Friday, June 7, 2019

Looking Back on the June 3rd US Supreme Court Appearance
(Many thanks to Tyler Carpenter for taking notes and preparing a draft report for this event. YeEd.)
This was the 10th appearance by the Harmonizers at the Supreme Court building in DC.  As usual the banquet hall was packed and we had to fit the risers into a small space.  That meant the singers were really singing close together – and our director Joe Cerutti was only a couple feet in front of the chorus standing among the banquet guests.  As has been our tradition at this venue, we did no major stage presence.  Also Joe invited a guest percussionist, Doug Carnes, a barbershopper and friend of the chapter who performed on Broadway for two and a half years in “Lion King,” to appear with us at the performance.

By 7 pm, most men had arrived, gotten their uniforms and pitch pipes thru security; and our guest percussionist was warming up the drums.

As most of the men were snacking on refreshments in the Lawyers Lounge  provided by our host, The Historical Society for the Supreme Court, Joel Golden and Bob Blair were learning their parts on additional percussion instruments.

Associate director Tony Colosimo led warm-ups that focused on listening and adapting to the condensed riser arrangements. Joe took over the warm ups to place the men in riser positions with a focus on aligning windows.

At 9:10 the group gathered back for a final few measures of warm up before lining up in the hall to be escorted for a photo-op. Minutes later the chorus was directed to the risers to perform for the large crowd of distinguished guests.

The Harmonizers opened the show with a bang with “I’m the Music Man” which seemed to capture the attendance of the guests. As expected, “America” was well received as was “We Kiss in a Shadow.” Our goal of captivating the audience and maintaining their attention through the ballad was a success! An energetic “All You Need is Love” concluded with a crowd sing along with many participants.

For our last number, the entire room was at attention from the moment Tony began his solo for “Circle of Life.” The first half of the song brought an applause from the audience as the African chant portion just began – they were definitely not expecting that twist!

Supreme Court Justices in attendance included Sonia Sotomayor, Neil Gorsuch, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Brett Kavanaugh. Chief Justice John Roberts departed moments before the Harmonizers took to the risers.

An afterglow crowd assembled after the performance at the Capitol Lounge and they sang for some of the show patrons who had also made it over to the lounge.

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, June 5, 2019

Looking Back on the May31-June 1, 2019 Southern Division Contest and Convention 

This year’s Southern Division was at the Crowne Plaza Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

There were lots of Harmonizers and former Harmonizers competing this year in quartets; many singing with other chapters’ choruses; and as usual, many helping run the contest weekend.

Here are the results of the Southern Division Quartet contest: first place was THE NEPTUNERS from Norfolk and Nashville, TN.  Second place was a former collegiate quartet that reformed after a number of  years singing in other quartets with former Harmonizer Dan Cook singing bari. 

Our own guys, SILVER ALERT, with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, and Steve Murane placed third.

MISS OTIS REGRETS, with Mario Sengco, Jordan Haedtler, Chris Leyen, and  Ken Rub placed fourth. 

QUIRKS OF ART, with Bob Wilson, Roger Tarpy, Hardman Jones, and Mike Wallen moving to bass, placed ninth.

BREAKFAST BLEND,  with  Mike Geipel, Scott Beach, Jerry Candrilli, and Vinny Capaccio, placed eleventh. 

VOICES IN MY HEAD, with Cavan Potee, Tim Buell, Joe Chilcoat, and Alex Burval, placed thirteenth.

GET IT TOGETHER, with Brian Ammerman, Ben Watsky, Jim Kirkland, and Terry Reynolds, placed fifteenth. 

SIXTH SENSE, with Aaron Simoneau, Brian Miller, Joe Cerutti, and David DesPortes, placed sixteenth. 

This was the first contest for several of our men and they all did terrific jobs on stage. Former Harmonizer Nikki Aiuto sang a terrific parody number to “Nothing Like a Dame”  with SYMPATICO. Mic tester quartet for Friday nite included Mike Fasano, Rick Taylor and Eric Wallen. Emcees for that contest were Alan Lamson,  and Mike Kelly who had fun joking with the other Michael Kelly who was an official judge.

The chorus contest on Saturday morning started early at 9 am, which meant emcee Joe Cerutti worked hard to get the crowd to cheer and applaud for the earliest contestants.  But he did a great job and made it all fun. 

Our friends, The Virginians from Richmond, won the chorus contest. Besides director Mike Wallen, five other Harmonizers were on the risers – Paul Lensch, Jim McConnell, Bob Wilson, Scott Beach and Mike Geipel.  

The mic tester chorus was also directed by Mike with Mike Fasano, Joe Cerutti, Jack Pitzer, Dave Welter, Bob Eckman, and Scott Beach on the risers. 

Dewey Feuerhelm sang with the Harrisonburg VA Harmonizers. Al Hanenbaum and Jim Lake sang with DC. Garry Vom Lehn sang with Fredrick. John Santora and Tim Buell sang with Patapsco County. Rick Taylor and Bob Hirsh sang with Dundalk. Sam McFarland, Nicky Aiuto, and Art Medici sang with Richard Lewellen directing Fairfax. Bob Arbetter is now singing with Loudon County. 

Others seen at the event and not mentioned in this article included Bob Caldwell, Adam Shepherd, and Craig Odell.

Several Harmonizers were working back stage or as members of the District Events Team to make sure all aspects of the weekend went smoothly including Dave Welter, Mike and Kristin Kelly, Mike Fasano, Matt Doniger, Dennis Ritchey, Scott Beach and recent guest Vinny Cappaccio.

Saturday afternoon there was a special session explaining and digging deeper into the “Everyone in Harmony” program for BHS.  Alan Lamson and Joe Cerutti were presenters to the full house of attendees.  There was plenty of Q and A time and discussion among the representatives from all around the M-AD. 

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