Friday, September 10, 2021

Looking Back on the Sept. 7th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Sept. 7th 2021 Hybrid   Chapter Meeting

 

(For historians sake, there was no meeting on Aug. 31st so the chapter member could have a summer break.) 

 

(Thanks to Jerry Jayjohn for taking noes this week for YeEd!)

 

 

We had about 30 guys in attendance. Associate director Tony Colosimo did a warm up outside for about 20 minutes. Then we went into 30-minute sectionals to review “White Christmas” and “Carol of the Bells.”

 

Then back outside.  There was no business other than artistic director Joe Cerutti introducing us to Donnell Torreswho has moved here from Florida where he was active in the Sunshine District. He is joining the Harmonizer Chapter.  

 

We then reviewed “Carol of the Bells” and “ White Christmas” as a group. Plus we reviewed “There Must Be a City” for Sandy Stamps’ celebration of life in October.

 

Following that,  the tenors and leads worked with Joe, and the basses and baritones worked with Tony to work on some spots for both holiday tunes.

 

About ten members attended via a Zoom link. The sectionals were broadcast over Facebook. The chapter is working on a new plan to adhere to CDC guidelines – two groups of 25 singers are invited each week and there will be movement from rehearsal spaces every 30 minutes.  The next few weeks, the meeting spaces will all be at Scottish Rite and there won’t be a need for being outside.

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on Sept. 14th, 2021 at Scottish Rite   Temple on Braddock Rd. in Alexandria and will be a hybrid meeting again. 

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 24th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Aug. 24th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 

The Harmonizer family gathered at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria this week to share some songs, meet and greet, and catch up – all in an outside setting.  The chapter brought snacks and waters for all plus many folks brought picnic or other goodies to enjoy. It was great to see everyone again – without masks too.  Especially fun to see so many of the new members there for their first Fort Ward event.  And this time – NO RAIN.

Operations manager Gary Cregan had the Harmo truck there for the sound equipment and such which Mike Kelly andDennis Ritchey managed. (Fun to see Mike’s grandson, Owen, age 3 testing the mic for his grandpa!). The tech team also was able to connect with all the members who attended via Zoom! There were about 10.

Membership chairman Jacob Broude and some helpers hauled all the snacks and drinks to a table up by the stage for all to enjoy. 

There was lots of visiting and catching up among the Harmo family and then a little after 7 pm, it was Tag Time With Tony – associate director Tony Colosimo taught everyone “Johnny Doughboy Found a Rose in Ireland.” 

Then artistic director Joe Cerutti welcomed everyone including some guys we have not seen for a while including Walt Page plus all those on the Zoom link. And he welcomed our newest member, Lance Fisher, who sings lead.

Joe did review some calendar items for the weeks ahead: there will be no meeting on Aug. 31st; the Sept. 7th meeting will be at Scottish Rite Temple on Braddock Rd. – stay tuned for word about who will attend (and be certain you have alerted the chapter leadership via Groupanizer of your attendance plans).  All members are also expected to respond to the monthly survey coming to members.

At this point, Joe invited all singers to come up onto the stage to sing.  The guys spread out and formed a chorus.  Some folks used their cell phone for a song or two they needed help on. The little package show included “Never Fully Dressed,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Help from My Friends,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

Tony taught a second tag, “We’ll Just Be the Same Old Friends,” and explained it was not the same tag the chapter usually sings at our annual retreat but from a different arrangement that has a Colosimo family connection. It was sung by past International quartet champs, THE AUTO TOWNERS.

Joe invited folks to come back to the Harmo House for an afterglow and reports are that the tag singing guys were doing before they left Fort Ward continued in Joe’s basement!

The Harmo family is reminded of the Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  

 

In other news, the Barbershop Harmony Society Board of Directors elected the officers and directors during its annual meeting on Sunday, August 15, 2021including Harmonizer John Santora who was elected treasurer for a one-year term. Another Harmonizer, Bill Colosimo, was on the nominating committee for the election.

Also the Barbershop Harmony Society lost a giant in the barbershop world recently when Joe Liles died at his home with his wife Kay by his side.  He had been Society executive director, a song writer and arranger of volumes of songs for all singers, and was in the Society Hall of Fame.  He was a friend of the Harmonizers and appeared with us at one of our post-gold-medal Masters’ Classes.

