Thursday, July 26, 2018

Looking Back on the July 24th  Chapter Meeting 

Even tho a large part of the chapter’s musical leadership was at Harmony University (HU) in Nashville, we had a very good work session on songs for the important fall show coming up Sept. 8th.
Will Cox was on hand to do one of his iconic warm up sessions.  Assistant director Chuck Hunter was director-in-charge for the nite.  Choreographer Carlos Barillo and Bruce Roehm worked with the chorus on the visual plans for “Steppin Out” early in the evening. Near the end of the nite we reviewed performing “Miller Medley” and “Great Day.” Chuck McKeever did the video recordings for these work sessions.
Communications director Steve Murane conducted the chapter meeting starting with confirmation that all of the August regular chapter meetings and special meetings will be at Scottish Rite Temple.
Everyone needs to review the email message from Casey Belzer regarding selling advertisements for the show program.  If a member knows of a strong prospect and can’t make “the ask” they should contact Casey or Joe Cerutti Sr.
Steve asked for all of the new uniforms that are to be turned in to be handed to him at break so he could check the owners’ name off the list he was missing.
Also everyone needs to review the message from Brad Jones about the quickly approaching England trip deadlines and payments.
Show ticket chairman Ian Poulin announced that unsold consignment tickets and monies collected for sold tickets must be turned in to him on Tues. July 31st.
The team of Alan Wile and Walt Page are eager every Tuesday to accept 50/50 purchases.
President Shawn Tallant reported on the exchange of the new uniforms for something else.  Thus the need for all those new uniforms to be turned in this week to Robyn or Steve Murane.
Shawn also reported on some members with health issues.  Sandy Stamps is home recovering from surgery in her mouth to manage soft tissue cancer.  Bob Wachter is home and receiving in home care. Ross Johnson will have eye surgery here in the DC area soon.  Mike Everard is in Mount Vernon Hospital rehab center for circulatory issues.
Chapter secretary Chris Buechler presented a seven year membership renewal to Steve Szyszka.
Calvin Schnure welcomed our guests on behalf of the membership team – Chris and Jacob.
The second half of the nite was solid work on music and visuals for the show and a great introduction to singing and performing the finale for the show – “Anthem.”
Director Joe Cerutti, associate director Tony Colosimo, assistant directors Mike Kelly and Terry Reynolds were all in Nashville at HU.  Last weekend, Terry, Dennis Ritchey and Bob Eckman attended the Leadership Summit in Nashville which preceded HU.
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, July 23, 2018

Looking Back on the July 17th  Chapter Meeting 

(Thanks to Gary Cregan for taking notes for this week’s wrap up report! YeEd)
It was a busy and productive night at the July 17, 2018 Alexandria Harmonizers Chapter meeting at the Scottish Rite Temple on Braddock Road.
At the beginning of the evening, our costume manager, Robyn Murane, recruited men who arrived early to try on and model the new jackets and vests for chapter leadership, including Shawn Tallant, Joe Cerutti, Terry Reynolds, Tony Colosimo, and Carlos Barillo. The CEO of the company who had sold us the suits had come to try to make her case that the suits were great, but ultimately, the leadership decided that we were going to look for something a little more traditional.
Attendance was a little lighter than usual, since the Washington Nationals were hosting the All-Star Game, and several men either had tickets or were singing the National Anthem before the game.
Tony Colosimo conducted the warm-up, focusing on vocal technique such as breath control and proper mouth positions. Tony then spent some time working on measures 41-56 of the “Steppin’ Out”  Medley before handing the reins to Joe Cerutti for the rest of the night.
Joe worked through some of the challenging vocal portions of “Glenn Miller Medley” before adding the choreo for a few run-throughs. Next, he moved on to “We Kiss in a Shadow,” which he said he wanted to perform once. After a disappointing first note, Joe stopped, got the chorus refocused, and we successfully performed the piece in one shot!
Moving to the chapter meeting, Steve Murane led the session, first calling Casey Belzer up to discuss his plan for sending every member out to canvass for advertisements. The bottom line is that Casey is going to give every man an advertisement order form and expect all of us to go out and try to drum up some revenue. Many men picked up their forms on Tuesday evening.
Steve announced that Sheryl Berlin is going to be the new Education Director, and is already starting to plan for the Youth Harmony Festival next year. Sheryl has served as assistant director of the Washington DC Chapter.
Steve also mentioned that Stan Quick was heading up the effort to host members of the Toronto Northern Lights or other special guests for the 70th Anniversary Show – contact Stan to volunteer!
Duncan Woodbury announced that he is looking for a quartet (or larger group) to sing in his brother’s wedding on August 4. He will provide music, money, transportation if necessary, and bourbon – contact Duncan directly or see his email if you’re interested.
President Shawn Tallant made several announcements. He discussed the England/Scotland trip planned for next summer, which is proceeding rapidly. The contract should be signed before the end of August, and there are still some seats available on the third bus. Act quickly!
He also mentioned the softball game between us and Hershey, and is looking for volunteers to head up that effort.
Shawn mentioned that halfway through the fiscal year, we are within $800 of planned budget, which is very good. He also announced that the Harmonizers’ strategic plan would go in front of the Board next month for approval, after which we will hear much more about it.
Shawn gave us some good updates on some men who have had some health issues. Alan Kousen is on the mend, and recuperating at his B&B in New England. Mike Everard is back at Mt. Vernon Hospital for more tests. Shawn has not heard anything about Bob Wachter, and is looking for an update. Finally, Sandy Stamps, Mick’s wife, has been diagnosed with oral cancer, and is going in for surgery this week.
Joe Cerutti took the floor again, and announced that the 70th Anniversary Show is too long, so we were cutting two songs. The music team had already decided to cut “Wee Small Hours,” and Joe nominated “Director’s Lament” as the other song to cut.
Noah Van Gilder had the task of introducing guests, and announced a total of eight including Jordan, Matt, Tom, Jason, Ben, and Tom, Ian and Shannon relatives of Chris Leyden.
Returning to singing, Joe went over the program for the 70th Anniversary Show, and then we worked choreography for “Great Day.”
Terry Reynolds presented his annual statistical report from the International Competition. Here are some of the most interesting statistics for me as a newcomer: The Alexandria Harmonizers are the highest scoring 8th place barbershop chorus in history. Both songs got equal average scores from the judges for music and performance, but “Blow Gabriel Blow” received far higher visual scores. The scores the Harmonizers received for singing were the best scores they have ever received.
Afterwards, a good-sized group (probably a dozen) went over to Ramparts for the afterglow.
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