Thursday, March 4, 2021

Looking Back on the March 2nd 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the March 2nd 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting


This week’s virtual meeting started off with lots of visiting among the large number of members who get on the call early each week. We also learned that Tony and Elizabeth Colosimo were on baby watch for a new arrival tonight.


Artistic director Joe Cerutti briefed the attendees on the plans for tonight and the weeks ahead with a series of “How to Be a Great _____” bass, lead, bari, tenor.  We start with bass presenter Dan Wessler tonight.  Then in the coming weeks Tim Waurick will speak for tenors, Brandon Guyton for baritones, and Heather Havens for leads.


There was some talk about Jamulus work and that Joe has a complete set up now at his home thanks to help from Tony.  The consensus seems to be that we will keep going on efforts to expand the number of men on that system. 


On March 9thJoe plans to report on the feedback he gathered from interviewing 94 of our members in recent weeks. 


Joe was also eager to share that the often-mentioned new materials to support individual recordings and submissions is ready.  The conducting video, section-leader-recorded tracks, and suggestions on how to submit are provided via Groupanizer.  Joe thanked Joel Golden and the section leaders for their efforts on this new plan. 


Communications chairman Matt Doniger conducted a brief business meeting for this week. Bruce Roehm, president of AH Inc, reported that their board has elected Noah Van Gilder as a new chorus member on the board. 


Membership chairman Jacob Broude announced plans to resume social events for the Harmonizers.  An email will go to all members inviting their participation for an April event.


Then Joe welcomed our presenter for this week’s special topic – How to Be a Great Bass. The speaker was Dan Wessler, bass of AFTER HOURS who won the quartet gold in 2018. We scheduled his talk early in our meeting night so he could go join a call with the New Tradition chorus which he directs.


He proposed a bass philosophy that basses are like Spiderman – with great power comes great responsibility.  He suggested there were four components of a good bass singers effort (and he played examples of some of each and invited our guys to guess who it was in the Chat) (Chuck Hunter seemed to know them all!)


His four components were (1) a constant foundation of sound, closely aligned with (2) consistency throughout their range, (3) singing melodically, and (4) singing with buoyancy.


There were questions from the Harmonizer guys and good discussions with Dan.  Everyone agreed it was a great presentation.


After Dan left, Tony did a warm up session for the members on the call. After the warm up there were sectionals to return to working on “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin.” 


That was followed by more work using Jamulus while singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  This week’s Jamulus quartet was SILVER ALERT who had continued working extra time on this new song.  Thanks to Rick Savage, Mike Edison, Will Cox and Steve Murane


Next Joe worked with all the singers next on “Something’s Coming,” and then the chorus went into small groups to work on the same song.  Volunteers would sing a section of the song as requested by the monitor for the small group.  The other guys in the group would offer suggestions or comments.


We ended this week’s meeting with another Harmonizer Hero interview – the 19th one conducted by Alan Wile. His interviewee was Randy Lazear who is a 45-year Society member and a 45-year Harmonizer.  He is among the ranks of those members who have earned all four of the gold chorus contest medals.


He grew up in the Chicago area and was involved in music in school. After college at DePauw University he went on to get a dental degree at Northwestern University in Chicago.  He was destined to follow in the footsteps of his father and eventually launched his own dental practice in Springfield, VA.  He is retired from his practice that is now headed by his son.  


When Randy got to Springfield, he joined the church choir where he met Joe Craig and Brain Rodda, two Harmonizers who made sure Randy found our chapter.  Randy has been a quartet tenor all those years with a long stint of singing with the 4 MAN VOCAL BAND.  (The current version still practices and sings gigs – Randy on tenor, Bob Bates as lead, Larry Walker as bari, and Dave Cureton as bass.)


Randy shared some fun stories about quartets he was in that won the chapter Put Together Quartet Contest.


Although he is retired, Randy keeps busy and he and his wife Vickie travel in his airplane and enjoy their cottage. 


Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm on March 9th, 2021. 


Last week, YeEd forgot to report on the visit of former quartet bass, Chip Guffey, who was on the call and stayed til the afterglow ended.  He was bass in HIJINX who were 1999 Mid Atlantic District champs.


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)