Thursday, February 15, 2018

Looking Back on the Feb. 13th 2018 Chapter Meeting 

This week’s Harmonizer gathering was another busy one with many pre-meetings for board, choreo review, Singing Valentine quartets practice, and all the tasks to set up for this huge chapter and our weekly meeting and rehearsal.

Associate director Tony Colosimo opened the nite with a tribute and thank you to Dick Hall who died during the nite on Monday.  Tony invited the chapter to lift Dick in their thoughts for a moment.  Dick joined the chapter in 1965, and he and his wife of nearly 64 years, Carolyn, came to chapter meetings together nearly every week for 50 years.  Dick would have been 86 in April. The family will pass along info to chapter leaders about funeral arrangements.  

Then it was on to work on our music and with a new coach for the chorus, Mo Field from Canada.  Mo was fun and got the men involved in their music so they could perform and sing better.  It was a fun session, and seemed to dove-tail with our work from last week’s coach to sing naturally.

We worked on the songs that the chorus will use at the Intercollegiate Men’s Chorus Seminar event on March 1st at National City Christian Church. This is a major appearance for the chorus.

Director Joe Cerutti invited coach Mo to work on several of those songs including the contest uptune which we will sing on that show.

Joe also announced a major new program that has been developed by the music team after they interviewed all of the men recently – an effort to provide individual help in small groups of 2-7 guys.  Details and guidelines will come out soon. Men will form their own groups or wait to be assigned.

Communications chairman Steve Murane conducted the chapter meeting this week. He reminded all that next week’s meeting will be at Durant again and coach Kevin Keller will be with us. The meeting on 27 Feb. will be at Convergence.

The first chance to sing the music from “Iron and Coal” is Thurs. Feb. 15th also at Convergence.
President Shawn Tallant asked more members to offer to host the BABS chorus Kingsmen over Memorial weekend.  Sign up with Gerry Fuller.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal card to Brian Miller for 21 years.
During the break, the quartets being assigned to deliver the Singing Valentines for the chapter were coached briefly and all were given details for their day on Feb. 14th.  Coordinator Clyde Cruseberry will provide post-event details for us to share.

Membership director Dave Kohls introduced Jerry, Connor, and Gary – returning candidates for membership auditions, and Christian, a first-time guest.

In other news, the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival will be Sat. Feb. 24th at 7:30 pm at The Birchmere in Alexandria.  Dave Welter reports that his 6-part a cappella group, “Top of the Seventh,” will compete.  They’d like to see some fans in the audience.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler announced recently that after 17 years and about 12,000 posts, messages to members sent to everyone via a yahoo group will be ended. From now on official posts will go through Groupanizer - either the Members or the Performing Chorus list as appropriate for the context. Only certain leaders will have permission to send them and a team of leaders will approve them before releasing them out to all.   The non-official messages will still go to for the time being.

In case you didn’t see it, the registration info for Harmony College East went via email to all members from the Mid Atlantic District.  Be sure to take a look at it and consider attending with some chorus friends, or your quartet. It is June 14-17 at McDaniel College in Westminster MD where we have our pre-international contest retreat.  You can talk with some guys in the chapter who have attended such as Alan Wile to learn more about it.

Thanks again to those men who have brought in goodies for break and for those who drop in a donation every so often. Unfortunately we won’t have refreshments when we meet at Convergence, so plan ahead. 

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Looking Back on the Feb. 6th 2018 Chapter Meeting and Feb. 4th Whifffenpoof Concert

For this week’s meeting the chorus sang and performed in a huge ring around the main hall in Durant.  Before the start of things, Chuck McKeever helped men review performance plans for the contest uptune. 

After warm ups, director Joe Cerutti took a spot in the center of the all and did a quick review of the lessons and techniques learned last week with coach Steve Scott.  Many men remembered a lot of the suggestions Steve gave us and then Joe and associate director Tony Colosimo helped men all around the ring – particularly with body alignment.

Before we went too far tho, Joe thanked all the men who attended and sang at the Whiffenpoof concert on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 4th. A large chorus was able to make it in the downpour rain storm on Super Bowl Sunday for early warm ups (and thanks to the hard working riser and sound crews who had to work in the rain to unload the truck too).  Tony did the warm ups in a meeting room in the Masonic Memorial building.  

 Meantime, a crew of volunteers sold tickets, welcomed audience members and passed out flyers 
 (advertising our ACA Challenge and our 70th anniversary show and announcing our participation in “Iron and Coal.”

A large audience filled the auditorium in the building including some former singers and family friends.  The risers were set up in a straight-line formation in front of the stage.  The chorus sang three songs and earned great cheers and applause from the music-loving audience. Terry Reynolds was emcee for our portion of the concert. 

Then we welcomed this year’s edition of the Whiffenpoofs – the group is in its 108th year at Yale.  There were some alums from Yale in the audience and two former Whiffenpoof singers, including our new member Ben Watsky, who joined the 14-singers on stage for their traditional song.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Joe also announced changes in the chorus schedule in the weeks ahead – the chorus will not sing on the ACA Challenge show, just TBD. ( Of course many of us will be needed as volunteers to help manage and operate that event.)  And we will not sing at the U of MD invitational.

Executive director Terry Reynolds conducted the chapter meeting prior to our break.  He welcomed Kevin Kaiser (who now sings with Denver), Bob Wachter, and Tim Cash with us this week.

Past President Randall Eliason presented two awards to men who could not attend the Presidents’ Banquet last weekend. (A full Looking Back report from that event is coming soon.)

Joe spoke about the next couple weeks’ rehearsals – next Tuesday, Feb 13th we will work with performance coach Mo Field at Durant; then Thursday Feb. 15th   our first work session on “Iron and Coal” at Convergence from 7-10 pm; then we are back at Durant on Feb. 20th with coach Kevin Keller.  
Looking ahead a little, we will be singing at the Intercollegiate event on March 1st.

Gerry Fuller is coordinating the hosting project for the BABS chorus, Kingsmen, who will be with us May 27-28. Contact him ASAP if you can host an individual singer or a couple or a family.

President Shawn Tallant reported that Adam Afifi’s grandmother passed away recently and Jerry Foil has gone with his family to Mississippi where his father is seriously ill.

Terry reports that there will be no Singing Valentine gigs this weekend, but quartets of volunteers will be singing in three shifts on Feb. 14th around the community.  Clyde Crusenberry is coordinating these appearances.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal card to Keith Jones for his 40 years with a lapel pin; and to Rick Savage for his 44 years.

Membership director Dave Kohls asked for an audition quartet during the break and then asked Ben to introduce our guests: Gary, Jerry, and Ryler.

Thanks again to those men who have brought in goodies for break and for those who drop in a donation every so often. 

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