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!

Saturday, November 10, 2018


YRCC Rehearsal 05-NOV-2018

6:30 Angels Among Us- done! So good!

Posters for the concert were ready and ticket sales have started. Tickets will be available for pick-up and purchase starting Monday, Nov. 12.
the concert is called "The Meaning of Fa-la-la"

1. Do You Hear What I Hear- this is going to be the finale, and I've slowed it down a bit so that it's really dramatic. I love this arrangement. We reviewed the Soprano and Alto oohs, and all the places where the sopranos divide. Slowed down, it's a bit easier. If you missed this rehearsal, please review you part for this song and keep in mind that we're slowing it down.

2. Various Themes- this is going to be the show opener. We're fine now that we have a strong beginning and a strong end, even though Daphne reminded us that we're less than a month away from the concert and it felt scary!

3. Welcome Christmas-work on this one. We reviewed the beginning and ending, the oohs, and it ended up pretty good, but the middle is still new-ish and messy. If you have time, review this one on your own to help us out. Also review Grown-up Christmas List if you have some time.

4. Silent Night- We talked about how we will have a number of solos of Silent Night in different languages, end in English with audience and all. We've got German, Dutch, French, Italian and Mandarin!

Next week:  Monday, November 14th Buy Tickets!

6:30 Mary Did You Know- quartet
7:00 Let's Keep Christmas in our Hearts- small group


  • Siyahamba
  • Welcome Christmas
  • Grown-up Christmas List
  • Let There Be Peace on Earth- cello and flute


Sunday, November 4, 2018

YRCC at Grease Sing-Along this Thursday, November 8

It's finally here!
Sing-Along Grease at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts

We're meeting for dinner at the  Falcon pub at 10300 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill at 5:45.
The show starts at 8:00.

Can't wait!


YRCC Review October 29th, 2019

It was good to be back and to find that you've made good progress!
6:30 Angels Among Us sounded so beautiful!

Hine Ma Tov: this year we'll sing it only in Hebrew, all verses (2+2). I'll invite the audience to sing the lai-lais. Be sure to smile and sing them clearly and accented. If we can add tamborines, it would be fun.

12 Days After Christmas: this is so much fun! We learned page 10 to the end, where the choir is all together and also reviewed parts where the choir is singing in the background behind the soloists. Soloists: memorize please so that you can sing with great clarity and drama!
One change we made, the duba duba part will go to the whole front row, still soft but stronger than just a duet to balance the whole tenor and bass section.

Welcome Christmas: So good! We're getting it. We spent time on the beginning and the end, the oohs. I love the oohs! We'll do this again.

Various Themes on Fa-la-la: is now more important. I decided to call the concert "The Meaning of Fa-la-la" so this is now a focus. The transitions are the hard part here, but we're getting them down. We'll review them; don't worry.

Monday, November 5th:

      6:30 Angels Among Us with Renate

  • Grown-up Christmas List
  • Welcome Christmas
  • Various Themes Falala
  • 12 Days After Christmas
  • Do You Hear What I Hear


Thursday, October 25, 2018

15&22Oct2018

Sorry I missed last Monday's rehearsal!
I hear it went well.
Thanks, Lauren, Anne Marie and Joy!
I hadn't posted my review for the previous week yet, so there were questions about who is singing what in the Twelve Days After Christmas and I'll clear up Let there be peace on earth as well.

Let there Be Peace on Earth: Mary-Ellen will start by singing sections A, B, C, and D as a solo, with Robin (soprano) playing the descant part on the flute. What I refer to as the descant part is the top choir bracket, where it indicates 4 or 8 girls and 4 or 8 boys. We will all go back to the beginning, with the first sopranos singing only the top (top of treble clef) part of the descant and all the rest of us on the bottom choir bracket as usual, SATB, for A,B,C and D. The flute will continue to play with the first sopranos. At E, it's softer, SATB, and dramatic with crescendos and decrescendos. At F, the drama intensifies. Very soft but quickly getting loud so that "peace eternally" is quite loud. Don't give it everything yet, though, because the ending is ff, double forte. We are not singing the optional quiet ending. In the second system on page 6, tenors and basses can all sing the quarter notes in that third bar, so that begin has 3 beats, like the second sopranos. The tenor clef is so annoying!
Twelve Days After Christmas: Mostly little solos. A: Carol (back-up ?) B: all come in at "my true love" very soft. C: Debbie (back-up ?) and everyone comes in again at "my true love" softly. D: Trix (back up Joanne?) with tenors and basses singing ooos. E: Robin (soprano, back-up Roxanne?) with tenors and basses. D and E soloists sing the du-ba section with Peggy W on melody at F? Everyone is in at G SATB getting louder at "my true love". Everyone is in until the end, with me on the spoken solo on page 11.
Grown-up Christmas List: review the key change. But, don't stress. We'll continue to work on it over the next month or so.
Welcome Christmas: we had a good start. Learned from 27 to 44, and looked at most of the rest. Sopranos note that there are optional notes for the seconds to sing in a couple of places. Use them if those notes are too screechy.
Do You Hear What I Hear: love it! Sopranos and Altos have to remember when they don't have the melody-hint, C. We'll review that. We'll review the oohs.
Fa-La-La: Fun!!! We will work on the transitions between songs.

Next Monday, October 29th
Angels Among Us is meeting early 6:30

-Various Themes on Fa-la-la
-Twelve Days After
-Welcome Christmas
-Hine Ma Tov

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 08OCT2018

Thank you to all who came out on Thanksgiving Monday! We had a great rehearsal, and the best part is that we ended on a surprise, singing Do You Hear What I Hear! It was really good, and that's a hard arrangement.
We rehearsed all of our songs for Saturday and I think we're in really good shape.

