Looking Back on the May 18th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting
As all of us know, the day after the chapter announced plans and details about meeting again in person in June, federal changes were announced that will alter our plans. (Artistic director Joe Cerutti was still excited about the prospect – “we’re getting close!” he chanted when this week’s Zoom called started.
The chapter’s advisory committee immediately reconvened to recommend how and when to meet face-to-face with the new guidelines from CDC. The hard working committee is chaired by Jason Lee, with Randall Eliason, Steve White, Frank Shipp, Chris Huber, Bruce Roehm and Stan Quick. (Interesting to learn that last week’s announcements were reviewed by lots of other BHS chapters and even the BHS board.)
President Stan Quick suggests the following rules or guidelines will be in effect – as of this point:
1. All in-person attendees must be vaccinated.
2. Proof of vaccination must be submitted to email@example.com. A roster will be maintained showing the results of these submissions.
3. Masks will be optional.
4. Hand sanitizers will be readily available.
5. The number of attendees is still to be determined.
6. Each man will sign some kind of a waiver regarding his knowledge of the risks.
7. These criteria may be changed in the future by the committee and the board.
There will continue to be Zoom access for the meetings.
A small group from the music team and committee will make a dry run at Scottish Rite Temple (SRT) on Wed. night, May 20th to see how things will work.
The goal is to start implementing this plan for meetings in June. It was also noted that there is no pressure that someone MUST attend in person under these criteria. Questions for the music team can go to Joe, Tony and Terry. Admin questions can go to Stan.
At this point, Harmonizers should get their shots, submit a copy of their vaccination record to firstname.lastname@example.org, and await instructions about the start of the June sessions. Soon members will be asked to indicated a response on Groupanizer about which Tuesdays they are available to attend meetings at SRT.
Joe was set up again to be on the call from the new Harmo House – his home where folks can meet and gather and celebrate and sing. He and Terry Reynolds have purchased the home of Lew Klinge.
Other news from Joe include word about a possible collaboration with Masters of Harmony and Westminster for a July 4th special. Music team admin manager, Terry, posted a survey on the Zoom call so they could collect interest/willingness of members to work on it.
Joe was also pleased to report that reference videos of “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin” are now on Groupanizer. With them in place, singers should submit a recording of that song by Sun. June 6th. He reminded guys that it need not be absolutely perfect – just submit something.
He announced there will be presentations by members at two upcoming Zoom meetings. Anyone who can chat for 30 minutes about any topic which they are passionate about should volunteer to Joe or Terry.
Associate director Tony Colosimo did a warm up session for the singers on the call this week. Clearly many of us need to work on regaining our singing voice in preparation of the first in-person meetings.
The music team used Jamulus again this week and a quartet to demonstrate “Sing” (Mike Fasano, Tony, Jacob Broude, and Turner Arndt). All those on Jamulus were asked to sing as well as those on Zoom. Joe coached all singers.
A new feature started last week is “coaching under glass” when Tony coaches a singer who has previously volunteered to sing. This week’s volunteer was Bob Rhome who did a great job.
SILVER ALERT (Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox, Steve Murane) provided a treat for the chapter tonight. They gathered at the home of their bass – their first in-person meeting since March 15th, 2020! They shared that this rehearsal was an emotional reunion of these barbershop quartet singers.
Alan Wile conducted his 24th interview of a Harmonizer Hero from those members who have submitted a report to be posted on Groupanizer. This week’s interviewee was Frank Fedarko, who has been a Harmonizer for 12 years. He was raised in PA and after college at Slippery Rock State University, he transitioned into a career in the Air Force. His many assignments took him around the work including Language School and finally into the Washington military scene.
Luckily a co-worker, the ever welcoming Jere Richardson, persisted and got Frank to come visit the Fairfax Chapter. His first quartet, DOWTOWN with Drew Fuller, Mike Stoll, and Pat Varre, had a surprise experience of singing for The Smashing Pumpkins at the 930 Club in DC. Frank came to the Harmonizers and has been a frequently soloist for shows.
Communications director Matt Doniger conducted this week’s business session. President Stan announced a volunteer opportunity to sing in a quartet to honor Rose Hoffman for her 100th birthday. She and her family have been long-time fans of the chapter. Contact Stan if you can help onJune 26th in Owings, MD.
Membership chairman Jacob Broude shared this brief report on the chapter social event held last weekend. “We had a hearty five folks show up for a night of fake gambling over Zoom. Randall, Terry, Joe, Kellen and Jacob were there. Randall was the first to bow out, battling with Kellen for first loser, but sat along while enjoying some beverages before stepping away. Kellen folded next, followed by Terry. Joe, who joined late, and was multi-tasking by playing a card game in person with his family in person, slowly took an insurmountable lead, before winning a hand after putting enough in the pot that Jacob went all-in. Overall a fun chance to just chill on a Saturday night. – Jacob”
It was also announced that former member, Bill Curtis, has died. He and his wife Mary moved to Colorado Springs when he retired from the Air Force. He was a barbershopper in CO too and had expanded his interest in painting with an emphasis on nature and wildlife.
This week’s meeting ended with a discussion about which of the songs we have worked on recently were the favorite of singers and which one was the most difficult. Interesting that the same songs were high on both lists. The music team also collected input from the breakouts as to suggestions for chapter members who will need to start submitting recordings as we begin to gather as a group.
Our next Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm on May 25th, 2021.
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)