Friday, December 21, 2018

Looking Back on the Holiday Sings In Alexandria Dec. 15th and 18th
(Thanks to Don Harrington for notes from the Sat. Dec. 15th sing at Alexandria senior centers - YeEd.) 

A hearty group of 22 Harmonizers gathered at The Fountains at Washington House, 5100 Fillmore Ave., Alexandria, at 12:30 PM Saturday, December 15, for warm up led by Brain Ammerman.  Under the direction of Joe Cerutti, the Harmonizers shared the gift of holiday music and good cheer with residents, guests and staff at The Fountains and at three other Alexandria retirement and care centers during the afternoon (Woodbine Nursing Home, Sunrise of Alexandria and The Hermitage).  As in previous years, everyone enjoyed singing along to their Christmas favorites in halls and stairways beautifully decorated for the season.  Special thanks to Clyde Crusenberry for planning and organizing the day, which went off without a hitch in spite of the rain.
Joe was in his prime, telling jokes and getting the audiences engaged.  Each time he introduced “Chipmunk Christmas,” he would turn to a different Harmonizer in the front row and introduce him as the one who was supposed to do the hula routine, but he forgot his hula hoop, but that he would do his best without it.   Lucky performers were Dave Welter, Stan Quick, Chuck Powell, and Aaron Simoneau for impromptu performances of the hula hoop routine in Chipmunk Christmas. 

The following report was prepared by YeEd: Then Tuesday nite Dec. 18th was our annual Carol Crawl in Old Towne Alexandria According to Mark Klostermeyer, this was our 11th crawl. We assembled at Market Square before stepping off to sing at restaurants and bars in the area.  Audiences were really having fun with us.

Joe Cerutti Sr. and Mark Klostermeyer helped organize the visits with the local proprietors. Along the way we met several folks who have always found us on the Tues. nite in Dec. when were having our Carol Crawl. Joe Sr. was Santa Claus for the nite and helped greet kids of all ages!! Many men wore Santa hats and other holiday gear.

Joe Jr. kept each performance rolling along – quick opening on “Caroling, Caroling,” then he would announce “we are the Alexandria Harmonizers strolling down King Street to bring holiday greetings to all.”  Then we sang “Let It Show” and “Chipmunk Christmas” and exited on “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  Joe had fun with audiences when Kellen Hertz sang out alone on the phrase - “I Still Want My Hula Hoop” Each time the crowd cheered and Joe would retort that “he is for sale for two glasses of Scotch” or “you will love him but he bites!”

According to Dean Rust there were 49 singers present for this fun nite including three guests – Carter White, Chuck Botts, and Matt Odell. Several family members traveled with us on the crawl. New member Frank Shipp got his name badge tonite too.

One extra event was the mini-concert for the nice sized crowd that gathered at the entrance to the Torpedo Factory on Union and King Streets.  We sang some songs that are not the best for restaurants and bars such as “Hallelujah Chorus,” “Gloria” and “Mary Did You Know.” The crowd grew and grew and was very receptive to finding this impromptu concert on a crisp holiday winter’s nite. We did some recruiting for singers at this stop.

YeEd thinks we sang at nine restaurants or bars from Gadsby’s Tavern all the way down King Street to Union Street. At the end of the nite we stayed at Chadwicks for an afterglow in a special area just for us.  Most everyone stayed for some chow and lots of visiting.
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, December 17, 2018

Looking Back on the Dec. 11th  Chapter Meeting and Put Together Contest
We had as lot of fun this week.  Many guys arrived early and there were quartets working on their songs for the contest all over in the Scottish Rite Temple meeting place.

Director Joe Cerutti did a recap of the successful holiday show.  And he welcomed comments from guys on the risers.  He also shared that anyone who wanted to offer suggestions for future shows or comments about how to make the show better should forward those ideas or thoughts to Joe Cerutti Sr., our shows chairman.

