Thursday, June 25, 2020

Looking Back on the June 23rd, 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. Chapter leaders are discussing and considering how to move into the next phase of openings for groups – especially singing groups.

However, there was not a regular in-person meeting of the Alexandria Harmonizers on June 23rd   2020.  

Director Joe Cerutti hosted the gathering at 7 pm via Zoom video meeting this week to continue learning more about our chapter and our fellow members, learning about the barbershop hobby in general and  meeting  guests from around the Society. Plus we continue to  work on our music.

It was great to have some Harmonizers with us this week we haven’t seen for a while including Mike Fasano. Bob Eckman and John Rettenmayer were back with us too.

Joe reported news from the recent music committee meeting with plan for guest presenters for the weeks ahead. Next week our guest will be one of our frequent arrangers, Steve Tramack and his family of singers, who will bring us some songs.

Other future guests will be Darrel Flinn (one of our coaches in the gold medal years who named the Basses Animals, and the guy who came up with the term “Breathless Moments” which became the title of our history book ) on July 7; VINTAGE MIX quartet from Wisconsin (quadruplets that sang on our holiday show a few years ago) on July 14; Clay Hine (one of our arrangers and the baritone of  the popular comedy quartet FRED) on July 21; and Chad Bennett (currently a staffer at BHS and former performer with Disney Dapper Dans) on July 28. 

We had two special guests on our Zoom call this week to help with the warm up period. Quincie Snook did physical body warm up routines. She is from Nashville and sings tenor in THE LADIES quartet – fifth place last time at SAI.  The quartet was on staff for our Youth Harmony Festival recently.  Drew Wheaton did the vocal warm ups and taught the chapter a fun tongue twister and a chord warm up round.  He had done some of the Harmonizer learning tracks in recent years and is the gold medal tenor with FOUR FRONT.  He is also director of the Louisville Thoroughbreds. 

 After the warm ups, Joe and associate director Tony Colosimo worked with the singers on sections of the uptune and ballad we are preparing for future contests. Tony sang and Joe coached him so the members could see what Joe wanted.

There were 60-plus attendees again this week. Terry Reynolds used the Zoom system to randomly divide all attendees on the call into a small group of five to share “how are you finding time to work on your music?” The Covid situation had a lot to do with making it hard for guys to work on their music: challenging to sing loudly in the house, no commute to work and therefore no chance to listen to the music, guys are working at home and many report they are required to do a lot more work and have more responsibilities. Of course everyone misses the fellowship and the sounds of chords ringing!!

The chapter’s business meeting was brief with no major announcements.  President Stan Quick suggested members reach out to Sandy and Mick Stamps during this difficult time for them. You can also visit Sandy's CaringBridge site at: 

Other Harmonizer family news included word that Rob Barnovsky’s 87-year-old father in Ohio tested positive for Covid 19. This is especially of concern since his dad has several underlying health issues. Rob is in Ohio to help his Mom during this time.

Former member Al Duddleston called to report that his wife, Cookie, died on Saturday in FL.  Al sang on the front row of the chorus in the ‘70s. Cookie was 86.

Latest news from BHS reports that former member Alan Lamson will be named to the Society Hall of Fame. He joins fellow Harmonizers Wilbur Sparks, Dean Snyder, Bud Arberg, Darryl Flinn and Walter Latzko.  There can't be many chapters that have six members named to that honor.  Also our coach and arranger Kevin Keller will be named to the Hall of Fame this year.  Congrats all around.

Chapter Chris Buechler reports sending renewal cards to the following members: Howard Nestlerode  for 45 years; Bob Bates for 42 years; Ike Evans for 33 years; Ken Rub for 29 years; Bob Wells for 29 years; Anthony Colosimo for 27 years; Rob Barnovsky for 10 years; and Stan Quick for 9 years.

The chapter welcomed guest Yuhan Roh again this week. He has moved to the Alexandria area having sung in other choruses.

To wrap up the evening, Joe and president Stan Quick invited members to offer input regarding a statement from the Alexandria Harmonizers regarding our chapter’s work relating to diversity and inclusion in response to recent events.  The statement was prepared by chapter leaders Stan, Randall Elliason, Bruce Roehm, Joe and Tony with editorial input from Noah Van Gilder and Ben Watsky. It was sent to the members over the weekend and also was posted on the Zoom screen during the meeting.
Next week’s meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details.

During the “afterglow” period, there was some chatter about the Bucket Challenge advanced recently on Facebook by Will Cox to learn the intro to the ballad blindfolded.  He put his mask over his eyes and launched the challenge.  A fun time when we are trying to learn our music alone at home.

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