Vocal Expressions – March 2019

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Meet Your New RMD Board Officers

Pasco Scarpella
Executive Vice President
Brett Foster
Tony Pranaitis
Andy Syme
Immediate Past President
Bob Fox

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Meet Your 2019 Board and Operations Team!

Pasco Scarpella, RMD President:

Every other year, we have a new regime in Rocky Mountain District (RMD). I became President on December 1, 2018, and the ensuing weeks, I assembled the new operations team with the help of many key advisors. I am pleased to introduce you to the new 2019 RMD Board and Operations Team. The new team represents the cross section of the District geographically, and is a great mix of newer guys coupled with some old timers. I am convinced they are all go-getters and “movers and shakers”. I am excited for what is to come in the next two years.

The fiduciary board includes old guys, to include myself, our Secretary Tony Pranaitis, and Bob Fox who is Immediate Past President. Our new Executive Vice President (EVP) is Brett Foster, another old guy who has moved up from the operations team as our former Vice President of Chapter Support and Leadership Training. Brett has done an outstanding job managing RMD Leadership Academies and COTS for many years, and has earned the right to become EVP of our District. To this group we have added our new Treasurer, Andy Syme, from the Salt Lake area. Andy taught the treasurer’s track last year at COTS, and comes to us with wealth of experience in business and finance. He is an experienced officer and treasurer of past organizations, and will be an excellent addition to help bring fiscal discipline to our District. This is a magnificent group of experienced men, who have great ideas for moving the District forward in 2019-20.

Our EVP, Brett Foster, hails from Billings, Montana, and has already graciously agreed to take on several tasks to include filling in as interim editor of Vocal Expressions. In addition to mentoring his successor on the operations team, Brett is organizing District officer visitations/chapter officer installations, as well as serving as the Chair of our District’s ethics committee. Brett is a new Society contest administrator, and is becoming a fine “CA”. I am expecting Brett to be my right arm over the next two years.

On the operations side, we have four Vice Presidents who are continuing in their capacities to serve the District, as they have done admirably for the past several years. These VP’s include Johnny Bugarin as VP of Chorus Director Development, Tony Sparks as VP of Youth in Harmony, Neil Ridenour as VP of Finance and Harmony Foundation, and lastly Al Klinger as VP of Marketing and Public Relations. (These guys cover Denver, Albuquerque and Colorado Springs). I can depend on each of these men to work diligently in their areas of responsibility.

What has me most excited is the collection of new VP’s on the operations team!

We have two rare geniuses who have recently joined the operations team. Two gifted arrangers, brilliant musicians, directors, coaches and competition judges. They are Adam Reimnitz, who is our new VP of Contest and Judging, and Adam Scott, who is our recent VP of Music and Performance. (I like to think of them as the two Adams). Adam Scott is a past Barbershop Harmony Society staffer, and is also serving as the new Dean of Rocky Mountain Harmony College. They both bring an infectious excitement to their positions, and I am thrilled to see what these two men will bring to the District. Both are planning to be involved in RMHC. I strongly encourage all of you to attend RMHC and see this newest incarnation!

We have two more Salt Lake guys on the operations team. Scott Anderson is replacing Brett as the new VP of Chapter Support and Leadership Development. Scott managed his first Leadership Academies last month, and did a stellar job. He got right in the mix and took charge. Both events were a terrific success for our District. Scott is a highly capable guy who has great promise for RMD. The other is our VP of Membership Development, Gene Miner. Gene has been around for years, a long-time delegate in the House of Delegates, an experienced chapter officer and president. He brings a wealth of experience to the operations team, and we are pleased he has agreed to become a District officer.

Speaking of “being around for years”, a long time House of Delegates member, chapter officer, president and all-around nice guy, the operations team is rounded out by our new VP of Events, Jim Campbell. Jim hails from Colorado Springs, and has already proven himself to be invaluable to the District in so many ways, we cannot keep track.

Last but not least, I have been able to appoint several other men to help the District. Dave Schultz is our new District Webmaster. Dave has already begun an impressive job of updating the District Website, and we are looking for more good things to come. Mike Nogrady is continuing to serve as Credentials Chairman of the House of Delegates, and our newest addition to the District staff is our elder statesman from Nebraska: Dr. Dan Clark is our District Historian. (He is not the Historian because he is an “old guy”, by the way; just a coincidence).

I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of these guys, and you can rest assured that our District is in great hands!

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Your 2018 Barbershopper of the Year for the Rocky Mountain District


Jim Clark

Our Barbershopper of the year has attended nearly every International Convention since 1983 and has participated in five choruses and five quartets in both the Central States District and the Rocky Mountain District. One of those quartets was the second RMD quartet to join the AIC–Storm Front.

