Thursday, October 1, 2020

Looking Back on the Sept. 29th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting


Looking Back on the Sept. 29th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

This week’s meeting for the Alexandria Harmonizers via Zoom was a busy one again with music work, report on news for the chapter, interviews, and even some fun.

Director Joe Cerutti welcomed out-of-towners on the call.

Then he reported our chapter’s opportunity to participate in a virtual fund raiser for arts groups in Alexandria.  There will be performances live streamed on Sat. Oct. 24th.  We are members of the Alexandria Arts Alliance that is organizing the event. The plan is for all member groups of the Alliance to share equally in the funds collected. Thanks to Dean Rust and Mike Kelly for making contact on this and submitting performance ready material from us for the event.

Work by music team and the chorus continues on our virtual Holiday Show that is set for Dec. 20th in conjunction with Northwest Sound Chorus from Bellevue, WA.  Joe solicited input from our members for ideas of special groups to be on the show. He also reports a terrific list of quartets that have accepted and pledged to be on the show from gold medalist to chapter quartets.

Both Joe and associate director Tony Colosimo were happy with the number of guys who had submitted both vocal recordings and visual recordings in a dry run at creating a virtual chorus singing the intro of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” Any Harmonizer, current or former or friend of, is welcome to be a part of the show.  Check in with Terry Reynolds for more details.  We did get to see an early version of the virtual sing thanks to Mike Kelly and Joel Golden.

Next comes a series of deadlines for submission of the actual music for the songs.  Watch for the details and deadlines from Terry, but in short there are specific deadlines every Sunday in Oct. and on Nov. 1.

Tony conducted a warm up session this week for the singers on the call.  He invited all to stand for body alignment and getting into it.

Following the warm ups, Joe invited everyone to attend sectionals to work on some of the show music.  It was confirmed that the new music for the show is on Groupanizer. Joe explained that the “Caroling Medley” will feature both choruses for some parts, each chorus does a part on their own, and combines again for the tag.  He also stressed that all recordings should match the learning track in every way.

The breakout session this week was fun – “wear your favorite or funny hat and tell us why it is your favorite.”  There were many from barbershop events or contests or quartets.  Drew Fuller wore a cap with the name “Fullers Brewery” – he saw the brewery during our trip to Scotland, so when he got home he ordered the hat. There were some crazy hats, some colorful, some from front row routines, several golfing hats, and one to mark the start of the current BHS logo.

Our chapter business meeting was conducted by communications director Matt Doniger.  President Stan Quick reminded members that 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 54 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. 


Membership director Jacob Broude reminded everyone to submit any address or contact info changes.


Our special guest this week was Charlotte Murray, co-founder and director of Vocal FX Chorus in Wellington, New Zealand.  She is one of the first female judges in BHS and is often called upon as educator for Harmony University. Her chorus has been a strong competitor at International contests. She teaches music at the high school level (at the same school she attended where her mother was her music teacher).  Barbershop quartet singing is a popular aspect of the public school curriculum in her country.  Charlotte worked with her students to form quartets and she is proud to have been the mentor and coach for THE MUSICAL ISLAND BOYS who won the gold in 2014 after having been in her school program.

Vocal FX was an outgrowth of her realization that the young men wanted to keep singing after they left the school.

A major part of her visit with the Harmonizers this week was about the challenges brought on by the Covid virus.  In New Zealand, they were “locked down” for a number of weeks, but they are starting to get back to singing.  He advice was to take it slow when we get the chance, and to be sure we know what each man is thinking and needs for his musical growth.

It was easy to catch Charlotte’s spirit and enthusiasm.  She said she loves seeing the sparkle in the eyes of her singers and helping them feel welcome to their chorus “a place where they can belong.”

It was interesting to note that she was visiting with us while it was already 2:30 pm on Wednesday!



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 share: “What does it mean to you to be a Harmonizer even if we can’t sing together?”

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