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on Sept. 7th, 2021 at Scottish Rite Temple on Braddock Rd. in Alexandria. 

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 17th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Aug. 17th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 

This week the chapter leadership, including administrative and musical leaders, called for another virtual Zoom meeting to go over plans for the meetings, shows and events coming up in the months ahead.

A good number of Harmonizers were on the call and many stayed for an informal afterglow too.

Artistic director Joe Cerutti welcomed everyone back and including several folks who are members but live far from our meeting place and can only attend via Zoom.  Great to see them all. Don Thompson spoke up early in the call to salute and share the good feelings of fellowship and comradeship among the Harmonizer family. 

The first announcement was to remind the family of the Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  

 

Joe confirmed the news that the fall show originally set for Sept. 11th was cancelled.  Mostly this change was made because of the restrictions imposed by the venue.  The chorus was totally ready and a large number of other ensembles were in the que to be on the show with us.  Joe assures all that as soon as we can reschedule, we will do so.  It might be next year though, since we will try next to have our holiday show in December 2021.

That prompted Joe to share that the chorus would start work on holiday music before long as well as continue work on “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.”  

The Aug. 24th event at Fort Ward Park will not be a performance event but a casual one with tag singing and fellowship.  The chorus will likely sing through some songs too. Guests are welcome.  Likely many will bring picnic, snacks or goodies. It’s all about being together!!  Of course we all will be keeping an eye on the weather!!

The August 31st chapter meeting has been cancelled so everyone can have some rest and recouperation after lots of work on their music in recent weeks.  September meetings/rehearsals will be planned as the precautions for Covid safety emerge.

At this point, the Mid Atlantic District convention is still scheduled for Oct. 1 and 2 in Lancaster, PA.  If it does indeed happen, we will make our plans based on the number of singers available and then choose one of the songs we have been working on to sing at the contest.

Finally, Joe was able to welcome Bob Rhome and his wife Anne who have begun their move to the Atlanta area.  They were on the Zoom call from Georgia and Joe was able to pay a farewell tribute to Bob for his years of dedication to the chapter and his support of the chapter’s leadership teams. He has been the operations manager for many years – every time there was need to fill the slot, he was willing to step in again.  He has been a vital member of the chapter’s history team especially keeping the inventory.  He was a cheerleader for the uses we could make of Groupanizer and posted a chapter events calendar every year.  Bob was presented the Chapter Honor Award in 2007 and then was named recipient of our highest honor, the Chapter Memorial Award, in 2011.

And who could forget Bob’s part in the colorful costumes for holiday shows with him as one of the Crayons!!

We did sing “A Place on the Risers for You” to Bob and many members expressed thanks and tributes in the chat feature.

Bob and Anne say they will be checking into the barbershop world in the Atlanta area after they get settled.

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on August  24th, 2021 at Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304.

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 10th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the Aug. 10th 2021 Chapter Meeting

 

True to form for the chapter, the heavens dumped rain on Alexandria Tues. night. Aug. 10th just minutes before 7 pm.  Not good for an outdoor rehearsal at Fort Ward Park in Alexandria.

So leaders sent an email to cancel.  Many of us were anticipating that so kept an eye on our phones for a message.  And the old timers were especially ready for bad weather in lieu of the many times in our chapter’s past that we got rained out for Fort Ward events.

Of course, some folks were on their way like Mike Fasano and Mike Edison who were driving from DE.  They came on to VA and joined a good crowd of guys who went to the Harmo House to start the afterglow early.  Actually some guys had missed dinner, so they were hungry.

Also the riser crew and sound crew was ready at 6:30 but fortunately had not set up anything.  So they too headed for the Harmo House. 

Mark your calendars for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th  at Fort Ward. This event may include some food and fellowship.  

 

YeEd received the following note to include in this week’s Looking Back report: A Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on August  17th, 2021 at the Scottish Rite Temple.

