Saturday, April 3, 2021

Looking Back on the March 30th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

 Looking Back on the March 30th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting


Currently Harmonizer chapter meetings and rehearsals may be on Zoom but the Harmo gang is plenty busy.  At 7 pm, artistic director Joe Cerutti started this week’s meeting with a recap of the Jamulus night that was held on Monday, March 29th.  


About 20 members were on the call with associate director Tony Colosimo to learn about how to sign onto Jamulus.  The goal was to get more guys up to speed (there had been a number of guys who wanted to use it) and then do some tag singing.  As it turned out, there were so many technical questions they didn’t get to do much tag singing. Sooo – stay tuned for the next Jamulus night evening.


For our meeting on Tuesday, Joe alerted members that they would be getting a ‘pulse check survey’ soon so that musical leaders could get feedback from everyone as to how learning and music homework is going.  Watch for a link from music team administrator Terry Reynolds.


In that regard, tonight during the sectionals the attendees will be asked to discuss or share thoughts as to how to get more guys to volunteer to sing and demonstrate the plan for the songs being worked on when we have small group rehearsals. 


Next week, there will be discussion groups to see what ideas men have on stimulating the chapter membership to connect with possible donors (that are not members or Harmonizer fans already).  This is leading up to the annual major fundraising effort – Spring2ACTion.


The music team was happy to launch a new song this week – “Sing A Song” arranged for the Harmonizers by Steve Delehanty.  Joe stressed that a revised or new annotated version of this new song was released on Groupanizer a few hours before the meeting started tonight.


Tony worked during the warm up session to get guys involved and to get them using their vocal instrument.


The sectionals concentrated on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” after the discussion session mentioned above. Then everyone came back together and Joe and Tony demonstrating more spots in the same song with special emphasis on unique rhythm patterns. Joe sang bass and Tony sang lead a few times, then tenor a few times and then bari. That was followed with a Jamulus quartet showing all four parts on the song.


The quartet with Mike Fasano, Tony, Jacob Broude, and Turner Arndt helped introduce the new song. Joe stressed that the major emphasis for this song will be the message of the song and how it will stimulate audience participation. Those on Zoom were asked to sing on mute and Joe coached everyone.


Joe thanked the quartet for their work and for their preparation to bring the new number to the chorus. 


There has been a lot of emphasis on self-recording lately. The first song to be submitted was “Help from My Friends.” So this week we got to hear what the 31 submissions sounds like after Joel Golden put them all together in one choral mix. Great to hear the Alexandria Harmonizers singing again!!!  Everyone thanked Joel for his dedication and huge amount of extra work. 


Other singers are still welcome to submit for that song, and then everyone should start on recordings of “Chorus Line” by Sunday April 4th. The deadline for “Never Fully Dressed” is Sunday April 11th.  The music team again reminds members not to stress out on making their recordings – use the helps on Groupanizer.


Alan Wile conducted his 21st interview of Harmonizers that have filled out a form and submitted it for inclusion on Groupanizer.  This time he interviewed Harmonizer Heroine Tessa Walker who is co-section leader for our chorus leads. Tessa is chorus teacher at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, MD. (She credits Tony for helping her land the job in our area when she was singing with her quartet and teaching at our Harmonizer Youth Harmony Festival. It was her first job after college graduation from Kennesaw State in Georgia.) 


Tessa is a member  of Sweet Adelines International (SAI), the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS), and Harmony Incorporated. Most recently her quartet, HOT PURSUIT, was named the gold medal Harmony Queens in Harmony, Inc. 


She grew up in the Atlanta area and was introduced to barbershop harmony when she was 14.  Her whole family are into music.  She and Harmonizer John Sifuentis live in Rockville.


This week’s business meeting was conducted by president Stan Quick who reminded members that the burial for John Adam’s wife, Jean, will be at Arlington Cemetery on April 9th at 10 am.  Stan will relay details for all.


He also updated us on the health crisis with Mick and Sandy Stamps.  Mick will not be attending the meetings for a while as Sandy will be going into Hospice as she continues her battle with oral cancer. Cards, notes, letters are welcome since verbal visits are not possible. Their mailing address is 12305 Strong Ct., Fairfax, VA 22033. His email is


Our president also relayed word that a chapter committee is studying how to re-open person-to-person meetings. All of us are eager to be there when it happens. The committee includes Jason Lee, Steve White, Randall Eliason, Bruce Roehm, Frank Shipp, Chris Huber, and Stan Quick. 


The final topic for this week’s meeting was “How To Be a Great Lead” with Heather Havens as speaker. She is married to Harmonizer bass, Andrew Havens.  She is lead in a mixed quartet with Andrew and Tony and Elizabeth Colosimo – BETTER TOGETHER. And she is lead in CLASS RING that won the gold medal for SAI in 2019!


Heather grew up in barbershop and is a 20-year-member of SAI. Some high points of her talk include: team work makes the dream work – it’s an important lesson for lead singers; good singing is good singing regardless of the part you sing; know your voice; listen louder than you sing; trust is important in a quartet; and be a story teller.  


She and her quartet are often asked to teach at youth festivals.  


Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm on April 6th, 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)