Welcome


Welcome to Renate's Baton. This blog is mostly for and about my choir, The York Region Community Choir.

But, While I'm holding the baton, I'm in charge. So, if I want to talk about other parts of my life, I will. :)

The choir itself is a community and I'm discovering that we have a lot in common with one another besides our love of music and singing.

When I go off on a tangent, there is always a crowd coming along. Join us!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Siyahamba pronuciation guide




YRCC rehearsal 17-SEP-2018

The first small group met at 6:30 and almost completely finished their song!
Let's Keep Christmas in our Hearts perfectly expresses our theme.

If you have a solo or duet you'd like to do, let me know asap. The theme is peace, heavenly peace, the true meaning of Christmas, and connecting with our heritage/ancestors through music at the holidays.

Warm-ups included Maybe my mummy will go to Miami and maybe my mummy will not :-)

We welcomed a bunch of new folk to choir!
1. Siyahamba is coming together nicely. I spoke to the YRPMC director and they do all 4 endings, and end in English. Instead of doing 2 and 2, they alternate languages.
2. Mansions of the Lord is awesome, and a very sticky melody, stuck in my head for days. We spend some time reviewing the tenor and alto parts, and pointed out the little mistake we made at first (and on the recordings) in the alto and soprano lines where the notes seem to be the opposite of what you'd expect, but actually give the melody to soprano where it belongs.
3. They All Call it Canada: We reviewed the tricky bit at pages 10 and 11. It was very good!
4. 4 Strong Winds: We reviewed the doo-doo part. Very good!
5. We started Grown Up Christmas List. I recommend you move it to right after Go Now in Peace, so that it's in alphabetical order. Some people couldn't find it, but it's just out of order. We sang through once to get an idea of what the arrangement is like. There's a repeat, but it's not too tricky. Sing to page 5, then return to page 2 at the sign. Next time you're at page 5, go down to the Coda on the word "list". There's a bridge, then a key change to the end. We learned parts starting at bar 15. It was great!

Next week:
6:45 Let's Keep Christmas in our Hearts

  • 4 Strong Winds
  • Imagine
  • Hallelujah
  • Grown Up List
  • Peace on This Silent Night

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 10-SEPT-2018

MONDAY 10-SEP-2018
Registration went smoothly as usual. Thank you to Carol and Debbie, our registrars!

We had a very successful first day back. We had to do quite a bit of talking but got lots of singing done anyway.

We talked about the upcoming concert on Oct. 13. There will be more details coming. We got a poster from the Police Chorus and a schedule for Oct. 13. We're scheduled to rehearse first early in the afternoon, and then later in the afternoon we have mass choir rehearsals, and then it starts at 7:30. We'll get tickets to sell soon. They're $15. You'll have all the info soon.

Talked about our theme and solos and small groups. Heavenly Peace/ Peace on Earth/ Grown-up wishes and also the links to past traditions through song- Latin, Hebrew, ancient Who...
The first small group starts next Monday. Let's Keep Christmas in our Hearts. It's a song about how we should think about peace on Earth and kindness and joy all the time. Sign up today!

We sang through all the songs for the 13th, except O Canada:
1. Why We Sing (awesome. we all sang the solos for fun)
2. They All Call it Canada (strong, but we need a bit of work in that one part)
3. Four Strong Winds (better than I expected. we'll work on it)
4. Imagine (super except for that one spot and we all sang the solo)
5. Siyahamba (so good. we reviewed and learned quickly. need to know how many reps)
6. Mansions of the Lord (we reviewed and learned this quickly too. feels too short.)
7. Go Now in Peace (nice! we need to ask about the ending)
8. Hallelujah (always awesome. we all sang the solos. need to find out about solos)

Next week: Let's talk about seating to prepare for our performances.
Monday 17-Sep-2018
6:30 Let's Keep Christmas Small Group

  • They All Call it Canada- that one part
  • Mansions of the Lord-review
  • Siyahamba- review
  • 4 Strong Winds- that one part and/or polish it up
  • Grown-up Christmas- intro
  • Peace on this Silent Night- intro





Tuesday, September 4, 2018

YRCC 2018/2019 Year Starts Sept.10

Monday, September 10th
Winter 2018
Heavenly Peace, Peace on Earth, Grown-up Christmas Wish
Holiday songs connect us to each other, and to our ancestors.
It's been a long, hot summer.
It's time to start preparing for our winter concert.

READY, SET,


YRCC Leadership 2018-2019

York Region Community Choir 
Leadership for the 2018/2019 Choir Year:

The YRCC is kept running by a dedicated group of volunteers who are elected every year at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Executive works together with the Director and Accompanist, and the Reading Committee, to choose music, decide when and where we sing, and make sure people are there to sing and to hear us sing, and take care of our equipment, finances, website and music library. The Executive is elected and the Reading Committee, Conductor and Accompanist are appointed. The Executive is now officially called the Board of Directors since we are incorporated, but we can still use the name Executive. Some of the former executive positions are not board positions, and that's just the choice of the people holding the position. 

Our President is Lauren Solar (laurensolar@gmail.com). This is Lauren's sixth year as President. Lauren is responsible for everything happening. 

Our Vice-President is Jane Griffiths (jane.griffiths@rogers.com). Jane's role is to help Lauren and anyone else on the executive when they need a hand. She's a fundraising superhero.  

Daphne Young (youngdc@rogers.com) is our Public Relations ChairIf you need to contact us regarding advertising, or to book us for a concert, or just need some information, contact Daphne. The PR role is to keep us connected to the community. 

Karen Andrews (karenc.andrews@sympatico.ca) is our Secretary/Treasurer.
If you want to write us a cheque, make it out to York Region Community Choir, and Karen will put it in our account. We accept cash too. Karen will keep our paperwork in order, creating and maintaining records like the minutes of our meetings and accounting stuff. Michele Horton supports Karen and will continue to represent us when we share condolences and congratulations. 