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Looking Back on the Aug. 3rd 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the Aug. 3rd 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

(A thank you to Jerry Jayjohn for taking notes for this report of the Aug. 3rd meeting. – YeEd)

 

The rehearsal started in the auditorium, with baritone section leader, Jason Lee, leading the warm up session. His focus was to get the chorus to always be in motion.  

After warmup a good friend of the chapter and former community board member of our AH Inc. corporation, Paul Dolinky was introduced.  He represents the DC Scottish Rite Temple and reports they have refurbished their performance space in DC.  Our chapter has accepted his invitation to be one of the first performance groups in their refurbed space. We will do a holiday show on December 5th.  He has been a long-time supporter of the Harmonizers.

After that introduction, associate director Tony Colosimo continued with rehearsal starting with the beautiful ballad “Remember Me.” Then he moved on with “You’re Never Fully Dressed” with choreo review. 

After that the singers moved to the cafeteria and continued working on “Sing a Song,” and “Little Help from My Friends” – also with a choreo review. Many thanks to Turner Arndt who demonstrated during the choreo reviews.  The members appreciated his help!

We then sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and finished up formal rehearsal with “Impossible Dream.”  

After rehearsal, operations team leader Gary Cregan asked for helpers to load risers onto the Harmo truck since we will be at Ft Ward Park next week, and also asked volunteers to be there early next week to help set up the risers. 

A head count was taken for pizza at the chapter’s new afterglow location, the Harmo House at 3916 N. Stevens St. in Alexandria; then we ended rehearsal with “Keep the Whole World Singing.”

There are some inputs needed from chapter members for the fall show. Members will be invited to suggest VIP officials who might speak; to suggest names of first responders or groups of them we should honor (and invite to the show); and finally to organize a singing ensemble for the show to do a song that fits into the show theme – can be a quartet, or octet or mixed gender group or family group (there will be the need to apply and audition or such). Membership director Jacob Broude especially asks members to report names of anyone in the Harmonizer family who may have died during the Covid pandemic. Send those names and information to Jacob at membership@harmonizers.org

 

Mark calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on August  10th, 2021 on the stage in Fort Ward Park at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304. 

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Looking Back on the July 27th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the July 27th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

This week’s Harmonizer in-person meeting started just after the CDC announced some changes in mask wearing policy on radio and tv.  Our president Stan Quick issued this message earlier Tuesday afternoon: “I write this as I wait for a CDC briefing to begin in 10 minutes.

I'm not sure what they'll say, but I'd like to ask you to bring your mask with you if you're coming to rehearsal tonight.  Due to the spiking delta-variant COVID cases reported across the country (including our own area), I expect the guidelines to possibly include wearing masks indoors in an effort to reduce the viral transmission rate. I know this is a frustrating, fluid situation for us - but we want to do our best to stay together singing in the safest environment we can provide. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

 

So the first item of business was a report from Stan that our chapter’s Covid Committee will monitor the situation.  Most of the men present this week wore a mask during the evening.

 

There were about 60 chorus members present this week. Director Joe Ceruitti welcomed our newest member Tony Schepers in the tenor section; welcomed back Don Dillingham and Tyler Carpenter to their first in-person; and welcomed guests Lance Fisher for his second visit in the lead section, Matthew Pearce for his first visit since Covid also in the lead section, and Harry Bickford in the bass section who is a friend of Michael Berkson; and Melody Hine who sings with Tessa Walker in HOT PURSUIT.  Joe also thanked the several members who joined via Zoom.

 

We started the session in the auditorium with Joe conducting a warm up session.  Then the evening evolved into sectionals followed by reforming the chorus in the auditorium to sing the same songs.  There was a choreo review of the material taught last week by Cy Wood for “Never Fully Dressed” and  “Help from My Friends.”  Turner Arndtwas tapped to demonstrate the moves for those guys who had forgotten or didn’t review the videos that are available of Cy teaching. 

 

There are some inputs needed from chapter members for the fall show. Members will be invited to suggest VIP officials who might speak; to offer names of any friends or family who have died during Covid for us to recognize; to suggest names of first responders or groups of them we should honor (and invite to the show); and finally to organize a singing ensemble for the show to do a song that fits into the show theme – can be a quartet, or octet or mixed gender group or family group (there will be the need to apply and audition or such).

