Thursday, November 21, 2019

Looking Back on the Nov. 19th Chapter Meeting 

It was all-hands-on-deck this week as all the singers knew there was work to do in finishing preparations for the first of our two 2019 holiday shows which will be at Strathmore at 4 pm on Sat. Nov. 30th. (This is where we did the Harvey Milk music and the Iron and Coal works.)  The chapter appreciates that the Strathmore folks asked us to be part of their holiday offerings for their patrons.  Their marketing folks have been at work to spread the word for this show.

And wHAT A SHOW IT WILL BE!  For those of us in the seats on Tuesday nite we all agree with director Joe Cerutti that this will be some of the best singing and performing ever by a Harmonizer chorus for a holiday show.  And we are ready now – not the day before!!

Then you must not forget the guest artists joining the Harmonizer chorus for this show – gold medal quartet VOCAL SPECTRUM, and a great  high school ensemble, ACAPPELLA, from James Howard Lake High School in Montgomery County, MD.

To get started,  associate director Tony Colosimo did a solid warm up session and then it was right to work on songs.  We also included soloists and speaking parts for songs.  Ben Roberts is coordinating the actors for the show and Robyn Murane is coordinating uniforms and costumes.

The chapter meeting period was conducted by communications director Steve Murane.  Of course there were lots of details announced about the show.  Uniforms will be blue suits (without the coats) for the first half with the old red tie, and then the full tux for the second half with a special holiday pocket stuffer created by Robyn.  

Call time at Strathmore is 10 am for singers, and 9 am for set up crews.  Everyone should bring their own lunch as there will be no time to leave the venue for food. Strathmore will provide some drinks and light snacks.

Watch for a detailed email from the leadership team which will also include parking details.

There is another rehearsal this week on Thursday at Scottish Rite at 7.  Each guy is supposed to wrap two boxes with bright shiny paper for the stage decorations.  They can be brought on Thursday and hauled to Strathmore on the chapter truck , thus making it easier for singers on the day of the show.

Coming up soon is the annual pub crawl on Tues. Dec. 10th. For the many new men in the chapter, here is how it works: we assemble in Old Town Alexandria at Market Square (where the fountain and Christmas tree are located) and then walk down King Street and stop and sing two songs at a number of restaurants and fun spots.  Stay tuned as to starting details – such as maybe meeting first at Scottish Rite and forming car pools and distributing the Santa hats. Plus we end the evening with an informal afterglow at one of the spots where we sing.

Then there were details about our second holiday show on Sat. Dec. 21st at 4 pm at Schlesinger. Program ad sales should be done by Nov. 27th and turned into Matt Doniger.

There is a silent auction at this show and every singer is asked to get one gift card or item to sell.  Those donations should go to Randall Eliason.  Liz Birnbaum spoke briefly about using the show flyer to help make your ask for a donation.

Calvin Schnure displayed a sign up board for men to indicate interest in being in a quartet with a goal toward appearing on the fall Harmonizer show.  The board will be on display each week.

Special guest this week was Rick Taylor from the Harmony Foundation Inc. staff (who happens to also be a Harmonizer) to explain how men can help provide future support for singing opportunities in our community and schools. He was eager to talk to new donors who have not joined the team or to talk to guys who might be ready to step up their game and do more.  Already there are many Harmonizers who support the Foundation.

President Shawn Tallant announced the sad news of the passing this week of Mike Everard. Joe and several men spoke about Mike’s contributions to the chapter and to the barbershop harmony world at large.  Services are pending.  He was a 50-year BHS member, helped start the Mt. Vernon Harmony Heritage singers and continued to serve in leadership positions there.  He was a popular emcee for them as well as for us and other chapters. His quartet, THE FRIENDSHP FIRE COMPANY, sang all over the country entertaining and making folks laugh and smile.  He was the one constant member of that foursome. 

Shawn thanked Matt Doniger for taking on coordination of our chapter’s trip to Harmony University (HU) next summer in Nashville.  Members should pay special attention to the email Matt sent out and ONLY REGISTER for HU using the link Matt sent you.

Finally from Shawn, he is eager for suggestions for the chapter major awards that will be given at the Presidents Banquet on Feb. 1st, 2020.

For those of you marking your calendar for 2020 event, there will be another Harmonizer Heat Glow for the whole chapter and their significant others, Saturday evening, January 4th, at 7 pm at Jack and Pat Pitzer’s home - 7801 Suffolk Ct., Alexandria, VA 22315. Casual dress.  Another chance for new and old time members to mix and have some fun. Tag singing in the basement. Everyone brings finger-food hors d' oeuvres or holiday goodies to share. We will make the traditional Heat Glow Grog recipe that has been served at a similar Harmonizer event for over 50 years!! The recipe has been passed down from previous generations of the Harmo family.

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

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