Thursday, December 17, 2020

Looking Back on the Dec. 15th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Dec. 15th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting


In one way, we were glad not to have to drive to a meeting this week with the cold, rainy weather with snow in the forecast.


Director Joe Cerutti called things to order, had everyone muted,  and welcomed all those who made it onto the call during this holiday season for our last virtual meeting during 2020 and the pandemic.


He expressed how grateful he is to the chapter members for attending the weekly Zoom sessions. He reminded guys to enjoy this holiday break and be ready to return to Zoom sessions on Tues. Jan. 12th at 7 pm.  There will be no meetings on Dec. 29th nor on Jan. 5th.  However, on Tues, Dec. 22nd we will have a virtual “afterglow” event, instead of a virtual meeting, to celebrate our virtual holiday show.


Joe also shared his excitement about the quality of our virtual holiday show that starts at 6:30 pm EST on Sun. Dec. 20th. The theme of the show is “Christmas Coast to Coast – a celebration of singing and family!”  We are co-presenting the show with Northwest Sound from Bellevue, WA.  Both choruses will sing and also do two songs together.  Plus there will be lots of other singing groups on the FREE variety show that will last about two hours.


This week we got a sneak preview to hear the Workman Family that will appear on the show from their home.  They sang for us on a chapter Zoom meeting a couple months ago.


The link to the show is to watch the show on a device like lap top, computer or phone. 


The show will be streamed by BHS on their YouTube Channel at 6:30 pm Eastern Time, on Dec. 20th for those who might want to watch the show on a Smart TV.


If anyone has questions or problems getting in to the show, call Joe’s CeruttiTony Colosimo,  Terry Reynolds orMatt Doniger.


The Harmonizer watch-party on Zoom starts at 6 pm – using the usual Harmonizer Zoom link for a Zoom call.  When the show starts, you will want to open another device to see the show. 


We will be offering our VA patrons a chance to support TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), a non-profit in VA that provides benefits for the families of service members who were killed in the line of duty.  


The Holiday Silent Auction is “live” now and you can start bidding on any and all of the 60+ items in the auction. It will end on Dec. 20th after our show at 5 pm.  Randall Eliason asks members to please help promote the auction by sharing the event with posts on social media and by telling friends and family about it. And check it out yourself - you could get your piano tuned by Ike Evans, get a voice lesson from Tony Colosimo, pick up gift cards from area restaurants at far below face value, and more! Here is link:


Planning for next year continues with the chapter, and Joe announced that he will be doing individual interviews with every member after Jan. 1st. Section leaders may be joining him for some.  Interviews will be scheduled with all members – especially singing members and those active members who are not singing but wish to join the process.  These interviews will be done via Zoom.


Joe also discussed the music team’s  approach to learning the coming new music.  Rather than doing “Ready to Rehearse” submissions to listeners for evaluation like we were doing at the beginning of 2020, we’re going to do audio virtual choirs on each of the songs.   Joe has already recording conducting videos and the music team will start putting the learning tracks to match.    


For those of you who are motivated to learn music over the holidays, the chapter will send out an initial  priority list for the order we plan to work on the songs in 2021.  As we are going to be learning more music, we are going to start spending a little more time on Tuesdays in rehearsal.  We will still hold discussion topics but probably not every week. We will allow some extra time in sectionals and small groups that can be some  “check-in” or social time.    


The chapter is proud that we have been accepted as one of the 14 performing groups to be part of WETA “Songs of the Season.” They chose our 2019 performance of “Gloria,” arranged by David Wright, to be used in their holiday presentations streamed online between Dec. 15th and the 25th pm on both WETA PBS and on WETA METRO channels. There were good reports from folks who watched the Dec. 15th show at 9 pm. 



Wed Dec 23rd at 4 pm

Fri Dec 25th at 4 pm



Sun Dec 20th at 1 pm

Tues Dec 22nd at 3 pm

Fri Dec 25th at 2 pm


Associate director Tony Colosimo conducted a warm up session starting with stretching and moving and ending with our familiar exercise “we sing late at times – canned goods.”


Next,  we worked on  “Chorus Line Medley” originally arranged for the chapter by John Hohl. We had sectionals for some work and then an all-chorus sing period.


Alan Wile conducted the 15th interview of a Harmonizer who has submitted his Harmo Hero form for inclusion on Groupanizer.  This week’s interviewee was Ike Evans – a 32-year chapter member. He was born in NYC and that’s where he started playing tuba. – in the fourth grade. He was fortunate to study with a number of professional tube players. In eighth grade, Ike attended the National Music Camp at Interlocken, MI.  He did three summers there. His summers in MI led him to decide to go to college in MI where he majored in wind instrument performance and also some education courses. While on campus, Ike played in the symphony and the marching band.  Those gigs  took him to the Rose Bowl Parade in 1970 and his first Carnegie Hall appearance.


In March 1970 he auditioned  for the Marine Band, then after a few years in the band, Ike was chosen to be in the US Armed Forces Bicentennial Band and Chorus group.  He met his wife, Kay, while in that group as she was singing in the chorus. The group did 376 concerts in 256 cities for about 1.5 million people. In 1976 they were in Philly for a 500,000 audience. At the end of 1976, he migrated back into the Marine Band to complete a 28-year career with the band.


Ike found a second career as a piano tuner and he shared some of the fun experiences and locations where he has tuned an instrument.


He found barbershop and our chapter after attending the joint show with the Harmonizers and the Vocal Majority at Constitution Hall. He has been in a few quartets, was caretaker of the Harmo photo board for years, and is a member of the current history committee.


We do get to hear Ike from time to time as he plays tuba in the Virginia Grand Military Band four times a year at Schlesinger.


The chapter business meeting was coordinated by communications director Matt Doniger.  


President Stan Quick announced his launch of a “Double My Dues” drive again this year.  Members are encouraged to donate another $100 to double their dues.  This donation is tax deductible though.


He also reports that Dave Kohls is getting better at home and that Clyde Crusenberry is recovering now at home. Drew Fuller was back on the call after his scare with Covid. 


Membership director Jacob Broude gave a plug for guys to consider using Scrip purchases for gifts during the holidays or for special food items such as ham or standing rib roast. Contact Ken Ives if you need some Scrip. 


Our elective this week was provided by Jason Lee who provided very interesting and plentiful info about the Mathematical Aspect of the Coronavirus Pandemic – where we stand and what we know about Covid and its transmission. Jason works in this field and was able to explain charts and graphs and formulas.  It was interesting since we see so much in our local media that never quite tells the whole story.


Our next Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm on Jan. 12th, 2021. 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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)


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