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!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Busy Time is Here!

Hello Everyone!

This is it. We've been working hard for this. We're starting our performances.

This Thursday, the 24th,  from 11:30-1:00 we're singing at the United Way Craft Sale in the Great Hall of the Administrative Centre. Be prepared to sing anything and everything, including Christmas carols.

This Saturday, the 26th, starting at 7:30, we're participating in the St. Andrew's Presybterian Church "Come in from the cold" Coffee House. We are singing only 3 songs: Peace on This Silent Night, Little Tree, and You Raise Me Up. If they want an encore, we'll do Hallelujah.

Monday the 28th is our run-through rehearsal at Trinity United Church in Newmarket. We'll see how we fit in that space and how to get in place, etc.

Sunday, December 4th is our big "Concert of Peace and Joy" at Trinity Newmarket from 2-4, but be there at 1:00 for a warm-up and sound check. And, we'll need some people to set up the bake sale. Don't forget to bake! 

Monday, December 5th is our Christmas Party, a pot-luck and sing-along, karaoke night in our room at the Admin. Ctr. But, first some of us will go out to sing at Eagle Terrace.

There are two more seniors visits which you can look up on the calendar. Keep checking the calendar for details. You'll find it in the Links list on the left.

Check your emails on Mondays before heading out, just in case there are any changes. It's that time of year when weather and viruses can change our plans in the last moment.

The executive is working hard to make sure everything is in place. Let's all work together to make this a fun and successful end of season.

Yours in harmony,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Thrilling Concert: In Harmony With The Community was awesome!

Hello Everyone!

Well, I was super-stressed. But, it was soooo worth it!

The York Region Community Choir can be very proud of our performance at the 19th annual In Harmony With The Community concert! We did exceptionally well.

The other choirs were so good and sounded so beautiful that we were inspired to do our best, to give every last bit of ourselves. It was our best performance ever!

Conducting the mass choir was thrilling! What a power trip! Close to 200 people following my baton and watching me was a huge responsibility and really made me sweat, but it was also great fun!

Singing with more than 200 choristers was also thrilling. I loved it! I was so happy that Sapphire and I chose to sing the songs that we weren't leading. Singing is a great release of stress! It felt soooooo good, especially, to belt out the very high notes in Who Are The Brave.

The whole experience is something I will never forget.

Yours in harmony,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wordlady: Sing a long what?

Hi Everyone!

One of my other interests is grammar and spelling. Through my job at Victor Travel, and my friends there, I met Canada's Wordlady, Katherine Barber.

She does Ballet Tours with Victor Travel.

I actually met her at my book club, or Reading Group, as we called it.

 I like to follow her blog, and this time I thought I'd share it with you. Click on the link below to read about a spelling issue that concerns us. While you're there, click on "For Ballet Lovers" at the top. It'll take you to her Tours en l'air page.

Wordlady: Sing a long what?

Yours in harmony,


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Small Group Breath of Heaven

Hi Guys,

I'm attaching the accompaniment for Breath of Heaven so you can rehearse at home.

I didn't know I could do this, but Trix asked me to and offered to help if I couldn't figure it out. Sometimes you just need to be told a thing is possible to make it so.

It's taking me forever. I'm not the tech wiz that Trix is. She said it would be easy, but I didn't manage to figure out an easy way. So, this is what I ended up with, a video.

I love this song. Thank you for agreeing to sing it for us.

We're going to have another amazing concert.

Don't forget to let all your friends and relatives know about the concert so they can set the date aside. December is a busy time. December 4th at 2pm at Trinity United Church in Newmarket.

You can invite them to your house after for a light supper. You won't need much because you'll be encouraging them all to indulge at intermission and have lots of sweets!

Let me know if this video is helpful.

Yours in harmony,