Thursday, November 8, 2018

Looking Back on the Nov. 6th Chapter Meeting
This week’s meeting and rehearsal was fast paced and all aimed at preparing for the Dec. 8th holiday show.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm ups for the guys on the risers.  Folks (a few members and many non-members) preparing for the “Monks” performance practiced in a smaller room.

When director Joe Cerutti took over, he welcomed Johan Westburg who was back on the risers after lots of travel after becoming an American citizen and getting married.  He voted today for his first time. 

Joe also welcomed and congratulated Heather Havens who recently was crowned as gold medalist Queen in her quartet at the SAI contest. 

Then we launched the work on holiday songs.

For the chapter meeting, executive director Randall Eliason took charge.  He reviewed some details about the show – get your consignment tickets from Dean Sherick (but plan to have them sold and money turned in by Nov. 27th). Reminder of the show’s uniform plan and the need to get approved costumes for the first half, and Harmo sweatshirts and scarf for the second half.  Casey Belzer is accepting advertisements for the printed program.  Silent Auction items are still needed – give any donations to Randall.

For those planning ahead, holiday show producers Jeff Burkey shared that the second half songs will be “Little Drummer Boy,” “Mary Did You Know?,” “O Holy Night,” “Gloria,” “Let All Mortal Flesh,” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?.”

Matt Doniger is eager to get more quartets to sign up for this year’s fun Wilbur Sparks Memorial Put Together Quartet contest at the Dec. 11th Chapter meeting.

Randall also reported on several responses the chapter has received from the recent mailing to about 300 alumni of the chapter which included a copy of the 70th Anniversary Story.

President Shawn Tallant reported on death notices of the wife of Elliot Roseman, Rena, on Nov. 3rd; and the passing of 1975-76 chapter president Dick Bodle, in his sleep on Oct. 29th.  Cards could go to his wife Joann, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, 1491 Virginia Ave., Apt. 591, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

Shawn also shared announcement of the Frederick, MD, Chapter show on Nov. 10th at 7 pm.  Go to

Chapter secretary Chris Buecher presented membership renewal cards to Clark Chesser for 9 years; Shawn Tallant for 12 years; Dick Dangel for 26 years; and Troy Hillier for 28 years.

Mark Klostermeyer welcomed two singing guests present this week – Dylan and Frank.

After break (there were a bunch of quartets practicing for their Dec. 11th appearance), it was back to work on the show songs.
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, November 5, 2018

Looking Back on the Oct, 30th Chapter Meeting
(Many thanks to Gary Cregan for taking notes this time!  YeEd.)
Tuesday night was another night of hard work for the men of the Alexandria Harmonizers. Before the singing started, several men helped set up the risers in the auditorium at the Scottish Rite Temple under the oversight of Member-at-Large Matt Doniger.

Associate Director Tony Colosimo warmed the chorus up, and then proceeded to run the rehearsal for the evening, as well. Beginning with “Welcome Christmas,” we went into  sectionals on two songs, and then came back together to go through them as a group. After working on “Gloria” for a while, the chorus broke for the chapter meeting.

Communications Director Steve Murane chaired the meeting, during which there were many announcements. Steve led off with several, including the following:
 - Dean Sherick is heading up ticket sales for the Christmas show; members should see him for commission tickets. Also, anyone who took tickets early can exchange unsold tickets for the new, more attractive ones. Previously sold tickets will still be accepted at the door, so there is no need to try to exchange any tickets already sold.
- Uniform Wrangler Robyn Murane is out of town for quite a while, but is still working on costumes - email her your size if you need a colored sweatshirt for the second half of the Christmas show.
- Jeff Burkey is coordinating the toy and elf costumes for the first half of the Christmas show; see his email for instructions, and don’t forget to respond to his survey so he can track what folks are wearing.

Terry Reynolds had three announcements:
- He is still looking for non-singing volunteers to be monks in for the Hallelujah Chorus number. Contact him soon if you know anyone who can help.
- We are still soliciting donations for the silent auction at the Christmas Show. Please get out and help.
- Also, Casey Belzer is once again heading up the charge to get advertisements for the program. While you’re out asking for donations for the silent auction, see if you can sell ad space, too!
- Finally, Terry called up the members of TBD to say thanks to Reed Livergood for his four years of service as their director, and presented him with a very nice plaque as a token of their appreciation.

Steve took the mic again, with additional announcements:
- Mike Edison has the folks he needs for the riser crew on November 14. Thanks to those volunteers!
- Matt Doniger is heading up the Wilbur Sparks pickup quartet contest on December 11. See him to sign up to sing with three other guys in this fun traditional chapter event.

Joe Cerutti, Sr. then stepped up to the mic to address his ‘rock stars.’ His items:
- He had the forms for program advertisements in Casey Belzer’s absence.
- He described the perks associated with the Premier Tickets for the Christmas show in great detail.

Steve Murane wrapped up his announcements with three pieces of good news:
- Steve White has a new granddaughter, and everyone is happy and healthy.
- Steve Szyszka has returned from a trip to Ukraine.
- Johan Westberg is the Harmonizers’ newest US citizen.

Bill Carroll from the Singing Capital Chorus was visiting on Tuesday, and he took a few minutes to tell the men about their upcoming show, Melodies & Musicals. Performances are this weekend, so get your tickets soon.

Calvin Schnure announced our three guests, Bill from the Singing Capital Chorus, as well as Jim and Frank. He was also pleased to announce that Tyler Carpenter had passed his audition, and is our newest member.

