Thursday, February 13, 2020

Looking Back on the Feb 11th, 2020 Put Together and Chapter Meeting
The chapter meeting place was full of singing from about 6:15 til we left at the end of everything.  All the quartets planning to sing in the 46th annual Put Together Quartet Contest were meeting (some for the first time) and going thru their songs.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did warm ups on the risers to kick off the nite.  Then there were sectionals to work on a new song “Never Fully Dressed Without a Song.” The chorus had gotten a copy of the song with notes and markings from the music team via Groupanizer. The section leaders all had a lesson plan determined by the music team to cover the same parts of the song – Brian Ammerman for the tenors, Reed Livergood for the leads, Jason Lee for the baritones, and Tony for the basses.
After this work period, the chapter meeting time was conducted by communications director Steve Murane.  He reminded all members that our Youth Harmony Festival will be on Saturday, March 28th at Scottish Rite Temple. Members were asked to use social media to spread the word to prospective student groups.
President Stan Quick reported that Frank Fedarko’s sister died recently, and that Krissi Folsom fell this week and broke her arm at her chorus meeting.
He also reported that Clyde Crusenberry, Calvin Schnure, and Dean Rust have set up the plans for the Singing Valentine quartets to make appearances in the greater Metro area.  Three quartets will be making the appearance for citizen groups, Alexandria officials, senior centers and retirement places, schools and public events.
Finally, Stan reminded members to consider submitting nominations for the BHS new awards to be presented at a Gala at the International convention in LA in July.
Secretary Chris Buechler presented membership renewal cards to Dylan Smith for 2 years, Ben Roberts for 7 years, Tyler Carpenter for 9 years, and Kevin McKenzie for 21 years.
Membership director Jacob Broude announced plans for the “first of monthly recreational events for Harmonizer Friends and Family” to be held on Friday, Feb. 21st at Caboose in Merrifield. From 6 – 8:30 pm or so.  2918 Eskridge Rd., Fairfax, VA 22031. Stay tuned for more details.
 Ben Watsky welcomed back Michael Berkson for his third visit, and then the nine members of the Georgetown Chimes for their first visit who came to help us with the quartet contest.
After a break time (used by many of the quartets for another run thru) and some time to set up the sound equipment and judges table, the chapter members reassembled in the auditorium of the SRT for the 46th annual Wilbur Sparks Memorial Put Together Contest.  Troy Hillier was emcee for the event and shared stories about Wilbur (often called Dr. Put for his fun approach to organizing a chapter quartet contest and for getting new guys singing in quartets that had not done so before.  Wilbur’s fun approach to create crazy names for the quartets seems to carry on as some of this year’s were wild – Dave’s in Charge of That, Per Four Mens, Ives Gotta Plan, We Probably Shouldn’t Do This, and Whisky Switch.
There were two categories and prizes for top three quartets in each – comedy and regular. Judges were Georgetown Chimes singers Chase, Jack, John and Dylan.  Jack Pitzer was panel chairman. We even had a mic tester quartet.
When all 17 quartets had finished, the whole crowd adjourned to the cafeteria for refreshments and announcement of contest winners by Troy and Matt Doniger, who was ‘Dr. Put’ for this year’s event.  Each singer in the top three quartets in each category received a plaque.
JOCKULAR STRAPS - Ammerman, Eliason, Hillier, Chesser
ADAM SHEPARD AND HIS LITTLE LAMBS - Gerzof, Shepard, Lee, Carpenter
FRONT ROW OLD GUYS (FROG) - Reynolds, Eliason, Rub, White

ALEXANDRIA COMMON - Gerzof, Livergood, Schnure, Peacock
AT EASE - Lazear, McKenzie, Cameron, Golden
42ND YEET - Gerzof, Roberts, Colosimo, Peacock
To finish up the nite, the Chimes sang several songs for us and were cheered loudly by the men of the Harmonizer chorus.
We concluded the fun nite with “Keep the Whole World Singing.”
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

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Looking Back on the Feb. 7th Show with the Yale Whiffenpoofs 

A full-house audience was on hand for the 7:30 pm Friday, Feb. 7th show when the Harmonizers presented The Yale Whiffenpoofs at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.  This is the 101st  year for the famous college a cappella group, and the chapter is pleased to host them again in Alexandria.

The Harmonizer chorus was directed by associate director Tony Colosimo and they sang five of the great Broadway show songs from our fall show for the mostly new-to-us audience.

The chorus walked in and positioned themselves on the risers and after a moment’s silence, Tony began the opening solo for “Heart of Music.” This opener set the stage for great audience responses to every song. Drew Fuller also sang a solo in the first song.

Ben Roberts told the great story in his solo for “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” then when Brian Ammermann tried to cheer up Ben, they set the stage for a fun song the audience liked, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

The TBD ensemble sang “If I Were Gay” from Avenue Q with Tony teasing Noah Van Gilder for this song.

Jon Frank sang the powerful solo message with the chorus on “For Good.”

And the Harmonizers finished their portion of the show with “Circle of Life” adding percussion by Bob Blair, solo by Tony and all the ribbons and choreo for the finale.

Terry Reynolds welcomed the audience and invited men who like to sing to visit with any member after the show.

A riser crew arrived early to set up along with Mike Kelly and crew for the sound equipment. During the chorus warm up, a crew of volunteers sold tickets, welcomed guests including some folks from local senior citizen facilities, ushered and helped the guests trade in their online paperwork for tickets. Volunteers were family members and chapter members - Aideen Mannion, Rebecca Conner, Lydia Golden, Ginny Wells, Jack Pitzer, Walt Page, Kathy Kauffmann, Janet Cerutti, Naida Harrington, Isabella Salmi, Nate Balke, Alex Chen, Amber Friedman, Dixie Kennett, and Krissi Folsom.  Robyn Murane helped coordinate that crew and coordinated the performers getting to the stage for sound check and show times.  Shows chairman Joe Cerutti Sr. helped with logistics including hosting our guest artists. Rob Langston took photos for the chapter communications team.

The Whiffenpoofs are on a tour of US cities and sang a great mix of their favorites.  Most of the fourteen singers had a solo or specialty piece to perform.  Ben Watsky, a Harmonizer who is also an alum of the Whiffenpoofs, joined other of their alums in the audience to sing the group’s well known “The Whiffenpoof Song” as a show finale.

The chorus sang about 30 minutes and the guests sang about one hour.

It was great to see several members and former members in the audience. The audience was invited to complete a survey online with a handout flyer and survey form given to concert attendees.

A number of members and some of the Whiffs enjoyed an afterglow at Chadwicks in Old Town Alexandria.

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