Thursday, October 3, 2019

Looking Back on the Oct. 2nd Chapter Meeting
Lots of guys had to decide if they would miss the Nationals playoff game tonite.  Plus most of us were still catching up after the SLD trip.  And our director and associate director are in Germany this week!

But the crowd was good for work with section leaders on holiday music.  After Jason Lee did the warm up session, assistant directors Chuck Hunter and Terry Reynolds directed songs when all sections came together after meeting with their section leaders in various parts of the meeting place (Brian Ammerman, tenors; Reed Livergood, leads; Jason Lee, baritones; Mike Kelly, basses). The work was on “Mary Did You Know,” “Jingle Bells/Sleigh Ride,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and “Gloria.” One song was worked on at a time. 

Terry also made general remarks about “things” the chorus needed to know for the evening and weeks ahead.  First he offered the floor to president Shawn Tallant who acknowledged the terrific work done by Craig Kujawa to  help us all enjoy the SLD trip and to represent the Harmonizers in first-class style.  Shawn also read some great messages received from folks in SLD including Rob Hopkins, who arranged our gold medal song “I’ll Be Seeing You.”  (We sang the song to Rob on Sat. nite up there at the afterglow.)

Steve Szyszka was recognized for his detailed work in updating the learning tracks for the holiday music.  Librarian Bob Mattes brought a good supply of updated guest books with all the holiday music included.
Terry also showed us the promotional flyer from Strathmore that has our holiday show for them prominently included.  (That show is Nov. 30th.)

This week was our annual chapter meeting and election.  Great to see Terry Jordan in the house for this meeting, and Liz Birnbaum, immediate past president of our AH, Inc. board. Shawn conducted the chapter election for our BHS chapter officers and board 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

The 2019 nominating committee included Terry Reynolds, chair; Gary Cregan; Steve Murane; Bob Rhome; and Steve White.

Next, chapter executive director Randall Eliason presented the approved budget for 2020 with complete audio visuals for all to see.  Our financial status seems to be improving thanks to the work of our chapter leaders. Members asked several good questions or made suggestions. Our budget is about $275,000 for a year – not including pass-through amounts.  Randall also reported that the board has changed our fiscal year to Sept.1-Aug. 31 (after approval from the International BHS board).

Communication director Steve Murane conducted the rest of the chapter business.  He made quick reference to the upcoming events for the chorus.  Del Ray “Arts on the Avenue,” Oct. 5, 1-2 pm with a 12 noon call time, travel uniform, at Mt. Vernon Rec Center on Commonwealth Ave.; and the Manassas Chorale, Oct. 12th at Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, 20110, call time 5 pm, blue uniform.

Terry called out the names of singers assigned to these two gigs based on earlier availability responses.

All Harmonizers are welcome to attend the Men’s Choral Fellowship with Alfred Street Baptist Men’s Choir.  It will be Wed., Oct. 16th at their church, travel uniform.  Chapter leaders ask that if a member can’t do both the regular Tuesday nite and a Wednesday nite in the week, please choose to attend this event.  It is truly an event to meet other male singers in our community.  We have invited the Washington Men’s Camerata to attend.

He reminded everyone that the fall M-AD contest is Oct. 5-6 in Reading, PA. We will have seven quartets in the contest (note the Friday nite first round of quartets starts at 4:57 pm)   and the chapter recognized them as  president Shawn presented financial gifts to each quartet.  The quartets and their members are:
Singing First (Senior)
SILVER ALERT with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane
Singing Fifth
MISS OTIS REGRETS with Mario Sengco, Jordan Haedtler, Chris Leyen, Ken Rub
Singing Seventh
VOICES IN MY HEAD with Cavan Potee, Tim Buell, Joe Chjilcoat, Alex Burval
Singing eighth
TAYLOR MADE with Rick Taylor, Tom Halley, Douglas Beach, Steve Kirsch
Singing tenth
BREAKFAST BLEND with Mike Geipel, Scott Beach, Jery Candrilli, Vinny Capaccio
Singing twelfth (Senior)
QUIRKS OF ART with Bob Wilson, Roger Tarpey, Harman Jones, Mike Wallen
Singing fourteenth (Senior)
PURSUASION with Broh Brohawn, Jon Cluries, Bob Keys, Mike Kelly

Shawn also announced the recent death of former member Sunny Shook, 83, who was a strong lead in our chapter and sang in the two gold medals chorus appearances in 1995 and 1998.

