Thursday, January 18, 2018

Looking Back on the Jan. 16th 2018 Chapter Meeting
This week’s meeting was a fast-paced session of hard work and excitement – even with 82 guys each singing “Row Row Row Your Boat” for a current placement exercise in preparation for Jan 30th session with Steve Scott.

At 6pm, while crews did the set up for the nite of risers, screen, keyboard, coffee and refreshments, and guest chairs and tables, Chuck McKeever was conducting choreo review for the contest uptune.  He will repeat those sessions in the weeks to come at 6 pm.

Director Joe Cerutti did warm ups and then got us right to work on singing including the melody for our new ballad. Then we worked on the uptune.

And then the placement exercise with help from associate director Tony Colosimo.

During the nite we worked on a complete performance of “New York, New York” and a reach back rehearsal of a song we sang in Normandy, France and in Germany - “Deep River.”  Both songs will be needed for upcoming shows such as the Intercollegiate Choral event at National City Christian Church in DC, Mar. 1st.

Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the chapter meeting part of the evening.

He started with a reminder and encouragement for every member – old and new – to plan to attend the 44th annual Presidents’ Banquet, Sat. nite Feb. 3rd at the Elks Club (8421 Arlington Blvd.). Attire - dressy casual. Cocktails at 6 and dinner at 7.  See Dave Branstetter to reserve a seat (former and any members who can’t get to a chapter meeting soon can email Dave at

The music team asks members to complete the online survey by Sunday, Jan 20th so they can study the data and be ready for the one-on-one interviews.

The Whiffenpoof performance with us singing on the show is Sun. Feb. 4th at the Masonic Temple in Alexandria.  Chorus call is 1:30 pm.  Black camp shirts with black chorus suit pants and shoes. Help bring an audience.

Plan for your participation in the Men’s Choral invitational at the U of MD on Feb. 24th

Every chorus member is assigned to work on one of the operational teams that function to keep the chapter running. Current assignments were posted at Durant. New members should see Terry to get an assignment.  All teams will meet next week during the chapter meeting.

Chapter president Shawn Tallant offered to help coordinate rides for members that need them to events. He also wants to rebuild the angel fund (some monies he can use as assistance when a member can’t afford a contest or show performance). If you can chip in some dollars to this fund, see Shawn.

Shawn reports that Brad Jones has agreed to help coordinate a possible international trip in the next couple years.

Shawn also needs some volunteers to help us host the Southern Division contest at Mark Center in Alexandria, May 18-19; and volunteers to help coordinate hosting a chorus from England coming the end of May. 

In that regard, he also reports that our district is seeking to form a new district events team that will take over the chapter hosting duties for contest weekends.  If you are interested, see Shawn or our own Dennis Ritchey, who is current district president.

Finally, Shawn reports that Mike Schwartz’s father passed away unexpectedly over the holidays.

Director Joe spoke up and reports that we need about ten more women singers for the “Iron and Coal” concert at Stathmore.  Those singers can contact Joe for audition.

There is much work underway for the 70th anniversary celebration and show Sept. 8th at Schlesinger. There will be a great show projected during that event and we need good milestone photos.   If you have photographs, it would be best if Mike Kelly scans them and gets hi-res digital photos from them. Bring them to Mike as soon as possible. He may even bring in his scanner to rehearsal some nights.  (There’s nothing crappier than low-res camera-phone pics of old photographs – Mike can do magic with original materials!)

Membership matters were next:  chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented member renewal cards to Jerry Foil for 2 years, Matt Doniger for 6 years, and Drew Fuller for 28 years. Membership director Dave Kohls welcomed our singing guests this week: Connor, Carter, Gary and Josh

After break, it was back to work on the risers.  (Thanks to all those who have been bringing in goodies to share. Yes, the Harmonizers can eat up goodies fast.) Also don’t forget to drop in a donation once in a while too for coffee and cups and such.

As part of our work on “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” we watched the fall 2017 contest video. The many new men and those who did not sing in the Sept. contest watched the chorus perform.

In other chapter news, past president Alan Wile invites members to submit a Harmonizer Hero report form.  Upon submission, each individual form is shared with the membership, printed and placed in binders that are available for review at almost every chapter meeting, and archived on the chapter’s Groupanizer (members only) website -- such an easy and direct way to get to know our riser-mates! Alan invites more submissions from wives or partners, too – all are invited to participate.

Finally, Craig Kujawa reports that 2017 participants in the chapter Scrip program earned a respectable $1,214 to support chorus activities. (Compared to 2016’s record haul of $1,824.) Here are the Champions of 2017, those earning over $100 for the chapter.

#7     Ian Poulin Scrip orders:  4          Rebate Revenue:           $116.25
#6     Carlos Barillo Scrip orders:       8          Rebate Revenue:           $116.50
#5     Ken Fess Scrip Orders:             14        Rebate Revenue:           $125.55
#4     Ken Ives Scrip Orders:              9          Rebate Revenue:           $140.50
#3     Craig Kujawa Scrip Orders:       35        Rebate Revenue:           $141.35
#2     TJ Jones Scrip Orders:              12        Rebate Revenue:           $146.25
#1     Randall Eliason Scrip Orders:   13        Rebate Revenue:           $268.00

And thank you to the other 6 people who earned revenue in 2017:  Brian and Christina Ammerman, Jack Pitzer, Keith Jones, Al Herman, Carl Kauffmann ($35.00), and Ninamarie Maragioglio ($72.84). Instructions on how to set up an account are available on Groupanizer under Documents -> Harmonizer Shop With Scrip Program.  It’s never too late to start.

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