After a break, we got back to work. After going through the third verse of “Little Drummer Boy,” Tony formed the chorus into eight mixed groups to work on making it better. He was very pleased with how we sounded after about ten minutes of small group work. We then worked through a few more songs, ending the night with a great rendition of “Let It Snow,” before heading home or to 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

Looking Back on the Oct, 20th Bark Ball Appearance and Oct. 23rd Chapter Meeting
It was a great night at the Washington Hilton Saturday night for the 31st Annual Humane Rescue Alliance Bark Ball. The Harmonizers were hired to sing one song for this major fundraising event and the chapter musical team asked Steve Tramack to create an arrangement of Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On.”  The chorus went to work on it right after our major anniversary show and had the song read.

Because the banquet hall was so large and crowded (which meant the chorus was in two long rows), the chorus needed to record the song in advance so it could be played with us singing along. Mike Kelly helped manage that aspect at our last regular chapter meeting.

On this Sat, there was a call time of 6 pm, essentially all the men who were performing had arrived by the time Director Joe Cerutti stood up on a chair in our green room. He talked the chorus through the logistics of the performance, including who would be on the stage, and who would be in the lines that extended across the floor of the ballroom.

Associate Director Tony Colosimo then spent some time going through the number several times to warm up the group. The men then broke away to get changed, and rehearsed getting into position one final time before moving to our final holding position before the performance.

After about a 20 minute wait, we got the signal to take our positions, and, true to Joe’s word that the ballroom was chaotic, we walked out into a sea of humanity and canines! There were probably 500 people in formal attire with their dogs, some of whom were also dressed in formal costumes, and all eyes were on Tony, who was singing at full voice, and the rest of the men as we sang along with ourselves on the recording. We received a good deal of applause, and as it died down, we exited, and headed back to get changed.

Afterwards, the majority of the men headed to Duke’s Counter for a great time at the afterglow. (Thanks to Gary Cregan for taking notes for this event for YeEd.)
The Oct. 23rd chapter meeting and rehearsal was held in the Scottish Rite Temple cafeteria. The major effort this week was to continue work on music for the holiday show coming up Dec. 8th.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm up session.  Then director Joe Cerutti spoke in appreciation for all those who did the recent outreach event at Alfred Street Baptist in Old Town, and all those who did the Bark Ball.  He reports there were 500 dogs in the hall!! 
Joe also reported that our a cappella group, TBD, sang a fundraiser gig on Sunday too.
He also repeated his announcement that it is time to pass along the section leader duties to new guys.  Those interested should speak with Joe, Tony, or Terry Reynolds.
Then we went to work on the holiday songs using sectionals first and then the whole chorus worked on each song.
The Holiday Show is Dec. 8th at 7:30 pm at TC Williams High School on King Street. Tickets are on sale now thru Event rite. Ticket chairman Dean Sherick has consignment – note that all consignments must be turned in or paid for by Nov. 27th.  General admission tickets are $25 and premier seats are $75.Singing with the chorus will be our own TBD a cappella group, and BETTER TOGETHER (Tony and Elizabeth Colosimo and Andrew and Heather Havens mixed quartet).  We will repeat the very fun version of the “Hallelujah Chorus” with Monks.  Friends and relatives of members may sign up to audition as a monk with Terry – as long as they can attend a rehearsal from 6:30-7:30 pm every Tuesday in November.
The first half of the holiday show will be toys/elves again.  So singers need to start working on their costume for this.  New guys should ask for ideas about this and also check with uniform chair Robyn Murane regarding any uniform parts.
Casey Belzer will coordinate a printed program for the holiday show and needs advertisement materials by Nov. 13th.
AH Inc. president Liz Birnbaum spoke about how to secure gift cards and other donations for the silent auction to be held at the show.  Kritin Kelly and Randall Eliason will accept the items.
Future shows include the Whiffenpoofs on Feb. 9th, and a joint concert with the Christchurch Pops Choir and the Alexandria Singers on Mar. 20th.  Both events will be at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
Mike Edison needs a riser crew on Nov. 14th from 2-4 pm.  Contact him to volunteer.
There will be a Wilbur Sparks Memorial Put Together Quartet contest on Tues. Dec. 11th.  See Matt Doniger to enter a quartet!  Only need one song – comedy or regular.  Let’s have a fun nite!
Dennis Ritchey is taking names of guys who would be willing to sing in quartets for Veterans in the DC area.  See him and offer your voice.
During the early part of the meeting a crew of members and family members stuffed a mailing that will go to all former members reporting milestones from our 70th year.
Liz also presented to the chapter an American Flag that has flown over the US Capital building on Aug. 16, 2018 in honor of our chapter’s anniversary.  She also reports that’s a piece was entered into the Congressional Record saluting our chapter.
President Shawn Tallant reports that planning will continue for a Dec. 15th event for singers to go to senior citizen or soldier homes.

He also saluted Heather Havens (wife of Andrew) for her success as a member of CLASS RING quartet that were named Queens of Harmony for the SAI at their recent convention.
Membership chair Calvin Schnure welcomed Tyler, Frank and Jim as singer guests.
Craig Kujawa reports that we are 3 weeks into the fall Scrip membership drive, and 13 people have established a account and/or made their first Scrip purchase(s).  Thank you! As a reminder, every chapter member (or supporter) that creates an account and/or makes their first purchases at least $50 of Scrip between 9/24 and noon on Tuesday, November 27th, will be entered into a prize drawing for one $50 gift card of their choice.
During break there were refreshments again (since we were in the cafeteria).
After break it was back to work on the music.
A good crew of guys went to Ramparts for an 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