Trix Verge (trix.verge@gmail.com) is our Webmaster and former Music Librarian. She had our music collection in her basement for years and her organizational skills and patient dedication served us well in our greatest period of growth. Trix is the one to go to for help using the website, and she makes sure that it's functioning properly. Trix has magical computer skills, and could probably herd cats.

Peggy Keall (peggy@yorku.ca)  recently took over the Music Librarian role from Lyn!  Thank you, Peggy! She now has several filing cabinets full of music in her house, along with tables and a printer, and she makes sure we all have music to sing every Monday, and has extra binders made up for guests, or people who are checking us out. If you have a binder of music that belongs to us and want to know how to get it back to us, contact Peggy! 

Carol Ford and Debbie Hood are the Registrars. They make sure the membership list is up-to-date and coordinate registration in September. They will be calling you if you're on the waiting list. Debbie had our coffee (and tea) equipment and supplies in her basement for many years, and together with Carol took care of our refreshment needs, but Sophie has graciously taken over that responsibility.

Teija Cumming and Elizabeth Steele are the Reading Committee. They help choose new music and order it from the publishers, shopping in person and on line. They are chosen for their ability to read music and knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses. 

Renate Naghavi (That's me.) is the Conductor/Musical Director of the YRCC. The Musical Director chooses a theme and selects music for each season, with the help of the Executive and the Reading Committee, and with input from the Accompanist and plans the concerts and performances. The Musical Director teaches the music with the help of the Accompanist, and leads the choir in performances. I conduct with a baton :-)

Anne Marie Vandekemp has been the Assistant Director, officially and unofficially for at least a decade. Since she is one of the original members of the choir, Anne Marie is consulted on everything from music to venues and managing member politics. Anne Marie leads the small group rehearsals. 

Joy Zhang is our Accompanist. She is a talented pianist who helps Renate teach the music and accompanies the choir in rehearsal and in performances. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Grease is the word with YRCC friends Nov.8, 2018

Sing-along Grease!!!
Thursday, November 8th at 8pm
Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

We can dress up in period costumes- you kept your poodle skirts, right?- and dance and sing along with a theatre-full of other fans as we watch and sing along with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Here is the link for getting tickets. They're $20 each, but if you act fast you can contact Roxanne and get in on our group, a batch of 10 tickets for $18 each. If you're too late, contact some choir friends or other sisters to make your own group. Maybe we can meet before and/or after to gush :-)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

YRCC AGM this Monday, June 4th

Our Seniors' Tour is going really well so far!
We've had two performances and our third and final one is coming up this Monday, June 4th. 

We'll be at Mackenzie Place for an hour and then we'll head over to our room at the Admin. Centre for our AGM and potluck party. It will be 8:30 before we're all gathered, so it's a good idea for those who are not performing to arrive early to set up and take advantage of the extra time to socialize and get a head start on refreshments.

Monday, June 11th we're back at the Admin. Centre in our room to rehearse the new songs for October and to review Four Strong Winds and They All Call it Canada.

YRCC was SNAP'D at our 2018 spring concert

Here's a link to the SNAPD article on us: SNAPD at YRCC Concert 

Harmony and Unity

They took some nice pictures.
Here's one:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 23-APR-2018

Our last rehearsal was excellent!
I'm really impressed and grateful to know that you worked on your choir songs! Well done!

The small groups: What the World, Colors of the Wind, Man in the Mirror were all excellent. I had been thinking of maybe setting up an extra rehearsal or two, but you folks really pulled through and sounded ready to perform.

1. Dona Nobis Pacem: To add an extra element of meaning, we will sing once through as written, and then we'll sing through to bar 25 in unison, everyone singing on the top line the whole way through. Watch me for dynamics.

2. Why We Sing: Debbie and Stanley, Peggy and Blair are the quartet. Remember to look at each  other and blend your voices when you're singing together. We need to rehearse where you're standing and how to get to the mics and back. This is our big finale and it's very dramatic. Watch your dynamics! Start soft and don't get loud too soon. We need room to go ff -double forte, fortissimo, at the end. Feel the words. In particular, on page 8 look at "tear down a wall". Give those accents real power. Think of Trump's wall or the Berlin wall and tear it down.

3. Let there Be Peace: First sopranos, you've been practising. Thank you! This piece is also an end piece and needs to have drama. Watch your dynamics. Start soft and end really, really big!

4. From a Distance: It's a difficult thing to sing soprano and then switch to tenor, but Melinda pulls it off. Lauren will be her partner. Melinda and Lauren, you need to run through you sections together to get the blending happening, and if possible you should stand together. I'm thinking you can stay in place so that Melinda doesn't have to leave the tenor section. Help me to plan the logistics of that. I was truly impressed with how well this piece came together. I love how you watch me at the beginning and at the ending with the oohs and aahs. I tried the beginning straight up and the ending different and it sounded really cool. Keep watching throughout but especially at the end, as usual.

5. Crazy Little Thing Called Love: Fun is the key here. Don't stress it. If you and/or your neighbour mess up the harmonies, don't stress it, but smile and keep singing. Chances are, you're singing the melody by mistake, and that's no big deal. We want this to lift people's spirits and maybe make them laugh. It's crazy and cute and we sing it in our own way. Don't stress the timing. We're all together and that's the important thing.

6. Seasons of Love: After we reviewed all the parts at bar 21, starting at 20 and then starting back at 17, it was smooth sailing. If you weren't there, that's the section to review, please. Getting those notes at 21 is key. It's such a cool song and Nicole does an amazing solo. Don't forget to watch at the end for the extra "seasons of love".

7. Nella Fantasia: Mary-Ellen will do the solo. At the next verse, all the tenors and basses sing that "solo". Take note: the ending is better and more dramatic when we slow down and get quieter starting at that long, awkward note in bar 49 at the top of page 10. The "ending" starts here so start watching here.

Wow! We got through a lot! I'm so glad! I was a little worried when we had to miss last week's rehearsal, but I feel much better now.

We didn't sing Wonderful World, Unity, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Hine Ma Tov, Imagine, One Small Step, or You Raise Me Up. Next week, we'll be sure to run through Unity with Teija, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing with Sophie and Cathy, Imagine with Janet, and One Small Step with Melodie, so you can see where it's best to stand how to go to the mic and how to go back.

Next week, Monday, April 30th: Run-through rehearsal at Trinity
Small groups and soloists come early starting at 6:00 (Creatures first, and see calendar for suggested times for the others)
Everyone else be there by 7:15

Everyone should have the concert order. If not, get it from the website. Put your binders in concert order so that we can transition from song to song smoothly. Maybe get sticky notes to mark the first song of a set so you can open your binder quickly to the right page each time.

Tickets:
Get your friends and family booked. Buy their tickets in pairs to save $5.

Seniors' home performances:
The seniors' home tour starts immediately after the concert, on Monday night. The following Monday, May 14th, we will meet after the seniors' home performance to rehearse the 2 Police Choir songs from 8:30-9:30. We will do that on May 28th as well. It will be on the calendar.

Don't forget to sign up for the seniors' home performances on the website.

Binders:
Don't forget to return your binder before Canada Day! All binders must be returned to Lyn before Canada Day. All music will be removed from your binder and filed in filing cabinets, along with the other 65 copies. All binders will be filled with Christmas season music for the first rehearsal in September.

Take care of your health over the next week and a half!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 09-APR-2018

6:30 What the World Needs Now
7:00 Colors of the Wind
Break: Melinda and Todd
Late: Todd

Warm-up: One Small Step -almost perfect. One comment Tenors and Basses at bar 57, make it strong- it's an important transition moment and you carry it.

1. Unity: still trying to get a good balance on the second page. Tried Teija's solo a cappella, with a run to her note in the beginning and just before everyone comes in. I love her voice! We have to be sure not to get heavy on page 2. Yes, the meaning is strong, but we still want to maintain a sweetness. In keeping with the Disney princess and/or mouse feel, we need the first sopranos to be light and sweet like Snow White on the high part. You cannot overpower the melody in the alto line.

2. I'd Like to Teach: We tried out various pairs of soloists and ended up with Sophie on part 1 and Cathy on part 2. (Sophie had a cool story about her personal connection to the words she's going to sing. Ask her about it.) Melodie would be a good back-up on either part to blend with either of those two. The most important thing on this song, for the soloists and for all of us, is to remember to hold those long notes all the way to the end without cutting out or diminishing the volume.

3. Imagine: Yes! I love this song! Janet's solo is perfect and we're close. We've got to be consistently good on our timing, especially at the end (soprano and tenor-bass special bits) and bar 42 (don't come in early!). We often get it perfect, but not always.

4. Nella Fantasia: Gorgeous! We tried it with just Mary-Ellen on the first solo again, and tried Todd on a solo at the tenor-bass melody part. I think we'll keep Mary-Ellen on the first and have tenors and basses together as written. We reviewed the oohs again. Please use the recordings on the website to review you parts if you're feeling unsure.

5. Seasons of Love: This song always makes me feel happy, a great way to end the evening! We still have to work on bar 21. Somehow it is hard and we can't find our notes there. 

Next Week: Monday, April 16th
****Posters and tickets will be ready!
You can book your friends and family now: Sunday, May 6th 3:00

6:30 What the World Needs Now 
7:00 Colors of the Wind 
Break: Man in the Mirror (please sing along with YouTube as much as possible)

  • Crazy Little Thing
  • From a Distance
  • Let There be Peace
  • Seasons of Love
  • Why We Sing




Thursday, April 5, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 2-APR-2018

Monday, April 2nd (Easter Monday)
6:30 Colors of the Wind small group
Break time: Stanley and Mona
After choir: All God's Creatures

Warm-up Wonderful World
1. I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing: Duet to start, which goes up to bar 40. The important thing throughout this piece is to observe rests carefully. When there's a rest, you rest. Wherever there isn't a rest, you're singing, you're holding those notes all the way through to the next note. This is very important for the duet section. We tried out a bunch of different pairs, and I'm still looking for the right combination. Let me know if you want to try it next week.
2. Seasons of Love: We should be good to sing this as written, as long as the tenors and altos are good and strong in their parts, and as long as the sopranos get their notes confidently and with a balanced strength. The ending is sounding good!
3. Crazy Little Thing Called Love: We're getting it! We'll keep imagining our sassy panties and we won't be too stressed out if we or our neighbours sing the melody by mistake. Here too it is important to observe the rests. Watch out for holding notes where they're short and cutting off where they should be held.
Thank you, Sophie, for the Easter treats. I have to be careful with jelly beans; I was so wound-up after break! It was lots of fun, though, and I needed to release some stress. Thanks for putting up with my crazy moods :-) I love my choir!

Next week: Monday, April 9
6:30 What the World Needs Now
7:00 Colours of the Wind
Break time: Todd and Melinda
After choir: All God's Creatures

  • I'd Like To Teach
  • Imagine
  • Nella Fantasia
  • Unity
  • Seasons of Love




Wednesday, March 28, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 26-March-2018

6:30: Colors of the Wind small group. Wow! It's going to be beautiful.
7:00: Man in the Mirror

Warm-up: Hine Ma Tov

1. Crazy Little Thing Called Love: We reviewed the timing of page 10 and the timing in general. We have to remember that we are interpreting this piece loosely. We are mostly landing on the beat, so things get moved around a bit. For example, in the tenor/bass line at the bottom of page 4, look at "It shakes all over like a jelly fish". If we land on beat one with "shakes", then "all" comes in on beat two, for one-two-three-and-four-and, straight up with a bit of swing. We are working on getting this to sound easy-peasy and fun, so don't stress over it. Loosen up and feel sassy.

2. Let There Be Peace On Earth: The opposite of sassy, this is the real deal. Impressive and passionate. We reviewed the first soprano part at the beginning. We reviewed page 6 for the poor tenors who move around a fair bit.

3. Nella Fantasia: Todd is Mary-Ellen's back-up for this, but Mary-Ellen suggested that we might want to try to see how it sounds with the two of them singing together. Wow! It was awesome. It's hard to decide though which way to do it. Each of them sounds beautiful and they sound beautiful together. Got some thinking to do. I think I have to stop calling it Nella Fantasia. We sing "In my fantasy" so that's what we should call it, right? I'm not sure. We reviewed the oohs for everyone

4. Seasons of Love: It's pretty awesome. I like the ending we made up, and continue to make up. Give an ending that makes sense to you. It will sound good. I think we might want to add some soprano to the tenor and alto lines, an octave up, in places where it's important.

In general, it's thinking time now. We've learned all our parts, and now we have to polish and clean up, and decide on the best interpretation of the music. We're on our way to the concert in good form. Well done, everyone!

Next week is Easter Monday  Happy Easter!
If you have family plans, please have fun and enjoy your evening and don't worry about choir. The rest of us will be working on our music and you'll be able to follow us when you get back. Check out the review and sing along with recordings on the website to review your music.
 Monday, April 2nd
6:30 Colors of the Wind

  • Crazy Little Thing
  • I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing
  • Why We Sing
  • Wonderful World
  • Seasons of Love

Sunday, March 25, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 19-Mar-2018

OMG! I didn't make a rehearsal review for this past Monday! I'm sorry. I've had a very busy and stressful week, and the next 2 weeks will also be unusually busy for me. Forgive me in advance, please, for letting things drop.

Man in the Mirror tried snaps and various combinations of solos and duets and ended up singing the parts as written. It was pretty good, but we're at odds with the accompaniment. Joy is going to see what she can do to help us out, possibly adding some quarter notes on the beats in the left hand to give us a better sense of the rhythm. We'll try it out tomorrow after Colours of the Wind.

1. Wonderful World was our warm-up again.
2. From a Distance is getting so good! We had Lauren and Trix do the solos to give Melinda and Jane a chance to get their Tenor parts good and strong. It was really very good.
3. Unity is getting better and better, and now we have Teija singing the first verse as a solo! Remember how I had only the sopranos on the first verse and I was asking for a sweet feel, like a Disney mouse? I had a sudden spark of inspiration and asked Teija to sing it. It's a bit more Disney princess than mouse, but it feels just the way I hoped it would. Please pay attention to the notes after the "here I am" parts, it's not the same as it was in the rest of the song. That whole page is the special part that leads to the ending, right?
4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love is so much fun! We're getting it! We reviewed the sassy harmonies in the soprano and alto lines, which are challenging, but good now. Joy is the one who really has the most difficult parts where she has the special instrumental solos.
5. Seasons of Love. We finished! And, we figured out a better ending. We're going to add "Seasons of Love" and you can harmonize as you wish. You all know what kind of ending note you usually get, and that will do fine. If we have 8-part harmony, even better.

Monday, March 26th
Colors of the Wind starts at 6:30!
Man in the Mirror will meet at 7:10 or so to try out the new accompaniment.

  • Hine Ma Tov
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • Let there be Peace on Earth
  • Nella Fantasia
  • Seasons of Love

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 12-Mar-2018

6:30 Man in the Mirror: continue to sing along with Michael as homework
Colours of the Wind small group will start soon. Sign up on the website.

1. Warm-up was You Raise Me Up. It's a good warm-up because the first 2 verses and choruses are all soft. Nice and easy. Hold back so that the audience is yearning to hear that chorus more and louder. After bar 29, remember not to get too soft at the middle of page 6; stay strong. We reviewed the tenor part at bar 24, and every time you sing "You raise me up" after "shoulders". It might not be what you've been singing. Notice the note for 'you' is higher than the note for 'raise'.

2. Seasons of Love was essentially a review of all that we've done up to now. Very few people remembered the parts from page 3 to 6. We found our back-up for Nicole! Trix did a great job on the solo on page 4. Remember that all the sopranos are on that melody at 62. We'll be working on this for the next few weeks; don't worry.

3. From a Distance: We are getting so good at this! We did it for the first time without our "training wheels". Joy didn't play at all, so we were a cappella, and we stayed in tune! We reviewed parts from 43 to 51.

4. One Small Step: I love this song! We do it so well, and I love Melodie's voice on the solo at the beginning. Blair did the second solo and the contrast was so good! Remember to come in fairly softly after those solos. It's got to be sweet at the beginning, 'small steps' that build into 'strong steps'. This song also has a lot of repetition of the chorus, so we have to be careful not to make them all the same. Hold back the first couple times.

Next week: March 19

6:30 Man in the Mirror

  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • From a Distance
  • Unity
  • Seasons of Love

Thursday, March 8, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 05-March-2018

March 5th Rehearsal:

6:30 Man in the Mirror homework: Listen and sing along with Michael Jackson to get more comfortable with the timing.

Warm-up: Dona Nobis Pacem, a round with movement- looked cool, but messy and sounded cool, but messy. It's not easy singing and moving.

1. Let There Be Peace on Earth: Finally learned section D, and now we're done! Just cleaning up now. It's sounding grand.

2. Crazy Little Thing: 43-49 and 60-71 be careful! I gotta be cool is very different both times. We're done with this now too, but we'll need to review page 10 again, and all the little edgy harmonies.

3. Imagine: We tried out some back-ups for Janet. It's good to know we have 3 people who could step up if necessary. Top of page 6 just before the key change, remember the timing changed and we're moving on beat one instead of just before.  And the end, remember the timing at the end. If the tenors are not strong enough on the last "be as one" we need to add the back row altos, right? Did we talk about that?

4. Nella Fantasia: Don't forget to move down on the oohs under the solo, but you're all back in your proper places for "within the deepest soul" at the pick-up to bar 20. We're just perfecting this now. It's so good!

5. Unity: We move the same way here, down a section, with first sopranos on top, seconds in the alto line, altos in tenor and tenors and basses on the bottom together for page 2. Altos sing the melody up an octave though. The speaking parts: "here I am" we need to decide on a back row soprano, Anne will do the alto, or someone mid-alto section, and a bass voice would be nice. Don't forget the together we're we timing and notes are different right after that, heading into the end.

Next week: March Break but not a break for us.
Monday, March 12th

6:30 Man in the Mirror

  • From a Distance
  • One Small Step
  • Seasons of Love
  • You Raise Me Up



Thursday, March 1, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 26-FEB-2018

6:30 Man in the Mirror Small Group started. We are sounding good, and have figured out (sort of) a good ending.

Monday, February 26th YRCC Rehearsal

1. Warm-up was a  move-and-sing with You Raise Me Up. It was wonderful! It felt good moving to that beautiful piece of music and it's amazing how well we know it without music, off-by-heart!!!

2. Let There Be Peace on Earth was going so well, we almost finished! Apparently, I forgot section D. Oh, dear! You sight-read it beautifully. The first sopranos are singing the descant part at the beginning, in the lines on top where it says 4 or 8** GIRLS. So far, we have Melodie, Mary-Ellen, and Nicole on top and the rest on the bottom. Everyone else is in the lower choir bracket, and everyone starts at the beginning except the first sopranos. The words we landed on are: "With Earth as our mother, her children all are we. Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony. "

3. Nella Fantasia is done! Well, we're done learning. Now, we just have to polish it. We reviewed pages 6 to 10, learned the oohs on pages 4 and 5, and even fixed the "Within the deepest soul" there. For the oohs, remember that the sopranos are down on the alto line, altos sing tenor, and tenors and basses are together on the bottom. But, at the pick-up to bar 20, you all slide into your regular places- all sopranos on top, altos, sing the same alto notes as you do in the end, tenors are jumping a bit but will sound awesome, and basses are happily on the bottom.

4. From a Distance is also done! We did 43 to the end. Now, we just review and polish until we can do it without Joy, a cappella. It's so beautiful! I love this song and this arrangement is really special.

Next Week:

6:30 Man in the Mirror

  • Crazy Little Thing (p 6-8)
  • Imagine (be as one- key change and end)
  • Let there be Peace on Earth (D)
  • Nella Fantasia
  • Unity



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 20-FEB-2018

Family Day Rehearsal, Monday, February 20th, 2018

1. Warm up was Wonderful World without music and swaying to the music. It was really cool. It's amazing how much of it we have memorized somehow!

2. Why We Sing was also wonderful! We only reviewed the first soprano descant part. Everything was excellent.

3. Unity: We reviewed page 2, with some changes. It's getting there. The balance was not great before, but I'm working on it. It's really much better. We've got first sopranos on the top alone and making sure not to be too loud when they don't have the melody. Second sopranos are in the alto line. Altos are in the tenor line. The tenor notes are okay for the altos, except in the melody. When you have the melody, sing it up in the same octave as the sopranos. That way the melody continues clearly. Tenors and basses are both on the bass line, singing either up the octave or down. "Love thy neighbour as thy self" is awkward, and we're working on fixing it. It might be fine to just sing below everyone else without being different. I might rewrite that line for tenors and basses. The other thing we worked on is the words "together we're free". There are 3 different ways to sing this: at the bottom of page 2, we sing together. (full stop) we're free. At the top of page 2 and at the bottom of page 3 the timing is different. There's no break between together and we're free. There's a time change but no pause there. You can't stop. The top of page 2 and the bottom of page 3 are different, though. The notes are not the same. Make sure you don't sing them all the same.

4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love: We got pretty far in this, up to page 6. There are a couple places where the sopranos and altos don't have the melody but have a sassy-country-twangy harmony. We'll have to work on being sassy. Tenors and Basses have a lot of melody in this song. Gotta be cool!

We had only a very small break and left early to be home to watch the Olympics, and because it was Family Day.

Next week, Monday, February 26th.

Small group: 6:30 Man in the Mirror starts

  • From a Distance
  • Imagine
  • Let There be Peace
  • Nella Fantasia


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 12-FEB-2018

We had a Valentine's Day sweet feast! A number of people brought sweet things for (decaf) coffee break. We had cakes and squares and cookies and Donna's famous butter tarts and fruit and... OH MY! Thank you to all the bakers and purveyors of wonderful treats!

What the World Needs Now is Love: this small group is so good! Joy has made recordings of your parts so you can brush up from time to time, but we're done rehearsing this for a while. Thank you, Anne-Marie and Joy for doing a great job leading this group!

Warm-ups were more physical than vocal even though we should know Crazy Little Thing Called Love enough to sing along to most of it! I guess I got you doing too much with your hips and arms and hands. We're supposed to be moving and singing, but we had fun! And, for me, it's important to feel the song with my whole body. It helps with the rhythm and dynamics and it makes it more fun. We used the Dwight Yoakam version to move and clap and sing to.

1. Crazy Little Thing Called Love: We learned pages 10-11(my favourite part).We did that thing where we decide to sing on the beat instead of just before. It's not as cool and jazzy, or country-cool, but cool enough. It's easier for sure.
Watch me for the timing of this section, and always at the end. We will have Joy play all the way to the end of her part before we say "Yeah!" so that it has its own special moment.

