Thursday, June 10, 2021

Looking Back on the June 1st 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting

      Looking Back on the June 1st 2021 Virtual Chapter Meeting


This week was the start of meeting again person-to-person!!   The actual plan for this week was mostly via Zoom, but associate director Tony Colosimo with technical help from Terry Reynolds, Mike Kelly and Dennis Ritchey and eight other singers were at Scottish Rite Temple (SRT) at 1430 Braddock Rd. in Alexandria. It was our first hybrid meeting and was a beta test.


As promised, there was Zoom access for the rest of the chapter. Artistic Director Joe Cerutti coordinated the music team work for the singers on this week’s Zoom call.  Members who want to join the upcoming meetings must indicate via Groupanizer that they “will attend” on upcoming Tuesdays and then the music team will invite up to 45 singers to attend. Again everyone must be vaccinated.


Joe was happy to report that the chapter is moving forward with the virtual choir project with the Masters of Harmony to sing “Stars and Stripes Forever” for media distribution for July 4th.   The music for that song has been reactivated on Groupanizer and now includes a reference track for this project. Audio self-recordings and visual self-recordings are due in early June – watch for more accurate details. Also the chapter will hold two sessions at SRT for singers to come and record their submissions.


For singers who need to catch up and prepare to sing again,  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.  


Joe also spoke about where we left off as a chorus on Feb. 25th, 2020 and he played a recording of the guys who had been declared “riser ready” for “Never Fully Dressed.” The music program will return to some of the aspects of that time period such as small group singing and emphasis on personal responsibility to be prepared.


Joe took a few minutes to share another new song that we will learn – “Fix You” as sung and arranged by Chris Lewis from Fog City Singers.


At this point we went to live feed from SRT with Tony and the singers there to do a significant warm up session.  It was our first chance to hear and taste barbershop chords. For this part, they had made a move to the basement of SRT and worked thru the challenges of such a technical move.  It worked pretty well for the first time.


Alan Wile conducted his 25th interview of a Harmonizer who had submitted his Harmo Hero form for posting on Groupanizer. This time the guest was Drew Fuller.  He is a 30-year BHS member with about 20 years as a Harmonizer.  He grew up in Louisiana and sang in church before college where he changed from math major to music major! He did graduate work in music ed too and taught in Arkansas.  During that time he decided to change careers and joined the Army.  


His 20-year military career took him all over the world as an attaché and most of his assignments allowed him to bring his growing family. During some of those assignments he found other singers at this post and using a basic book about barbershop quartets, found his love for the style.


He finally found the Society in the DC area and sang for 10 years with Fairfax before joining our chapter. He was active in lots of quartets over the years.  He eventually assumed directorship of the Mt. Vernon Chapter Harmony Heritage Singers which his directs today. 


Then it was back to SRT with Tony and the crew to work on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with Tony coaching his singers and those men at home singing along on Zoom. 


One of the guys at SRT this week was Jack Cameron who is moving to SC, so we sang him our traditional farewell song after Joe and Tony thanked him for his contributions to the chapter as musical leader.


Communications chairman Matt Doniger conducted this week’s business session. Joe announced the burial for Bob Wachter will be July 21st at Arlington Cemetery at 12:45 pm .  Watch for details about singing at the ceremony.


President Stan Quick asked guys to take note of his recent email about nominations for M-AD Hall of Honor. 


Secretary David DesPortes reports that we have received renewal notices of 56 men that have paid dues to renew.  He will distribute them ASAP.


This week’s meeting ended with a very interesting visit with Stan Quick speaking about “The U.S. Census.” The 2020 census yielded 321 million persons in the US population. The Census is an outgrowth from the US Constitution and sets levels for representation in Congress and for distribution levels of federal monies. 


Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on June 8th, 2021 at SRT following guidelines prescribed by the chapter leadership and per invitation.


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)