Thursday, November 12, 2020

Looking Back on Nov 10th Virtual Chapter Meeting

Looking Back on the Nov. 10th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting 

 For the record, the chapter did not meet on Nov. 3rd. Many guys remarked that it sure seemed like we were missing something with that week off. But this week’s virtual session for the Harmonizers was jam packed with singing and sharing and stories.

 Director Joe Cerutti shared that he had reviewed all the submissions from members for the virtual holiday show – and he was thrilled with the quality and good work. And also, he was really happy with the number of men who made the effort to be a part of the show. He encouraged more guys to submit – late is OK, but you must let Joe or associate director Tony Colosimo or assistant director Terry Reynolds know that you intend to submit and when you will do so. 

Tony conducted a useful warm up session starting with a reminder that guys should do some physical warm ups before 7 pm – stretching especially. Tony was excited to share that he was now moved into his new house but has lots of boxes to unpack! 

This week, the music team launched work on show music for our first live concert in the future. There were sectionals to work on “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Joe shared that this song will have lots of audience participation and be fun. 

After the sectionals, those on the call were sent to small groups and each group had a music team member to help the singers work on specific spots in “Never Fully Dress Without a Smile.” The music team leaders invited individual guys to unmute and sing the section. They could do it a couple times if they wished. Then other guys in the small group offered notes about what was done well. Then the singer got to share what he’d like to do better or work on more. 

Alan Wile did the 13th interview of Harmonizers who have submitted their Harmo Hero form to be posted on our Groupanizer page. This week’s interviewee was Mick Stamps – a 41-year barbershop singer. Mick was born in Texas and like many of us, he was singing a youngster. He graduated as valedictorian in his high school class at age 15. During high school he was invited to write a class play – which must have been the start of his show production work over the years in our chapter. 

Mick gives lots of credit to his wife Sandy for encouraging his attendance at a barbershop event. Mick has been an active singer and leader in Fairfax, VA; Davenport, IA; and Centreville, VA, besides the Harmonizers. He has been a member of our chapter for 37 years. 

He has been in a number of quartets but the longest run was in 50% OFF with Geoff Berman, Doug Smith, and Steve Guy. They were doing gigs for 19 years! 

This week’s small group discussion topic was “How did you find barbershop?” It seemed that every guy had a story – so it took a while. But it was fun. The reasons seemed to group into a few common stories – an individual invited me, I heard a quartet or the chorus sing and wanted to be part of it, my family encouraged me or my Dad took me as young lad, I sang in college and wanted to keep singing more, I was stationed overseas and we wanted to sing and so formed a quartet, or my high school music teacher promoted quartet singing. A lot of men started singing in other chapters and then moved over to join the Harmonizers.

 Next week the topic will be “What is the best sports movie of all time?” 

During the brief business meeting, Randall Eliason reminded everyone that it's time to start gathering donations for the Silent Auction, which this year will be held online in the days leading up to our virtual holiday show. If there is a merchant you have received a donation from in the past, please be sure to reach out to them again this year. In addition, if you have provided a gift certificate for a personal service in the past, or have an item you believe would be appropriate that you would like to donate, please reach out to Kristin Kelly at to discuss it with her. 

Bruce Roehm, president of AH, Inc., reported that their board had elected Mark Klostermeyer to fill a board vacancy. The operations team for the chapter also is named by the AH, Inc. board and Bruce announced the appointment of Doug White to be Director of Shows replacing Joe Cerutti Sr. Thanks to Doug for agreeing to fill this important job and thanks to Joe and Janet Cerutti for their work as a team on behalf of the chapter. 

Bruce asks the members to watch for information about future fundraising efforts on Giving Tuesday events that will be held on Dec. 1st in our Nation. 

Chris Buechler, chapter secretary, thanked all the members for their renewals in recent months. 

There were two electives to wrap up this week’s meeting. The first was “Birds – Why I Love Them and Why You Should Too” taught by Noah Van Gilder. Most of us have heard his two male cockatiels during a Zoom call. They are Max, age 13, and Joey, age 4. As a kid, he signed up for a class at the Natural History Museum in NYC where he lived and went with the class to Central Park which opened his eyes to the many birds in nature around us. 

The second elective was “Military and Music through History” taught by Rusty Orvik. He played a number of clips showing ceremonial events (including his retirement when we sang the National Anthem). He also shared aspects of a variety of instruments such as drums, bugle calls and included some fun for the guys on the call to imitate a bag pipe off mute!! 

Joe reminded everyone to consider volunteering to do an elective in a future virtual meeting – the offer still stands for anyone that has a passion about any topic – including family or friends. Volunteers should contact him or assistant director Terry Reynolds if they’d like to present a half hour elective. 

Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details. 

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)