Thursday, September 17, 2020

Looking Back on the Sept. 15 th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting


Looking Back on the Sept. 15 th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

The Alexandria Harmonizers were excited about coming together for their Zoom meeting after having been named Ensemble of the Year on Monday, Sept. 14th,  during the BHS Awards Gala.

Director Joe Cerutti congratulated the members of the chapter for helping earn the award in recognition of a terrific, busy, and successful 2019.  As he said, “It’s hard to believe we crammed it all into one year!” Members were encouraged to use social media to share the news of the award with family, friends, fellow barbershoppers, and colleagues.

We all were proud to recognize three Harmonizers who were recognized as new 50-year members during the awards gala – Jack Cameron, Joe Witmer, and Harold Nantz.

This week’s meeting was planned to be a full session of meeting, learning music, chatting among ourselves, and planning ahead. Again this week we had a lot of guests from around the nation – many former members or current members who live in other states.

To kick off the fun, we got to hear a tag sung by Doug White doing all four parts. This was part of the pledge to play any videos produced by members during these times of virtual meetings. Great job, Doug.

In the way of announcements and planning, Joe explained that a work session Wed. nite at 8 pm will provide instructions for the members to prepare their recordings for the virtual chorus pieces for our virtual holiday show.  The Wed. nite session will work on the intro for “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” as a dry run during a Facebook Live session with associate director Tony Colosimo. Each singer will be asked to submit a vocal and visual recordings soon.  Get details at the session with Tony. In the end the chorus will do two or three songs for the virtual choir process.

Joe also shared a report on the funeral service for Bob Wachter at St. Louis Catholic Church in Alexandria on Monday.  Eulogies were given by Sam McFarland, Drew Fuller and Joe.  A quartet of Fairfax singers sang. Burial will be at Arlington Cemetery in the future. Recorded music from the Fairfax, Alexandria and Mount Vernon choruses was used during the services at the funeral home also.

Tony hosted the warm up session for the singers this week. Joe and Tony teamed up to help the chorus singers work on “tough spots” in “Carol of the Bells” and in “Gloria”

We did a breakout discussion for a fun topic this week – “what is your stupid human trick that you can demonstrate?” This was a crazy session with lots of laughs. Calling owls was about the wildest! Wiggling ears and clicking fingers were popular tho.



Last week, the music team asked Harmonizers via an email to take a survey of which of several Harmonizer Holiday performances on YouTube should be used on our holiday show.   They asked members to rank them and then music leaders will use the ranking: to select the recordings to use for our Virtual Holiday Show; to select our submission for the WETA 2020 Winter Concert project, and to select materials for any additional opportunities that come up to “show our stuff.” Responses were prompt and Joe thanked all those who helped and responded.

There were two electives presented by members this week.  Mike Edison spoke about building a race car.  Adam Afifi spoke about musicality as part of singing in a large ensemble.  Joe chimed in on this one too. About half of the 65 attendees were in each of these sessions.

Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details. The discussion topic will be – “If the chapter was given a million dollars, how would we spend that money?”

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


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Looking Back on the Sept. 14th, 2020 Virtual BHS Awards Gala


Looking Back on the Sept. 14th, 2020 Virtual BHS Awards Gala

The Alexandria Harmonizers hosted a “Watch Party” Zoom session during the BHS Awards Gala presented via YouTube on Mon, evening, Sept. 14th. We gathered about 7:30 pm for visiting, greeting some members we haven’t seen for awhile including Rick Wagner from HI, and sharing stories about our year. About 35 of us were on the call for the event that lasted until about 10 pm.

Terry Reynolds played the previous finalists announcements for our review to explain that the Harmonizers were named as finalists for two of the major awards – Ambassador of the Year, and Ensemble of the Year.  Our friend Dr. Joyce Garrett from Alfred Street Baptist was also a finalist for Ambassador of the Year.

It was great to be together for the event when the Alexandria Harmonizers were named Ensemble of the Year. The show included a great summary video of our terrific 2019 year including the trip to England and Scotland.

As president Stan Quick shared, “2019 was a banner year for the Harmonizers. I counted at least 19 events at which the chorus itself participated - from local Alexandria venues to Seneca Land District to the U.K.  To win this award in the inaugural gala especially when judged against the other nominees is a truly great achievement of which we should all be proud.”


Stan also acknowledged “Bill Colosimo's submission of our chapter and the Alexandria Singers concert with Vocal Collective from New Zealand for the Ambassador of the Year Award. Also nominated was Dr. Joyce Garrett, who has been instrumental in forging our relationship with Alfred Street Baptist Church.  Although we and Dr. Garrett did not win this category, we owe both Dr. Garrett and Bill and his Alexandria Singers a big thank you for their major contributions to helping us win the other category, Ensemble of the Year.”

The gala was quite well done and full of close moments for Harmonizers to see former members and coaches, helpers from our recent youth festivals, and fellow M-AD barbershoppers honored.

The Video of the Year Award went to MIDTOWN from our district and were introduced by lead of the Quin-Tones, Julian LaFore who has been on our show a couple times.

Album of the Year went to GQ and was introduced by Deke Sharon. Both the quartet and Deke were part of our youth festival.

We were pleased to learn that Alan Lamson, a former Harmonizer, and Kevin Keller, arranger of our contest uptune, were named to the BHS Hall of Fame.

The Arranger of the Year Award went to Theo Hicks who has been on our show too.

The Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement Award went to a former Harmonizer coach, Greg Clancy from the Dallas Vocal Majority.

Later in the show, Greg introduced our chapter as winner of the Ensemble Award. Stan Quick appeared on the YouTube show to give a message of appreciation from the Harmonizers.

The actual winner of the Ambassador of the Year Award went to BARBER DRUNK quartet who started Barbershop Harmony South America.

The Quartet of the Year Award went to THE NEWFANGLED FOUR and they were announced by DOUBLE DATE who sang for us recently on our Zoom event for Dog Days.

The Barbershopper of the Year Award went to Will Downey, bass of GIMME FOUR, who has often helped us with our youth festival.

Our friends and gold medal champs, SIGNATURE quartet, sang on the show and reminded us all how they helped promote our youth festival in the DC Metro area.

Overall host for the gala was Alex Morris from Australia, who often hosts the Webcast at International convention.

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