Friday, May 15, 2020

Looking Back on the May 12th, 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, quartet, or ensemble 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 May  12th,  2020.  
Instead, director Joe Cerutti hosted a gathering at 7 pm via Zoom video meeting this week to continue the work on music, learn performance plans, and learn more about our chapter and the barbershop hobby in general. 

Joe was excited to report that we were anticipating coach and arranger David Wright to share his insights and thoughts about the new ballad he created for us “Oh What a Beautiful Morning;” and that we will hear from Cay Outerbridge, director of Vocal Revolution chorus in Concord, MA, explaining sight-reading methods used by his chorus. 

Joe reported that he had received the Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Alexandria in honor of Brian Miller, who died last month from complications due to the convid 19 virus.  Joe will pass our copy on to the chapter’s history committee for our archives.

Joe also reports that chapter leaders will create a survey to seek “votes” for future meeting night topics or special guests for electives (all of which were suggested last week during our breakout sessions with fellow members).  These electives will be for virtual meetings as well as regular face-to-face meetings when they resume.  Watch for that survey and offer your opinion.

Finally he acknowledged that some members may find themselves lacking desire or drive to keep learning show music, turning in recordings, and drilling themselves.  Plus he suggests there is a strong chance we won’t be able to have our fall show. Therefore, Joe and the music team plan to pivot the music program more toward preparation for the next contest package, adjust recording plans and dates, possibly shorten virtual work sessions, and expand the general discussions with each other and about barbershop and our chapter.  Most importantly, he hopes every member will continue to join the virtual meetings to stay caught up and stay in touch with our Harmonizer brothers.

Before we moved on to breakout sessions, Terry Reynolds noted that each member will need to update to the new version of Zoom before next week.

Then Joe welcomed David from his home office in St. Louis so he could go over the ballad and let us make notes about how he sees it going.  He shared that he felt the Harmonizers were right for this song and this message and could handle the challenges he put in the arrangement to make it also exciting for the audience. His creative introduction to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s song is terrific.  It was a great session with David in which he explained the parts of the song, the tempo and many key changes and how the music expressed the message of this familiar song. 

Next, music team administrator Terry Reynolds used the Zoom system to randomly divide all attendees on the call into a small group of five or so.  Joe had asked the guys to share “What’s the closest you’ve been to a major celebrity and what were the circumstances.”  Each small group reported the story that they thought was best.  There were some amazing stories from our members as well as some pretty crazy ones.

The business meeting was brief with no major announcements.  

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler reports the following members have renewed their membership and he has mailed them their renewal cards: Gary Mankin - 47 years;
Al Herman - 37 years; Chris Buechler  - 35 years; Tom Berkey - 23 years; and Steve Murane - 18 years.

There were two electives this week.  Joe gave a very understandable and thorough explanation of the BHS Vision of Everyone in Harmony, and answered questions.  Cay met with another segment of the chorus for his presentation.

After these sessions ended, we thanked Cay and he joined the members who stayed on Zoom to visit and chat.

Next week’s meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details. (Note that the Zoom call info number is the same each week.)
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