 

Mark calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304. 

 

There was another large crowd of folks at the afterglow at the Harmo House, 3916 N Stevens St., Alexandria 22311.

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 7 pm on August  3rd, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation. 

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Looking Back on the July 20th 2021 Chapter Meeting and Wachter Interment July 21st

      Looking Back on the July 20th 2021 Chapter Meeting and Wachter Interment July 21st

 

This week’s Harmonizer in-person meeting drew over 60 chorus member and two guests  (welcome to Lance Fisherand Tony Schepers) and provided everyone a sneak preview of the fall show! Coach Cy Wood was with us and taught basic staging for two of the songs. 

 

We started the session in the cafeteria with director Joe Cerutti conducting a warm up session for the singers.  He was quick to welcome our fellow Harmonizers who were with us for the first time since we started in-person meetings including Andrew Havens, Reed Livergood, Mike Fasano, and Antony Takahashi.  Joe also saluted the several men who attended via Zoom as we continue to provide a hybrid meeting for all. 

 

The warm up session was a good one and Joe reminded guys of some basic principles he has taught in the past.

 

When he shared the plans for the fall show, Joe thanked the men who had met at Harmo House over the weekend with he and Cy to create the outline and ideas. Then he launched a sing- through of each of the show songs.

 

There are some inputs needed from chapter members for the show and likely Terry Reynolds will be seeking that info from members.  Members will be invited to suggest VIP officials who might speak; to offer names of any friends or family who have died during Covid for us to recognize; to suggest names of first responders or groups of them we should honor (and invite to the show); and finally to organize a singing ensemble for the show to do a song that fits into the show theme – can be a quartet, or octet or mixed gender group or family group (there will be the need to apply and audition or such).

 

The business meeting included a request for someone to help communications director Matt Doniger with publishing The Echo

 

Robyn Murane, our chorus uniform wrangler, was introduced and heartily welcomed by all.  She is helping members get new or replacement black chorus camp shirts.

 

Chapter secretary David DesPortes presented a membership renewal card to Ken Rub for 30 years!!

 

Executive director Randall Eliason gave a presentation about a “Proposal to Streamline Harmonizer Operations.”  In short, there is a plan in the works to have the boards of the BHS chapter and the AH Inc. chapter be composed of the same members.  This plan has been endorsed by both of those boards.

 

Mark calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304. 

The evening ended with Cy teaching moves for “Help from My Friends’ and “Somethings Comin,” then some singing in review for the services the next day at Arlington Cemetery, and finally Joe’s invitation to all to come to the Harmo House for an afterglow at 3916 N Stevens St. in Alexandria.

 

The interment of Bob Wachter at Arlington National Cemetery was on Wed. July 21st at 12:45 pm beginning at the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer.   The Mount Vernon Harmony Heritage Singers, which Bob helped create and directed for years, sang at the Memorial Mass before everyone departed to follow the ceremonial units to the actual burial site in Arlington Cemetery.

 

In addition to the 40 or more Harmonizers present, several family members joined in filling the Chapel with barbershoppers from all over Virginia and even two friends from NJ and NY chapters who drove down.  Bob’s daughter thanked all who came to share the final tribute to her Dad in recognition of his 60-plus years as a singer, director, coach, leader and motivator for barbershop singers. Quite a few men we don’t get to see too often except at shows or conventions and who knew and respected Bob came from long distances to pay tribute.

 

It seems everyone still remembers “I’ll Be Seeing You” which we all sang at the grave site.  We were joined by the other barbershoppers to sing “Irish Blessing” directed by Drew Fuller too.  And then an octet of Harmonizers sang “Danny Boy” for Bob’s family who had requested it.

 

It was a moving tribute to a great barbershopper! 

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 7 pm on July 27th, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation. 

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Looking Back on the July 13th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the July 13th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

This week’s Harmonizer in-person meeting was another busy one and about every space in the Scottish Rite Temple was put to use so we could respect the concept of clean air in the meeting spaces.

 

We started the session in the auditorium with warm ups conducted by Jason Lee, baritone section leader.  But the sections were in four corners of the space and Jason in the center. He challenged the men to keep their bodies lined up properly and had them do a lot of “bubbling” then ended the warm up singing  “We Sing Late at Night – Canned Goods.”

