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, November 30, 2012

Together For the Holidays

 An afternoon of spectacular music & seasonal songs
that remind us of the joy of being with friends and family!

 2 pm, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012
 Trinity Anglican Church
76 Victoria St., Aurora

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Singing in the snow!

We're going to be singing outdoors on December 15th!

The York Region Forest Jingle Bell Walk
is a community event that starts at 1:00 with a guided walk on an accessible trail and ends with hot chocolate and singing!

Here's a link  to the Hollidge Tract Trail page on the York Region Website,  so you can find it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 23 -tomorrow's performance order

Here's the order for tomorrow. We start at 12 noon and sing until 1:00 pm.
Arrive by 11:45. We might be able to meet in our room. 
Casual performance attire: any white top and black bottom with scarf or tie.
  1. You Raise Me Up
  2. Hymn to Freedom
  3. Michael's solo
  4. Heather's solo
  5. In Our Town In December
  6. Do You Hear
  7. Carols with Kevin for 10 minutes or so
  8. Let There Be Peace on Earth
  9. I Will Always Be With You
  10. We Wish You A Merry Madrigal
  11. Carols with Kevin for 10 minutes or so
  12. New Year's Blessing
  13. Go Now in Peace

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Really Big Show!

What an experience that was!

The In Harmony With The Community concert, the 20th annual fundraiser of the York Regional Police Male Chorus was thrilling, again. Stupendous, fantastic, just amazing, the concert was a huge success!

I'm so proud of our choir, the York Region Community Choir, for our excellent contribution to the evening. The OPP choir down from Barrie was also excellent and the kids from Roselawn Public School in Richmond Hill were a super treat again!

Thank you so much, YRPMC, our wonderful neighbours on Monday nights for inviting us again. You are a class act and it is an honour and a joy working with you.

Pat yourselves on the back, YRCC!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's going to be great! Have fun!

If you want to review some pointers on performing, here's the link to a former post of mine.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wow! Excellent rehearsal on November 12th!

Tonight was thrilling! Our YRCC pieces were really fabulous tonight:
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves
Mamma Mia Medley
One Voice

And singing with the York Regional Police Male Chorus was an awesome experience again! What a great sound we have together! It's huge and rich and beautiful.

We sang
I Will Always Be With You
Song for the Unsung Hero
Hymn to Freedom

We didn't sing
Go Now In Peace

Don't forget: We're also going to sing O Canada. Remember to sing the melody only. Do not create a harmony or sing a harmony that you know. The YRPMC have a version that they sing, and we're singing along with the melody.

If you're still not sure what to do and where to go on Saturday, go to the calendar, it's all there.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why Travel Makes Us Happy

Why Travel Makes Us Happy is a great blog post by a woman who writes a blog on happiness. She says she's an advocate for Travel.

Click on that link and you'll read her 6 reasons why travel makes us happy. I love the last one!

I work for a special travel agency, CWT Victor Travel, where people are passionate and knowledgeable about Travel and help to make people happy every day. I often tell Jack that he's a hero and he just shrugs humbly. He makes magic whenever there's a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, or a personal disaster, getting people home safely. Jack and Judy and Lucy and all the folks that I work with have the happy job of helping people to go out and see the world and then come back again to tell their stories. Every day there are hundreds of happy stories.

I'm lucky to have the job of writing about the services and the products of the Travel Agency and Victours, the Tour Operator. So, I'm a travel advocate too.

I guess I'm in the happiness business too, like Britt. This blog about my choir gives me the opportunity to write about the happiness that comes from singing and making music together, and my job helps me to spread the happiness of travel.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween Humour (from an email from Enid)

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night............. 

Bob Hill and his new wife Betty were vacationing in Europe....as it happens, near Transylvania. They were driving in a rental car along a rather deserted highway. It was late and raining very hard. Bob could barely see the road in front of the car. Suddenly, the car skids out of control! Bob attempts to control the car, but to no avail! The car swerves and smashes into a tree.

Moments later, Bob shakes his head to clear the fog. Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding! Despite the rain and unfamiliar countryside, Bob knows he has to get her medical assistance.
Bob carefully picks his wife up and begins trudging down the road. After a short while, he sees a light. He heads towards the light, which is coming from a large, old house. He approaches the door and knocks.
A minute passes. A small, hunched man opens the door. Bob immediately blurts,
"Hello, my name is Bob Hill, and this is my wife Betty. We've been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt. Can I please use your phone?"

"I'm sorry," replied the hunchback, "but we don't have a phone. My master is a doctor; come in, and I will get him!"

Bob brings his wife in.

An older man comes down the stairs. "I'm afraid my assistant may have misled you. I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist.. However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training. I will see what I can do. Igor, bring them down to the laboratory."

With that, Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely.. Igor places Betty on a table in the lab. Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table.

After a brief examination, Igor's master looks worried. "Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion." Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Bob and Betty Hill are no more.

The Hills' deaths upset Igor's master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano. For it is here that he has always found solace. He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting melody fills the house.

Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty's hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music. Stunned, he watches as Bob's arm begins to rise, marking the beat! He is further amazed as Betty and Bob both sit up straight!

Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory.

He bursts in and shouts to his master:

"Master, Master!.....The Hills are alive with the sound of music!"

Thank you for sending this to me, Enid!  I don't know where you found this, but it's perfect. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5th

Here's what we did on November 5th:

  • Warm ups included massages.
  •  Hymn to Freedom page 11, the ending
  • We learned all of In Our Town in December. (because of the solos, really only pages 4, 6, and 7)
  • Song for the Unsung Hero: bar 63- the end
  • After break we joined the Police Chorus in their room to rehearse, in show-order,

  1. I Will Always Be With You
  2. Song for the Unsung Hero
  3. Hymn to Freedom
  4. Go Now In Peace

We will meet with them again at 9:00 next Monday. 
Please review for next week:
  • the endings of everything so you can watch (it's good to know that I'm not the only director who changes endings)
  • I Will Always Be With You: sopranos and altos bar 50 (remember it's different)
  • Song for the Unsung Hero: bar 63, ending starting at 80 and dynamics throughout, it really was just loud and louder. Start soft, and we're only medium on page 5. I'll try to conduct better to let you know when to get quieter and louder. 
Next week we'll be doing our stuff for the first half, Mamma Mia, One Voice and Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, and then we have coffee and treats before we head over to the police room.

For the following 2 Mondays, we will start early at 7:00, and we'll focus on our Christmas music. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Early Rehearsals after Police Concert

Hello YRCC Choir Members!

I'd like to have some more time to rehearse for our Holiday Concert, so I'm asking you to come early at 7:00 for the 2 rehearsals before Dec. 2nd:

7:00 Monday, November 19th and 
7:00 Monday, November 26th.

I know there will be some people who absolutely cannot be there before 7:30, and that's alright.

This will affect the small groups. I'm hoping you'll be able to manage a couple of rehearsals on additional days, if you need more time. I hear that the MK extra rehearsal last night was very good. I will come to the small group rehearsals on Monday, November 12th to see how things are coming along.

Yours in harmony,