Ben Watsky welcomed new members Alex and Callan back on the risers after work travel; and welcomed singing guests this week  JoYo,  Duncan and Devin. He also recognized Sandy McKenzie who was at chapter meeting with Kevin even tho it was their 36th wedding anniversary.  The chorus sang for them.

After a break, we continued the work on the holiday songs as sections. 

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, October 2, 2019

Looking Back on the Sept. 27-28 Trip to Seneca Land District

The Harmonizers traveled to the Seneca Land District (SLD) fall contest and convention in Rochester, NY, Sept. 27-28, 2019, to sing, entertain, share ideas and spread the fun of our hobby.

The SLD was a great host and helped make arrangements for several extra events including a Master Class on Saturday morning, a show with dinner for convention attendees, and finale spot on the Show of Shows on Saturday nite. 

Just over 50 singers made the fun trip (and about 10 other family members) on Friday.  A bus departed from Scottish Rite Temple at 10 am, some guys took flights if they could not get off that early from work.  Some drove in a carpool and several guys took van arranged by the chapter for a few more who couldn’t leave so early.

Director Joe Cerutti took an early flight as he was official representative to the convention for the BHS and attended meetings on Friday and Sunday.

The chorus sang a couple songs at the Chorditorium on Friday nite after we all arrived.

Then the Master Class was at 8:30 am Saturday and a large crowd attended and filled the room.  Associate director Tony Colosimo spoke about pedagogy, Joe spoke about our methods and plans.  Assistant director Terry Reynolds spoke about admin operations for the music program of the chapter.  The session ended with a strong Q&A period.  The chorus demonstrated points the speakers were making and Joe used one of our contest songs for demo.  We opened the class singing “I’m the Music Man.”

The mic tester chorus for the chorus contest on Saturday was a Joe Barbershopper group and several of us sang in it including Joe Cerutti, Stan Quick, Steve White, Dave Welter, Kevin McKenzie, Frank Fedarko, Dennis Ritchey, Jack Cameron, and Jack Pitzer. Pete Frank is a Harmonizer too that lives in SLD and is lead of last year’s SLD quartet champ.  He sang in the mic tester chorus too and was emcee for the chorus contest. 

The Harmonizers sang for score and evaluation in that contest and earned an 87.4% with 53 singers. As a surprise, Joe invited the judges to select the two songs we would sing from the four panels we showed them labeled ballad-uptune-ballad-uptune.   Joe asked the contest administrators to choose and they chose a ballad and an uptune.  Then we uncovered the sign and learned which songs – we sang “We Kiss” and “Blow Gabriel.”  The audience asked to know the other two choices and we let them see “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Anything Goes.” 

The stage was really small and Joe almost fell off once as he walked amid the mics and speakers!  But as usual, the front row managed in great style.

Alan Lamson and Rasmus Krigstrom were on the panel.

The SLD has an annual buffet on Saturday evening of their convention and we sang a huge part of our fall show at that dinner for their guests. We wore our casual outfits for this show.

Then to wrap up our musical part of the weekend, the chorus changed to their blue contest suits with orange tie and pocket stuffer for the finale of the Show of Shows after the quartet champs were chosen.  We did the “Circle of Life” package with Bob Blair on drums and Tony was featured on this one. We ended  our portion of this event (as our way of saying thanks and to say it was great to make all these new friends) by singing “For Good.” Jon Frank was soloist for this one. 

All weekend the SLC folks went wild with cheers and comments and thanks all around.

Saturday nite ended with a great hospitality room hosted for the Harmonizers by the Mark Twain, NY, Chapter.  Great chow and lots of quartets and tag singing. Some of our more eager tag singers were up til nearly breakfast Sunday ringing chords. 

The bus ride was fun, though 8 hours was a long stretch, (and the candy and snacks left from the dressing room at our fall show helped us pass the time).  Everyone has his phone or other device plugged into the overhead outlets so  it looked like the oxygen masks were down in a plane! We stopped at a Wegmans in Brian Ammerman’s hometown.  Everyone could get about anything they wanted to eat.  On the way home, we stopped there again and this time we sang a song to Brian’s brother who came to meet us.     Brian also filled us in on info about the region like a local tour guide.

We extend thanks to SLD president Dave Bay, and executive vice president Todd Horton, for their efforts to make this all work out so well.  The responded to Joe’s original call with the idea and made it happen. Todd and his wife Kathleen helped make our weekend especially successful.

The chapter also salutes conventions/contest coordinator Craig Kujawa for his terrific work in planning and helping us all participate.

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