In that quartet’s first year of existence they were the founding music clinicians for Summer Harmony Camp (and also served the second year of Summer Harmony Camp), and now he will be returning to direct the men’s Summer Harmony Camp chorus in 2019. (You can find the rest of Jim’s accomplishments HERE.)

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The new Rocky Mountain Harmony College

Adam Scott

Calling anything “new” seems a little bit passe. Any good music festival / workshop constantly changes to keep things fresh. Past M&P chairs have kept RMHC moving by rotating faculty and classes, and teaching our folks the best they knew how. RMHC, or Rocky Mountain Harmony College, was traditionally held at Estes Park, CO, for many years.

What makes it new this year is facility. For 2019, we’ve changed locations to Cheyenne, one of our more successful locations for RMD events. This serves a few purposes. One, it’s more centralized to the Northern Utah contingent of barbershoppers. Two, it’s the location for our fall convention, so if you’re considering bringing your quartet, you’ll get a try-out for the stage you’ll be using. Three, moving to a hotel / conference center helps us ‘practice how we perform.’ Meaning, most gigs we use have a stage, an auditorium, or ballroom. Too many of us have found contest day or show day to be too far removed from the rehearsal hall.

I’m delighted to share with you my faculty list. I’ve assembled some RMD favorites as well as flying in some talent from around the continental US.
I could fawn over my faculty all day, but I’ll just give a quick blurb here:

  • Adam Reimnitz, amazing arranger, certified Music judge, talented quartet coach
  • Marty Lovick, the ‘quartet whisperer,’ certified Performance judge, talented communicator
  • Eddie Martinez, full-time coach, certified Singing judge, former classroom educator
  • Shawn Mondragon, gifted presenter / orator, certified Performance judge, frequent coach
  • Kimberly Newcomb, wonderful singer, gifted Harmony U instructor, classroom educator
  • Cay Outerbridge, up-and-coming arranger, Music judge candidate, gifted interpretation coach
  • Jim Clark, RMD great, talented singer and coach, expert on making a performance real
  • Mark Hale, talented coach, conductor, and singer, certified Music coach
  • Ron Black, emeritus Singing and Music judge, gifted coach, conductor, singer, educator
  • Elizabeth Davies, gifted conductor, quartet singer, coach, and communicator
  • Mark Palmer, in-house SoR operations man, responsible for huge membership gains
(… For complete faculty bio’s, click here)
I have seen all of these teachers in action and can vouch for their talent and communication skills. I’m thrilled to have them all join us. To quote one of my own North Front Sound members, “Man, the classes and teachers are so good, it’s going to make choosing what to take a real job!”To that point, I’ll highlight just a few courses that you can choose under the Eventbrite system. Choose from:
  • Planning a Compelling Chapter Meeting
  • Performance from the Inside Out
  • Vocal Techniques (several sections by different instructors)
  • Vulnerability Done Right
  • Coaching Under Glass: Marty Lovick teaches Malestrom
  • Shockingly Good Sectionals
  • Overtones Made Easy
  • Fix Tonal Center Flatting for Good!
  • Conducting Techniques
  • Planning a Song From Start to Finish
  • How to be a Great Tenor/Lead/Bari/Bass
  • Forward Motion: What it is and What it Isn’t
  • PLUS: Harmony Platoon. Meet your new quartet pals!
  • AND: the first ever Everyone In Harmony chorus under the direction of Mark Hale.
  • and many more!
We agree, it may take a while to pick your courses!

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Leadership Academy Report

Scott Anderson, VP CSLT

2019 RMD Leadership Academy sessions were held January 12th in Utah and January 19th in Colorado, and were a big success. We had over 60 attendees representing 14 of our own chapters as well as guests from two groups outside our district. Feedback received from RMD attendees about the four tracks (Governance, Music, Internal Operations, and External Operations) was universally positive, thanks to great faculty who were willing to share their time and experience with us. We also received good ideas and suggestions that we will use to improve leadership training activities in the future.

Some of the comments included “This was the best track I have attended over the last 4 years” and “It was my first time and as a new officer, I highly recommend it to everyone. I can’t wait to go again next year!” Comments about our faculty included “excellent teacher”, “Most knowledgeable and helpful”, and “Excellent knowledge base”.

As the new district VP of Chapter Support and Leadership Training, I want to help your chapter succeed. Leadership Academies are a great way to learn from peers and experts, as well as to get enthused about the work of running our chapters. But they’re just one tool. There are lots of resources that can be utilized at any time. I hope to get to know each chapter more fully in the coming months and to learn more about what you’re doing right, what you’re excited about, and what challenges you’re facing that the district might help you with. And if you have questions or problems you’d like some help with, please contact me so I can help connect you with the right resources. We all get stronger together.

