Thursday, May 28, 2020

Looking Back on the May 27th, 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 27th,  2020.  
Again, 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. 

Recently chapter leaders sent a message to all members (not just the singing chorus) to make sure all Harmonizers, wherever they are, feel free to join us any Tuesday via a Zoom link. The chapter will resend the link every Tuesday in the hour before the 7 pm start time. This appeal brought some members to the call we have not seen for a while including Jeff Ashford and his brother Phil.

Since it has become clear that the chorus will not be able to get together in person anytime soon, the music team is adjusting the Tuesday night virtual rehearsals to include a significant amount of educational, social, and fellowship activities along with the singing.

Joe was excited to report plans for this week’s meeting and news from around BHS.  He expressed his appreciation to all those who competed the survey to choose special guests for chapter meetings in the weeks ahead. Next week we have a special visit with Marty Monson, CEO of the Barbershop Harmony Society (Marty asked to change to that date since he could not make it this week. )

The annotated version of the new ballad is on Groupanizer.

There were over 60 attendees this week again. Finally Joe again acknowledged that some members may find themselves lacking desire or drive to keep learning show music, turning in recordings, and drilling themselves.  He understands those who might not get a recording submitted. 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. 

We had special guests this week to conduct the warm up sessions – Mo Field and Amelia Charnock from Toronto.  Many members might recognize them as the performers for ‘Beatles-A-Day- with Mo and Amelia’ on Facebook.  They have sung and performed a Beatles song on 70 days.  Amelia led the physical warm up session and Mo conducted the vocal warm up with emphasis on breathing.  Mo has been a Harmonizer coach in recent years and recently was named director of the Great Northern Union Chorus in MN.

After warm ups, the chorus separated into groups Riser Ready (with Joe) and Not Riser Ready (with Tony Colosimo) for “42nd Street.”

We were happy to have another guest from the BHS staff, Dustin Guyton, who is lead of the guest quartet, ROOTOP RECORDS, currently lined up for our fall show.

For fun, Terry Reynolds conducted a Harmo Trivia contest and members could enter their answer on the screen.  There were three guys who got all of the questions right except one, so the tie breaking question was “How many men have belonged to the chapter in 71 years?” Steve White got closest to the 1,367 answer!  It was fun.

 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.  The discussion topic this week was “How are you satisfying your hunger, If you’re cooking, what are you go-to meals, and if you are buying out, what new places have you found that are good. 

The small group YeEd was in wanted the recipe he talked about making several times since the shut down – Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Bars.  Here it is: 

½ cup crunchy style peanut butter   1/3 cup margarine, softened
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar     ¾ cup sugar   2 eggs    2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unsifted flour     1 tsp. baking powder     ¼ tsp. salt
One 12 oz. pkg  (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, combine peanut        butter, margarine, brown sugar and sugar; beat til creamy.  Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla.  Blend in flour, baking powder and salt.  Spread into greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle chocolate morsels over top.  Place in 350-degree oven for three minutes.  Remove from oven, run knife through to marbleize.  Return to oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cool.  Cut into 2x1 inch bars.  Makes four dozen bars.
The business meeting was brief with no major announcements.  

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler reports that Dean Sherick has renewed his membership and Chris has mailed him his renewal card.   

There were two electives this week that attendees could choose to attend:  Joe spoke about his duties at BHS as Director of Outreach and Tony spoke about Pedagogy.

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.)

Other news from outside the chapter meeting:  Ken Ives emailed all members with this note - If you’re thinking of signing up for our scrip program (or purchasing additional eCards, or reloading a card), now would be a GREAT time to do it!  For a limited time, the chorus will get bonus rebates (at no additional cost to you!) on every order. If you have questions, contact Ken.

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