Joe Jr. did recognize Jeff Burkey and Joe Sr. for their leadership for the event.  Joe Sr. thanked all the “rock stars” on the risers and behind the scenes who worked to make it all fly.  Jeff thanked Terry Reynolds, Troy Hillier, and Noah Van Gilder for their patience and dedication to get the script ready.  Casey Belzer also reported on the printed program.  Dean Sherick thanked all the guys for their work to sell tickets.  Randall Eliason thanked Kristin Kelly for her hard work to make the silent auction such a success.   Dean Rust thanked the “monks” for their extra efforts to prepare for the performance.

It was announced that the show is on the Alexandria Harmonizers YouTube account.

Randall conducted a brief chapter meeting. Next week, Dec. 18th  is the Carol Crawl in Old Town Alexandria.  We will assemble at 7 pm at Market Square behind the stage (maybe inside the City Hall Bldg.) Wear a colorful sweater, scarf or hat. We will end the nite at Chadwicks for an afterglow. 

Dean Sherick did announce that tickets are available for The Whiffenpoofs show on Feb. 9th.

On Sat. Dec. 15th we will sing at four senior centers starting at 12:30 pm at The Fountains. Watch for exact details from Clyde Crusenberry.

The chapter will not meet after Dec. 18th until Jan. 8th. 

But there will be the annual Heat Glow on Sat. Jan. 5th at home of Jack and Pat Pitzer. This is a continuation of a traditional party for the whole chapter and their significant others. 7 pm at Jack’s house – 7801 Suffolk Ct., Alexandria VA 22315.  Casual dress. Bring finger-food hors d’oeuvres or holiday goodies to share.  Wine is you wish.  We will make the traditional Heat Glow Grog recipe that has been served at a similar event for over 50 years!

President Shawn Tallant is still eager to collect any monies from members in the Double My Dues Campaign for the end of 2018.

Randall announced the sad news that Austin Cotton is in hospice care, and that Terry Reynolds mother died on Monday.

A check to the chapter was presented from our a cappella group, TBD, who sang a gig on behalf of  the chorus.

Someone announced that annual Blast hosted by the Dundalk Chapter will be on Dec. 27th  at 7 pm at American Legion Post #38, 3300 Dundalk Ave., Dundalk, MD 21222. Mike Kelly is going and Rick Savage is singing with his quartet buddies from PREMIER.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Matt Doniger for 7 years and to Drew Fuller for 29 years.

Then after a half hour break, the annual Wilbur Sparks Memorial Put Together Quartet Contest was held.  Emcee was Joe Sr.  Judges were past presidents Brad Jones, Bob Wells, and Mick Stamps with Jack Pitzer keeping track of the scores for the ten entries.  Award plaques were presented to comedy and regular quartets. 

Winners in the comedy category were COLD FRONT with Dylan Smith, Dave Branstetter, Tyler Carpenter and Brian Ammerman (They all were wrapped in blankets and had a box of tissues and sang with a stuffy nose sound.) . Second place was YOU BETTCHA with Kellen Hertz, Randall Eliason, Jeff Burkey, and Johan Westburg.  Third place was FOUR TAPS with Drew Fuller, Johan Westburg, Stan Quick, and Jim Kirkland.

Winner is the regular quartet contest were MOSTLY DEAD with Casey Belzer, Jim Kirkland, Krissi Folsom, and Matt Doniger.  Second place was CLOWN POSSE with Joe Cerutti Jr., Mario Senco, Duncan Woodbury, and Ken Rub.  Third place was AS YOU WISH with Rob Barnovsky, Chuck Hunter, Joel Golden, and Dave Welter.

A mic tester quartet called DQ was all past district quartet champs and thus not eligible to win – Chuck Hunter,  Mike Kelly, Rick Savage, and Will Cox. 

Matt Doniger was contest chairman and assembled the quartets as needed and made up some of their names. After the contest we all adjourned to the cafeteria for cake (made by Krissi – thanks for the chocolate and vanilla sheet cake everyone enjoyed) and waters and sodas.

Plaques were presented to the winners with a gold medal to the first place winners.
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