Thursday, October 8, 2020

Looking Back on the Oct. 6th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting


Looking Back on the Oct. 6th, 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

This week’s Alexandria Harmonizers Zoom event was full of laughs and plenty of learning opportunities.

Director Joe Cerutti kicked things off right at 7 pm and he welcomed out-of-towners on the call including Bob Wilson and Scott Kahler.

Even before Joe started things, there was chatter about the terrific YouTube recovery of our chorus singing at Disneyland with Dick Van Dyke and the Dapper Dans of Disneyland. It was a great trip down memory lane for those of us who were there singing, and a great glimpse of one of the terrific performances of the Alexandria chorus from the past.  It was in 1999 and it was our swan song year after having won the gold the year before.  Thanks to Brian Lynch who found it and shared it with the chapter and to Mike Kelly who got it ready for our viewing.

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 thanked the chorus members for their patience during the learning experience; and he stressed that anyone who wants to be in the show can be.  If you are having difficulty with the technology, contact Joe, Tony or Terry ASAP.

Be mindful of the deadlines for submissions. Also note that recordings should be made with the track labeled “reference” on Groupanizer. And finally, also note the suggested attire for the visual recordings you are to submit that have been announced via email.

Our special guest this week to lead us in warm ups was Alex Morris from Australia.  He was with us from his home at 10 am on Wednesday there!

Alex was host for the recent Awards Gala for BHS, is a judge, a frequent emcee for BHS events and has visited our chapter.  He was proud to show us his copy of “Breathless Moments” he received during that visit.

He took the singers through a lot of exercises and ended with a karaoke sing at the end.  It was all fun to have him with us.

Alex will be on the panel for the first session of a BHS series on “Inclusion in Barbershop.”  This session, “Gender Identity LGBTQ+ and Barbershop” will be moderated by Terry Reynolds and other panelists will be Mo Field, Steve Scott and Mia Baz.  It will be Oct. 11th at 7 pm Eastern – register to attend the session on the BHS website.

Following the warm ups, Joe invited everyone to attend sectionals to work on some of the holiday music. 

Alan Wile hosted another interview with a Harmonizer Hero from Groupanizer – Ken Rub. Ken joined the Society in 1991 at age 23.  For a long time he was one of the youngest Harmonizers on the risers!

His musical background was rooted with his family in church music.  Ken was pianist at age 10 at church and sang with the Rub Family Singers. In high school he was pianist in the jazz band, sang in two musicals, and played the baritone horn. 

At age 17 he joined the Army  and after an overseas tour was assigned to the White House Communications office. His professional career after the Army started in banking and eventually moved over to real estate where he is a successful realtor today for commercial and personal sales.

He discovered barbershop music here in Alexandria and has been on the front row all these years. He has been in several quartets including BACHELOR PARTY that was successful in the M-AD contests and ended their run as the quartet in a “Music Man” performance at the Atlas Theater.

He is proud to share his story about how he talked the chapter into hosted ROCKAPELLA on a chapter show. It was a huge success, and opened our performances to a whole new audience segment.

Finally Ken was willing to share that he has just a few weeks ago found he birth father and actually talked to him in person (waiting til post Covid to meet in person).

Ken teaches yoga and he and his partner Will are raising a service puppy.

Our chapter business meeting was conducted by communications director Matt Doniger. 


President Stan Quick conducted the annual election of the board of directors of our BHS chapter.  Outgoing secretary Chris Buechler declared there was a quorum for the election.  The nominating committee offered  the following slate of candidates which was elected by acclamation:


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


Many thanks to the nominating committee - Brian Ammerman (chair), Clyde Crusenberry, and Ben Watsky - for their work in creating this list of willing candidates.  Several members lead the thanks to Chris for his 25+ years as secretary for our chapter.  He replied, “I’m looking forward to getting in more singing!”



Membership director Jacob Broude reported that two men had reinstated their membership – Scott Kahler and Rusty Orvik. Welcome back!


The breakout session this week asked the question – “what does it mean to you to be a Harmonizer if we can’t be in the same room to sing together?”

In the reports from the 11 small groups, there were lots of duplicated words: family, brotherhood, fraternity, team work, friendship, “this is my extended family,” it’s continuity for our lives, pride, and finally – this is just a blip in the 75 years of our great chapter.

There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting.

One was presented by Alexander Koller, a music judge candidate from Barbershop in Germany (BING) and a friend of Joe’s.  Alexander first did his presentation on Saturday, then the chapter replayed one part of it this week.  His topic was “Identifying Embellishments.”.  Two more parts will be offered in later weeks for the chapter.

The other elective was presented by Mike Fasano from his home in DE.  His topic was “Collecting Barber Shop Bottles.”  He has a large collection and  shared photos of some various kinds, explained how they were made, and how they were used by barbers in the 1870s-1920s for  witch hazel, bay rum, tonic water, and such.  They are beautiful and who knew!!!  Steve White joined in the fun as he too has a collection of the barber bottles.

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 is the most useful non-musical app on your phone?”

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