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!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

YRCC Rehearsal 16-SEP-2019

Our second rehearsal was very successful!
If you missed it, you'll want to go over some music to prepare for next week.

6:30 Small Group Evening Prayer met and got through the whole piece. It's beautiful, but challenging, and it has to sound sweet and effortless in the end. Please sign up if you haven't yet done so (only 4 people are signed up but I know there were more of you). There are links in the event description to videos to help you.

Warm-ups: We did a short physical with notes on stance and breathing and we sang arpeggios on ooh and ahh after a yawn to give us good air position.

1. We started with Little Tree, reviewing parts and noted that we all had to hold the notes together to sound smooth and pretty. Be sure to observe the rests. First Sopranos start where it says small group or solo at the beginning. Everyone joins in at bar 13, the rest of the sopranos at the pick-up and the altos, tenors, and basses on beat 2. Notice that you need to sing softly (p and mp). Notice that the sopranos don't have the melody, but an echo on a descant on page 4. Page 5 is dramatic, my very favourite, and you need to watch for the ritardando at the bottom of the page. We'll review those notes, as they're different. Everyone must be together in bar 41. It's very effective. Always watch at the ending.

2. Your Song:We learned the two pages after the segno, starting at 45 and then sang from the beginning to page 7! It's not very difficult but there are some difficult moments and the timing is mostly what you expect, but not always. You'll need your pencil out when you're learning this to make notes to help you remember when it's different. Listen to this choir singing our arrangement. They do some different stuff with dynamics. Listen to their fortes. Cool. We won't be so dramatic with this one. I love drama but I feel that this is a lighter, sweeter song.

3. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! OH MY! This is going to be a fun ride. I thought it would be a fun challenge to learn a very jazzy piece and since it's a very familiar song, I think it will be more fun than hard. The things about jazz that are notably difficult and different are the harmonies and the timing. The timing features syncopation, where notes fall off the beat. In bar16, at the top of page 3, you see the bar begins with an eighth rest so you sing not on beat one but the and of one. There's lots of that. Tricky rhythms. Harmonies are also an issue. You'll see where we're in 4 or 5 parts, the harmonies are not what you expect. Don't worry, you'll have lots of help and we'll feel proud and confident by December. Peter is working on recording the parts and they should be up on the website soon, but in the meantime, Tab has discovered a video of Let it Snow to help us. It's our arrangement (except that the accompaniment is an orchestra) and you can see the music and hear a choir singing at the same time! Thank you, Tab! And, here's another video. This one is just choir and piano, but watch them. It's cool how many men there are and that they're all mixed up and not in sections.

4. Button Up Your Overcoat: This will be stuck in your head all week. Sorry, but not sorry. It's so good! We just sang it and didn't go over any parts but it's already better than last week, and really quite good. So many of you remember it well and the rest are following along really well that we don't have to spend much time on this to get it concert-ready. Yay!

Next week: September 23
6:30 Evening Prayer Small Group

  • Button Up
  • Let it Snow
  • Your Song
  • Wintersong

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