Thursday, October 10, 2019

Looking Back on the Oct. 8th Chapter Meeting and Art on the Avenue Gig

A well prepared chorus was on hand for this week’s work session on holiday music.  It was stressed a few times this week that our first holiday show is just a few weeks away – Nov. 30th. at Strathmore.
The work session started with all singers and guests in the theater seats of our meeting place auditorium.  Jason Lee conducted the warm up session.

Then director Joe Cerutti took over and started an exciting nite of singing.  He and associate director Tony Colosimo were just back Monday nite from coaching in Germany, but Joe was fired up about the results he had heard and experienced from our appearance at the Seneca Land District. He thanked Craig Kujawa for making the weekend go so successfully. And Joe couldn’t offer enough complimentary words to the chorus for their performances, enthusiasm and work ethic up in Rochester NY.

He also thanked everyone who did the gig in Del Ray on Saturday.  (See the report on this below.)
To get started singing, Joe asked the guys to sing thru a couple of the songs worked on last Tuesday nite with the section leaders.  It went great! 

Then the music team conducted more sectionals for 15 minutes each on a song, followed by all parts regrouped in the auditorium – songs were “Toyland” and “Ave Maria.”  

Joe shared some show plans for Strathmore when VOCAL SPECTRUM will appear with us and they will sing some parts of “Ave Maria.”  Jack Pitzer shared a Moment In Harmonizer History relaying the often told story about the chorus singing “Toyland” for Perry Como at the Kennedy Center in 1987.

The mid-evening chapter meeting session was conducted by communications director Steve Murane. Those men who will form the mini-chorus for the gig with the Manassas Chorale should be certain they have read the latest message from Terry.

All singers were encouraged to attend the Men’s Fellowship Sing on Wed. Oct. 16th, 7 pm at Alfred Street Baptist Church.  Guests and former members are welcome to join in the fun and fellowship. (Joe has encouraged all men to make this top priority next week – even if that means skipping the Tues. nite chapter meeting.) Casual uniform.

President Shawn Tallant recognized Dennis Ritchey who was named to the M-AD Hall of Honor at the district convention on Saturday in Reading, PA. Congrats to Dennis

Next Shawn reported the results of the quartet contest and initiated the cheers for our seven quartets who appeared. 

Shawn then helped the chapter salute and thank Brad Jones for his dedicated leadership in making the overseas trip to Scotland such a success.  That included a trip photo signed by all singers, and a significant gift of donations from all those who went on the trip.

Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal materials to Casey Belzer for 5 years; Steve Spar for 5 years, Randy Lazear for 45 years including his lapel pin, Carl Kauffmann for 47 years, and Jack Cameron for 50 years including his lapel pin. 

Mark Klostermeyer welcomed singing guests this week: Duncan, Devin and John for their second visits, and Peter for his first visit.

After break, we listened to a new holiday song for the chapter, “Carol of the Bells”
 as sung by the Dallas Vocal Majority. And we watched a video of the NO BORDERS Chorus singing “Please Come Home for Christmas” which will be a new chorus song. 

While we had the projector on, Joe shared the song the Harmonizers will teach all attendees at the Men’s Fellowship next week – “One More Song” words, music and arranged by Joe Lilies.

 (In other news, here is a report prepared by Jerry Jayjohn from the chorus appearance Saturday, Oct. 5th.)     

A 26-man chorus was formed for this performance based on singers who responded on Groupanizer that they were available. They wore the casual outfit and gathered at the Mt Vernon Rec Center at noon to warm up for the Arts on the Avenue event in the Del Ray area of Alexandria.  It was a beautiful day and the ensemble directed by Terry Reynolds put on a great performance. 

