Thursday, September 23, 2021

 Looking Back on the Sept. 21st 2021 Hybrid Chapter Meeting


Again this week, when the Harmonizers arrived at Scottish Rite Temple, they gathered out front of the building facing Braddock Road to visit and catch up.  Then at 7 pm, associate director Tony Colosimo conducted another solid warm up period for all singers on the steps of the building.


Mike Kelly and Dennis Ritchey handled all of the tech support this week – with some sessions outside and some sectionals in four different rooms inside the building.  Then on top of that, there was another outdoor session a while after it got dark outside, so the challenges of lighting added to the task. 


Artistic director Joe Cerutti welcomed the members present and all those on the Zoom call.  

He mentioned it was good to see Scott Beach and Adam Afifi on Zoom and good to have Tony Amante, Matt Riedl, Dylan Smith back with us and guest Donnell Torres present.  Donnell is about to audition for membership this week.


Joe took time to explain the plans for this week’s rehears. Basically, after some everyone-sings-sessions on the steps out front, there were sectionals in different rooms the first half of the night.  Then back outside for announcements, all chorus singing, and then duet sectionals.  


Songs for this week will be used for a holiday show Friday, Dec. 10th at 7:30 pm, in Schlesinger Hall. The plan for some quartet opportunities and VLQ (very large quartet) selections on that show is coming together and a number of foursomes have been formed and asked for a chance to audition.  If anyone else wants to try, contact Joe before next week.


At one point, a new song for this show was introduced – “Trim Up the Tree” which Joe challenges singers to get to work on right away at home. He suggests that just working on Tuesday night will not be enough. Holiday music is all up on Groupanizer.


Joe did share that the size of the chorus wishing to attend each week is getting large enough that some members might be rotated into an alternate list and get a last minute invite as things unfold each week.  This is all part of the desire of chapter leadership to abide by the CDC guidelines and those of our Covid Committee. It is important that members be up-to-date on Groupanizer with their attendance plans each week. 


In other announcements, president Stan Quick worked to find four guys to form a quartet and sing for the 100thbirthday of a WWII veteran in the Hayfield Farm section of Fairfax County.  Carl Kauffmann, Frank Fedarko, Mike Schwartz, and Dean Rust have volunteered and will sing for him at a community party. 


Chapter secretary David DesPortes reported that he will begin mailing the membership renewal cards to guys since it is hard to know who will be attending a session each week for the traditional presenting in person.  He and YeEd determined that David will provide the renewal names for future Looking Back reports. 


The Harmo family is reminded of the Remembrance Service for Sandy Stamps which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11am at the Fairfax United Methodist Church, 10300 Stratford Ave, Fairfax VA. The Harmonizers will sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “There Must Be A City.”  


As per the chapter bylaws, President Stan Quick has announced a call for an election of officers and board members for the BHS chapter on Oct. 12th.  Here is the list of nominees from the nominating committee.

Noah Van Gilder (President) has been a Harmonizer for 13 years. His previous leadership roles for the Harmonizers include one term as vice president for marketing and public relations and three terms as board member at large. In his professional life, Noah is a policy analyst for the federal government. He graduated as a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 2006 and as a Master of Public Administration from the George Washington University in 2012.

Dave Kohls (Vice President) has been associated with the Harmonizers since 2011 and has served on the Alexandria Harmonizers, Inc. board as a community board member since 2020. Dave is a psychologist with a private practice in Alexandria, VA, providing both clinical services to individuals and consulting services to industry and government. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in physics, a master’s degree in electrical engineering, and a doctorate in clinical psychology. Although Dave no longer sings in public, he is passionate about the power of music to enrich lives and improve our communities.

Devin Gerzof (Secretary) has been a member of the Alexandria Harmonizers since the fall of 2019. He began his tenure on the BHS board in 2021. Devin works on Capitol Hill for the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. While at Georgetown, Devin sang with the Georgetown Chimes, the campus' only all-male acapella group. Devin developed his barbershop roots with the Chimes and is excited to continue his post-college involvement in barbershop harmony with the Harmonizers. He attended Georgetown University for his bachelor’s degree in Government and Psychology.