 

Artistic director Joe Cerutti welcomed a few men we have not seen for a while – Kellen Hertz, Duncan Peacock, Chuck Powell, and Michael Schwartz.  This was our first week with a plan to invite up to 75 men to the meeting.  Other rules still apply such as having proof of a vaccination and having signed the chapter’s waiver form. Masks are optional. There was one guest – Tony Schepers in the tenor section.

 

After those short announcements, Joe worked with the chorus on “Somethings Comin”  still with the sections in each corner of the auditorium.

 

Then a series of sectionals followed by back to the whole chorus work sessions were held on “Remember Me,” “Help from My Friends,” and “ Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  After each sectional, the chorus worked with Joe.  He was pleased with the progress on the songs.

 

There were some announcements for the evening: visual coach Cy Wood will be in Alexandria next weekend to meet with the music team for script and show planning (Joe says if anyone is interested in helping with that aspect of the show, just let him or Terry Reynolds know.  You would be welcome.) Then Cy will stay in town to be with the chorus on Tuesday night as we prepare for a fall show on Sept. 11th at Schlesinger.   

 

Mark calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304. Communications director Matt Donigerpublished The Echo to announce the Aug. 24th appearance to fans, relatives and patrons. 

 

During this week’s meeting, the music team released a timetable of when each show song should be memorized. It was also sent to all singers. Likewise a self-assessment was taken by the singers as to where they were on the process – some submitted it with their phones immediately and others filled out a paper version.

 

The interment of Bob Wachter at Arlington National Cemetery will be on July 21st at 12:45 pm.  There is no uniform for this event.  The Harmonizers will sing “I'll Be Seeing You” and all barbershoppers present will sing “Irish Blessing.”

At Arlington Cemetery,  the entry gate will require photo identification from all in the vehicle. Tell the guard you are attending the services for Robert Wachter and they will guide you.

Guests should arrive by 12:10. Parking is available in the lot in front of the Old Post Chapel. The service at the Old Post Chapel will commence at 12:45. The military funeral honors with funeral escort will be provided from 1:30 to 2:00 o'clock. Thus this service will last 45 minutes or from 12:45 to 1:30. The gravesite services from 1:30 to 2:00.

President Stan Quick has reminded the chapter that we will be participating in the M-AD convention Oct. 1-2 in Lancaster, PA.  The Harmonizers will attend and sing and celebrate.  This is not a qualification for going to International next summer. Stan suggested that everyone who can go should make room reservations ASAP as well as purchase their tickets for the event on the district’s webpage – midatlanticdistrict.com. 

 

Since we are getting back to doing some performances, there is a need to get all singers a black camp shirt.  If you need one, contact Robyn Murane who is our chapter uniform wrangler at 909-528-6643 or RLMurane@aol.com. Don’t delay.  Also guys who have had a shirt for a while should check them to see if it is time to replace yours.

 

Chapter secretary David DesPortes presented membership renewal cards to Matt Riedl for 2 years; Frank Fedarkofor 19 years; and Frank Shipp for 19 years.

 

Shows chairman Doug White is asking for a volunteer to help manage the backstage refreshments for the performers at the fall show.  Talk to Doug

 

In other news, our friends Geri and Royal Geis are battling some health issues. They are with their daughter in CA and some cards to them would be appreciated. You can send the cards to their daughter Stacey Geis Isaacson, 45 Clark Drive, San Mateo, CA 94401. Bruce Roehm has more details for those who knew Geri and Royal.

 

The July 13th evening ended with singing “God Bless America” and then with Joe’s invitation to the HarmoHouse for an afterglow at 3916 N. Stevens St. in Alexandria.  A good crowd of guys were there to enjoy cold refreshments,, snacks and pizza.  There was a lot of tag singing too and plenty of time for fun stories and visiting. 

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 7 pm on July 20th, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation. 

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Looking Back on the July 6th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the July 6th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

This week’s Harmonizers in-person meeting was a busy one and about every space in the Scottish Rite Temple was put to use (especially since the building owners were having some early meetings there too).

