Thursday, October 22, 2020

Looking Back on the Oct. 20th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Oct. 20th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting


This week’s chapter meeting for the Harmonizers was especially busy with preparations for the virtual holiday show. Director Joe Cerutti thanked all singers who have worked to record both singing and performing in the correct costume for the virtual holiday show. He himself shared that he had set up the equipment and gathered the costumes so that he could do all songs in one session.  He really stressed that if anyone has avoided recording because they didn’t understand how to submit, they should reach out for help to him, to associate director Tony Colosimo or to assistant director Terry Reynolds.


Joe also shared that before long the chorus will go back to working on show music - pick up from where we were before we decided to do the virtual holiday show.


Also, Joe alerted everyone that there will be some changes in Zoom next week – each member will choose his own breakout room and not be assigned to one by Terry – but you might have to download something – SOOOO watch for word from Terry this week.


Tony conducted another good warm up session starting with a reminder that guys should do some physical warm ups before 7 pm – stretching especially.


After warm ups, the attendees were sent to sectionals where they worked on “Carol of the Bells,” “Gloria,” and “Caroling Medley” for the virtual holiday show on Dec. 20th with Northwest Sound chorus. (Joe was excited to share that there are 18 guest groups lined up for that show – from all over the world and from all barbershop communities.) 


There was a different approach to the sectionals this time, with the section leader seeking volunteers to sing some spots that were being worked on.  Other guys and the section leader offered supportive comments.


Following the sectionals, there was chorus work by the 60 folks on the call on the songs for the holiday show.  Joeinvited singers to share any “best practices” or “tips” they discovered while making their recordings. 


Next Alan Wile conducted the 12th interview of a member who has submitted a Harmo Hero form to be posted in Groupanizer.  This time we got to know three-year member, Ben Watsky, better.  


Ben grew up in New Haven in the shadow of Yale. He has been a singer since he was a little guy and that continued when he was in school.  At Hopkins Day School he was in a men’s a cappella group. He shared that his high school was noted for its support of the arts like a cappella singing. 


Ben went on to Yale, earned a degree in cognitive science, and sang the first three years in a male ensemble Spizzwinks that traveled extensively. After that he took a year off college to sing with the Whiffenpoofs and was their musical director. During the year they traveled to all seven continents including Antarctica.


After graduation, Ben interviewed and took a job in Jordan where he was a teacher and was asked to organize a choir group. During that two-year job, he spent a summer in Japan as a camp counselor.


He then came to the DC area to join his partner, Samantha, who was working here. Ben works for a consultant firm. He found the Harmonizers when he attended one of the earliest Whiffenpoofs shows we sponsored. He has served a term on our chapter board and has served on several committees.


For this week’s small group discussion topics was “What would make the best afterglow after a chapter meeting when we gather in person again?”  Some obvious responses included good food, reasonable prices, easy parking, location close to a Metro stop, be in a private room.  There were several references to the good old days of Geno’s afterglows in Old Town.


During the brief business meeting, Randall reported good news that he had been recorded for WTOP coverage regarding our participation in the Alexandria Arts Alliance virtual fund raiser on Oct. 24th.


He also announced the chapter’s plans to conduct a virtual silent auction as part of our virtual holiday show. Kristin Kelly is helping manage this activity. All members are encouraged to seek donations for this auction – especially gift cards and certificates. The auction will be held over a two-week period.


There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting.  The first was part three of Alexander Koller’s recorded session on “Evaluating Embellishments in Performance Music” He is a member of Barbershop in Germany and a music judge candidate for BHS.


The second elective was an encouragement to show your pride for being a Harmonizer – Mark Klostermeyer spoke and showed us ideas and suggestions for framing materials for your home, office, work space, den.  He had great pictures of materials some other chapter members had framed and organized into a collection – contests medals; chorus pictures from contests; show memorabilia such as a program, ticket stubs and photos; or remembering special events like our trip to Normandy. He also noted that you can do more than frame items – shelves or racks or display cases.


Mark provided some suggestions on how to organize a collection on the wall.  He spoke about the wisdom of using acid free materials for matting.  His family firm, Design Frames, has been in Falls Church for over 50 years. 


Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details. Chapter leaders are eager to hear from any members who could present an elective in future virtual meetings – something you are passionate about.


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 for the great things going on each week during the 72nd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. _ YeEd)