Thursday, July 30, 2020

Looking Back on the July 28th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the July 28th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

Virtual chapter meetings continue.  Always fun to have guests from around the country and former members attend. 

Director Joe Cerutti cranked up the start of this week’s gathering at 7 pm via Zoom by welcoming former members and current members who haven’t been on a call in a while – Casey Belzer from TN, Kevin Kaiser from CO, Bob Thames from FL, Mike Fasano from DE, Ian Poulin, Marin Banks, and John Sifuentes.  Calvin Schnure was on the call and reports he is making progress after being struck while riding his bike by a car at 35 mph.  He has a dislocated finger.

Allan Weberg joined the call – he is a former member who brings his music students to the Harmonizer Youth Festival.  He is donating some barbershop song books to the chapter’s history collection.  He also was our performance piano player for “I Am Harvey Milk.”

(Speaking about chapter history, quartet men in the chapter are invited to check out the list of all chapter quartets in our history [at least we hope it’s all of them – let us know if it is not] in Groupanizer.  When you are in Groupanizer, go to Documents, then to Harmonizer Heritage, and then Chapter Quartets.  You should note that Quartets that have won Honors, either at Division, District, International Qualifiers, and/or International Medalists will be found in the file named "Chapter Quartets With Honors", rather than being listed in both the "Honors" list and the other "Quartet" list. A single asterisk after a quartet members name would designate “a person not a member of the Alexandria Chapter while a member of this quartet”.  Bill Colosimo is a good example – he was a member of COPYRIGHT ’86 before he became a member of the Alexandria Chapter.)


(The Chapter’s History Team also is calling on all quartet guys to help us make certain we have scanned a photo of your quartet. Quartets for whom the Harmonizer History Team has digital photographs are listed in BOLD type.  If your Quartet is not in BOLD and you have a photo we could scan and return to you, or if you have a digital photo you are willing to share, notify us at Thanks in advance for the help.)


Joe invited any member who wants to do an elective or mini session during a future Zoom call to let Terry Reynolds know. It doesn’t even have to be about barbershop.

Future guest 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).

We moved right into warm up time with associate director Tony Colosimo.  This week Tony had asked the guys to do movements and physical movements on their own before the 7 pm start.  The pre-meeting invites sent by Terry suggested links to previous Zoom instructions for this.  That left more time for Tony to concentrate on vocal matters to warm up the voice for the nite. 

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). Chapter coordinator  Matt Doniger will send out “easy instructions for donating” so more of us can chip in.

Chapter secretary Chris Buechler reminded everyone to update their contact info in Groupanizer.

Steve Murane suggested that was great idea as the recent order for new uniform parts and masks with our logo on them will be delivered soon and uniform chairman, Robyn Murane, will need correct info to get things delivered.

Membership chairman Jacob Broude welcomed Mick Stamps to the call and extended our chapter best wishes to Mick and Sandy during this time of health stress for them.

Bad weather in the area caused some havoc with some presentations for this week, so the Harmonizer Hero interview was moved to another week. And technical difficulties delayed the review session for choreo for “42nd Street.” It will likely be done next week.

These changes left plenty of time for vocal work on “42nd Street”  Joe and Tony working as a team to get more singers comfortable taking their personal breaths and implementing the vocal contrasts as indicated on the annotated music provided by the music team. As has been the custom in recent weeks, Joe asked guys to submit recordings to their listeners – mostly to make certain everyone is using the technology that helps the chorus get better.

There were 58 attendees this week.  Joe welcomed folks on the call to show their stuff and model a favorite barbershop or Harmonizer t-shirt, or actually any favorite t-shirt. There were many fun reminders of former shirts created by Roger Day for contest weeks, of Harmo Youth Festival Shirts, of BHS merchandise wear, and of Harmony College East shirts including the year their shirt had a pix of our chorus after having won the International in 1998. Drew Fuller was wearing one of the famous Aloha Chapter shirts.

 Our special guest this week was Chad Bennett who is on the Outreach Team for the BHS in Nashville.  Chad’s title is Show Producer and he works to make the major events a success for the organization and for us as attendees. As our guest this week, though, he spoke about his 20 years experience with the Dapper Dans at Disney World.

He shared lots of details about the fun and the work of that job such as the nine shows a day for 365 days a year, and the very specific costume or uniform responsibilities each singer has.  We learned how the men in the barbershop quartet on main street at Disney were auditioned and then learned their huge repertoire of songs (probably 60 songs plus some songs for Christmas and Halloween seasons), as well as the specific dance steps that are part hoofing and part tap.

Chad also shared a lot about the organ chimes the quartet uses as part of their set each day. These instruments are old and rare, so they are protected by the singers/players with care.  They were invented in about 1900 by the J. C. Deagan Co.

One particular aspect of the experience of a Dapper Dan is to sing with barberhoppers who come to the Park and stay to say hello and to “sing one” with the quartet.  Several members of the chapter indicated on the call that they had done that and were quick to display the card they were given at the time, as proof.

Chad was willing to answer several questions from Harmonizers – some of whom are huge Disney fans – before we let him go. We also enjoyed the videos he shared of various versions of the quartet over the years and some of the fun shows they did.

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.

(YeEd just noticed that he was still using “71st year” in the statement below – but our anniversary for chartering as a chapter is in June – thus the change to 72nd year!! Congrats to all!)


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 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd