Saturday, March 24, 2018

Looking Back on the March 20th 2018 Chapter Meeting 

This week’s gathering at Convergence was a very busy one, but the first day of spring with a winter storm approaching bringing in snow/ice/sleet/rain caused the numbers to be small.  Associate director Tony Colosimo did the vocal warm ups, was in charge of the music for the nite, and opened the evening with work on the first “bring back” song for our 70th anniversary show – “Glenn Miller Medley.”

The support team had brought projector and screen for us to project the music for all to see.

Chapter leaders then presented info about our possible trip to Brazil in 2019.  Brad Jones, project manager for the trip, introduced Sean Fagan, president of Opus Performance Tours agency, who reported plans for the possible trip.  Currently scheduled for early August in 2019 and departing from Dulles. This trip idea is an outgrowth of a request to help launch new barbershop singing groups in their country and thus the trip will include several concerts or performances in local venues.  

Our chapter president Shawn Tallant summarized the next steps for the chapter: a survey will go to all members soon seeking a “go or no go” vote.  Members and any family members they wish to pay for will be part of the trip. A guest quartet will likely be invited to make the trip with us. The chapter is seeking some possible financial support for the trip too, but everyone will pay their own fees.

During the chapter meeting, president Shawn also announced a plan to acquire new performance suits.  Carlos Barillo show-cased two choices and there was unanimous support for one. Chapter leaders have determined that we will manage this acquisition differently that in the past – this time each member will buy his own outfit (about $100) and maintain them. New uniform chairperson Robyn Murane previewed some steps on how chorus members will be responsible for their uniforms.

The plan is to use the new outfits for our contest appearance in Orlando in July and for our 70th anniversary show on Sept. 8th, 2018. Everyone needs to be measured right away – so be sure you are included on the order sheet with correct sizes. Current plans do include a new tie but we will wear the current white shirt we have been wearing with the all black suits.  Those black suits will be turned in and offered for sale to other groups. 

Terry Reynolds, executive director, reminded us that next week the meeting is back at Durant with coach Kevin Keller present to help us prepare our contest package.

Terry also reminded everyone about the Youth Harmony Festival all day on Fri. April Restoration Anglican Church, 1815 N Quincy St., Arlington.  Many helpers will be needed during the day – stay tuned for volunteering.  The chorus will sing three songs in the evening with a 6 pm chorus call for the 7 pm show.  Uniform will be black camp shirt, jeans, black shoes.

The fifth-annul Aca-Challenge is the next nite, April 14th at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in DC (600 I St. NW) from 7-10 pm. Presented by the Harmonizers, hosted by contemporary a cappella spokesperson Deke Sharon, and co-sponsored by the venue. Six east coast groups will compete for a $2000 prize from the chapter and chosen by the audience.  Tickets are $25 for general admission or $45 for VIP seats which includes ticket to an afterglow with Deke and the contestants. Attendees who need to use the lift for entry may call 202-408-3100 to make arrangements for entry to the building and seating. Our chapter’s a cappella group, TBD, will do a set on the show while the results are being tallied. 

President Tallant asked members to buy tickets,  and for sure, to promote and sell tickets to others.
Because of the bad weather this week, the Private Voice Instructions will resume in two weeks.
Good news that Dick Hall’s name will be on the Keeping America Ringing Wall at BHS headquarters in Nashville.  Terrific that many have made a donation to make that happen thru Harmony Foundation International.

Jack Pitzer continued the series of Moments in Harmonizer History – this time explaining why we shout “Hark” each time Will Cox comes up to direct our welcome song for guests.

Some rehearsal plans for the chorus in Orlando were announced, There will be only three rehearsals – morning sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  The Togetherness breakfast will be changed to a dinner event during the week. Long-time members who always attend the International convention should take special note in the major changes in the week’s schedule.

The chorus retreat in preparation for Orlando will be June 8-9-10 at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, (about 70 miles from Springfield).  Friday June 8th will be mandatory for front row and optional for all others with special session for the small groups to be coached. There are many good restaurants in town and it is a good social time on Friday nite.. Fees include lodging; three meals on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday; plus linens and a Saturday evening party. There are three price levels – Friday-Sunday attendees; Saturday-Sunday attendees; and commuters who won’t be staying any nite. Non-competing members are welcome to attend. Fees are due in advance and should be given to Howard Nestlerode or Jack Cameron before May 29th  All requests for roommate assignments are due to retreat master, Chuck McKeever, by Tues. May 8th.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewals to Bob Rhome for 17 years; Walt Page for 24 years; Dean Rust for 38 years; and Will Cox for 40 years.  He also was given his 40-year lapel pin.

Last week, YeEd missed a couple things. First, chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented new member packets to Gary Cregan, Connor Goss, and Jerry Jayjohn. And Ken Ives received his membership renewal for 33 years. Second, president Shawn Tallant announced that past president Randall Eliason was in MN with family matters since his mother-in-law was placed in hospice recently. 

Guest this week was David Wagner.  Welcome to him.

After the chapter meeting, musical work continued on our contest music.  Assistant director Chuck Hunter helped do some of the coaching/teaching. 

Then about 8:45, the work moved to the music for “Iron and Coal’ for those who will be singing at that event.

In other news, Keith Jones was in a car accident (a tractor trailer side-swiped him while he was stopped at an intersection) near Richmond last Friday, on his way to relocate to Florida. He was not injured or hurt, thankfully. He spent the nite with former Harmonizer Paul Laurenz while he waited for auto repair shops to open.

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