Weekly Update, Jan. 14, 2019

Customers can order Singing Valentines at this link.

Schedule for Thursday

  • 6:30 Singing Valentine Quartets. Time for all valentine quartets to come and work on your songs.
  • 7:00 Chorus Rehearsal
  • 7:15 Rep Work
    • I Feel A Song Coming On
    • I Believe
    • Isn’t She Lovely
    • I Wish You Lov

8:00 Business Meeting & Break

  • 8:20 Rep Work
    • Things Are Looking Up
    • Bright Was The Night
  • 8:50 Performance
  • 9:00 KTWWS

Note from the president

Next week we will schedule also the 6:30 – 7:00 rehearsal time for the quartets who will be delivering Singing Valentines. There will be more of these scheduled prior to February 14. We are looking for one more quartet to sing. If you are willing to sing in a quartet, please let Greg know.
For the last couple weeks, I have noticed that not all attending chorus members are at rehearsal at 7:00. People have been trickling in until about 7:15. Warm-up time is important for preparing to sing and for learning to be a better singer. You might even learn something about another chorus member! I realize that there are reasons why you may not always be there at 7 but please make an effort to be ready to get on the risers at 7. If you are purposefully arriving late to skip the warm-ups, please let me know the reason so we can look at making changes to the warm-up routine.

Invitation from the River City Chorus

Welcome from the River City Chorus in Mason City. As president of the chorus I would like to announce that our chorus will be sponsoring a Harmony College Midwest on August 2th,3th,4th . The event will be held at NIACC community college in Mason City. Our guest quartet and coaches will be Instant Classic along with other professional coaches. So if your chorus ,quartets or individuals are looking for a chorus retreat,a coaching session before contest or just to improve your singing. Consider this college for yourselves!
The event will include an afterglow before the college, yes I know we are starting with the best part ,on Friday night. Breakfast on Saturday followed by coaching sessions , a noon meal and more sessions in the afternoon. Then a show Saturday evening starring Instant Classic. Sunday morning will include a breakfast and a group sing church service where each chorus or individual who have pre registered will receive four newly arranged gospel songs by River City Chorus director Jayson Ryner to keep and take home to their home choruses. Therewill also be an opportunity to participate in just the Saturday event if a chorus, quartet or individual are interested.
The housing will be at the new air conditioned dormitory at NIACC and will be included in the registration fee. The pre registration fee will be $125 per person which will include everything listed above . If you can’t make the whole weekend, join us Saturday for a day of coaching , noon meal and Saturdays show for $80. So please consider joining us at our first Harmony College Midwest to improve and enjoy singing with other barbershop singers in the area. We would like to have the preregistration done by March 9th. A flier will be sent to each chapter with a registration and additional info. For more information contact myself at tpoppens1@gmail.com or Stan Zinnel at (641)380-0406. Thank you.

Tony Poppens, President River City Chorus

Upcoming Events

  • January 17 – Rehearsal
  • January 21 – Board meeting at the Hlavacek home starting at 7:00
  • January 24 – Rehearsal
  • January 25 – Naturalization Ceremony
  • February 14 – Singing Valentines
  • February 22 – Naturalization Ceremony
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Weekly Update – January 7, 2019

Happy New Year!

Two Presidential Award Winners. Honored at our annual Recognition and Award Banquet Saturday, Jan 5 are Valerie and Lee Freie. Valerie was recognized for her exceptional service on the Gospel Concert Committee and her work on the Spring Show Afterglow. Lee was recognized for his outstanding community service in the Cedar Rapids Area.

The chorus kicked off the new year with our annual Recognition & Awards Banquet Saturday night at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. We need to thank Bill Moss for making this amazing venue available to us. The chorus and the wives attending enjoyed a great meal, outstanding service, a little singing, fun and fellowship. Greg Koenigs served as MC for the evening.

In the highlight of the evening, Greg was also awarded 2018 Barbershopper of the Year. Wendell Aldrich made the presentation and offered a detailed biography of Greg in addition to citing him for the his many outstanding contributions to the chorus over the past year.

In addition to BSOY, two President’s Awards were made. Lee Freie was honored the Presidential Award for Community Service, an award revived this year. Lee has been active in a long list of community associations as volunteer, board member and elective office holder.

Also honored for her service to the chorus was Valerie Freie, for her work on the Gospel Concert Committee and hosting our Afterglow following the 2018 Spring Show. Val is one of many of our spouses and significant others who support is essential to what the chorus is able to do.

Gary Lindsay, who completed his third consecutive term as chorus president spoke briefly, and the text of those remarks follow later on for anyone who missed the event and might be interested.

