Thursday, April 12, 2018

Looking Back on the April 10th 2018 Chapter Meeting 

This week was almost a repeat of last week – hard work on the new contest ballad and continued work on the uptune.  Plus we are moving forward on the songs for the 70ath anniversary show.  Director Joe Cerutti did the vocal warm ups when we assembled at Convergence and since the church pews are sort of restricting, Joe had the four parts gathering ‘round the piano.

We also took a mini break and listened to one of the small learning groups formed recently.  This one included Santora, both DesPortes men, Kelly, and Cameron. They worked before the start of the chapter meeting with associate director Tony Colosimo and then sang the uptune for us.  

Executive director Terry Reynolds was back from Ireland and conducted the chapter meeting.  Next week we are back at Durant with coach Kevin Keller. “Iron and Coal” rehearsals continue in preparation for the actual performance at Strathmore in early May – there is one Thursday nite, April 12th.

He reminded guys to turn in their payment for the chorus retreat to Howard Nestlerode. The retreat 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 sessions 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 ($114); Saturday-Sunday attendees ($83); and commuters who won’t be staying any nite ($78). Non-competing members are welcome to attend. Fees are due in advance and should be given to Howard Nestlerode, or Jack Cameron if Howard is not present, before May 29th. All requests for roommate assignments are due to retreat master, Chuck McKeever, by Tues. May 8th.

The chapter leaders need to hear from more singers regarding their intentions or interest in the travel to Brazil in 2019. This is especially true for those who might have earlier said “maybe” – if there circumstances are such you can go, please speak with Joe or Terry.  Joe did announce the news that a great gold medal quartet is lined up to go with us!!!  

Terry recognized the many Harmonizer successes from the previous weekend’s International quartet preliminary contest is Reading. See the recent “Looking Back” report on this event. The new district senior quartet champs, SILVER ALERT, proudly displayed their new trophy for all to see.

All members have been emailed a request for help in adding shelves and clothing racks in our storage unit from new uniform chair Robyn Murane.  The work will commence at 2 pm at the storage place in Woodbridge. Tell Robyn if you can come and bring your own tools.

Robyn also is ordering more black Harmo camp shirts, so all new members can get one, and guys who might need a new one or an additional one can order them too.  The deadline is short so contact her Wednesday by 6 pm.

Finally she needs some folks who could help sell former uniforms online. 

A major presentation this week was from Randall Eliason, chairman for Spring2Action again this year.  Last year we earned nearly $20,000 on this one-day event for not-for-profit groups and particularly arts groups. Randall issued a pledge form for each man to use in determining who he would contact to make a pledge on that day – April 25th.  The chapter earns extra funds for numbers of donors – even if the gift is just $5. All members will get multiple prompts from Randall to help them do their part.  Tho our published goal is to exceed last year’s total, Randall and Joe strongly hinted that we could make up to $100,000 if every guy did some work on this.  Last year’s total was achieved by about 60 members!

Before the nite ended, the chorus did recordings of the contest songs that could be submitted to section leaders.

Again this week, there was some time allotted for reminders for the Youth Harmony Festival on Friday, April 13th. Tony is heading our Festival team. The all-day event will be at Restoration Anglican Church, 1815 N Quincy St., Arlington.  Many helpers will be needed during the day – volunteers met on the stage at Convergence and determined some special assignments. 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.

Jason Lee is heading our fifth-annul Aca-Challenge 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 judges with input from 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. The chorus will not sing but everyone is encouraged to buy tickets and attend, plus promote the event on social media.

Ben Watsky and Noah Van Gilder were a team in announcing this week’s singing guests: David, Janigan, Matt, Jarad.

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Looking Back on the April 6-7  M-AD International Prelims Contest Weekend

Several Harmonizers had a busy weekend in Reading PA, at the M-AD International Prelims Quartet contest where quartets can try to qualify to compete at the contest this summer in Orlando.  Plus this weekend was a combined event for a Northern Division contest, a senior quartet championship contest, a youth adjudication event, and a mixed quartet contest.

CAPITAL CITY CLOSE HARMONY CLUB with Mario Sengco, Jordan Haedtler, Chuck Hunter, Ken White sang in the quartet finals on Saturday nite and placed 8th in the prelims contest. Great to have them representing our chapter.

VOICES IN MY HEAD with Tim Buell placed 26th in the quartet contest.

SILVER ALERT with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane competed for the district senior quartet championship which they won!!!!  Congrats.  They also placed 16th in the quartet contest. For our readers who understand the system, our guys are also in the running to possibly represent our district at the 2019 Senior International Senior Quartet Contest at the midwinter convention  in Nashville. 

The quartets going to Orlando from our district will be GIMME FOUR, STUDIO 4, ROUTE 1, and FORECAST.

BLIND WIVES competed as a mixed quartet in Reading with Tony and Elizabeth Colosimo and Andrew and Heather Havens, They were a crowd favorite, captured first place with a score of 80.2 in the mixed quartet contest and appeared on the Saturday nite show.

SRIRACHA with Pookie Dingle placed 6th in the Northern Division contest.  There was also a Northern division chorus contest and our friends from Hell’s Kitchen won that event which means they will compete at the fall district contest along with East Coast Sound, Long Island Sound, The Dapper Dans of Harmony, and Country Gentlemen choruses from this division.

There were a number of former Harmonizers in quartets and a long list of members working at the contest, helping with District administration, or there to cheer and support quartets and the many youth groups who sang in a youth adjudication event on Saturday afternoon.

Harmonizers were working all weekend to make the event run smoothly.  Mike Wallen was emcee for the second half of the large quartet contest Friday nite which combined the 37 quartets for the prelims, division, senior and mixed.  The contest had to start at 2:27 pm on Friday.

Holly Kellar, chief marketing officer on the staff at the BHS office in Nashville, was emcee for the division chorus contest.  She met with district leaders during the weekend too. The mic testing chorus was formed from the membership of the district honor chapter – DELASUSQUEHUDMAC.  Seven of our guys sang in that group which Tony directed – Sam McFarland, Bob Wachter, Jack Pitzer, Bob Eckman, Carl Kauffmann, and Dennis Ritchey.  Mike Kelly is president of DELA.

The large contest was work for contest administrator Chris Buechler. The youth adjudication had 18 entries. The judges for this event included John Santora as contest administrator and Tony Colosimo as singing judge.

A new aspect of this weekend’s event was the formation of a team by the district leadership to host the event, versus a host chapter.  Matt Doniger and Ian Poulin were part of that team. Mike Kelly was in charge of photography and videography.

Dennis Ritchey was emcee for the Saturday nite show featuring all the winning groups and the announcement of which quartets would go to Orlando. He is also M-AD president.  He has two other Harmonizers as fellow officers – Bob Eckman as executive vice president and Dave Welter as treasurer. They conducted the House of Delegates meeting on Sunday morning too.

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 69th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd