Saturday, September 21, 2019

Looking Back on the Sept. 17th Chapter Meeting

This week we celebrated a successful fall show and thanked those who made it go so well.  And we started on our contest songs for our appearance at the Seneca Land District Contest. Then we ended the evening working on our strategic plan to measure excellence in our singing.

Since there was gonna be some talking, director Joe Cerutti invited the men to relax on the risers and let them all offer their reactions, patron responses, share fun stories and hint at improvements for next time.
Joe started the dialog with a huge thank you to Cy Wood for his dedication in making the fall show package a complete performance of the Broadway songs. Joe also thanked his parents, Joe Sr. and Janet,  for their behind the scenes work to make the show “go” and for their efforts to build a working relationship with the show venue
Joe also thanked the percussion guys he knew from college days and thru barbershopping – Doug Carnes, Edd Duran and Mike Feathers.  Our own Bob Blair joined them too.

For sure the soloists, the speakers, our terrific front row all were recognized for their important contributions to the show. 

Then Joe opened the floor for comments from all the members.

Joe also shared the exciting news that on Sunday after the show, a committee met to plan our 2020 fall show!  The songs are chosen, arrangements chosen, and plans for the script developed.

Then it was time to sing! Associate director Tony Colosimo conducted warm ups.

The four songs we are preparing for the contest stage in Rochester NY are “Anything Goes,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Blow Gabriel Blow,” and “We Kiss In a Shadow.”  The judges will be invited to choose the two songs they want us to perform during the Seneca Land District Contest, Sept 27-29.

The music team urgently asks men to respond via Groupanizer regarding the smaller ensembles being formed for Art on the Avenue, Oct. 5th; Manassas Chorale Fall Concert, Oct. 12th; and Veterans Day Event, Nov. 11th. Once guys say they are available, music team will form an ensemble for those events.
Communications director Steve Murane conducted the chapter meeting. 

Our whole chorus will join in the fun and singing with the Alfred Street Baptist Men’s choir again this year.  We will have a guest chorus with us – the Washington Men’s Camerata. That event is Wed. Oct. 16th at 7 pm at their church on Alfred Street.

Anyone who wants to attend the 90th birthday party for Bob Wachter, hosted by the Mt. Vernon Chorus, should let Jack Pitzer know by end of the day, Sept. 19th.

Conventions/Contest coordinator, Craig Kujawa, spoke about the importance of guys responding to his emails about going to Seneca Land.  And he has added word that we can sign up for a buffet dinner on Sat of that weekend for $25.  It is a major event for their convention and we will actually be singing at that meal at 4 pm.  

Mike Edison announced a plan to invited chapter quartets to appear on shows.  Interested quarteters should speak with him soon.

Shows chairman Joe Cerutti Sr. awarded a $100 gift card to Ken Rub for selling the most ads for the fall show program, and a $50 card to Randall Eliason for second highest sales.

Joe Sr. thanked Connor Goss for his work on the lights for the show and all the many Harmonizer family members who worked as volunteers for the show.

AND – tickets are on sale for the Harmonizer’s Holiday Show, Dec. 21st at Schlesinger. Dean Sherick has tickets and you can get some on consignment from him.

President Shawn Tallant alerted the membership that he was issuing an email with full details about the chapter’s participation at the 2020 Harmony University in Nashville.  Take note and respond as requested.

Shawn also officially announced the chapter election on Tues. Oct. 1st. He reported the slate as presented by the nominating committee. All members are eligible to vote and are invited to attend that meeting.

The BHS chapter nominating committee has selected the following to stand for election at the annual chapter business meeting on October 1, 2019, as chapter officers for 2020:
    President – Stan Quick
    Immediate Past President – Shawn Tallant (not subject to election)
    Secretary – Christopher Buechler
    Treasurer – Alan Herman
    Member At Large – Clyde Crusenberry
    Member At Large – Frank Shipp
    Member At Large – Ben Watsky

Each of the above has been contacted and agreed to serve in the positions indicated. The 2019 nominating committee included Terry Reynolds, chair; Gary Cregan; Steve Murane; Bob Rhome; and Steve White

We had two first-time guests this week – BenWatsky introduced Jon Strickland and Dave Steadman.

After a chorus break we took seats and discussed musical excellence – a self evaluation.  Reed Livergood was leader for discussion and comparison of our performances on “Anything Goes” in 2013 International contest vs. our 2019 fall show.  Tony Colosimo lead the discussion on our performance of  “For Good” including a comparison with the Broadway show.

The good crowd of singers were busy getting the hall closed but some took time for a tag or song.

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Looking Back on the Sept. 14th Fall Show – The Circle of Life 

Our fall show was a huge success for the musicians and all their fans!  The chorus sang the following songs from Broadway shows in the first half of the performance at Schlesinger Hall in Alexandria.  The show started at 4 pm.  Tickets were open seating and the hall was full.

“Circle Of Life/Heart and Music” – from Lion King and New Brain
“The Impossible Dream” – from Man From La Mancha
“Brotherhood Of Man” – from How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
“We Kiss In A Shadow” – from The King and I
“If You Were Gay” – from Avenue Q
“Anything Goes” – from Anything Goes
“Empty Chairs At Empty Tables” – from Les Misérables
“Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” – from Monty Python and Spamalot
“Blow, Gabriel, Blow” – from Anything Goes
“For Good” – from Wicked
“Circle Of Life” – from Lion King

The second half of the show featured two great quartets – INSTANT CLASSIC and GQ.  They both thrilled the audience – and the chorus who got to enjoy the second half from seats on the platforms on the stage.  (The chorus had worn their new blue suites with orange accessories and got to take off their jackets for the second half.)

The show package was developed months ago with major help from coach and performer Cy Wood who reprised his Gabriel for “Blow Gabriel Blow.”

In addition we had a guest percussion group featuring Doug Carnes, Edd Duran and Mike Feathers, all friends of Joe and the chapter,  who made the “Circle of Life” songs come alive. Bob Blair joined the group too. 

The emcees for the this show were guys who stepped forward from the chorus to set the mood for the show – in a brief couple sentences- including Bob Blair, Dennis Ritchey, Brian Mextorf, Brian Ammerman, and Frank Fedarko. Ben Roberts worked with them in preparation.

Soloists were awesome including Tony Colosimo, Steve Szyszka Jon Frank, Ben Roberts, and then Will Cox, Mario Sengco and Joe Cerutti sang character parts for “Brotherhood of Man.”
Chapter shows director, Joe and Janet Cerutti Sr., hosted the guests performers, coordinated the spaces inside Schlesinger, and decorated the platforms the chorus stood on versus traditional risers. Their work started months ago in getting things set with the venue, guests, printing and promotion, and asking Harmonizer family members to help. Joe and Janet have helped develop a strong working relationship with the staff at Schlesinger.

Robyn Murane organized the many volunteers who worked in the lobby to help patrons with tickets, seating, and other tasks such as decorations, refreshments for guests, hosting the Premier show patrons, and photography including Jerri White, Patti Edison, Judy Huber, Kitty Fedarko, Rebecca Connor, Lydia Golden, Aideen Mannion, Janet Cushing, Cody Leihgeber-Carpenter, Sam McFarland, Walt Page, Naida Harrington, Kristen Kelly, Amber Friedman, Jack Pitzer, Rob Langston, and Krissi Folsom .  Thanks to Dean Sherick who was ticket chairman and to all the Harmo family that sold tickets.

Prior to the show there was a tech rehearsal on Wed eve, and a dress rehearsal on Thurs.  Saturday the various groups like speakers, soloists, and front row arrived at assigned report times with the chorus taking the stage about 2 pm.  Then they had a break to eat the lunch they brought and to dress for the show.

The printed show program was developed by Matt Doniger and Krissi Folsom. Thanks to the members who sold the many advertisements for the program. 

There was a successful afterglow at Chadwicks in Old Town – they were sponsor for our show too. Many of our show patrons took advantage of the meal discount that was offered on the show ticket receipt.  

It is exciting to have such terrific guest quartets to sing with us that weekend.  – INSTANT CLASSIC is the Barbershop Harmony Society’s 2015 International Quartet Champion.   The quartet is comprised of  David Zimmerman (tenor), Theo Hicks (lead), Kohl Kitzmiller (baritone), and Kyle Kitzmiller (bass). 

Plus GQ from the Baltimore area who were the 2013 First Place Rising Star Quartet  from Sweet Adelines.  The quartet members are Amanda Sandroni (tenor), Ali Hauger (lead), Katie Gillis (baritone), and Katie Macdonald (bass).

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