 

We were set to start warm ups at 6:30 this week so we could do a live interview with a local media group from 7-7:30. Therefore, we had our warm up session for this week outside in the shade on the east side of the building with associate director Tony Colosimo. When that session ended everyone came into the auditorium to work with artistic director Joe Cerutti  to run through songs to be sung during the interview. Guys wore the black camp shirts for this video shoot.

 

The attendees were limited to those invited from among those who said they could attend and are vaccinated.  Other members were included via Zoom for parts of the meeting when that was possible.  About 10 were on the Zoom call.

 

At 7 we began a live connection and interview with Z-TV – the video channel for Zebra Press who also deliver 30,000 papers to front door steps in Alexandria. Joe was the main speaker and he shared our joy in singing again after the pandemic, and our desire to bring music into the lives of those in our community. The chorus sang “Never Fully Dressed,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  The wrap up of the interview was the virtual rendition of “Stars and Stripes Forever” that the chapter made with the Masters of Harmony. 

 

At 7:30 our Zoom meeting and rehearsal continued as usual.  We moved to the cafeteria where Joe updated the group on a few important matters including a reminder for guys to take the end-of-the-month survey from the music team.

 

He reminded everyone to mark their calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304.

 

Joe reported details that are known at this time for the interment of Bob Wachter at Arlington National Cemetery on July 21st at 12:45 pm.  The Harmonizers will sing “I’ll Be Seeing You” (Our 1995 gold medal ballad.). The Fairfax Chapter will sing a song as will the Harmony Heritage Singers.  All barbershoppers will join together to sing “Irish Blessing.” All Harmonizer members – current and former – are welcome to sing.  At some point there may be a need for a count – stay tuned.

 

The chapter is still planning for a fall show on Sept. 11th at Schlesinger.  In preparation for that, our visual coach, Cy Wood, will be with us on July 20th and August 31st for some staging and showmanship help for our songs. 

 

 

During the business session of this week’s meeting, president Stan Quick reminded the chapter that we will be participating in the M-AD convention Oct. 1-2 in Lancaster, PA.  The Harmonizers will attend and sing and celebrate.  This is not a qualification for going to International next summer. Stan suggested that everyone who can go should make room reservations ASAP – refunds can be obtained if plans change. (Some guys shared that you might have to look for the second hotel as the first one is full already.)

 

Then it was back to work singing and working on “Something’s Comin” with Joe.  He encouraged singers not to be embarrassed if they needed to “listen and learn” a couple times before they sang out.  It was great to have Scott Beach with us for the first time since Covid!

 

Joe also worked with the chorus on the new song “Remember Me” – which everyone agreed reminds them of “Lullaby” we sang a few years ago.

 

Joe and Tony and the section leaders worked thru the evening on our new music – some run- throughs, some work on specific spots such as for rhythm.  Joe had the singers experiment on adding color to their singing and he brought back into focus an adage we lived by a few years ago – Champions are made at the end of phrases!

 

In other news, lots of Harmonizers were spotted during the virtual International convention over the weekend.  Several current members and former members were attendees during the weekend, and some of our newer members made appearances on the chorus contest stage. Matt Riedl sang with the SmorgasChorus from KS; Michael Berkson sang with the Voices of Gotham and in the Gotham Mixed chorus. It was great to see Jack Stevens on screen with The Marcsmen and Kevin Kaiser with the Sound of the Rockies.   The Northwest Sound chorus, who made the virtual holiday show with us, sang a funny piece about being the first chorus to sing and thus they were champions for at least seven minutes!  Harmonic Collective, the chorus we sang with at the Seneca Land weekend had solo spots in their package by Rick Taylor, Sean Devine Joe Connelly

 

In the quartet contest on Friday, it was terrific to see Rick Wagner singing bass with VOCAL MIXOLOGY representing the Honolulu, HI, Chapter. There were no scores given for chorus or quartet contests – just ratings.) 

 

Great to see Rasmus Krigstrom on a major show during the weekend too with RINGMASTERS as well as our own Tessa Walker and her quartet, HOT PURSUIT, and Cy Wood with his quartet, HALF AND HALF singing during the convention.

