chorus needed to record the song in advance so it could be played with us singing along. Mike Kelly helped manage that aspect at our last regular chapter meeting.
On this Sat, there was a call time of 6 pm, essentially all the men who were performing had arrived by the time Director Joe Cerutti stood up on a chair in our green room. He talked the chorus through the logistics of the performance, including who would be on the stage, and who would be in the lines that extended across the floor of the ballroom.
Associate Director Tony Colosimo then spent some time going through the number several times to warm up the group. The men then broke away to get changed, and rehearsed getting into position one final time before moving to our final holding position before the performance.
After about a 20 minute wait, we got the signal to take our positions, and, true to Joe’s word that the ballroom was chaotic, we walked out into a sea of humanity and canines! There were probably 500 people in formal attire with their dogs, some of whom were also dressed in formal costumes, and all eyes were on Tony, who was singing at full voice, and the rest of the men as we sang along with ourselves on the recording. We received a good deal of applause, and as it died down, we exited, and headed back to get changed.
Afterwards, the majority of the men headed to Duke’s Counter for a great time at the afterglow. (Thanks to Gary Cregan for taking notes for this event for YeEd.)The Oct. 23rd chapter meeting and rehearsal was held in the Scottish Rite Temple cafeteria. The major effort this week was to continue work on music for the holiday show coming up Dec. 8th.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm up session. Then director Joe Cerutti spoke in appreciation for all those who did the recent outreach event at Alfred Street Baptist in Old Town, and all those who did the Bark Ball. He reports there were 500 dogs in the hall!!
Joe also reported that our a cappella group, TBD, sang a fundraiser gig on Sunday too.
He also repeated his announcement that it is time to pass along the section leader duties to new guys. Those interested should speak with Joe, Tony, or Terry Reynolds.
Then we went to work on the holiday songs using sectionals first and then the whole chorus worked on each song.
The Holiday Show is Dec. 8th at 7:30 pm at TC Williams High School on King Street. Tickets are on sale now thru Event rite. Ticket chairman Dean Sherick has consignment – note that all consignments must be turned in or paid for by Nov. 27th. General admission tickets are $25 and premier seats are $75.Singing with the chorus will be our own TBD a cappella group, and BETTER TOGETHER (Tony and Elizabeth Colosimo and Andrew and Heather Havens mixed quartet). We will repeat the very fun version of the “Hallelujah Chorus” with Monks. Friends and relatives of members may sign up to audition as a monk with Terry – as long as they can attend a rehearsal from 6:30-7:30 pm every Tuesday in November.
The first half of the holiday show will be toys/elves again. So singers need to start working on their costume for this. New guys should ask for ideas about this and also check with uniform chair Robyn Murane regarding any uniform parts.
Casey Belzer will coordinate a printed program for the holiday show and needs advertisement materials by Nov. 13th.
AH Inc. president Liz Birnbaum spoke about how to secure gift cards and other donations for the silent auction to be held at the show. Kritin Kelly and Randall Eliason will accept the items.
Future shows include the Whiffenpoofs on Feb. 9th, and a joint concert with the Christchurch Pops Choir and the Alexandria Singers on Mar. 20th. Both events will be at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
Mike Edison needs a riser crew on Nov. 14th from 2-4 pm. Contact him to volunteer.
There will be a Wilbur Sparks Memorial Put Together Quartet contest on Tues. Dec. 11th. See Matt Doniger to enter a quartet! Only need one song – comedy or regular. Let’s have a fun nite!
Dennis Ritchey is taking names of guys who would be willing to sing in quartets for Veterans in the DC area. See him and offer your voice.
During the early part of the meeting a crew of members and family members stuffed a mailing that will go to all former members reporting milestones from our 70th year.
Liz also presented to the chapter an American Flag that has flown over the US Capital building on Aug. 16, 2018 in honor of our chapter’s anniversary. She also reports that’s a piece was entered into the Congressional Record saluting our chapter.
President Shawn Tallant reports that planning will continue for a Dec. 15th event for singers to go to senior citizen or soldier homes.
He also saluted Heather Havens (wife of Andrew) for her success as a member of CLASS RING quartet that were named Queens of Harmony for the SAI at their recent convention.
Membership chair Calvin Schnure welcomed Tyler, Frank and Jim as singer guests.
Craig Kujawa reports that we are 3 weeks into the fall Scrip membership drive, and 13 people have established a ShopWithScrip.com account and/or made their first Scrip purchase(s). Thank you! As a reminder, every chapter member (or supporter) that creates an account and/or makes their first purchases at least $50 of Scrip between 9/24 and noon on Tuesday, November 27th, will be entered into a prize drawing for one $50 gift card of their choice.
During break there were refreshments again (since we were in the cafeteria).
After break it was back to work on the music.
A good crew of guys went to Ramparts 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