2. Seasons of Love: We learned from bar 28 to 48! There is a solo which Nicole sang really well! While she's singing her solo, sopranos are with the altos, and it is a similar thing to what you sing during other parts of the song. We spoke the words "Celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends" to learn the rhythm of that phrase. It's not as hard as it looks. We sang thorough the whole song, and it is getting easier to sight-read now that we know so much already. There is an optional solo section starting at 62, but we'll have all the sopranos on that line, but soft so that the other parts come through-all the parts are important and we have to figure out how to blend together. We also have to figure out an ending. I really don't like the (non-) ending of this arrangement. So, be prepared to play with that a bit.

3. Let There Be Peace on Earth: We learned the ending from the top of page 6 after the fermata (which we will observe) to the end, the first (loud) ending, not the optional (quiet) ending, part of section F. I had planned to do all of section F, but we had too much fun at break time. Remember to move into your own line at the beginning of the second system. Except maybe the tenors- I suggest that you write your part over the bass part in the bass clef. You'll stay there, at the top of the bass clef, for the ending. Tenors, for the word "begin", sing the quarter notes. Everyone, there is a rallentando that we're observing. (language lovers: 'lent'or 'lento' is in there) We will slow down the words "let it begin with", leaning into those quarter notes in the alto and tenor lines especially. Watch for the rest, because we go back to the regular tempo (a tempo) and Joy has some awesome chords to play, and a tremolo at the end (Why do I like tremolos so much? Thank you, Joy for indulging me!). We sang from section E to the end.

Next week is Family Day. We will meet, but there will be no early group. Everyone starts at 7:30.

  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • Let There Be Peace on Earth
  • Unity
  • Why We Sing
  • Wonderful World
Sign up for Man in the Mirror! It starts the week after next at 6:30.  I need all parts, please.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

YRCC solos spring 2018

Here's my worksheet for solos for spring 2018:
Help me fill in the blanks and decide who sings what. Which solos would you be interested in?
I've made a few suggestions and some are already decided on (bold).

From a Distance: 
1. 6-13 and 26-33
Melinda
back-up: Jane
2. 10-13 and 29-33
Soprano for duet: Lauren? Joanne? Sophie?
back-up:

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing: 
1. 9-16 and 25-39
Soprano/Alto: Jane? Debbie? Melodie? Trix?
back-up:
2. 17-39
Tenor/bass male: Blair? Philip?
back-up:

Imagine:
1. 5-12 and 17-24
solo: Janet 
back-up: Teija? Joanne?

Nella Fantasia: bars 6-21
1. solo: Mary-Ellen 
back-up: Todd 

One Small Step: 
1. 5-9 and 75
Soprano or Alto: Melodie? Teija? Debbie?
back-up:
2. 9-14
Tenor or Bass: Stanley? Blair? Todd? Bill?
back-up:

Seasons of Love: 33-40
1. Soprano: Nicole? Teija? Trix?

Why We Sing: 9-25
1. Soprano: Kit/ Trix
2. Tenor or Bass male: Stanley/
3. Alto or Tenor female: Peggy/ Debbie?
4. Tenor or Bass male: Blair?

YRCC Rehearsal 5-FEB-2018

Monday, February 5th, 2018 was my birthday and it was a wonderful way to spend my special day.
Thank you for all your kind and loving birthday wishes! I love my choir.

When I arrived, the small group What the World Needs Now is Love was singing and it was heavenly.

We warmed up with the Hallelujah vamp from Your Love is Amazing. We swayed and swiveled and we clapped and we moved our feet while singing 3-part harmony. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah: Your love makes me sing! We're not ready to join a gospel choir, but we can have fun moving and singing. Do this in the kitchen, but not in the bathtub.

1. One Small Step is so good! We reviewed the section that starts at 58, at the bottom of page 9.
Melodie sang the solo at the beginning which comes back at the end. Blair did the the second solo from the pick-up to bar 10 to bar 14. I think I need to assess the solos and see who is willing and able to sing what. That will be another blog post. If you liked these solos, and think you'd be interested in singing them, let me know. I think Melodie's voice is perfectly suited to this one, but I'm open to suggestions. At the top of page 6, we will have only the altos sing from bar 32 to 36. All tenors and basses from pick-up to 37 to 41.

2. From a Distance is coming along really well. I got goosebumps a couple of times. The harmonies are beautiful!  (apparently, the goosebump thing means I'm special) We learned from bar 13 to 25, so we can now sing all the way to the bottom of page 6. Don't worry if you missed this; it's all on the website to listen to. You can catch up at home. (except some tenors. We divided the tenor part differently from what's on the recordings. For second tenors, the middle row, "From a distance there is harmony" is FFGEb GABb BbAG I think will be easier. It sounded really good.)

3. Nella Fantasia never fails to move me. It's so good, even without the words. In fact, my favourite versions of this song are when it's called Gabriel's Oboe and it's performed by an orchestra with an oboe solo (or sometimes a clarinet, my instrument). Sometimes when it comes on the radio, I weep, and if I'm driving I have to change the station. We learned the hard part from 28-37 and we sang from page 6 to the end. Everybody has something special in the section and there's so much going on. Learn your part well. There are two sets of recordings for this, so no excuses :-) It was such a nice birthday present to hear this!

4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love was a good way to end the night, with everyone laughing. For most people it was their first time so it was understandably messy. It's a cool Queen song, and our version is based on the Dwight Yoakam version. So, ours is all kinds of groovy. Shall we dance? Can we have a line dancing night?



Next Week: Monday, February 12th: 
Coffee social at Break Time

Same small group at 6:30 What the World Needs Now


  • Seasons of Love 28-40
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love (start at end-pg 10-11)
  • Let there be Peace on Earth
  • Why We Sing

The next small group will be Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson. It's in 3 parts, SAB.
Sign up now on the website under Events.
You can also start signing up for the seniors home performances as they get booked for the spring.

Monday, January 29, 2018

SNOW DAY! No YRCC rehearsal tonight, Jan. 29, 2018

The one time a snow day is not happy news!
Let's be safe and spend the evening relaxing indoors.
I'm sad to miss choir !