 

Great job to the chapter team who prepared the virtual chorus  message of us singing “Stars and Stripes Forever” with the Masters of Harmony. It was used at the convention too.  And then our chapter leaders sent it to our patrons and to our membership list. (YeEd got a message from one of my ticket customers thanking me for a terrific surprise on the 4th!)

 

The July 6th evening ended with a Joe’s invitation to the HarmoHouse for an afterglow at 3916 N. Stevens St. in Alexandria. 

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 7 pm on July 13th, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation. 

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Looking Back on the June 29th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the June 29th 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

The Alexandria Harmonizers continue their in-person chorus rehearsals based on a plan from the chapters reopening committee and the music team.  Invitations were extended to members to attend in order to keep the number of singers controlled based on those who had posted their availability on Groupanizer.  Everyone had to be vaccinated and first-time-back guys had to turn in a signed Covid-19 agreement and waiver form to the chapter  The technical crew worked hard to manage Zoom connection for those who weren’t present. (That meant moving cameras and microphones two or three times during the evening. This week there was a call for four volunteers to help with those moves.) 

 

Early arrivals at 6:30 assembled in the cafeteria and then at 7 pm the 45 members invited for this week moved to the auditorium for a warm up session with associate director Tony Colosimo. Guys on Zoom were encouraged to join in too – their pictures from the Zoom screen were projected on the wall. Tony’s session included some specific work on breathing, stretching and singing scales.  

 

Artistic director Joe Cerutti thanked everyone for their patience and flexibility and for updating their attendance plans on Groupanizer. He thanked our tech crew of Mike Kelly and Dennis Ritchey. He also welcomed the dozen or so other members who attended via Zoom. 

 

Joe reminded everyone about the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304.

 

He announced that tonight is the 73rd anniversary of the Charter Night of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter.  Later in the evening there was a short program piece about our first Charter Night. 

 

Joe reported details that are known at this time for the internment of Bob Wachter at Arlington National Cemetery on July 21st at 12:45 pm.  The Harmonizers will sing “I’ll Be Seeing You”(Our 1995 gold medal ballad.). The Fairfax Chapter will sing a song as will the Harmony Heritage Singers.  All barbershoppers will join together to sing “Irish Blessing.” All Harmonizer members – current and former – are welcome to sing.  At some point there will need for a count – stay tuned.

 

Here are the chapter’s plans for participation in the M-AD convention Oct. 1-2 in Lancaster, PA.  The Harmonizers will attend and sing and celebrate.  This is not a qualification for going to International next summer. President Stan Quick suggested that everyone who can go should make room reservations ASAP – refunds can be obtained if plans change. Look for the link from Stan.

 

Since it is the end of the month, there is a survey for all members to take online.  Please submit it so you can provide feedback to the musical and administrative chapter leaders. The link to the survey was sent to members Tuesday evening.

 

The chapter is still planning for a fall show on Sept. 11th at Schlesinger.  In preparation for that, our visual coach, Cy Wood, will be with us on July 20th and August 31st for some staging and showmanship help for our songs. 

 

Tomorrow starts the virtual 2021 International Convention.  It is really fun.  (YeEd is on the campus and meeting and chatting with folks from around the world as he prepares this report.) There is a Harmonizer room and a M-AD room to check out.  On the Saturday night show, our combined virtual performance of “Stars and Stripes Forever” with the Masters of Harmony will be presented.

 

Big news of the night from Joe was word that Z-TV will be with us next Tuesday night at Scottish Rite Temple and run a live session with the chapter from 7-7:20 pm to their viewers.  Thus members should plan to arrive early so warm ups can begin at 6:30. Also please wear the black Harmo camp shirt, or any plain black short sleeve shirt or rolled up sleeves of a long sleeve shirt. 

 

Note that music for a new song, “Remember Me” is on Groupanizer, and as usual the music team asks singers to bring a copy of their music on Tuesday night so they can make notes.

 

Joe and Tony and the section leaders worked thru the evening on our new music – some run- throughs, some work on specific spots such as for rhythm, sectionals (this week a member in each section posted their sectional on Facebook Live for the  Zoom attendees and see and hear!).

