Thursday, April 2, 2020

Looking Back on the March 31st, 2020 Chapter News
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.
Thus there was not a regular in-person meeting of the Alexandria Harmonizers on March 31st 2020.  Instead, director Joe Cerutti hosted a gathering at 7 pm via Zoom video meeting.
This week’s meeting was closer to a normal rehearsal that last week.   It included:
  • Warmup
  • Sectional on “Defying Gravity”
  • Chorus Rehearsal on “Defying Gravity”
  • Run-thru of “Forty Second Street”
  • Run-thru of “Never Fully Dressed”
  • Business Meeting
  • Electives
    • How to Learn/Work at Home – Joe
    • Enhanced learning using the Audio Stretch App – Tony
  • Afterglow (Social Time)
There were about 45-50 participants in the event which lasted until about 9:30 pm.
When the meeting began, Joe spoke to all about the work behind the scenes by he and Tony and others in providing videos and learning materials such as annotated music for “Goodbye”  and some Facebook Live videos for “42nd Street.”  He also encourage guys to get on Groupanizer to get the videos prepared by Cy Wood for learning the visuals for “42nd Street.”
Joe acknowledged that family and personal matters at home come first for all members with so many working from home - sometimes with other family members there. And with all of us trying to observe current rules about social distancing.
Leaders from our chapter meet virtually with other chapter leaders from around the BHS (such as Dallas Vocal Majority, Denver Mile High and  St. Louis Ambassadors) to compare notes as to how they are conducting meetings, how they are making plans to keep singers engaged, and how they are planning ahead for shows and other fundraising events so important to all arts groups. Joe, Tony, Randall, Terry, and Stan were in on the conversation via Zoom.
For this week’s event, Tony conducted a warm up session. Then there were the sectionals and Terry was able to send each attendee to a room for that.
During the bass sectional there was Happy Birthday shout out to Turner Arndt.  The sectionals were also a time for members to ask questions and discuss the challenges they are having with technology (and benefit from experiences of other guys). This time slot was used for “Defying Gravity.” The chorus also went thru two other songs with Joe on camera and directing.
As usual, Joe asked for feedback if this evening’s activities  was productive.
There was a brief meeting period for announcements with an update that Brian Miller is in ICU and on a ventilator. No official word yet if he is positive for coronavirus 19. Keep him in your thoughts.
Also executive director Randall Eliason was eager to share our plans for participation in the Alexandria Spring2ACTion coming up now on April 15th (this is a new date – earlier in the month – as set by the organizers of this “one organized day of giving for Alexandria not-for-profit groups.” )  It has been a huge income source for our chapter each year, so our leaders are asking our members and the Harmonizer family to step up and make it happen again.  Randall will be sending very informative emails soon as to how each guy can help raise money – even in this acknowledged difficult time period.
To stimulate participation and make it more fun, Randall announced a friendly competition between the sections of the chorus. The winning section to bring in the most donations will get a free BBQ and be served by the musical leaders in costume!!  Other members will attend but have to pay for their food!  Should be fun.
Joe agreed he’d do it and reminded guys to start telling their patrons that we are still here, arts groups like ours are important, and we have been serving the community for over 70 years.
After the meeting, there were two electives attendees could join – Joe’s with hints on how to learn your music at home and on your own; and Tony’s on enhanced learning using the Audio Stretch App.
To wrap up, Joe thanked everyone for joining, and welcomed anyone who wished to stay on for some just plain visiting and laughing together.
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