For Saturday:
Arrive in good time to find parking, find our room to put away our uniforms, and figure out where to meet at 2:00. So, let's say 1:30 or 1:45 at the latest.
The schedule is posted on the calendar. But, briefly, it is:

1:30 aim to be there
2:00 mass choir gathering
2:15-2:40 YRCC sound check and rehearsal
4:20-5:30 Mass Choir rehearsal
5:30-6:30 Supper and get dressed
6:30 Pictures taken on stage
7:00 Doors open
7:30 Concert Starts
8:30 Intermission
8:45 return from intermission
10:00 approx end (What a long day!)

Plan to rest on October 14!

Next week, 15-OCT-2018
YRCC rehearsal is ours alone :-) We can spend all of our time on our concert preparation.

6:30 Adeste Fidelis Small Group
7:00 Angels Among Us Small Group

  • Peace on This Silent Night
  • Let There Be Peace on Earth
  • My Grown-up Christmas List
  • Welcome Christmas



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal Review 01-OCT-2018

6:30 Small Group Adeste Fidelis quickly learned the whole thing! Next time we meet, we'll just go over the Latin and figure out how many verses we want to sing.

Warm-ups were playing with our straws! I love my choir! Several people brought packages of straws to share. You people are wonderful! If you haven't watched the video, do so. And, try out the various exercises. You can search YouTube for even more. Have fun!

1. Why We Sing: It's beautiful and we could perform it as is, but we'll try to get it as close to perfect as possible. We had to review the last couple pages. There were timing issues on the bottom of page 10. If you weren't there, please review your part there. Also, at the top of 11. "This is why" is actually thiii-siz-why. Don't leave any space between this and is. When you do, then we end up hissing: this-s-is-iz-why. Remember on pages 5 and 6 to hold those whole notes all trough the bar, overlapping with the other part: for example, the soprano/alto "Soothe a soul" goes all the way to the end of the bar, not stopping when the tenor/bass "Soothe a soul" starts but after they've said all the words. We'll review it again.

2. 4 Strong Winds: We reviewed the doo-doos and the part that comes after again. We've got it! Watch me for the tempo fluctuations. Tenors and Basses have the melody quite a bit in this piece. Remember to sing softly, Sopranos and Altos, so that we can hear their part. Section A, B, and D are theirs. I also need to hear more of the Bass line in E. It's really cool. This song is stuck in my head!

3. Go Now in Peace: Easy-peasy, especially with the short ending. Remember to sing "Know God will guide you". It's inclusive

4. Peace On This Silent Night: New piece from our archives. Only a very small number of people know this one. It's not difficult and very charming. It's 2 parts: Soprano on top and Alto, Tenor and Bass on the bottom. Tenor/Bass starts alone at 11. Soprano alone comes in at 19. then everyone at 23, softly with a crescendo to the F at 27. At 91, Silent Night starts. It's cool!

5. Grown-Up Christmas List: Totally new this year, but we've already had one look at parts starting at 15. It's such a pretty song and with such a good message. We are so good at sight-reading! The only part that gave us trouble is the bridge to the key change (26-31). We'll learn it in no time.

After the October 13th concert, we'll be able to focus on preparing for our December 2nd concert.
We did a fair bit of talking about the schedule for October 13th.
Key moments:
2:00 Gathering at the RHCPA followed immediately by our group's rehearsal time
4:20 Mass Choir rehearsal
5:30 dinner 
6:30 group photo in uniform on stage (formal concert uniform, please)
7:00 Doors Open
7:30 Concert starts

Next Week is Thanksgiving Monday and we will rehearse from 7:30-9:30. 
There will be no small groups. 
Concert run-through and last-minute clean-up, polishing. 

If we don't see you Monday night, Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

YRCC vocal exercise

Bring a straw to choir next week, Monday, October 1st!


YRCC Rehearsal 24-SEP-2018

6:45 Small Group Let's Keep Christmas in our Hearts finished! Awesome job, everyone!

We talked about warming up with straws and I promised a video. Will post next.

We had a yummy breaktime with coffee and treats. Everyone wants Cheryl's recipe!

We talked about solos and small groups, about our theme (heavenly peace, grown-up wishes- the meaning of Christmas, and ties to our past through traditional songs, languages. Come forward if you have something you want. A few people have already let me know and I'll choose soon! We also talked a bit about the spring theme so that you can start planning now. Love! Our anchor song is "Put a Little Love in Your Heart". "... and the world will be a better place for you and me..." We'll talk about how if Beauty can learn to love the Beast and if star-crossed lovers happen, then we can love the people across the walls, across the world, across the street, and... music helps!

We talked about October 13! And December 2nd! book your families and friends!

1. Hallelujah: It's so good! Joy and I get to lead Hallelujah at the Police concert!!! YAY! We will do it a little different. The first solo will be sung by all the men and the second by all the women. Our women who sing Tenor can choose where they want to sing, wherever they feel most comfortable.
2. Imagine: So, so good! Joy and I were both thrilled that there were no early entries.
3. 4 Strong Winds: Strong! The doo-doos are very good, and the next part is amazing!!! Tenor and Bass solo part is excellent. Remember the timing is a bit tricky there. Everyone needs to remember that the beginning is all about the bass line. Sopranos and altos are softer, as they don't have melody there.

Did we really only do 3 songs?!

Next week:

6:30 Small group: Adeste Fidelis/O Come All Ye Faithful in 4 parts

  • 4 Strong Winds
  • Why We Sing
  • Go Now In Peace
  • Grownup Christmas List


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.