Terry Reynolds (Treasurer) has been a member of the Alexandria Harmonizers since 1992 and has served in numerous musical and leadership positions including Executive Director, President, Treasurer, Music & Performance VP, and Front Row Captain. He has been Associate or Assistant Director for over 20 years. He currently manages the activities and operations of the Music Team for Artistic Director Joe Cerutti. Terry has held numerous positions with the Barbershop Harmony Society serving on the Leadership Operations Project Team (LOPT), Chorus Director Development Committee, as a Certified Trainer for Chorus Director Workshop Intensive (CDWI), and on the Leadership Academy Training Faculty for President and for Music and Performance. Terry is an IT Specialist and Data Analyst for the consulting company Deloitte, supporting US Government clients. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio..

Joshua Baumgardner (Member at Large) will be a new community member on our boards.  He enjoyed a diverse career, performing both operatic, concert, and choral works across the United States and briefly in Germany. Joshua had the distinct pleasure of being a young artist with Opera North, the Mittelsächsiches Theatre, and the American Wagner Society as well as a regional finalist for the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Joshua also enjoyed a career teaching voice alongside his career singing. He now enjoys a career as a full-time realtor with TTR Sotheby's International Realty, and still performs as a soloist on occasion at the request of conductors with whom he has worked previously. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from James Madison University and his M.M. from Florida State University, where he was awarded the Hannah Beaulieu prize for vocal excellence.

John Greene (Member at Large) is not new to the Harmonizers, having been a member for 8 years, but now comes to us as a community member. He is retired after a 34-year career with the United States Copyright Office (Library of Congress) during which time he studied business administration at Central Michigan University. He has sung and performed (vocal and instrumental) most of his life. He is a current parishioner of The Alfred Street Baptist Church where he serves as president and member of the Handbell Choir and two vocal choirs. He went to Howard University where he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree.

Carolyn Griffin (Member at Large) is also a new community member for our boards.  She is the Producing Artistic Director of MetroStage where she has been since its founding in 1984. During that time, she has produced over one hundred main stage productions, including seventeen plays and musicals. She has chaired both the Alexandria Arts Forum, which she co-founded, and the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, served on regional panels for both the Virginia Commission for the Arts and Kentucky Arts Council and various other arts boards. She has received numerous awards including the Actors Center Award of Distinction, the Award of Harmony from the Alexandria Harmonizers, the Helen’s Star from theater Washington, and was named a “Living Legend” by the Alexandria Gazette Packet and Alexandria Rotary Club. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the George Washington University, a Master’s degree in Psychology from Catholic University and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Bruce Roehm (Immediate Past President/Member at Large) joined the Alexandria Harmonizers in the fall of 1995.  He is the Immediate Past President for AH Inc. and has also been the Front Row Dance Captain for many years. Bruce retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Colonel after 26 years of active service. He is currently pursuing philanthropic endeavors such as assisting his international fraternity in leadership development activities. Bruce served in many healthcare positions at clinic, hospital, medical center, and Pentagon levels, as well as in deployed and overseas locations. His last couple of assignments were at a large outpatient clinic as CEO with 13K enrollees and 250 staff, and as a Director of Business and Clinical Analytics for the Air Force   Surgeon General with a staff of 55. He was a credentialed Fellow, American Academy of Medical Administrators.

Frank Shipp (Member at Large)  is relatively new with the Harmonizers, having joined in January 2019, but he is a 19-year barbershopper, having sung with two previous chapters in northern Virginia, and three registered quartets, most recently LOCO 4. He is president and general manager for Lazy Lane Farms, LLC, a privately held thoroughbred horse and cattle farm near Upperville in southwestern Loudoun County and has been employed there for 39 years. He has served on the boards of the previous chapters, and on thoroughbred Industry association boards in Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Kentucky.

The nominating committee was chaired by Steve White with committee members Dave Kohls, Devin Gerzof, Noah Van Gilder and Steve Murane.  Steve also thanked several other members who helped with ideas and suggestions including Liz Birnbaum, Randall Eliason, Dean Rust, Clark Chesser, Tony Colosimo, Jack Pitzer, and Terry Reynolds.  


Our next  Harmonizer Tuesday meeting will be at 7 pm on Sept. 28th, 2021 at Scottish Rite   Temple on Braddock Rd. in Alexandria and will be a hybrid meeting again.


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)