Thursday, June 4, 2020

Looking Back on the June 2nd, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting
Again 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 June 2nd ,  2020.  

Director Joe Cerutti hosted the 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 plans for this week’s meeting and news from around BHS. We will have a lengthy time to spend with CEO of the BHS, Marty Monson. Therefore, the small group discussion topic this week will be to collect any questions members have for Marty. Each group posted their questions via chat; so during warm up time, the questions were collected.

A new annotated version of the new ballad is on Groupanizer  (It actually replaces the first one published). Also the learning tracks have been replaced too.  Joe also strongly suggested that everyone take a look at the Origins of the new ballad posted by associate director Tony Colosimo

There were over 60 attendees this week. Music team administrator Terry Reynolds used the Zoom system to randomly divide all attendees on the call into a small group of five to collect possible questions for Marty.
Tony did the warm up session for the chorus this week. After warm ups, Joe worked with the singers on the introduction and second verse of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” 

Alan Wile conducted another member interview from the Harmonizer Heroes series – this week was Don Harrington.  Don’s career in agriculture was a vast array of postings in countries all around the world either as a Peace Corps volunteer, staff member or staffer for USAID.  He shared one of his favorite locations was in Egypt. We were all impressed that Don has fulfilled a goal of his and has ridden his bike over 4000 miles across the USA.  His wife, Naida, was his back up and drove their car with him as they did it in three legs (depending on when he could get a chunk of vacation time). Each time Don ended an assignment he returned to the Harmonizers!

The chapter’s business meeting was brief with no major announcements.  

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler reports that he has mailed membership cards to the following men who have renewed recently: Jed Casey - 65 years, Gene Swartz - 54 years, Dave Welter -  44 years, Dave Branstetter - 15 years, David Desportes - 13 years, Kellen Hertz -12 years, Dean Sherick - 8 years, and Duncan Woodbury - 8 years.

We had three guests this week too.  Lewis Smith, who sang with the chorus when his Dad Al was a member in late 1970s and Lewis was about 15.  He is currently a member of the A Cappella Syndicate in Phoenix.  Arriving on the call was Yuhan Roh who has moved to VA after graduation from college in Indiana.  He has sung with the Ambassadors of Harmony and Voices of California in Sacramento.  He had a new job here.  And it was great to see former front row guy, Doug White, on the call.  He has retired and is moving to VA in a week or so and has already worked to transfer his membership. Great to have all of you visiting us.

The chapter was eager to hear from Marty and get his report on the status of the BHS. He was eager to share with us news and updates on all things from Harmony Hall in Nashville.  The building is secure and no big issues at this time during protests and such. Joe was moderator of the interview with Marty and presented the questions from the chorus. Marty shared some of his challenges and surprises as the organization rolls out the Everyone One in Harmony program.  

Before taking the CEO position, Marty was president and executive director of the Great Northern Union chorus is MN. They had built a strong program there.  Marty’s dad and brother are barbershop singers as well. His career field was communications technology.

He clearly likes a cappella singing and has started singing with the Nashville Music Medics to make visits at Nashville area Children’s Hospitals. A joy in his life was when he discovered how much he likes harmony singing.

When asked about how the Society and its chapters will come back from this quarantine situation, he suggests we will all have to start small - maybe quartet singing or small ensembles first.  After all, that is what we are about.

There was a lot of teasing as Marty is actually Joe’s boss at BHS, so we had some fun with that!

Next week’s meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  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 of the great things going on each week during the 71st year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd