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, April 26, 2014

April 21st Review and Prepare for Monday 28th at Trinity in Aurora

Mon April 21

6:30-Edelweiss was wonderful, This Land is Your Land was good and we will have our music, NWPassage was wonderful (memorizing would be nice). Remember how we stood for all the small groups because they all sounded and looked good.

7:00 Soloists: Janet and the Kevins were excellent, loved Trix, and Stanley and Mona surprised us (Don't tell your friends and family-let them be surprised at the concert.) Heather with the Kevins was also excellent.

1. Farewell to Nova Scotia: Intro is the last 2 lines of the chorus. Remember at the end we do the chorus twice and then repeat the last line slowly and with harmony.
2. Take Me Home: we'll ask the audience to sing along, at the latest by the last chorus
3. They All Call it Canada. Tenors and Basses remember to come in BIG on your section.
4. Banks of Nfld. was amazing. I'm so glad we pushed ourselves to do this song! You're welcome for choosing Todd for this fantastic solo.
5. Hallelujah was lovely as usual with Gerry and Kit on the solos.
6. We Rise Again is so powerful! I take full credit for choosing Kristen's amazing voice.
7. Song for the Mira is such a great song. We have Trix, Louisa, Anne-Marie and Lauren on solos and Robyn on the flute and it's so cool!
8. In My Life is perfect- a Beatles song and a jazz choir arrangement. We worked on this a bit. Review the section starting on bar 41.
9. The Hockey Song. Yes!

Mon. April 28 Run-through Rehearsal (not a dress rehearsal)

6:00 Set-up and Small Groups and Soloists. We need all accompanists and anyone who is going to be at a mic. Solos and Duets then Small Groups (6:30) all done by 7:00.

7:00 Everyone if possible. Get on stage and see how we fit, where to stand. Warm up. Find our places on the side too.  See how the microphones fit, guitars, etc.  early Sound Check of choir with piano and choir with guitars.

7:30 GO! Start with O Canada and go through the show order. We won't sing all songs all the way though. We will definitely sing all of: Nella Fantasia, In My Life, Jamaica Farewell, Song For the Mira, Banks of Nfld., They Call it Canada.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Reviewing and Previewing April 14 and 21 Rehearsals

April 14  Sandra and Michele were selling tickets

6:20 This Land is Your Land: We're working on memorizing, but trying words-only first. Carol had emailed everyone with the words sheet she has made and you can customize it for yourself. Thanks, Carol!
6:50 Northwest Passage: We positioned everyone around the guitars, so Kevin and Heather are in the middle, and Todd, Ellen, and Janet fan out from Kevin, while Trix, Melinda and Lauren fan out from Heather. Sounded fabulous!

1. Jamaica Farewell was excellent. I like it better a bit slower, more relaxed. It tends to get a bit rushed. Tenors and Basses are doing an excellent job, and the Sopranos are doing well keeping their big group sounding blended and not too loud.

2. Song for Canada was also excellent. Don't stress over the ahhs. If we have 7 or 8 part harmony there, it's okay. It's fast and over before you know it.

3. We Rise Again: We learned the ending. It's fantastic! The whole song is beautiful and I can't wait to share it with our audience! We reviewed the first set of ahs.

4. Farewell to Nova Scotia: Fun! We created a longer introduction and reviewed the ending: we sing the chorus twice and repeat the last line slowly- watch me.

5. All the Little Rivers: Superb! Remember I want big Porcupine and shockingly little Saskatchewan, like the drama in Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. We reviewed the top of page 7. It sounded even better when we sang it as written ;-) Tenors and Basses, whatever you can give me there will be great, just sing!

6. Banks of Newfoundland: Amazing! Sapphire convinced us that we could do it a cappella, and she was right! It sounded so good, much better! Just be sure to watch and move together.

7. Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves was gorgeous as usual. You did a great job of making a dramatic difference between the loud and big part and the soft and short part.

April 21 
Sandra and Michele will sell tickets. Get them in advance for a savings of $5/couple

6:30-7:00 Small Groups will each have a short run-through (Edelweiss, This Land, NWP)
7:00- 7:20 Solos and Duets will each have a short run-through (Stanley, Mona, Trix, Heather, Janet, Kevin)

  • We Rise Again
  • Banks of Newfoundland
  • Hallelujah (Gerry and Kit)
  • Hockey Song 
  • In My Life
  • Song for the Mira (Trix, Louisa, Anne Marie, Lauren)
  • Take Me Home
  • They All Call it Canada
  • You'll Never Walk Alone

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rehearsal Review and Preview: April 7 and 14

Monday, April 7
6:40: Edelweiss
Northwest Passage had to cancel their early rehearsal, so only Edelweiss met. They were able to start a little later and enjoy some extra time.

