Friday, April 12, 2019

Looking Back on the April 9th Chapter Meeting 

This week’s meeting and rehearsal was jam-packed with singing and business matters.  Everyone was ready for a good workout too with our coach Cy Wood who had come to our town after his work day in Ohio.

Before the chorus arrived, Cy worked with the front row from about 6 pm. There was also a chapter BHS board meeting, and a lead sectional.

Associate director Tony Colosimo started the music work off with another one of his moving and growing warm up sessions.

Then president Shawn Tallant recognized Julie Rizzo and presented her a Meritorious Service award for all she did as a community board member of AH Inc., and helping launch serious fundraising efforts in the Harmonizer world. (She was out of the country at the time of the Presidents’ Award  Banquet.)

Then director Joe Cerutti welcomed back Adam Afifi, Chris Huber as one of the newest members wearing a boot after injury or surgery, and Sam McFarland after knee surgery. Huber HJ

Joe sincerely thanked those men who worked so hard last Friday for the Youth Harmony Festival and he paid tribute to Sheryl Berlin who made the festival a huge success. 

He announced that we would not be working on “For Good” for the next couple of weeks to give guys more time on it at home, and instead asked the guys to be prepared with “The Impossible Dream.” He also suggested again that if anyone needs help with preparation of their music, they should speak to their section leader.

Joe welcomed Society board member Jeremy Albright and member of the Dallas Vocal Majority.
Then he went to work on “I’m the Music Man,” followed by a short time on more visual instruction and review for “Anything Goes” with Chuck McKeever and Joe as a team.

Tony stepped up to the plate to direct and kick off the working session on “Brotherhood of Man” with a once thru the music, and then Joe officially welcomed Cy who worked most of the rest of the nite on an exciting, Broadway musical plan for “Brotherhood.” 

There was a brief change before the chapter meeting time when we were recording “Heart of My Heart” for someone  - well, it turned out to be the chance for Casey Belzer to step out of the chorus and sing the last few lines of the song to Lacey Patrick and propose to her with a ring. She said “Yes” and the place erupted in cheers for them both.

Then things settled down for the actual meeting with Steve Murane in charge. Members were asked to get onto Groupanizer to confirm their intentions for travel trip to Seneca Land District, singing for the Supreme Court (note that there will be important data collected for entrance for all singers due by April 23rd); or the extra rehearsals for those who wish to attend and work on the 2019 songs on 4/18, 4/29, 5/16, and 5/30.  There will be a bass sectional on May 11th.

Plan to celebrate National Barbershop Quartet Day on April 11th.

Final payments for the European trip are due to Brad Jones next Tuesday, April 16.
Executive director Randall Eliason then announced that Gary Cregan will assume the duties of  Operations Director for the chapter and thanked Mike Edison for his years of service prior to this shift in assignments.

And Randall coached everyone in how to participate fully in Spring2ACTion tomorrow such as using FaceBook and other social media, and of course making some kind of a donation in our power hour from 3-4 pm.  Plus plan to come down to Old Town to Virtue Feed & Grain at 6 pm to celebrate our successes, get some refreshments and watch the tally on the screen as we wrap up another important event for the chapter.

President Shawn Tallant reported that Alan Wile has been absent recently because he had heart surgery about a week ago.  Alan is home and recovering and can take emails or calls and cards.  We missed him at chapter!

Shawn also reported the good news that the chapter received a check for over $4500 from Harmony Foundation International representing our Donor Choice proceeds from donations made designating the chapter as recipient between June and December, 2018. Good work Harmonizers.
Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Jerry Jayjohn for 2 years; Duncan Woodbury for 7 years; Tyler Carpenter for 8 years; Nick Leiserson for 9 years; Cy Wood for 9 years; Johan Westberg for 14 years; Calvin Schnure for 24 years; Sam McFarland for 32 years, and Chuck Hunter for 47 years. 

After the break, our TBD guys sang “Make Me Loose Control” and Jacob Broude shared on their behalf that TBD desires to keep the chapter abreast of their work and efforts on the behalf of the chapter.

Calvin Schnure welcomed another singing guest for the nite - Kevin McKenzie’s friend Jim Zoller,

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Looking Back on the April 5th 2019 Youth Harmony Festival

The Harmonizer’s 2019 Youth Harmony Festival was another great success with amazing energy and great singing and fun for all.

A couple things were different this year, The location was in our new chapter meeting place, the Scottish Rite Temple on Braddock Rd., which gave space for the male and female youth choruses to practice, plenty of space for snacks and break time, a big area for meals, and then a performance theater space.  