While Leadership Academies are a great way to get broad information about the four categories of chapter leadership positions, there is a lot more information, details, and ideas available. Rocky Mountain Harmony College in April includes a whole bunch of course offerings that will dive deeper into more specific subjects that can improve your chapter. Please explore all the options at RMDSing.org and come join us![/vc_column_text][minti_divider style=”3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_id=”ASCAP”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

ASCAP and Financial Review

Tony Pranaitis
RMD Secretary

Thank you for serving your chapters as the governance team on your chapter boards.
This is a review of Compliance Reports and also show licensing procedures.

Let’s start with show licensing.

ASCAP for 2018 was due on Dec 31, 2018 unless your show income (gross) exceeded $30,739.80 in 2018 in which case you need to submit as soon as you have all of your show income from last year calculated. If your show income was less than $30,739.80 for the year, the ASCAP fee for 2018 was $250. This covers ALL performances throughout the year including any charitable benefits or free performances.  Complete the attached form and send with your check directly to BHS. There is no additional reporting, either to the Member Center or to the District Secretary.

BHS prefers that ASCAP filings (paying the standard annual fee if you do not exceed $30,739.80) be done in September as there is the least amount of paperwork congestion at BHS headquarters during that month.

BMI /SESAC license is due before each show, and in most circumstances (use the calculation table at the bottom of the application) the fee is $28 per performance. Only one paper copy of this form is necessary to submit (per show date…you can have two shows on one date and can list both on one form) and it is sent, along with your check payable to BHS to the District Secretary (me)…address as follows:

RMD Secretary
c/o Tony Pranaitis
12713 West 8th Ave
Golden, Colorado 80401-4646

I will scan the form (and your check) to PDF and send a digital copy to you (print if you need a hard copy) and will keep a digital copy in the District files. The paper copy and your check will be sent to BHS.

There is an accessory form where you can provide additional links for locating show information which will be added to the District calendar, so other barbershoppers can access this information more readily.

BMI / SESAC licenses are the ONLY forms sent to the District Secretary.

The remaining Compliance Reports are posted to the Member Center directly by one of you (the District Secretary no longer has authorization to access chapter web pages on the Member Center, so if you need help, ask Customer Service at BHS headquarters).

1. Financial Review
See attached explanation of why and how. This form is due May 15, which is also the due date of your IRS 990.

2. IRS 990
Due May 15. For most chapters this is a simple postcard. Due to the 2019 government shutdown, the process of getting these mailed to the chapter agent of record has been slowed. Watch for notices from BHS about further developments.

3. Periodic Report with your Secretary of State (maintaining your non-profit corporation status)
This is due on the anniversary of your corporate filing. You can check online with your Secretary of State for current status. Usually when the Periodic Report is due the Secretary of State will send an Email to the agent of record. Filing the Periodic Report is usually done online and requires a minimum of effort and cost (in Colorado it’s $10).

You should upload these three documents (Financial Review, IRS 990, Periodic Report or Certificate of Good Standing) onto the Member Center in the Compliance Filings and Reports (there is a section for each) which not only verifies that these have been completed but serves as a repository of the records for proof if needed or for reference by your successors.

Uploading is simple and there are tutorials available for “how-to” of all Member Center functions. If you are still stuck, contact Customer Service at BHS and they will help you.

Please make sure all the gears are turning in your chapter so you stay compliant in all of these areas. It is very simple and it keeps you legal, which is important for you personally as a chapter fiduciary.

Let me know if you have any questions about the above. I’m happy to help, however I’m limited in what I can do on your behalf. Thanks for staying on top of this.

Tony Pranaitis
RMD Secretary
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Silverton marks 33rd Annual Barbershop Harmony Music Festival

Al Klinger 

Four Rocky Mountain District choruses came together on Aug. 3rd & 4th, 2018 to present the 33rd Annual Barbershop Harmony Music Festival in Silverton, Colorado.  Under the direction of Tony Sparks, over fifty members of the attending choruses opened the 7:00 p.m. show at the local Silverton High School after practicing together all day Saturday.  With an official population of just over 600 residents (many of whom are seasonal), the local folks of the town quickly filled the high school gymnasium as we scrambled to set up more folding chairs for a great turnout and enthusiastic audience!  Dave Woodward, from the Bookcliff Chorus, was the MC for the show this year.

