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!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rehearsal Review of Sept.15, and Preview of Sept. 22

In case you missed choir yesterday (rain, traffic,...), here's what we did.

Warm ups included massages and pianissimo (pp=very quiet). We sang mm, oo, aah, like in We Rise Again, to warm up our voices.

  1. On Eagle's Wings was beautiful, and although the altos reported some stress on Sunday (which I didn't hear), we sounded excellent. We didn't review anything. Maybe next time, we will look at the Alto parts each time you sing "make you to shine like the sun". If you have time, Altos, review those bits. Hopefully, we'll have the parts on the recordings page on our website soon.
  2. We Rise Again is a stunning piece of music! We went directly to the mm-oo-aah section (starting at #13) and reviewed parts there. We were quite loud, but it was okay because when we're learning our parts, it helps to be strong. Remember that we're singing below the solo, only that ah under the f is loud until the soloist comes back in on the pick-up to bar 16. The next section of ahs, at #29 is really hard, but you were all excellent! I was especially proud of the sopranos who don't like this kind of thing. Altos and Tenors, remember to build up and be strong on the last line where you have special bits. Next time we sing this, we'll work on the Soprano1 parts and the Tenor and Bass parts. Altos, you are probably thrilled with all the melody you have! 
  3. Button Up Your Overcoat was fun! We learned 2 pages, and sight-read through the whole thing. Your sight reading is getting really good! With only a handful of people who had ever sung this piece, it actually sounded quite good. It's not an easy piece, but it's fun and cute!
  4. After our coffee break (Thank you, Debbie!) we sang You Raise Me Up, and it was really special! I decided to change things by having the first verse sung as a solo. Stanley is going to be the soloist (we love to hear his voice) and Bill will be the back-up (he introduced us to this song years ago, around the time we sang Button Up). It will be so much more dramatic, and it becomes something new for us and for our audience. 
  5. Baby It's Cold Outside is so much fun! We sight read through it, and it was pretty good already! Everyone gets tons of melody!!! There are only 3 places where there's harmony (on the words cold outside) and they're not hard. We actually learned half of the song in a short time! 
  6. They All Call it Canada is such a strong piece, and we keep getting better with it. The things to review here are "from the Atlantic to the Pacific" and getting the Tenors and Basses to come in strong at their special part, and to blend together for a good solid sound. We want that to sound like one man singing the words nice and clear. 
At break time, Lauren shared Enid's words of thanks for our contribution to her last service on Sunday and for the flowers we sent. We also heard from Trix, who was very happy with our performance at her wedding. We looked and sounded fabulous! Lauren announced the equipment set up people for the next 2 weeks. Look for that list to go up on the website soon. I talked about solos and small groups, and got a few more suggestions. I should be able to let you know soon which ones will be in the show. The solos in songs are very limited, there are only 3 in O Holy Night, so I'm afraid some people will be disappointed. I'll choose 3 back-ups too, but that's still only 6 people.

Remember to check through your binder and let Trix know if you're missing any of the music. Send her an email before next week, please!

The first small group rehearsal is next Monday! Breath of Heaven starts Monday, September 22 at 6:30, or as soon as you can be there. Sign up for that, please, and keep your eyes on the Calendar for small group info. 

Next week's songs will be:
  • Baby it's Cold Outside
  • Button Up Your Overcoat
  • Hockey Song
  • Magic of Winter
  • Wonderful World

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