Terry took the guys through a quick warm up and then at 1 pm the ensemble took the performance area with about 60 people watching.  The group sang their hearts out on songs including “Music Man,”  “Heart and Music” (Steve Szyszka as soloist),  “There Must be a City “ (Frank Fedarko soloist), “All You Need is Love” (Noah Van Gilder soloist) to name a few.  The crowd swelled to about 100-110 people by the end of the performance with a very warm and welcoming audience. Between songs, Terry gave plugs for our upcoming shows and invited the men in the audience to come out to a Tuesday practice. After the performance, the Harmonizers were released to mingle and talk to the audience.

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 9, 2019

Looking Back on the October 4-5th Fall M-AD Contest and Convention

This year’s fall M-AD contest and convention was in Reading, PA, at the Santander Performing Arts Center the weekend of Oct.4 and 5.

The quartet contest started at 5:27 pm.  There were seven quartets from our chapter in the line-up this year. The quartet contest was actually two contests conducted simultaneously – a senior quartet contest, and a contest to select a district quartet champ.

Competing only in the senior quartet contest, SILVER ALERT with Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane ranked 3rd in the senior contest.

Competing  in the district quartet championship contest, VOICES IN MY HEAD with Cavan Potee, Tim Buell, Joe Chjilcoat, Alex Burval, placed 23rd in that contest.

Competing in the district quartet championship contest, BREAKFAST BLEND with Mike Geipel, Scott Beach, Jerry Candrilli, Vinny Capaccio, placed 19th in that contest.

Competing in both the senior quartet contest and the district quartet championship contest, QUIRKS OF ART with Bob Wilson, Roger Tarpey, Harman Jones, Mike Wallen, placed fifth in the senior contest and 14th in the overall contest.

Competing  in the overall district quartet championship contest, MISS OTIS REGRETS with Mario Sengco, Jordan Haedtler, Chris Leyen, Ken Rub, placed 11th and were the mic testers for the Saturday nite finals.

Competing  in the district quartet championship contest, TAYLOR MADE with Rick Taylor, Tom Halley, Douglas Beach, Steve Kirsch, placed 3rd in that contest. 

Competing in both the senior quartet contest and the district quartet championship contest, PERSUASION with Gary Brohawn, Jon Cluries, Bob Keys, Mike Kelly, placed 1st in the senior contest and 7th in the overall contest.

PRATT STREET POWER won the overall contest and came out on top in both the preliminary and finals rounds. The fifth place quartet was the QUINN-TONES – young men from an elementary school in NJ who will appear with the chapter on our holiday show. 

There were twenty choruses in the competition on Saturday morning.  The Harmonizers did not compete since the chapter will be attending Harmony University next summer. However several members sang with other choruses on Saturday. Rick Taylor and Sam McFarland sang with Dundalk. Mike Fasano sang with Queen Anne’s County. Mike Geipel, Scott Beach, Craig Odell, Bob Wilson and Jim McConnell sang with Richmond, along with Mike Wallen, their director. John Santora and Tim Buell sang with Patapsco Valley.

Hershey won the chorus contest with 92% and will go to the International contest in Los Angeles next summer. The second place chorus was Hell’s Kitchen NY, earning 86.1%, and East Coast Sound was third at 81.2%. 

Several other Harmonizers were in Reading for the event including Jack Pitzer, Alan Wile who coordinates the M-AD endowment fund, Bill Colosimo, and Steve White  who organized the past district quartet champs salute to this year’s quartet winner on Saturday nite. Other Harmonizer family working for the weekend event included Mike and Kristin Kelly, Mike Fasano, Scott Beach and Matt Doniger all on the district events team. 

Bob Eckman, who is president of the M-AD, was in charge this year and helped back stage and host various meetings.  Past president Dennis Ritchey was emcee for the quartet finals session. Dennis was also inducted into the M-AD Hall of Honor this year.  Great to have one more of our men on that roster!
Dave Welter is treasurer for the M-AD board. 

The convention program include this thank you message to the chapter from the district: “The M-AD events team would like to thank the Alexandria Harmonizers for their support for providing the stage risers and ready room risers for the 2019 conventions.”

The program also listed Society members who have earned their 50-year pin in 2019 which included Jack Cameron and Don Johnson

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