Thursday, September 24, 2020

Looking Back on the Sept. 22nd, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting


Looking Back on the Sept. 22nd, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

The Alexandria Harmonizers came together for their Zoom meeting eager to begin working on music for the virtual holiday show.  Since the last meeting, a high percentage of the chorus has figured out the technology to record themselves vocally and visually as part of a dry run test in preparation for the holiday songs.

Director Joe Cerutti and associate director Tony Colosimo thanked and congratulated those who had submitted recordings.  Singers were encouraged to drop off this week’s call for a little while to make their recording, or join an “office hours” session with Tony during the electives period of the meeting to seek help.

Our chapter tech guy, Mike Kelly, and helper Joel Golden, had put a sample together using the recordings already submitted – so all could hear the chorus singing again.  It was terrific! The intro for “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” was used for this dry run test.

As members were gathering it was fun to say hello to some guys from out of town again including Bert Phillips from the Memphis TN area, and Julian LeFlore from QUIN-TONES.

Joe reported on a letter he had gotten from Brian Lynch, who works for BHS in communications.  Brian thanked us for the Covid Survival Kit.  Included with his letter was a collection of photos from our appearance at Disneyland with Dick Van Dyke in front of the chorus next to director Scott Werner.  Brian had also found a DVD of that performance from 1999 when we were in our swansong  year after winning our 1998 gold medals. He suggested these materials could go into the Harmonizer history collection.

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

In the way of announcements and planning, Joe explained that the music team has invited a number of former singers to join us for the virtual holiday show.  Thus we will continue to have guests with us on Tuesday nite Zoom calls.

New chapter communications leader, Matt Doniger and helpers have created a flyer and social media materials for the show – Alexandria Harmonizers and Northwest Sound present, “A Barbershop Family Christmas” on Sunday, Dec. 20th with two show times, 6 pm Eastern and 6 pm Pacific – Live Streaming Coast to Coast!

A number of quartets have agreed to appear on that show including SIGNATURE and QUIN-TONES. Harmonizer members are also invited so suggest other acts/performances/groups to carry out the family theme of the show – even if it is your own family. Contact Joe, Tony or Terry Reynolds by next Tuesday

Tony led the warm up session for the singers this week. Then there were sectionals to work on “Carol of the Bells.”

Alan Wile hosted another interview of a Harmonizer Hero based on the report that member has submitted and is posted on Groupanizer.  This week’s guest was Sam McFarland. Alan labeled him “a Barbershopper’s Barbershopper” – a man who has a legendary list of barbershop connections across the barbershop world including Sweet Adelines and Harmony Inc.  A Society member for nearly 33 years, he’s sung on the risers of nine choruses (most of them local), performed with a string of quartets, and held leadership positions at every Society level including presidency of the Ancient Harmonious Society of Woodshedders (AHSOW).  Sam has brought 26 people into barbershop over the years. His professional career included time with the US Army and assignments in the medical field at Howard University.

We did a breakout discussion for a fun topic this week – “if the Harmonizers received 1 million dollars, how should we spend or use it?” Joe says he has a list as long as your arm, but he heard some ideas that he didn’t have!  One that got a laugh – an endowment for snacks at our meetings! Frequent suggestions included funding staff for the chorus and chapter such as management, communications, marketing, or musical leadership for a youth chorus. Some wise men suggested investing a chunk of the money, and there were several suggestions such as offering free tickets to our shows for Harmonizer families or youth or seniors; or reduce costs of membership to singers. There were a number of ideas about buying property for meeting space, that might also be performance space, or space that is good for recordings, a space we could rent to other arts groups.

The chapter meeting time was conducted by Matt Doniger.  The date for the holiday show was announced again.  President Stan Quick announced that Ken Ives has been absent recently during cancer treatments, and Clyde Crusenberry was headed for major surgery at John Hopkins.

During the business meeting part of our October 6 rehearsal, we will be holding elections for the board of directors of our BHS chapter.  We need a quorum of at least 51 members, so please make every effort to join us. The nominating committee has put together the following slate of candidates:


President - Stan Quick
Secretary - David DesPortes
Treasurer - Al Herman
Member-at-Large - Clyde Crusenberry
Member-at-Large - Frank Shipp
Member-at-Large - Devin Gerzof  


The election will use the electronic polling available within Zoom per the BHS bylaws.


Many thanks to the nominating committee - Brian Ammerman (chair), Clyde Crusenberry, and Ben Watsky - for their work in creating this list of willing candidates.  Thanks to Ben also for serving as Member-at-Large this year. Also a big thanks to Chris Buechler who has served as secretary for over 25 years and will be helping Dave transition into the chapter secretary position.


There were two electives this week for those on the Zoom call: “Classic Rock and Roll Songs” was presented by Chris Huber and Joel Golden; and  “Phonetics of Singing” was presented by Ben Watsky.


Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm.  Watch for email details. The individual break out session will be a time for you to – “wear your favorite hat and to explain why is it your favorite?”

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