Thursday, June 21, 2018

Looking Back on the June 19th Chapter Meeting and Charter Night Celebration

It was 70 years ago on this date that the Alexandria Chapter of SPEBSQSA was chartered.  There were 18 men’ names on the charter that was official signed by Society founder OC Cash.

Celebrating our start as a chapter was a perfect background for this week’s great work session for the chorus and the planning for the fall anniversary show and trip to Orlando for the International convention.

It was also an amazing coincidence that it was the same day the Barbershop Harmony Society released the announcement to truly take action on the concept “Everyone in Harmony” with expansion of membership possibilities and the spread of more people singing. Our chapter has been a part of some of the early trials in this regard with some of our men singing in mixed quartets at M-AD level.

Guys came to the new meeting space at Scottish Rite Temple ready to work, and director Joe Cerutti used that enthusiasm to kick of the evenings’ work.  But first it was also the 13th birthday for Mickey Robertson and so sang the song to him!

The first half hour or so of the singing time was used to keep the fall show music on the front burner. 
Choreographer Carlos Barillo and Craig Kujawa worked on the visual reviews too.

Then Joe asked the chorus going to Orlando to assemble on the risers. He used several of the training tools from the retreat to help the men get “into” the music and to help them prepare to “honor the music.”

Before the chapter meeting portion of the nite, Joe spoke more about the BHS announcement to spread the opportunity for everyone to sing.  He particularly acknowledged our fellow Harmonizer on the BHS board for his courage to support this new idea. 

Communications chairman Steve Murane conducts the chapter meetings these days as it is mostly an effort to keep the members well informed about events, requirements, developments, and news. Steve reminded everyone of the send off next Tues, June 26th, at Scottish Rite Temple.  The chorus arrives at 7 pm.  Guests are encouraged to come cheer and see the package at 8 pm if they don’t want to come at 7.  There will also be refreshments. The chorus will wear the black suits.  If anyone needs their suit, contact Steve.

There will also be a practice on June 28th.  And there will be a meeting on July 10th – the Tues. nite after International.  

Casey Belzer worked to collect info from members to confirm that each member’s address in Groupanizer is correct/current.

Craig, also our convention coordinator, reported on several items regarding the chapter’s trip to Orlando.
First, there will be a room for the Harmonizer Hideaway (where Harmonizer family can get some snacks and drinks during the later days of the week).  He needs some volunteer coordinators for this project – he has a room.

Second, he asked for volunteers for riser crews on Tuesday.

Third, there will be a Togetherness Dinner at 5 pm on Thursday July 5th at 5 pm in the Hyatt. (This is a long-standing traditional event (sometimes breakfast vs. dinner), when we celebrate the chapter and its chorus.

Fourth, Frank Fedarko is handling chorus photos from the contest.  (In fact, the chorus prepared for the photo pose as part of the rehearsal.) Those who want a photo must let Frank know with info as to how many photos they want and get him the payment before Orlando, or if you must, before July 5th in Orlando. Non-singers can order too by contacting Frank.

Fifth, Steve Murane explained that members should keep the new suits until after we get back from Orlando.  And again, contact him if anyone needs a black suit for the contest send off and the trip to contest.

Brad Jones is taking the $200 deposits for those going on the Scotland/England trip in 2019.

A couple of fall show announcements were made: Ian Poulin will be issuing tickets starting at 6 pm before chapter meetings; Steve gave volunteers the materials they would need to make a pitch for ticket sales at other singing organizations in the DC Metro area.

President Shawn Tallant reported that Bob Wachter is back in the hospital for care. Stay tuned.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Stan Quick for 7 years; Dale Bird for 11 years; Jason Lee for 16 years; Bob Wells for 27 years; Ike Evans for 31 years; Al Herman for 35 years plus a lapel pin; and Dave Welter for 32 years.

Membership coordinator Calvin Schnure welcomed guests Peter and Dale.

After the break there was more good work on the contest package.  Before Joe released the singers, he spoke about his plan to send them some important points to keep in mind as they continue to prepare themselves to perform next week.

In other news, here’s who’s participating so far this year in our Scrip program (from Craig Kujawa) and how much they’ve earned for the chapter (with a non-singing Harmonizer vaulted into first place!): TJ Jones $177.90; Ken Ives $172.50; Randal Eliason $170.25; Carl Kauffmann $141.10; Ken Fess $126.75; Craig Kujawa $109.69; Dave Welter $55.30; Carlos Barillo  $42.40; Ninamarie Maragioglio $32.91; Chuck Hunter  $26.50; Clyde Crusenberry $21.35; Al Herman $6.00; Bob Rhome $4.00; and Johan Westberg $1.40.
And finally, Harmony College East was this past weekend up at McDaniel College for barbershoppers in the Mid Atlantic District.  Here is a brief summary of Harmonizer activity there from some helpful reporters: Joe Cerutti was coaching, Dave Welter and Dennis Ritchey were there as district officers (and helped drive the golf carts the district rented to help attendees get back and forth to the meetings and chow hall); Mike Kelly was there as tech guy; Drew Fuller and other guys in the Harmony Heritage Singers were there for their chorus to be coached; Alan Wile was there to raise monies for Youth in Harmony programs in the district; and Bill Colosimo and Mike Wallen were teaching and coaching. 

To wrap up our charter nite celebration, the chorus linked arms and sang “Keep The Whole World Singing” as we have done for all these years!!

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