Friday, July 23, 2021

Looking Back on the July 20th 2021 Chapter Meeting and Wachter Interment July 21st

      Looking Back on the July 20th 2021 Chapter Meeting and Wachter Interment July 21st


This week’s Harmonizer in-person meeting drew over 60 chorus member and two guests  (welcome to Lance Fisherand Tony Schepers) and provided everyone a sneak preview of the fall show! Coach Cy Wood was with us and taught basic staging for two of the songs. 


We started the session in the cafeteria with director Joe Cerutti conducting a warm up session for the singers.  He was quick to welcome our fellow Harmonizers who were with us for the first time since we started in-person meetings including Andrew Havens, Reed Livergood, Mike Fasano, and Antony Takahashi.  Joe also saluted the several men who attended via Zoom as we continue to provide a hybrid meeting for all. 


The warm up session was a good one and Joe reminded guys of some basic principles he has taught in the past.


When he shared the plans for the fall show, Joe thanked the men who had met at Harmo House over the weekend with he and Cy to create the outline and ideas. Then he launched a sing- through of each of the show songs.


There are some inputs needed from chapter members for the show and likely Terry Reynolds will be seeking that info from members.  Members will be invited to suggest VIP officials who might speak; to offer names of any friends or family who have died during Covid for us to recognize; to suggest names of first responders or groups of them we should honor (and invite to the show); and finally to organize a singing ensemble for the show to do a song that fits into the show theme – can be a quartet, or octet or mixed gender group or family group (there will be the need to apply and audition or such).


The business meeting included a request for someone to help communications director Matt Doniger with publishing The Echo


Robyn Murane, our chorus uniform wrangler, was introduced and heartily welcomed by all.  She is helping members get new or replacement black chorus camp shirts.


Chapter secretary David DesPortes presented a membership renewal card to Ken Rub for 30 years!!


Executive director Randall Eliason gave a presentation about a “Proposal to Streamline Harmonizer Operations.”  In short, there is a plan in the works to have the boards of the BHS chapter and the AH Inc. chapter be composed of the same members.  This plan has been endorsed by both of those boards.


Mark calendars for the two events scheduled for the stage area in Fort Ward Park for a rehearsal on Tues. Aug. 10th and then for a mini performance for friends and family on Tues. Aug. 24th. This event may include some food and fellowship.  Fort Ward is at 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria VA 22304. 

The evening ended with Cy teaching moves for “Help from My Friends’ and “Somethings Comin,” then some singing in review for the services the next day at Arlington Cemetery, and finally Joe’s invitation to all to come to the Harmo House for an afterglow at 3916 N Stevens St. in Alexandria.


The interment of Bob Wachter at Arlington National Cemetery was on Wed. July 21st at 12:45 pm beginning at the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer.   The Mount Vernon Harmony Heritage Singers, which Bob helped create and directed for years, sang at the Memorial Mass before everyone departed to follow the ceremonial units to the actual burial site in Arlington Cemetery.


In addition to the 40 or more Harmonizers present, several family members joined in filling the Chapel with barbershoppers from all over Virginia and even two friends from NJ and NY chapters who drove down.  Bob’s daughter thanked all who came to share the final tribute to her Dad in recognition of his 60-plus years as a singer, director, coach, leader and motivator for barbershop singers. Quite a few men we don’t get to see too often except at shows or conventions and who knew and respected Bob came from long distances to pay tribute.


It seems everyone still remembers “I’ll Be Seeing You” which we all sang at the grave site.  We were joined by the other barbershoppers to sing “Irish Blessing” directed by Drew Fuller too.  And then an octet of Harmonizers sang “Danny Boy” for Bob’s family who had requested it.


It was a moving tribute to a great barbershopper! 


Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be a hybrid session beginning at 7 pm on July 27th, 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 73rd year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. - YeEd)