Friday, January 26, 2018

Looking Back on the Jan. 23rd 2018 Chapter Meeting
This week’s meeting was another hard-work session on music and administrative things.

The riser crew was hard at work at 6 pm (with director Joe Cerutti lending a hand too).  Chuck McKeever was conducting a performance review session on the stage for the contest uptune.  Carlos Barillo and the front row men were reviewing too in the lobby at Durant.

When the clock struck 7, Joe did the vocal warm ups.  Then he worked on voice placement leading to new riser positions soon – the final decision will come when coach Steve Scott works with us next Tuesday.
Joe had the chorus work on “Gabriel,” “Bring Him Home,” “All You Need Is Love,” and “New York, New York” during the evening.  

Chapter leaders took time for all members to meet with the various operational teams they are assigned to for about 20 minutes.  Team leaders are Steve Murane, communications; Mike Edison, operations; Craig Kujawa, conventions; Johan Westberg, development; Joe Cerutti Sr., shows; Dave Kohls, membership; Joe Cerutti, education/outreach; and Terry Reynolds, music admin.

Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted this week’s chapter meeting. He asked everyone to fill out their survey ASAP. Locations for the interviews have changed some, so be sure to check before you depart from home on the nites you are assigned.

There was a reminder to get your tickets for the 44th annual Presidents’ Banquet, Sat. Feb. 3rd at the Elks Lodge in Fairfax.  Just $29 per person. If you were not at chapter meeting or can’t get to one before the banquet, you can reserve tickets for pick up and payment at the door by contacting Dave Branstetter at

We are hosting a performance of the Yale Whiffenpoofs on Sunday, Feb. 4th at 3 pm at the Masonic Memorial in Alexandria.  Tickets are $30.  Chorus will sing too.  Members are asked to tell their friends about this show so they will buy tickets.  Plenty of free parking.

Ian Poulin spoke to the chapter. First – he issued his sincere appreciation for all those who helped with the hosting duties last fall at the district contest.  Second – he will need us all to help again for the hosting of the Southern Division contest at the Mark Center Hilton in Alexandria the weekend of May 18-19. Ian will chair this team again. Mark your calendar and plan to sign up. For the record, this contest is combined with the Central Division.

Ian will also be ticket chairman for the chapter’s 70th anniversary show Sept. 8th at Schlesinger Hall on the campus of Alexandria Community College.   He is planning to sell three tiers of prices – VIP down front, general seating on the main floor; general seating upstairs. Prices will be announced soon. Tickets will be available on consignment in a couple weeks. Start making contacts with friends and customers so they will be able to get a ticket.

He also put out this carrot to boost sales – names of all members who sell 20 tickets or more will go into a drawing and the winner will get his dues paid for next year. 

Terry reminded everyone to sign up for Singing Valentine projects the evening of Feb. 10th, afternoon of Feb. 11th, and all day on Feb. 14th.

Mark your calendar for the U of MD Invitational choir event Sat. Feb. 24th; and for the intercollegiate men’s choral event Thurs. Mar. 1st at National City Christian Church in DC.

Immediate Past President Randall Eliason reported that the FAIRFIELD FOUR quartet was on NPR recently and Randall reached out to the quartet on behalf of their friends in the chorus.  He also shared that the chapter got a request for a recording of our 1998 performance of “The Wee Small Hours” for a barbershopper’s wife in IL. She had always loved it and we were able to get a recording and video to the barbershopper to give to his wife.

Artistic director Joe announced the songs we will sing on the anniversary show – as a result of the survey of chapter fans. This brought a lot of cheers from the men on the risers who have been in the chapter a while as we will sing some favorites of the singers too!!

Tickets for the ACA Challenge, April 15th are on sale on the web.  This contest will be at a Historical Synagogue, at 6th and Eye Street in DC. 

President Shawn Tallant reported that AH, Inc. president Liz Birnbaum and her board have approved their budget for the year. 

Shawn thanked Bob Rhome for all his work on keeping up a chapter calendar and particularly for arranging for meeting and rehearsal spaces in concert with the calendar.

For old timers, Shawn reports that the restaurant now in the old Geno’s location is about to close. So there are just a couple weeks left for those who wanna go back to reminisce.  It is now called The Pines of Florence and has a good Italian menu. 

Finally, Shawn announced that Gary Fuller will coordinate the visit by the Kingsmen Barbershop Chorus from England who will be in the DC area, May 27-28-and attend our meeting on 29th. We may be asked to host their members in our homes.

Membership director Dave Kohls welcomed 11 guests this week: Andre, Mathew, Connor, Jerry, Gary, Carter, Mushin, Richard, Josh and Mike. He also welcomed back members Garret Garner, Paul Grimes and Tom Jackson.

In other news, there were a number of Harmonizers at the recent Mid Winter convention in Orange County (Costa Mesa) CA, Jan. 17-20, 2018.

Some of our members, such as director Joe, left on Wed. right after last week’s chapter meeting.  Others took off from the DC area early last week. Joe was busy at the convention as BHS Outreach staffer and particularly managing the youth chorus festival at the event. Ross and Susan Johnson helped sponsor the youth festival and were there to cheer the youth groups. 

John Santora was there for BHS board meetings as its treasurer as were past Society board members Alan Wile, Joe Cerutti and Alan Lamson who are current members of our chapter. Bob Eckman attended a meeting of district leaders. 

Mike Wallen competed with his quartet, YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, along with Roger Tarpey, Hardman Jones and Vic Owen, Jr. in the senior quartet contest.  John Adams attended and sang in the Association of Senior Quartet Champs Chorus (AISQC).  His quartet REMINISCE won their gold in the senior contest in 1995 with Scott Werner, Alan Durick and Dick Whitehouse

Chris Buechler attended to continue his efforts at testing new scoring software for BHS contests. Mike Kelly was busy doing video recording of the youth choruses. Alan Wile sang in the All Member Chorus. 
Other Harmonizer attendees included Sam McFarland, Tom Gannon and Bruce Minnick

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