Saturday, January 19, 2019

Looking Back on the Jan. 15th Chapter Meeting
This was the kick off for the new year and everyone arrived eager to hear the plans, get to work and to be back on the risers.  The risers were full!!! There was a strong energy and excitement at Scottish Rite Temple.

Associate director Tony Colosimo did the warm up session before turning the chorus over to director Joe Cerutti. He started right away on the songs we are bringing back into the plan for 2019 such as “Anything Goes” and “We Kiss in a Shadow.” Joe used several combinations of small groups to kick off good singing habits this year.

The chapter meeting began early since there was so much to talk about in the second half tonite regarding 2019.  First off – any new members who need uniform parts (or active members who need a new clothing item) should contact Robyn Murane immediately so she can add your needs to the order she will place.

Kudos were given to Jack and Pat Pitzer for the fun nite and Heat Glow early this month.  About 60 members and their guests attended and shared the food and grog.

The up-coming calendar of events was reviewed including The Whiffenpoofs combined concert on Feb. 8th. We all need to sell the $30 tickets for their performance at The Masonic Temple. This is the fourth year in a row for this joint event.  Harmonizers who sing will not need a ticket for themselves.

Singers should be prepared to contribute as quartet men for the Singing Valentine events on Feb. 14th – we will be sending quartets out in shifts to make appearances for public relations purposes, to say thank you, or to cheer up local citizens.  Signups will be for morning, afternoon and evening appearances in the Metro Area – but especially in Alexandria.

Singers should also mark their calendars for the March 20th sing at the Masonic Temple with the Alexandria Singers and a New Zealand choral group.

President Shawn Tallant reported that Tom Frederick has had a hip replacement and is looking to be back singing on the risers in a couple months.

Sad news to report that Vic Owen, bass of YOUTH RECLAMATION PROJECT, died last week of a heart attack.  The quartet with Mike Wallen, Hardman Jones, and Roger Tarpey was prepared to attend the Mid Winter convention in Nashville this month and represent our district.

Shawn also invited every member and their significant other to attend the Presidents’ Banquet on Feb. 16th at Lee Center in Alexandria (same place where we had the afterglow after the fall show) 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria.  Tickets are only $30 per person for the banquet and evening, and available at this time from Dave Branstetter.  He is eager to at least get a count of those who plan to attend.  AND NOTE:  president Shawn announced that any member who is furloughed or effected by the Shutdown and worried about the ticket price should speak to Shawn about making arrangements.  We want all our members there to witness the award honors and have fun together.  Shawn reminded everyone that is also Valentine weekend, so the tradition of each member giving a rose to his significant other will be especially timely. 

Mike Kelly announced the news that Chuck Hunter was recently elected to the Mid Atlantic District’s honor chapter, DELASUSQUEHUDMAC. Chuck is one of 25 Harmonizers who have been elected to that group in recognition of their leadership and hard work in support of the chapter, district, and Society over the years.  

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler spoke about dues payments – especially explaining the extra fees assessed by BHS for late payments, and even the use of a check!!!

Membership director Calvin Schnure welcomed a number of Harmonizers who were back on the risers again – Bob Mattes, Ross Felker in from TX, and new member Dale Bird. Calvin officially welcome new member Frank Shipp who was given his new member credentials during the holiday events. And finally, we welcomed three singing guests: Ryan, Vinny, and Scott.

We took a nice break for goodies and coffee in the SRT cafeteria.

After break, chapter leaders presented lots of info for the members and their families.  (All of the info from that presentation will be emailed to all members soon.) Also YeEd will publish a Year In Review “Looking Back” report after the Presidents’ Banquet.

BHS chapter president Shawn reported on the many successes from 2018 including outstanding achievements musically and some terrific success financially.  Good ticket sales for our anniversary show, our work in the Spring2ACTion event in Alexandria, the special end-of-the-year push to member donors, and the work from AH Inc. raising monies for our goal of $70,000 in our 70th year.  Two major gifts from Ken and Kim Fess, and from Bill and Charli Sowers were important to that success.

Shawn listed the major challenges for 2019 including supporting our strategic plan, connecting with the community, and building our brand. Certainly we will be defining where we are going as an organization – especially as it relates to “Everyone In Harmony” proposals from BHS.

He also stressed that we will give renewed emphasis to membership growth and development.

AH president Liz Birnbaum reported on their work, announced next year’s board for AH (Bruce Roehm, president; Liz,  vice president; Bob Faherty, secretary; and Terry Reynolds, treasurer), and spoke about important grant funding efforts coordinated by Dean Rust.

Joe took a minute lead the thank you tribute to Liz for her huge contribution on behalf of the chapter.

The operations team which includes those folks that get the day-to-day work done for the chapter was also reintroduced.

The music team, which includes all directors and section leaders and represented by artistic director Joe Cerutti, presented a thorough and complete plan of shows and music to be used for ’19.  Our schedule is complete and everyone should mark their calendars with the dates. Joe Cerutti Sr. was key in coordinating the show line up for the whole year.

Joe shared who our coaches would be this coming year – what a list it is: Steve Scott, Kevin Keller, David Wright, Cindy Hansen, Cy Wood, and David McEachern.

Our musical theme for 2019 will be Broadway music – some songs we have used in the past and several new ones being arranged for us. This music plan also includes plans for our trip to England, Scotland and Wales (about 60 singers are going). New songs are being released via Groupanizer so members can do the necessary homework. Joe will be doing personal interviews again this year with every member between Jan. 27-Mar. 6.

Joe also announced the section leaders for the coming couple years: Brian Ammermann for tenors; Reed Livergood for leads; Jason Lee for baritones; and Mike Kelly for basses.

Again – members should be sure to read the email summary sent to you.
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