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 22-Jan-2018

Another messy day, weather-wise, with fog and freezing rain and rain on an off. Yuck! We're so lucky to have choir to end our Mondays on a positive note ;-)

6:30 Small group: What the World Needs Now is Love: brave folks got there early and learned half the song already. Way to go!

We did another move-and-sing exercise for our warm-up. This time we danced and sang along to the Beatles' Twist and Shout! We tried to sing harmonies along with Paul and George or the melody with John. You'll be very sad if you missed this rehearsal!

1. Imagine: We spent the whole first half on this because we were really getting it. The plan was to learn from bar 40 to the end. We did that so well that we sang the whole song through and did an excellent job. So, now we're ahead on this song. Hooray!

2. Nella Fantasia: We learned bar 42 to the end, and it was beautiful! Listen to the recordings- there are lots. The ones that Richard did have him singing the parts. You might find that easier, hearing the words.

3. Seasons of Love: This was only supposed to be an introduction, but we got all the way to the bottom of page 3, learning parts. We sight-read to the end, and it was fun! I love this song.

Next week:
Monday, January 29
6:30 What the World Needs Now

  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • From a Distance 13-25
  • Nella Fantasia 28-37
  • One Small Step
  • Seasons of Love 28-40 (talk about solos- soprano here and tenor at 40)



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal Review 15-Jan-2018

Monday, January 15th
was a snowy, messy day on the roads.
What a good thing we had choir to help us escape!

Warm-up was a dance-and-sing-along exercise to Seasons of Love. (an excellent reward for having braved the scary drive)

1. Unity: We made some changes. The first verse is sung by sopranos only until bar 14 "Sometimes our paths will wind." This section, from bar 14 until bar 23, is under construction. We're moving down to give more support to the bass line. So, first sopranos are on top in the soprano line. Second sopranos are in the alto line. Altos are in the tenor line (it's treble clef an octave down). Tenors are on top of the bass line in the bass clef. Basses are on the very bottom. The important bit in the tenor line is a bit low for the altos, but maybe it will work better when more of them are there. If necessary, we'll add some tenors in on bar 16. Don't forget to write in the words for verse 2. (With respect and dignity come peace and unity. No race, religion, skin, nor creed, for you are you and I am me. Together we're we.) Remember to skip to the second ending at the bottom of page 3.

2. Nella Fantasia: One of my all-time favourite pieces of music! I love it when it's Gabriel's Oboe best of all, but our version is pretty awesome. We made similar changes to what we did in Unity to Nella Fantasia in bars 11 to 21. Bar 21 is under construction. We'll see how that ends up working. At the beginning, Mary-Ellen sings a solo and that solo continues through to 21. Todd has offered to be her back-up. Won't that be special! Under that, the sopranos will sing "oo" in the alto line. The altos will sing in the tenor line (again in that special treble clef an octave down), and the tenors and basses sing together in the bass clef. For the rest of the song, all parts are in their usual places. Note that the tenor and bass parts are in unison from bar 23 to 27. Then, the tenors have the melody, and then give it to the altos, but the basses get their own melody, as do the sopranos. Sopranos and basses, make a note at the bottom of that page that you have a special "in my fantasy" after the page turn! Altos and tenors finish the word humanity on the page turn and hold it one bar only. Everyone should try to take some time to listen to their part on the recordings. We all forgot how this goes! We laughed because it was pretty awful but at least we were all in the same boat. Log in to the website and listen to the recordings, please!

3. From a Distance: Last time we sang this, Jane was the soloist and Daphne came in for the duet parts. There were back-ups, but we can't remember who. I think it will be really dramatic and cool for Melinda to sing the solo. People will remember that she sang it as a solo song and so this will sound like we are all backing her up. Of course, it ends up being total choral 4-part harmony, with 6-part harmony at times! We need to find someone to sing the soprano part above her in those harmony bits, and we need a back-up too. Jane will back Melinda up. Recordings for this song are also on the website. Notice that sopranos and tenors divide. Also, notice that there is no accompaniment. There is a recording of all parts together, though. It's a cappella. Joy will help us for a while, and then we have to learn to fly on our own. We learned the section from bar 38 to 45 which repeats.

4. Imagine: OMG! This is so good! We will have some work to do still, but many of you remember it. You'll remember that timing is special and has to be tight. No worries; I'll have you in line in no time. This is Janet's solo. We'll need a back-up. Poor Janet was stuck in traffic and had to miss choir, but that meant that everyone got to sing from the beginning. The solo goes from the beginning to the middle of page 4. So, the sopranos sing soprano from bar 13 to 16, but sing oos with the altos starting at 17. Back to normal at 25.

Next week:
Monday, January 22nd

6:30 Small group: What the World Needs Now is Love
I just now created the "Event" on the website, so if you aren't signed up don't worry, just show up.
There might not be enough copies of the music, but we'll see.
Note that it is SSA and the first soprano part gets quite high.

  • From a Distance (bars 13-25)
  • Imagine (40-end?)
  • Nella Fantasia (42-end?)
  • Seasons of Love (beginning to 20)


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal Review 08-JAN-2018

First post of 2018!
We're back! And, we're sounding fantastic!
Our theme this season is Unity and Harmony.

