Looking Back on the Nov. 23rd 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting
Since the statistics were worse for the pandemic in our area, this week the chapter’s Covid committee decided we could not have more that 40 people in a room. So the music team worked hard to keep the numbers down by having sectionals, taking VLQ groups out to practice their songs for the show and even asking some of us to stay out of the room. The Harmonizers’ meeting was entirely inside the Scottish Rite Temple (SRT) again, and we used every possible space for breakouts.
To kick things off, associate director Tony Colosimo conducted a warm up session for the singers in the cafeteria. We needed the “warm” part since the temps outside were pretty low.
When artistic director Joe Cerutti took the helm for the night, he welcomed the members and thanked them for their work on the music, and he welcomed about a half dozen men on Zoom. He shared his pride in the men for “holding it together” during so many changes in our work style and meetings and rehearsals. He asked who gets the award for the longest trip for the Thanksgiving holiday – two contenders were Akron, OH, and the Bahamas!!
He also reported the sad news that Rick Savage’s wife Linda died on Monday. It was very sudden. There will be a memorial service on Fri. Dec. 3rd at 11 am. More details to follow.
The changes in the plans for this year’s holiday show mean it will not be at Schlesinger but instead there will be show performances at the Scottish Rite Temple in DC (NOTE this is not the place where we rehearse each week) at 2 pm and 6 pm on Sunday, Dec. 5th. It will be a one-act show lasting about one hour. There will be complimentary valet parking for both shows thanks to our friend and former AH Inc. community board member, Paul Dolinsky. At this point the plan is for singers to wear masks.
ALERT - Announcements have been released to members and patrons to reserve the free tickets for our shows on Dec. 5th. Patrons are invited to make a free-will donation. There are just 350 seats at the SRT in DC. About 150 have been reserved for the 2 pm show and about 50 for the 6 pm show. Chorus members should use social media to prompt family, friends and neighbors and co-workers to reserve a ticket since this auditorium is smaller.
Chorus uniform coordinator, Robyn Murane, was in the lobby this week to distribute new uniform parts for members who needed them- especially for all or our new members!
Here is the updated chapter December calendar for the chapter. Take note – and go to Groupanizer to confirm your attendance. There will be no meeting on Dec. 7th the Tuesday after our show. The chorus will do caroling in Old Town Alexandria on Sat. Dec. 11th (see details for that day’s events below). Then on Tuesday nights, Dec. 14th and 21st, we will do some singing in and around Alexandria. There will be no chapter meeting on Dec. 28th nor on Jan. 4th. We will start back up on Jan. 11, 2022.
The plans for singing on Sat. Dec. 11th include a main event – we will sing for 30 minutes starting at 3 pm on the steps by the Christmas tree in Market Square on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. Thanks to Dean Rust for coordinating this event with the City of Alexandria. After the concert there, we will stroll down King Street and sing more for the crowds including a stop at the new Old Dominion Boat Club building. Likely we will end up with a party-like gathering someplace near the riverfront. Before the concert, a couple of quartets or VLQs will sing holiday songs at some nursing homes.
This week’s rehearsal started with some review work on “Trim Up the Tree” and after a few times thru the song, Joeasked the guys to add some of the “sparkle” that we used to see when 13-year-old Mikey used to sing with us on the shows. Then we all looked around and there he was – all grown up and singing bass!! Welcome back for the show Michael Robertson.
When the chorus went upstairs to the auditorium, it was the first time we have sung as a chorus on the risers in a couple years!!! During the second half of the meeting, guys were assigned riser positions.
Some highlights of the work session on show songs included (1) “Carol of the Bells” will be without a director out front; (2) Tony will sing a solo on “O Holy Night” and there will be organ accompaniment and Joe was teaching the guys to observe different hand signals for “oo” or “ah” or “words” during the song; (3) David Breen will do the solo in “Joy to the World;” (4) soloists for “Ave Maria” will be David, Lance Fisher and John Sefuentes; and (5) soloists for “Do You Hear What I Hear” will be Drew Fuller, Frank Fedarko and Devin Gerzof.
Tony worked with the soloists during some of the chorus time slots of the night. There was a time slot of sectionals too this week as well as time for the two smaller choruses singing “Text Me Merry Christmas” or “Fa La La.”
Our next Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on Nov. 30th, 2021 at Scottish Rite Temple on Braddock Rd. in Alexandria and will likely be a hybrid meeting again.
It was fun to visit with members this week and chat about their plans for Thanksgiving. Lots of guys do some of the cooking or are asked by their family to bring a special dish. Joe made cranberry relish. He also had a cake made which we baked during the afterglow – he got the recipe from a barbershop friend in HI. It was great with some vanilla ice cream. You just never know what will happen at a Harmonizer afterglow.
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)