The “Everyone” chorus opened the show with a Bill Biffle arrangement, “Harmonize” Medley, followed by “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison and arranged by Adam Scott.  These were a couple fun songs to sing but, as you can see in the video, many of us learned the songs that morning so we all kept the music close at hand.  Take a peek at the video on YouTube with this link: https://youtu.be/omPGb6XLZDk

Black Canyon Chorus, from Montrose, CO, was first up after the “Everyone” chorus opened the show.  Under the direction of Larry Cooper and Grady Weiszbrod, the chorus had 14 men on the risers and entertained the crowd with some great barbershop classics.  Also featured, were quartets “Rocky Road” and “Sound Production” with a few more favorites that really pleased the audience.  See the Black Canyon performance here:https://youtu.be/hiizlSYY51Y

Next up, was the Four Corners Harmony Chorus out of Farmington, NM who came with a boatload of props, good comedy and, in spite of their small numbers, a “mighty sound”.  These guys hit the stage with a couple gags that had the audience laughing and loving them before they even started singing.  Under the direction of Cecil Garrison, enjoy their set on this link:https://youtu.be/2Pt3WDVPEaE

Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, the Durango Narrow Gauge Chorus was the third chorus to perform with 17 singers on the risers … including three women who helped reinforce the new commitment of the Society for “Everyone in Harmony”.  Director, Amelia (Amy) Barrett, has been directing the chorus for 22 years!  Wow, that’s a long term calling for any director in the Society.  Amy, along with Jennifer, upped the entertainment level with a “soft shoe” routine during the performance while still directing the chorus behind her … much to the delight the audience.  Take a look at this entertaining chorus performance here: https://youtu.be/a9TzzHXj4Yw

The Bookcliff Chorus, also celebrating their 50th Anniversary, was the fourth chorus that joined the festival show this year after traveling up from Grand Junction, CO.  With 19 guys on the risers, the chorus presented a few great show tunes, including one from Music Man.  The crowd cheered when hearing 76 trombones complete with some of the men marching out with a variety of (Very Large) brass instruments.  MC and member of Bookcliff, Dave Woodward, wrapped up the chorus performance with his quartet singing the barbershop arrangement of “Over the Rainbow” … another great crowd pleaser.  Be sure and watch the Bookcliff performance at this link: https://youtu.be/CIhTsV1FhRg

After a short intermission, the “Everyone Chorus” joined together again to sing “Drivin’ Me Crazy”, “Lost in the Stars”, “Down By The Riverside” and the Bob Hopkins arrangement of “America the Beautiful”.  After the last song, everyone left the risers to mix with the audience who continued to express their appreciation for bringing another Barbershop Harmony Music Festival to Silverton.  Take a listen to the final songs of the show here: https://youtu.be/-DQsZo03Oa0

See the “Playlist” for the entire show here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvua6kr9_Ac9OZ-fZRF8mCiDAPJTYlPja

Just a personal note … this was the first time I’ve attended this annual festival and I’d encourage everyone to make the trip at least once.  Better yet, bring your whole chorus … I know you’d be welcomed with open arms by everyone attending.  I brought my grandson Chris along to help run the video camera and wander around shooting some still photos.  Chris is also a member of my chorus, The Denver MountainAires, and has sung with a youth chorus at Midwinter twice … he had a good time during this weekend but, would like to sing in the mass chorus and make me run the camera next time.  If you’d like to keep posted on next year’s event, visit Black Canyon’s website,  http://barbershopsingingmontrose.yolasite.com/ sometime during the spring of next year … keep checking back until they’ve finalized plans.

If you do plan on going, lodging is really tight in Silverton so make reservations five or six weeks before the festival or book a room in Durango and just drive the short trip to Silverton early Saturday morning.  If you’ve never taken the ride on the Durango to Silverton steam train, a bonus for staying in Durango is you can stay an extra day to enjoy riding on one of the premier narrow gauge railroads in the country … book your tickets online early since, during the summer months, the train sells out frequently.

Chris and I did stay the extra day and rode the train on Sunday after having breakfast with an old barbershop friend, Christian Robbins, who left my chorus a few years ago to head up Marketing & PR for the railroad.  He’s enjoyed living in Durango and would likely join the Durango chorus (yes, they’ve invited him) if his position with the railroad wasn’t so time consuming.

This was a great trip … it was good to meet many guys I never see at our District events and get reacquainted with those who do.  It’s also given me a chance to put a face on some of our choruses who have been around for a long time but just can’t make it to our conventions.  It really is “Great to be a Barbershopper!”

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Our 2019 High School Quartet contest winners … “Stratus” from Grandview High School. The Denver area High School contest, sponsored by The Denver MountainAires, was held at Arvada High School on Feb. 18th. Video at: https://youtu.be/Le-16vYxr1U

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Remember when?

Joker’s Wild from our 2014 RMD Spring Convention:

Video at: https://youtu.be/REFjn1L0a4Y

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This is an area for our RMD Association of Chapters to share some newsworthy events or activities that your chapter is involved in. Please consider submitting articles/pictures, etc. and share your successes with the rest of the RMD.

Lads of Enchantment – John Baillie

January 31, 2019 the Lads of Enchantment in Los Alamos New Mexico had their Board Installation potluck and two awards were handed out by John Baillie (prez) to Bear Schacht (BOTY) and Maurice Sheppard our Musical director (Outstanding Accomplishment).

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