 

Tony used a 10-minute slot to work on pitch management and introduced a pitch contest for next week!

 

Alan Wile conducted another interview – this week with Jack Pitzer, chapter history team chairman.  The topic was Celebrating Our Chapter’s Charter Night on June 29th, 1948!  They discussed the 19 men who signed the charter that was presented to us by the DC Chapter of SPEBSQSA, our sponsor! It has been said that was the only night all members of the chapter were present! Society co-found O C Cash also signed our charter.  It was the start of some great harmony, fellowship and community service.

 

A very brief business meeting was held this week and president Stan thanked the guys who have agreed to serve as a nominating committee – Steve White, chairman; Steve Murane, Noah Van Gilder, Devin Gerzof, and Dave Kohls.  

 

Stan also thanked Carl Kauffmann, Chuck Hunter, Jim Kirkland, and Terry Reynolds who traveled to Owings, Maryland, on Saturday to help celebrate the 100th birthday of Rose Hoffman, one of the Harmonizers biggest and perhaps our oldest fan. Kerri, Rose’s daughter-in-law, warned the quartet that Rose has dementia and may not know what is going on, but she hoped that she would respond to Barbershop. Kerri was right. Rose lit up when Kerri told her the Harmonizers had come to wish her a happy birthday. They sang  “Happy Birthday,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and “Never Fully Dressed.” Rose smiled and moved through the whole performance and mouthed every word of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” Rose’s son, Keith, believes she has been attending Harmonizer shows for nearly 50 years.

 

Chapter Secretary David DesPortes presented membership renewal cards to Dylan Smith for 3 years; Mikey Robertson (now a bass singer) for 6 years; Stan Quick for 9 years; Drew Fuller for 31 years; Ike Evans for 33 years; and Rick Savage for 46y years.

 

The evening ended with a Joe’s invitation to the HarmoHouse for an afterglow at 3916 N. Stevens St. in Alexandria. Then there were little reminder notes passed out to all attendees with the main announcements given tonight and the calendar dates mentioned above. And finally the chorus sang “I’ll Be Seeing You” as a review and to wrap up a busy Harmonizer meeting night.

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 6:30 pm on July 6th, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation. Note this time change in order to be ready for the Z-TV interview session.

 

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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)

 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Looking Back on the June 22nd 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the June 22nd 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting

 

The Alexandria Harmonizers continue their in-person chorus rehearsals based on a plan from the chapters reopening committee and the music team.  Invitations were extended to members to attend in order to keep the number of singers controlled based on those who had posted their availability on Groupanizer.  Everyone had to be vaccinated and first-time-back guys had to turn in a signed Covid-19 agreement and waiver form to the chapter  The technical crew worked hard to manage Zoom connection for those who weren’t present. (That meant moving cameras and microphones two or three times during the evening.) 

 

A chorus of 45 started in the cafateria for a warm up session with associate director Tony Colosimo. Guys on Zoom were encouraged to join in too – their pictures from the Zoom screen were projected on the wall. Tony continued teaching the tag he started last week – “Spring Brought Me Flowers but You Brought Me Love.”

 

Artistic director Joe Cerutti thanked everyone for their patience and flexibility in attendance plans. He also welcomed the dozen or so other members who attended via Zoom. 

 

Joe reminded everyone about the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304.

 

Joe and Tony and the section leaders worked thru the evening on our new music – some run- throughs, some work on specific spots such as for rhythm, sectionals (which made for a lot of work for the tech team who were making it possible for guys on Zoom to attend and see and hear!)

 

Our virtual choir project performing “Stars and Stripes Forever” with the Masters of Harmony was previewed this week.  Wow – it is great!  Many thanks for the extra work by Joel Golden and Mike Kelly as well as Tony and Terry Reynolds

 

A very brief business meeting was held this week and AH Inc. board president Bruce Roehm announced that they are seeking ideas for community board members to nominate for their board. BHS Chapter Secretary David DesPortespresented a membership renewal card to David Welter for 45 years. 

 

The evening ended with a Joe’s invitation to the HarmoHouse for an afterglow at 3916 N. Stevens St. in Alexandria.

 

Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 7 pm on June 29th, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation.

 

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)