First rehearsal, Monday, January 8th, 2018

  1. Wonderful World: done. It's always wonderful.
  2. Dona Nobis Pacem: almost done. We just have to work on making it sound interesting and pretty. Part 1 is Soprano, part 2 is Alto, part 3 is Tenor and Bass. 
  3. I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing: We sang all the way through and it was pretty good already. We're going to try to make it more interesting and less repetitive by having 2 soloists sing until bar 40. I'm looking for volunteers for those 2 parts, a woman and a man and two back-ups. 
  4. One Small Step: This will also start with a woman and a man, 2 very short solos, and then they come back for a line just before the end. This is such a powerful song and has excellent harmonies that are not very difficult. We learned from the pick-up to bar 15 to bar 23, and sight-read the whole thing a couple of times. It won't be hard.
  5. Let There Be Peace on Earth: We're doing this a bit differently from last time, so get your eraser out and start erasing the last page notes. We're doing the big ending, not the quiet optional ending. Also, we're going to use alternative lyrics which are accepted by copyright. They are: with Earth as our mother, her children all are we. There is an extra note for the word "her" and it is just a pick-up note before the first note of page 4. Use that note. 
  6. Hine Ma Tov: Bam! We got it. It was never better. We're going to add a tambourine this time.
  7. Why We Sing: I'd like to have Kit and Stanley start again and we'll need back-ups. We'll have to replace Enid and Rob and have back-ups as well. I'm looking for volunteers. This is our finale song. When I sang through the final set for myself, I started to cry. This is why we sing.
I'm going to post about small groups and solos and duets. I've got a couple of songs and some ideas too.

The first small group will be What the World Needs Now is Love, starting on the 22nd. 

Next week's songs:
  • From a Distance
  • Imagine
  • Nella Fantasia
  • Unity

Saturday, December 30, 2017

YRCC last post of 2017

I hope everyone knows what a wonderful year the YRCC has had. 2017 was Canada's sesquicentennial year and we were proud Canadians and sang some awesome Canadian music! Our concerts were well attended (total capacity at Christmas) and comments were that they were our best concerts yet!

I'm so proud of all of us!

I'm also ready for another fantastic year. Our theme of unity/peace is another good one for strong feelings, powerful music, and joyful collaboration. We have lots of great music already in our repertoire, and I've picked out some super songs with the help of our reading committee to add something new.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again on Monday, January 8th, 2018.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

YRCC Run-Through Rehearsal 27-Nov-17

We're going to be great. The last rehearsal made sure you'll keep working until the last minute :-)

At the end, I said you should know what you need to work on. Some of you will think that you've got your parts so you don't have to look over anything, but please do anyway. You see, if you were so strong on your part, the ones who were lost would have been able to follow you, right?

Here's what needs review:

1. Hine Ma Tov (the words, the melody, when to come in)
Here's a link to listen to: Hine Ma Tov (fast but clear)

2. River: Listen to Joni Mitchell This is the one that inspired our arrangement. You'll hear it. Just get a handle on how the 3 verses go, with the 2 endings and the coda. (Joy will give us the same 2-bar intro just before each verse so that the start is clearer) Remember the ending is slowish, and starts with the two slow pa-pas.

3. Watch the conductor for every entry and every ending, always! So, learn those entries and endings so you don't have to look at your music and you can look at me.

Soloists and small group members please memorize your parts as much as possible so you don't have to look at your music too much. Sing to the audience.

That's not bad considering we're presenting 26 pieces of music!

As always, everything will come together when we're in front of the audience. Thank you for all your hard work over the season!

Break a leg!


Saturday, November 25, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 20-NOV-2017

Early group was Silent Night

I'm sorry I left early. I'm sure Anne-Marie led a great rehearsal for the last half-hour. I was very pleased with River!

The concert order is posted on the website. Please sign in and put your binders in concert order for our run-through rehearsal on Monday, November 27.

Notes:
1. Concert Order is on the website under Members Only Content: Winter Concert Order
2.What to wear at the concert is on the website under Members Only Content: Concert Wardrobe: Formal Concerts. You can see how we look if you look for us on YouTube.
3. Seniors' Homes visits start Monday, December 4th! Sign up for these performances under Events Sign Up. These are such a good thing for everyone, for us and for our audiences!
4. Seniors' performance orders are tentative, but they are listed under Seniors' Performance Orders.
Your binder must be returned to Lyn after your last performance and before Christmas! Do not leave Lyn with a straggling binder to set up just before (or after!) our January start!!! You will get all new music in your binder in January. Help this to happen.
5. Stay healthy and be prepared for the concert. Read my post on Performance Tips.
6. Small Groups and Soloists should start arriving at 6:00 on Monday for microphone and music stand stand set-up, and everyone else should aim for 7:00 so we can figure out where to stand and sit and have a warm-up, and start the run-through no later than 7:30.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 13Nov2017

6:30 Barenaked small group rocked! We got it.

We had a surprise sing-along of Ahead by a Century by The Tragically Hip. Some of us were unfamiliar with that song. We'd like to add it in to the show somewhere, so please listen to it a few times before then. Here is a link to a video for you. I think we'll sing it with the Kevins and Janet playing guitar and drums. Joy might want to join them.

1. In Our Town in December: Bill wasn't there and we found a few good back-ups. I'm hoping Bill and Teija can sing the solos at the show.

2. River: It worked! It felt so good to hear our arrangement come together as I had hoped, or even better than I had hoped. It does help to be able to hear the solos. We have to remember to be soft when we come in during the solos, wispy and hushed on the word wish. It was beautiful.

3. Hockey Song: Excellent!

4. We Rise Again: Such a powerful song! We are so good on this! Joanne will charm everyone with her solo. Robyn is a super back-up. Don't be too soft on the oohs and ahhs. Joanne will have a mic. The way that the oohs and ahhs move and sound so good, we don't want to miss that. Altos and Second Sopranos need to try to be soft and try to hear the tenors and basses especially on page 5. The tenors and basses have some cool stuff that needs to come out. First sopranos, you need to review your part please. Try to be confident and not stressed on your part so that it sounds pretty and strong. Sometimes it sounds harsh.

Monday, November 20th :
Last chance to buy advance tickets and poinsettias! Tickets will be available at the door, but they will be $15 for everyone.

Silent Night small group will meet early at 6:30

  • Hine Ma Tov
  • Magic of Winter
  • Noel Nouvelet
  • Somewhere A Child is Sleeping
  • River
  • We Rise Again