Friday, November 27, 2020

Looking Back on the Nov. 24th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Nov. 24th 2020 Virtual Chapter Meeting


Just a couple days before Thanksgiving, so this week’s virtual session for the Harmonizers was lightly attended. However, the goal was to continue work on future show music and to launch a couple things for the chapter such as a Giving Tuesday campaign. 

Artistic director Joe Cerruti started the ball rolling right at 7 pm with Thanksgiving greetings to everyone. He had some calendar notes for all – the next three meetings (Dec. 1st, Dec. 8th and Dec 15th) will have electives as the final segment for those nites; our virtual holiday show is Sun. Dec. 20th  so stay tuned for details about a chapter watch party event during the show; then chapter leadership has determined we will NOT meet on  Dec. 22nd, Dec. 29th or Jan. 5thbut there may be some kind of afterglow session on Dec. 22nd to follow up on the show. We resume our regular sessions on Jan. 12th.


Joe reported news that the flyer for our holiday show is about to be released via social media and via email or other methods. Communications chairman Matt Doniger confirmed these plans. As it turns out, the BHS will be supporting our joint show with Northwest Sound as it will be premiered live on the BHS YouTube channel. The show is also connecting patrons with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and TAPS also will be sharing show details with their supporters and friends. 


Our two-hour virtual show will begin at 6:30 pm Eastern time. Joe stressed that we should tell everyone the show is FREE and we should invite friends, family, co-workers, neighbors to make plans to watch the show.  There are over 20 other groups appearing on the show in addition to the Harmonizers and the Northwest Sound.  We got a sneak preview of one guest group, our friends PRATT STREET POWER, during this week’s Zoom call.  


Joe thanked Mike Kelly for his major efforts to create the virtual show as well as Joel Golden, Tessa Walker, Tony Colosimo and Terry Reynolds for their various contributions of time and talent and creativity.  We also got a sneak preview of what the chorus performance will look like for “Carol of the Bells” – it was awesome!


The chapter should be proud that we have been accepted as one of the 14 performing groups to be part of WETA PBS station’s “Songs of the Season.” They chose our 2019 performance of “Gloria” to be used in their holiday presentations between Dec. 15th and the 25th


Associate director Tony conducted a strong warm up session starting with stretching and moving so the singers would be ready for the choreo review later in the evening. 


Next, the attendees worked on a run-through of “With a Little Help from My Friends” and the second song in the Chorus Line Medley – “What I Did for Love.”


That was followed by reviewing the choreography in the finale of “Circle of Life.”  Here again, Tony demonstrated and/or coached the review points.


During our small group discussion this week, we were asked to share thoughts about “Who is your favorite coach that has come in to work with the chorus?”  This time, no one reported from each group.  Instead Joe asked each guy to type his answer in the chat, that on signal, everyone hit return – all the replies popped into view.  Amazing – sooo many duplicates.


In the end, we all agreed we benefitted greatly from them all and we are most thankful that the chapter could afford such a good battery of coaching help.  We thank them all!!


Joe actually asked the guys to do the same thing with ideas for future coaches.  Good responses for sure and the music team took notes! 


Next week the topic will be “What is your favorite TV commercial of all time?


During the business meeting, executive director Randall Eliason stressed that we only have a couple weeks to turn in donations for the Silent Auction, which this year will be held online during the two weeks before the show, then closed down during the show.  Confirm with  Kristin Kelly at if you have donations.


Bruce Roehm, president of AH, Inc., walked us through the chapter’s Giving Tuesday promotion blitz materials that will go out to all members, patrons, friends of the chapter, and others on our lists of supporters. Good job, Bruce.

Randall also reminded everyone to take note of the recent email from our chapter conventions chairman, NickMurane, regarding making plans for the chorus trip to and participation in a possible 2021 BHS International Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, which surprisingly is only about a 6-hour drive from Alexandria.  The dates for the competition are from June 28 to July 3.  The Alexandria Harmonizers, along with as many as 30 other choruses, have been invited to compete and we have accepted the invitation.  We have paid the entrance fee and are entered into the competition.  Obviously, things can change due to the unpredictability of the Covid virus and large meeting protocols that might be in place, but as of now we need to start our planning based on the assumption that we will compete.

The key issue right now concerns the purchase of registrations.  Every contest participant must purchase a registration in order to compete.  The BHS website is set up now to buy them.  There is however, a fast approaching 'Early Bird' registration deadline (Nov. 30) and members can save $50 if they get registered now.  

There are several types of tickets that can be purchased, but at a minimum, chorus participants must have a 1-day Registration in order to compete.  If the 1-Day ticket is purchased now, the cost is just $99.  After Nov. 30 it goes up to $149. Just so you know, a one-day ticket only gets you access to the date the chorus competes and to no other events during the rest of convention. You can also purchase 2-Day $169, and up to 5-Day registrations, which is $199 'early bird'.

It is also important that members realize that the tickets are fully refundable at basically anytime, even the day before the contest, no questions asked.  So there is no downside to registering now.  The seating for this year's event will be unassigned (general admission), so there will be no chorus blocks.  

If you are even slightly considering competing this coming convention and would like to save $50 dollars, then get to the BHS site, events/international- convention/register and purchase now. But be assured that if things change and the chorus decides not to attend or if your plans change or if you don't want to take the risk of competing, you can get your money back, no questions asked.  

Information about our recommended "Harmo Hotel" and other details about the competition will be coming soon from Nick.

We wrapped up this week’s meeting with special guest, Dusty Schleier, who is BHS director of events and conventions, to tell us about the Midwinter Convention in Jan. 2021.  It will be virtual and “as close to being there as you could get.”  There is a great video at to explain it all. The actual dates are Jan. 28- Jan. 31.  Dustysuggests this will be great for those members who are “convention goers.”  He also suggested that the first day, Jan. 28th, will be a good time for a person to check it out and get things set up for the virtual experience, then enjoy the first of the big concerts that nite. 


Next week’s Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm. Watch for email details.  Volunteers to do electives for future meetings should contact Terry Reynolds if they’d like to present a half hour elective.


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)