Thursday, April 9, 2020



Looking Back on the April 7th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting
The chapter has suspended in-person meetings of the chorus, boards and committees until further notice as well as for any small group gatherings. This is in recognition of recent mandates by officials and leaders of the BHS and in cooperation with local health authorities and government officials. 

Thus there was not a regular in-person meeting of the Alexandria Harmonizers on April 7th,  2020.  Instead, director Joe Cerutti hosted a gathering at 7 pm via Zoom video meeting.

We were pleased to have BHS public relations staffer, Brian Lynch, join us to observe how a chapter’s virtual meeting is conducted. He is working on possible articles for non-barbershop publications about how barbershop singing ensembles are coping with the shut downs and social distancing.
This week’s meeting included:
  • Warmup
  • Sectionals on “Defying Gravity” and “Goodbye”
  • Chorus Rehearsal on “Defying Gravity”
  • Run-thru of “Goodbye”
  • Run-thru of “Forty Second Street”
  • Run-thru of “Never Fully Dressed”
  • Business Meeting
  • Electives
    • Music Notation  Joe
    • Intonation  Tony
  • Afterglow (Social Time)
There were 67 participants in the event which lasted until about 9:30 pm.

Brian Miller is unfortunately still in the ICU suffering with COVID-19.   His mother reports there was some good news but he is still on 100% oxygen on the ventilator.  She has arranged for the nursing staff to play the Zoom meeting recording for him every day in his room. He is in ICU at Inova Alexandria. Understandably the nursing staff is overwhelmed with work.

Earlier this week, we learned the Len Dornberger’s wife, Marie, is in the hospital in DE having tested positive for Covid-19.  Len suggests “the more good thoughts and prayers the better!”

When the meeting began, Joe  reminded all members that life, family, work and health come first. But he assured the members that the music team is working hard to provide materials and tools and ideas and technology to help the singers learn the new music, keep their voice in shape, help them develop new learning systems and to be ready for the big re-group on the risers. Joe’s main request is for guys to keep using the materials provided, to let the musical leaders know how it’s going, and finally to submit recordings regularly.

Joe explained that “Goodbye” will be the closer for the fall show and is meant to be totally fun and a tease of the audience.

He also shared that he had worked on annotation for “Chorus Line” – a great John Hohl arrangement which the chorus has sung in the past. Joe has adapted the arrangement for this fall to include shortening it.  It was always a crowd pleaser.

He invited feedback or comments or reports from members on the conference.  He shared that Tyler Carpenter called in and reports he is swamped with his work situation.  Several folks thanked Joe for his thorough explanation of the origin of “Defying Gravity.”

Then associate director Tony Colosimo did warm ups for both vocal and body with emphasis on body alignment.

After the warm ups, it was time for sectionals.  Music team admin guy Terry Reynolds was able to switch each man on the call to his section. At first there were the three sections for “Defying Gravity,” and then Terry moved all the leads into a fourth section for “Goodbye.”

Everyone was brought back into the “main room” for work with Joe on the three songs being learned.
Next Joe and Tony each explained their plans for the elective each of them would offer after the chapter meeting.

The meeting was conducted by communications director Steve Murane.  The only business was a complete report from Randall Eliason about the chapter’s participation plan for Spring2ACTion on April 15th. Which is next week!!!

Randall shared that each member is expected to do three things (of course based on his situation during this current virus situation):

First – each member should email 20 people  and ask them to support our effort on that day.  Randall will send out sample email copy for us to use.

Second – there is a power hour for us – 3-4 pm – when we can earn an extra $500 if we are the non-profit that gets the most donors during that hour.  This means we should ask our donors or patrons or family or friends or co-workers to donate during that time – it’s based on the number of email addresses. So use your home and work email.  And the donations can be as little as $5!

Third – it is helpful if guys will do social media sharing to promote our Spring2ACTion page. And members might want to suggest referencing their chorus section page as there is a prize for the section that raises the most money that day. (Music team will serve a free BBQ meal to the team that wins, the other members will join but have to pay.) Four guys have stepped up as sectional leaders for this contest – Devin Gerzof for the tenors, Ben Watsky for the leads, Brad Jones for the baritones and Matt Doniger for the basses.
Neither president Stan Quick nor secretary Chris Buechler had addition items to report to the chapter. Then Terry separated the attendees to the break out sections hosted by Joe or Tony for 30 minutes. Following that a few folks stayed connected to visit and share and laugh.

Next week’s meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details.

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 71st year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd

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