Just like every week recently, the chorus came to our meeting place at Scottish Rite Temple ready to work hard. Early arrivals joined Chuck McKeever on visual reviews – especially for new singers.
Also singers noted the new riser placement chart up front and found their new home on the risers for the new season. Associate director Tony Colosimo conducted warm ups.
Director Joe Cerutti took the helm and first off welcomed Ken Ives back as well as Mike Fasano who is going to Europe with the chorus.
Joe announced the passing of Ray Kahler, a Harmonizer from 2010-2013. He lived in Mesa, AZ, where he was a dual member with us and the Mesa chapter, singing with ARIZONA CHORD COMPANY quartet. His son, Scott (also a Harmonizer!) shared that "other than God and his family, barbershop was his Dad’s biggest love.” Thoughtful gifts in Ray’s memory may go to the Harmony Foundation and the Keep A Melody Ringing program.
Joe invited comments about the major experience for all when we sang with the Alexandria Singers and the Vocal Collective from New Zealand. He thanked Chris Huber for helping contact media and Chuck Hunter for helping contact the New Zealand Ambassador. Everyone was still on a joyful high that we shared the show and helped spread love and spirit with those who had suffered from the tragedy in New Zealand.
On Friday after the Wednesday nite show, Joe spoke at the Friday prayer service in south Alexandria. About a dozen Harmonizers joined Joe for the service.
In some breaking news for the chorus, Joe reports that the musical and admin leadership team is working on a plan for the chorus to appear at a district contest this fall. It will a fun bus trip that many men suggested during their one-on-one interviews.
And similar breaking news, the music team met all weekend with Cy Wood, our coach next week, to plan the development of show packages for the year ahead, and to start work on the major package for “Brotherhood of Man” to include some music changes (that we taught tonite). Every song will have some sort of staging aspect.
Tho we are not doing a competition performance, there will be a shortened chorus retreat somewhere over the Memorial Day weekend. Likely at SRT.
Joe stressed a couple times during the nite that if anyone needs help learning, preparing themselves, or such – speak up. Tell someone. And Joe has offered to Terry, who will coordinate, extra work sessions with Joe.
Finally, Joe alerted us that he would send out a simple survey seeking ideas, suggestions or recommendations to make the Strathmore holiday show spectacular.
After hard work on our music, the weekly chapter meeting was conducted by communications director Steve Murane. He stressed that anyone who needs uniform parts should review the recent email from Robyn about tux outfits for the Supreme Court gig on June 3rd.
The major work for the Youth Harmony Festival on Fri. April 5th includes guys stepping up with donations and signing up for tasks in response to Rob Barnovsky who is working with our education director Sheryl Berlin (to manage the Festival for 130 students!). Donations of food, drinks, and coolers will be collected next Tuesday too. $5 cash donations can go directly to Rob.
Our buddies in Riptide rock band would appreciate a good crowd of fans at the Mar. 31st Battle of the Bands at the Electric Palm in Occoquan.
Executive director Randall Eliason kicked off our efforts for the Spring2ACTion fundraiser event for non-profits groups on Wed. April 10th. His power-point explained some of the details such as power hours for us to try to get the most donors (like we did last year). We will concentrate on the 3-4 pm hour.
There will be a party again at Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town that evening to celebrate results of the day as them come online and are projected for all to see. And the restaurant offers to donate a percentage of sales.
Our total goal is $30,000! We have a matching grant already of $7,000 from chapter board members and leaders.
Membership director Calvin Schnure welcomed out guests including Scott Beach , a singer from Charlottesville and Tracy Mextorf, Ryan’s sister, plus Harmonizers Mike Fasano and Litic Murali.Secretary Chris Buechler sent word that these men have renewed recently, and we are announcing them here since some of these long-time Harmonizers don’t get to a chapter meeting for various reasons anymore: Bob Wachter - 67 years; Bob Bowman - 65 years;
Ron Rich - 58 years; Terry Jordan - 55 years; Bede Bender - 43 years; Tom Hansen - 43 years; Andy Smith - 43 years; Jim Lucey - 30 years; Tom Frederick - 26 years; and Jacob George - 9 years.
After a break, the chorus was back to work on the new music. We did have solo trials for “Empty Chairs” with the chorus.
The chorus left exhausted and excited about the new music and the great sound and energy on the risers!!
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