Rehearsal plan for Thursday, Jan. 10

  • 6:30 Bohemian Red – Hard Days Night
  • 7:00 Warmup; 7:15 Rehearsal
    • Isn’t She Lovely
    • Down On the Corner
    • Valentines Day songs
      • Hello, Mary Lou (for men and macho women change name to recipient’s)
      • Let Me Call You Sweetheart
  • 8:00 Business & Break
  • Quartet or VLQ to sing
  • 8:20 Daddy Sang Bass
  • I Wanna Hold Your Hand
  • 8:50 Perform two songs
    • Down on the Corner
    • I Wanna Hold Your Hand
  • 9:00 KTHWS

Upcoming Events:

  • Jan. 17 – Rehearsal 
  • Jan. 24 – Rehearsal
  • Jan. 31 – Rehearsal

President’s remarks, Recognition Dinner

Well, this is a smaller group than I spoke to the past three years as president of the chorus. This reflects our chorus numbers that have continued to decline despite our goal last year of adding 10 new members. We added one, very valuable new member in Cliff Newman, who will be introduced and serve as a board member for 2019. We have not given up on our goal to grow, and I decided to step down as president so I could serve as Marketing & PR VP to devote more time to find new ways to get our story out to the community.

A smaller chorus does not mean we are less active.

During the past year we have continued to serve our community in many ways:

  • Providing music and inspiration for many New Citizens Ceremonies
  • Helping to honor heroes at the Salute to Heroes Freedom Festival event
  • Collaborating with other singers and organizations to present our annual Best of Cedar Rapids Gospel Concert and our Spring Show
  • Launching what we hope will be an annual event, a Youth Barbershop Festival
  • Christmas Caroling at Lindale Mall and St. Luke’s Hospitals

In all this we live out our motto: Singing for a lifetime.

By the way, hopefully none of this is news to you and simply the review it was intended to be. I intend to continue to post weekly updates of our activities on our Facebook group page, on our website and via email. If you are a spouse and want to be included in these communications, please contact me and if you are on Facebook, please like Harmony Hawks.

The Barbershop Harmony Society has been working through some changes as they face this membership decline worldwide. Among the changes they are implementing is opening membership to women, opening competition to include mixed men and women quartets and choruses, changing bylaws as necessary, and publishing music for mixed ensembles. We have also done the necessary bylaw review, and we are ready to forward in this area as needed.

Not only does our chorus serve the community, be we also all individually benefit. A recent article identified “6 Psychological and Physical Benefits to Choral Singing.” All documented by medical research they are:

  • Strengthen feelings of togetherness
  • Regulate heart rate
  • Reduce stress levels and depression
  • Improve symptoms of Parkinson’s and lung disease
  • Improve feeling of social well being
  • Increase in life expectancy

Most of us do not need medical studies to recognize these benefits. Personally, the chorus rehearsals and performances I attend are the highlight of my week. I leave them feeling better physically and emotionally, and I have strong bonds with all of you here. What we experience in our chorus is literally what our country needs most. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing and find new ways to get this message out to our community.

Thank you for listening, and for the opportunity these past three years to serve as your chorus president.


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Chorus Update, Dec. 24, 2018: Merry Christmas!

This group of 18 Harmony Hawks performed Christmas Carols for the patrons at Lindale Mall, Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 6:30 to 7:30. From left, Erik Sherard. Lee Thomsen, Cal Birkey, Larry Hlavacek Jim Sjostrom, Garth Beatty, Scott Wilcox, Jack Ray, Dale Norby. Al Huneke, John Roltgen, Gary Lindsay, John Hayden, Larry Aspleaf, Tom Read, Bob Handley, A.J. Berdecia, and Bill Moss. Photo by Connie Sjostrom.

Recap of last week

The chorus was busy last week with two caroling performances, Tuesday at Lindale Mall, and Thursday at St. Luke’s Hospital, and the New Citizens Ceremony at the Federal Courthouse.

The Lindale performance gave the chorus some good exposure. We sang well and handed out contact cards to several men who showed interest in visiting rehearsal. Connie Sjostrom made several Facebook live videos of the carols and you can check them out on her Facebook page.

Rehearsals resume Jan.

There will be no rehearsal Dec. 27. When we resume rehearsal Jan. 3, please invite guests to join us. We will be rehearsing some Valentines Day songs in preparation for Singing Valentines, and reviewing repertoire for inclusion in our show package.

Signup for Recognition Banquet

Our Recognition Banquet is January 5, Saturday night at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. The event honors the work of the chorus for 2018 and introduces the 2019 President and Board. We will name of 2018 Barbershopper of the Year, do some signing, thank our significant others and families for their support, and make some other presentations as well. The social hour will begin at 6 with dinner served at 7. Please RSVP using this form, or by emailing glindsay711@mac.com.

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