Warm-up was Happy :-)

Shenandoah was great. We reviewed page 6 for the Altos and Tenors, and the top of page 5 (away you rolling river) for the Sopranos. Sopranos, remember you don't have melody there. Your "way"note is the same as the tenor's first note of "away", but an octave up. If you imagine singing "away" with them, go back up to that first note.

Take Me Home is the name of our concert, so we quickly learned Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver! It's super-easy, since everybody knows that song, or so it seems anyway. We're singing it the way we do sing-alongs. If you can harmonize, do it. If your neighbour is harmonizing in a way you like, follow them. It's fun and big and I'll probably ask the audience to sing along. (Kudos to Sapphire who sight-read the accompaniment.)

We Rise Again is almost done! We learned sections B and C, so all we have to do now is the ending! Review the hmms, oohs and aahs in both sections and First Sopranos and Tenors have a different harmony on this first verse, so review that if you can.

We tried out different soloists for Song For the Mira. Everyone is so good. It will be hard to choose who sings in the concert. The flute sounds so pretty! We spent a little time reviewing pages 8-11 for the Altos, and Tenor and Bass can review that as well. I love this song. It's the one that's been stuck in my head this week.

We sang through The Hockey Song and it's great!

We also sang through Nella Fantasia, which was beatutiful! I thought this would be the song to stick in my head, and I wished it. This is one of my favourite pieces of music.

It's funny, around this time of the season, I love all of our songs. I guess they're like our children now. We've raised them and can be proud of them, and see and appreciate the beauty in each one. Something for you to remember: Little mistakes will not make us love them less. And, others rarely notice the little things that our children do that disappoint us, right?

Monday, April 14
6:20 This Land is Your Land
6:50 Northwest Passage

  1. We Rise Again: We'll learn the ending.
  2. Farewell to Nova Scotia: Sing through
  3. All the Little Rivers: review that transition at the top of page 6
  4. Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves: Sing through
  5. Song for Canada: Sing through
  6. Jamaica Farewell: Sing through

Note: our last rehearsal is after this, April 21. We'll go over any tricky bits that need review. Think about what parts those are. I'll take requests.

On April 28 we'll be at Trinity Anglican Church in Aurora to rehearse with the sound guy, Doug, and to see where we stand, etc. If you cannot be at that rehearsal, but will be at the concert, you must let someone in your section know, so that they save a spot for you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Take Me Home: YRCC Spring Concert, Saturday May 3, 2014

Time to start promoting our show!

Saturday, May 3rd at 7:30 in the evening.

The show will be called: Take Me Home.

Take Me Home, the annual Spring Concert of the YRCC will feature songs of Canada and Canadian artists, and music that takes us home. 

Tickets are on sale now! 

Advance tickets are 2/$25 when you purchase them from a choir member! 
Buy tickets for your friends and family now and save!

Single tickets are $15 each. 
Tickets at the door are $15 each.

Take Me Home

Monday, March 31 and Monday, April 7: Rehearsal review and preview

In case you missed the rehearsal, or if you want a reminder of what we did:

March 31st
6:20 This Land is Your Land
6:50 Northwest Passage

Our warm-ups included the harmony bits of Happy :-)

We reviewed the beginning and the ending of They All Call it Canada and sang it through beautifully.
We learned sections D and E of We Rise Again, and sang to the end, sight-reading the ending.
We sang Farewell to Nova Scotia, reviewing each section's verse and marking which words have extra syllables. If you want to work on this at home, here's a link to the video of the small group performance from last Christmas.
Banks of Newfoundland was beautiful. It gets better every time!
Song for the Mira was beautiful too! We tried out one soloist on each part and Robyn played the flute part on the top line. It's so special! We didn't have time to review anything, so we'll have to look at it again next week.

April 7th
6:20 Edelweiss
6:50 Northwest Passage

  1. We Rise Again  B&C
  2. Farewell to Nova Scotia review
  3. Shenandoah review
  4. Song for the Mira review
  5. Song for Canada review
  6. Hockey Song review