And our chapter’s new education director, Sheryl Berlin, made it all happen to contact music educators in the area far in advance for this Friday event! (She thanked Ike Evans and others for helping reach local music educators including a couple of our own members who brought students.)    

But the big difference was the number of students – 124 registered with 84 women and 40 men.  (after bus failure, and a school schedule mix up, there were about 100 actual attendees). The youth attendees were from 12 schools representing Maryland (Montgomery County (6), Frederick County (1), and the Homeschool Harmonizers north of Baltimore (1)) and Virginia (Prince William County (1), Fairfax County (1), and the City of Alexandria(1) ) and one representative (Frank Shipp's grandson) from North Carolina!  The participants ranged from 6th to 12th grade. Our own Micky Robertson also participated.
We had several music educators present -- Karisa Leoni (Sligo MS, Montgomery Co.), Stephanie Baker (Northwest HS, Montgomery Co.), Casey Belzer (George Washington MS, City of Alexandria), John David Maybury (Loiederman MS, Montgomery Co.), Kris Zinkievich (Blake HS, Montgomery Co.), Jen Newgent (Homeschool Harmonizers, Timonium, MD), Heather Smith (Elementary music educator and parent, representing South Lakes HS, Fairfax Co.). The music educators met as a group during the afternoon with festival staffers.

Associate director Tony Colosimo was emcee for the day and welcomed students, parents and fellow educators, and he served as clinician for the men’s youth chorus.  Katie Taylor from NY state (a three-time Harmony Queen and high school music educator who often is clinician for student events) was clinician for the women’s youth chorus.  Plus we had two outstanding teaching quartets to help coach, encourage, and sing with the students.  And both performed at the kick off session, sang tags with the students all day, and then did full show sets on the evening show for family and friends.

HOT PURSUIT quartet from the Atlanta, GA, and Cleveland, TN, is the current SAI Rising Star Champions with Michaela Olson, Tessa Walker, Melody Hines, and Candra Rice.  

SIGNATURE quartet from Florida is the current 2018 International silver medalist BHS quartet.  They have been with us before and helped recruit attendees at our area schools too. Quartet includes Paul Saca, Danny Cochran, Will Rodrigus, and Dan Waltz.

As a special surprise, THE QUINTONES quartet from NJ came down for the day and helped with the men’s chorus since they too are still students. Their quartet was named winner of the first ever Next Generation Quartet Contest at the mid winter convention in Nashville. They are from our own district and it was great to have them interact with local student musicians.  The quartet includes Chris Cranford, Julian LeFlore, Jake Lapp, and Tommy Hunter.

Learning track materials for the students had been previously distributed and school groups started arriving about 8:30 am for registration.  Tony started off their day with a great youthful warm up and got them laughing and already cheering – especially when the guest quartets were introduced and sang a song for the attendees!

During the day there were men and women rehearsals, sectionals, combined chorus work, tag singing,  and of course snack and break time!  (YeEd reports that they can demolish a table of cookies and chips in no time!  Thanks to all the contributions from Harmonizers for this aspect of the day.) The evening pizza feed made quick work of the 39 pizzas too!

Rob Barnovsky and Mario Sengco were the chief organizers, purchased lots of supplies and foods for the day and helped coordinate the operations.  But a lot of other members were there for the day helping to haul, move, carry, go get, and check on: Matt Doniger, Jerry Jayjohn, Frank Shipp, Casey Belzer, Randall Eliason, Jack Pitzer, Ellen Dellert, Dean Sherick, Walter Page, Gary Cregan, Shawn Tallant, Ben Roberts, Dennis Ritchey, and Carl Kauffmann. Some of this work included riser movement and sound set up. Krissi Folsom was photographer for the event. 

For the evening show, the Harmonizers started things off with a set of “America,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” with Ben Roberts as soloist, and “Blow Gabriel Blow” with the full stage presentation. Director Joe Cerutti welcomed the parents and families of the students and recognized their support of music in the lives of the young people. 

Our own a cappella group, TBD, sang on the show, and all three of the guest quartets! TBD included Josh DesPortes, Noah Van Gilder, Nick Leiserson, Jacob Broude, Terry Reynolds, Clark Chesser, Connor Goss, Brian Ammerman, Jeff Burkey, and Kellen Hertz.

The youth went wild with applause and standing ovations for the quartets and chorus!  They clapped and cheered and participated with the groups on the show.

The youth attendees sang on the show too and were a huge hit with the crowd of parents, friends and supporting Harmonizers.  Students completed a survey online (thanks to Dave Kohls) and were given a red Festival t-shirt to wear for the evening show.

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