Thursday, July 23, 2020

Looking Back on the July 21st, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the July 21st, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Virtual chapter meetings continue and just over 60 folks attended.  Always fun to have guests from around the country and former members attend. 

Associate director Tony Colosimo hosted the start of this week’s gathering at 7 pm via Zoom Director Joe Cerutti was finishing up a directing class for Harmony U when we started (actually the bad rain storm that came thru the area gave him some trouble with wifi, but he was able to finish the class.)  Terry Reynolds and Tony have also taught classes for HU.

It was great to have some Harmonizer folks with us this week we haven’t seen for a while including Bill Colosimo, Dave Kohls, Liz Birnbaum, Mike Kelly, and Tessa Walker. Great to see Calvin Schnure on the call – with his hand/arm bandaged after being hit by a car on his bike.  He is in pretty good shape considering.

Tony spoke about next week’s special guest, Chad Bennett (currently a staffer at BHS and former performer with Disney Dapper Dans).

Future presenters include Steve Tramack and his family (an arranger of many Harmonizer songs and singing with other members of his family for us); Cindy Hansen (our successful performance coach during the last several years); and Charlotte Murray (director of Vocal DX chorus from New Zealand).

Tony also invited members to submit ideas for electives – even some you’d like to present. And the music team would invite anyone of us who are interested in creating videos of folks singing.  Let him know. 

We moved right into warm up time and went through some physical exercises (this week Tony had the guys do movements while creating a variety of emotions such as holding a new baby, or yelling out to an old friend), and then concentrated on vocal matters to warm up the voice for the nite. 

Next all the singers at home in their own spaces worked in sectionals with their section leaders  on parts of the ballad we are preparing for future contests. Then it was back together for the whole chorus to work on the uptune.

Terry shared a Harmonizer Trivia game and we could all cast our vote and he could show us what percentage of us got it right.  Like one question was “which of these men has not been chapter president.” The correct answer was Steve White.  Another question was which of these men are not in the BHS Hall of Fame – Dean Snyder, Wilbur Sparks, Bud Arberg, Darryl Flinn, and Scott Werner.  The answer was Scott.  It was fun and helped new guys tap into our chapter leadership history.

Unfortunately, we had to bid farewell to Adam Shepard this week – he and his wife are moving to the state of Washington and departing at the end of this week.  Joe said it best – “Adam left a mark on the chapter!” He had new-guy energy and ideas and was willing to share them with the chapter leaders and music team. We bid him farewell with our traditional singing of “There Will Always Be a Place on the Risers for You” – these days we sing it along with a recording.

There were 61 attendees this week. Terry Reynolds used the Zoom system to randomly divide all attendees on the call into a small group of five to share “what ideas do you have for the theme of a future Harmonizer show?”  Reports from the groups were recorded for the music team to consider when we do get to produce a show again. Here are some of the ideas suggested: western, comedy, patriotic, Cole Porter songs, Lift Every Voice and sing with Alfred Street Baptist Men’s Choir, and another American Icon Show.

The chapter’s business meeting was brief with no major announcements. We were reminded to promote supporting the Choruses for Care and Compassion campaign (the Harmonizers are one of the 31 choruses working to support the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB).

President Stan Quick reports that Rob Barnovsky’s dad is on the road to recovery. 

Secretary Chris Buechler encouraged guys to be sure to submit new addresses or contact info to him since this is the season for moving and changing locations.  Chris is willing to accept the info and pass it on to the BHS office for you.

To wrap up the evening, we welcomed Clay Hine, gold medal baritone of FRED, and prolific arranger including some songs for the Harmonizers. Clay lives in the Atlanta area but was reporting from Panama City Beach, FL. He also was excited to report the good news that his daughter, Melody, just accepted a contract as a middle school music teacher in our area and is moving soon.

Joe asked Clay how he got started in barbershop and how he developed such a passion for the art form.  Clay shared the story of his parents involvement and his finally getting to join his dad’s chorus when he was 14.  His dad was very active in the Detroit area. Both parents were in quartets.

To understand Clay’s passion, here is his message on the bottom of the TTBB arrangement of his song he has given to the world this spring.

May 10, 2020

It's the Music That Brings Us Together

Words, Music, and Arrangement by Clay Hine, copyright Clayton B. Hine, May 2020

For as long as I can remember (literally), music and barbershop have meant a lot to me. To my whole family, to choruses I’ve sung with and directed, to quartets I’ve had the privilege of singing with, to barbershoppers I’ve sung tags with and had the amazing opportunity to meet from all over the world, and to folks who love music who I hope to meet someday: this is for you...make as many copies as you want...and thanks for sharing music with friends.


But we also asked Clay about how comedy evolved into his barbershop world. Certainly singing with the guys in FRED had to progress to comedy.  Clay shared some times when things didn’t go “right” on a show, and the next best thing was to have fun. That approach yielded many laughs for the audiences of FRED over the years.  And Clay built a similar plan with the Big Chicken chorus he directed in the Atlanta area. Many Harmonizers recall the fun moments when that chorus took aim at us and other choruses during their contest sets!

It was particularly fun to hear stories about show appearances over the years when FRED was in the gold medal year and the pranks that happened to them and were caused by them.  We sent Clay off with our thanks for all he has done for the barbershop hobby.

As is the case each week, a bunch of guys stayed past the closing time of the Zoom meeting for an impromptu afterglow. 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