Saturday, March 10, 2018

Looking Back on the March 6th 2018 Chapter Meeting and IMC Performance

The meeting was back at Durant this week so we could use the risers and perform our contest package with coach Rasmus Krigstrom, from the gold medal quartet, RINGMASTERS. As most of the readers of this piece know, he arranged our contest uptune, “Blow Gabriel Blow.”

It was another nite of hard work on our music for the contest.  It was particularly fun to have the arranger help us get the most out of the song based on his plans for the music.  He added several great points that we did not have time to use for the fall contest performance.

Rasmus was exciting and helped the singers get a good feel for their performance plan for the uptune. Even tho it was the hard work, it was fun.  And a good crowd migrated to the afterglow even in the heavy snow that was falling when we adjourned at 10 pm.

Joe introduced Rasmus to the chorus and reported his background in music, quartets and directorships, and welcomed him to the Harmonizer family all the way from Stockholm.  Rasmus actually asked to join the chorus and is our newest member!! 

Joe also reported that the new contest ballad arrangement had arrived, that learning tracks are being made and that the music is up for all to take a look at on Groupanizer. He couldn’t offer enough adjectives about the arrangement by David Wright.

And also Joe took a few minutes to thank and congratulate the chorus for a terrific performance last Thursday (see a summary below in this report).  He was grateful for all the guys who made the effort to go into the city during rush hour.  “We exceeded our goal and helped demonstrate the power of a strong barbershop chorus in the arena of other men’s choral ensembles.”

Before our break, executive director Terry Reynolds conducted this week’s chapter meeting, reminding us all that the next two weeks we are meeting at Convergence. (Remember that we will not have coffee or goodies there, so plan ahead for some end of the day chow for yourself.) We are back at Durant on March 27th to work with our coach Kevin Keller

Other reminders included the Youth Harmony Festival on Friday, April 13th at Restoration Anglican Church on Princess Street in Arlington. The chorus will sing in the evening.

This year’s ACA Challenge is on Saturday eve, April 14th.  Some of the coordinating team yelled out , “Sell Tickets!” Several members and family volunteers will be needed to help that nite. The chorus will not sing, but TBD will. 

Early details about the chorus retreat in preparation for our contest appearance in Orlando were announced: June 8-9 at Westminster College in MD. Chuck McKeever will be releasing more complete details to all members via email.  But everyone should plan to attend on Friday nite, June 8th.  The front row will have a mandatory rehearsal that nite, and the chorus will work too. The last couple years, we have all gone early, found a good place for dinner and started our work with the coaches. 

It was also announced that Brad Jones and his planning team will be reporting some prospective international trip plans for the chapter soon.  Stay tuned, as we will all be asked our opinion and interest in such a trip. 

At this point in the meeting, Joe grabbed two empty chairs and placed them in front of the chorus.  This was the sad signal that two of members are leaving our ranks.  First tribute was for Tom Kern, who for many years has single-handedly managed our uniform program. Second tribute was for Keith Jones who for years has helped offer presentation input to Joe and the team and has accepted many admin tasks for the chapter.  As is our tradition, we sang “A Place on the Risers for You” for these important Harmonizers.

We also learned that Tom has passed along the uniform management work to Robyn Murane.
Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented a membership renewal card to Terry Jordan for his 54 years of chapter membership.

 Calvin Schnure from our membership team introduced our guests this week: Rasmus who got his “I Sang With the Harmonizers” button; Nick Frederick, Ryler Rasmussen, and Carter White.  Will Cox directed our Harmonizer welcome song. 

The membership team issued this invite to all: Several of our members meet for a pre-chapter meeting nosh either at the Subway on King Street that's on the block adjacent to the Durant Center; and some long-time members meet at the Hard Times Chili place that's one block east from Subway on King Street. Any members are more than welcome to join the gang at either place.  Guys show up at Subway around 6:00pm. The HT Chili crew usually arrives between 5 - 5:30pm.  Joe Cerruti is often there

After break, it was back to work on the uptune with Rasmus and Joe.

Here is the summary report of our appearance on Thursday, March 1st where the Harmonizers were the lead off performing chorus at the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses National Seminar.  We assembled and used our stage time to fit our large chorus onto the risers and space available in the sanctuary of National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle about 6 pm. After that we changed into our black suits and ties and began a solid warm up session with director Joe Cerutti.

The chapter is a member group of the IMC and shared the kick off concert session with The Rock Creek Singers from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and the United States Army Chorus.

Our package included “America,” “Summertime,” “Deep River” with Andrew Havens as soloist, “Rock My Soul,” “Bring Him Home” with Tony Colosimo soloist, “Blow Gabriel Blow,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “All You Need is Love” with Clyde Crusenberry and Tony as soloists, and “New York New York” featuring our front row.

Terry Reynolds was our emcee.  This was the first time Mario Sengco sang with the chorus on a show. Great to have several of our newest members in the audience to cheer for us as well as Marty Monson, CEO of the BHS, who attended the seminar representing the Society at the seminar. Joe and Marty attended the board meeting of the IMC on Friday.

As a reminder, a Keep America Ringing Memorial for Richard Dick Hall has been established with the Harmony Foundation.  Donations can be sent to Harmony Foundation International, Memorial for Richard T. Hall, to 110 7ths Ave. N, Ste. 200, Nashville, TN 37203 or online at at memorial giving.

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