Thursday, May 27, 2021

Looking Back on the May 25th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the May 25th 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting


This week we verbally celebrated the realization that this week’s Zoom session will be one of the last fully virtual meetings for the Harmonizers!


We also celebrated the life of an important Harmonizer, Jed Casey, who died on Monday after suffering a heart attack last Friday according to Harmonizer Phil Ashford: "Sorry to report the passing of my father-in-law Jed Casey.  He turned 95 in February and was living in Mechanicsburg PA with his wife Jane at a retirement home.  He was a good man , a great father-in-law, a terrific motivator, and a beloved family man.  We lost a great one."


Jed was an important figure in barbershopping in the DC area and for our chapter.  He was a noted director for the Fairfax Chorus for years and took them to International contests several times. When he retired from Fairfax he joined our chapter in 1980. He had joined the Society in 1956.  He was fun, and funny.  A leader and talented. He was a stage presence judge and coached our chorus several years.


He and his wife Jane (she too was a leader in SAI in this area) were a strong team and their children followed in the barbershop hobby too and made their mark as well.  Daughter Janet married Harmonizer Phil Ashford and was a well-known director of the Pride of Baltimore SAI Chorus before she passed.  Daughter Judy married former Harmonizer Harold Nantz who was an early tenor in Vaudeville. They live now in Florida.


Son John sang with the Harmonizers for years, was a popular tenor for quartets including COPYRIGHT86, and VAUDEVILLE when they earned their second place medal.  He also sang in BINGO BROTHERS. John and his wife live in PA near where Jane.


Jed was often a leader for Mid Atlantic District, and served a term as president of DELA, the 

M-AD honor chapter. Artistic director Joe Cerutti led the tributes to Jed's family and friends who have lost this barbershop giant.


Joe next announced the good news that several Harmonizers will be on the faculty for the virtual BHS Harmony University this summer (July 17-August 7) –  co-section lead leader Tessa Walker, associate director Tony Colosimo,assistant director Terry Reynolds, along with Joe.  Congrats to them and thanks for representing our chapter. Members who are interested in attending should go to the BHS website.


After 14 or more months of Zoom meetings, the chapter is getting closer to meeting in person at Scottish Rite Temple (SRT) at 1430 Braddock Rd. in Alexandria. Our chapter advisory committee continues to work on the plans to meet soon.  June 8th will be the first big week.  On June 1st, the meeting will be mostly still via Zoom with a small crew of singers with Tony at SRT.  Recently Tony along with Mike Kelly, Dennis Ritchey, Jason Lee and Terry Reynoldsspent an evening at SRT to see how they can manage the technology needs to provide Zoom support for guys who won’t be at the meeting in person (as promised by the advisory committee). 


These standards are in place as of this writing:

1.     All in-person attendees must be vaccinated.

2.     Proof of vaccination must be submitted to  A roster will be maintained showing the results of these submissions.

3.     Masks will be optional.

4.     The number of attendees is still to be determined.

5.     Each man will sign some kind of a waiver regarding his knowledge of the risks.

6.     These criteria may be changed in the future by the committee and the board.

7.     Members are asked to indicate their availability to attend on Tuesday nights via Groupanizer.


There will continue to be Zoom access for the meetings. 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.


For singers who need to catch up, Joe suggests the primary songs for June will be “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Never Fully Dressed.”  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 this week. Clearly many of us need to work on regaining our singing voice in preparation of the first in-person meetings. 


In that regard, Tony conducted a special session this week suggesting how singers can work to get their voice back in shape. He actually expanded his usual advice from his weekly warm up sessions.  His presentation was recorded and Joe suggests guys who missed it (or those who wanted to concentrate on it more) could review it on Groupanizer! A couple of Tony’s points were that the body is the instrument.  Drink tons of water – not just coffee or tea. Get sleep and rest. Get into a routine of singing. 


Section leaders this week were working on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and each sectional had a guest from another part so there was duetting. 


The music team used Jamulus again this week and a quartet to demonstrate “Never Fully Dressed” (Rick Savage, Tony, Josh Myers, and Steve Murane).  All those on Jamulus were asked to sing as well as those on Zoom. Joecoached all singers.


There were small group singing sessions this week too – each with a music team leader.  Volunteers sang “Sing” and others in the group offered advice and suggestions.


President Stan Quick conducted this week’s business session. Chapter secretary David DesPortes reports the following men have recently renewed their membership: Andrew Havens, Mike Wallen, Bill Colosimo, Duncan Woodbury, Al Herman, Craig Odell, and Darryl Flinn.


It was good to have Ben Roberts on the Zoom call this week.


This week’s meeting ended with a very interesting visit with Chuck Hunter sharing “My Posting as US Consul General in Istanbul.”  Chuck officially retired in November but he shares that this posting was likely the highlight of his career. He served there from 2013-2016. Istanbul is the social and economic capital of that country.  Chuck was basically the top American representative in that region. 


He shared great photos of his residence, of the VIP folks he hosted or met with from around the world, of friends from the chapter who visited him, of the quartet he formed there, and of the beautiful view from his home there.  It was a terrific look inside another part of the world with Chuck at the center; and it helped us understand better what he had been up to the several times he had to leave the chapter for a new posting. 


Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be via Zoom again at 7 pm on June 1st, 2021 with some men at SRT! 


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)