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, December 5, 2015

Seniors' Home Visits: Performance and Sing-Along

Monday, December 7th: Roxborough
Monday, December 14th: Barton
Monday, December 21st: Mackenzie Place

There is a sign-up on the website. It's called Event Sign-up and you "register" for the event. They're all closed now. The seniors' homes don't usually have a lot of space so it's not possible for all of us to go. Some are especially small, like Mackenzie Place.

Tenors and Basses are always welcome, even when the event is "full". And, if a soprano or alto is desperate to come, just come. We can squish together. If there are 30 of us instead of 25, that's okay.

I post the order of songs on the website, but always be prepared to sing all of your music. Things change depending on who is there and who isn't. The sign-up helps, but it's cold season and bad-driving-conditions season, so you never really know until you get there.

The locations are listed on the website and on the calendar. Sometimes parking is an issue, so be patient and be prepared to walk a bit.

Be prepared to be hot. Wear white on top with your scarf or tie and black on the bottom, but it's okay to wear a shorter skirt or short-sleeved tops at seniors' homes. (Not for formal concerts!)

Try to make it to at least one of these performances! They are special, and very rewarding! You'll feel like a million bucks! The "performance" part is only about 7 of our songs and the rest is for singing  with the seniors. It's so much fun! Our songs are in top shape, and we are more relaxed, so we always sound great. The sing-alongs are the best!

Don't forget to come for the Pot-Luck Party on the 21st! Let's all get together to celebrate the end of our (hopefully successful) season, our 20th Christmas Season! After Mackenzie Place, we head over to the Admin Centre. If you're not singing with us at Mackenzie Place, just go straight to our room, and you can help set up :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monday, November 23rd's YRCC Rehearsal

Mon. Nov. 23

Bowie and Bing met at 6:45 and were super! Those male voices are so special! Thanks for sharing your talents, guys!

Warm-ups included marching and clapping to get you in a following mood. Volume was another focus.

We had a bunch of guests, people in search of a choir to join. They will probably be signing up online and hoping that they'll get a call in January. Be sure to let us know if you can't make it back after the holidays so that we have a good idea of how many new folks can start.

1. We sang You'll Never Walk Alone to show off. It was amazing, as usual. Love that beautiful arrangement, and you do it very well!

2. Shine Hanukkah is better! We added some dynamics: during the Shine Hanukkah part, where we repeat that chorus 4x, we build up to the third one, and then get quiet for the 4th, fading to a decrescendo before the next section which is soft. Also, the descant part at the end is better now that we have all the first sopranos and helpers on the top part. We don't need that extra harmony. Problem solved. They came in on beat one!

3. 3 Folk Carols is fantastic! Maybe take some time to review your doo-doos. Remember to give the ending a lot of energy and volume!

4. Another show off piece: O Holy Night. I was disappointed to hear a bunch of sopranos mess up the O night divine on page 8. Remember that O is on beat one. You need to lean on it.

5. After break, we tried out the sing-along pieces, O Christmas Tree and The Twelve Days of Christmas. We're going to sing up to 6th and then skip to 12. I think our audience will have fun singing these less common carols. You'll get the words in the program. Feel free to add harmonies if the spirit moves you.

6. 12 Days After Christmas is very good. If we slow it down a bit, it's easier to catch the words, but continue to make every effort to enunciate clearly, especially on the ends of words, final consonants.
If you have time, sing with your part on line.

At break, Trix sang a very groovy Santa Baby using a feather boa as inspiration. Coventry Carol did a great job once they got the hang of blending. Dynamics are much better! Teija and Heather sang Home for us, one of my favourites.

Monday, November 30 at Trinity Anglican Church in Aurora

All small groups should try to come early next week. We have the church starting at 6:00, so 6:00, 6:15, 6:30 gather your group, and get your instruments in place.

All choristers must be there by 7:15. We want to start the run-through at 7:30. Be prepared to stay late. We often go until close to 10:00.

The order is on line, in the Members section, under Concert Order. Have your binders ready. Use place holders where there are songs that you're not singing.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nov.16 YRCC Rehearsal Review

Monday, Nov. 16

Bowie and Bing met at 6:45 The recordings are up on the website now, but you'll have to suffer with my voice singing the parts, and up an octave. It's better than nothing. Sing with me :-)

Breath of Heaven sang at break; also Anna and Trix had a go at their solos at break.

Warm-ups included very soft sounds. mmm and looo and variations in volume and tempo

1. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is excellent

2. 12 Days After Christmas: we reviewed page 10 to the end and and sections E and F. It's getting really good. We've slowed it down to make it easier to understand the words.

3. 3 Folk Carols: We did really well without Sapphire's help on the a cappella parts! The soloists are awesome, and with a little review, we got our doos. Tenors and Basses: please, please come in hard and strong on the first beat of your long doos on page 11, with a strong d sound, like pulling a string and then letting it go and it resonates. When you did it, it was so good! When you don't do it, it's hard to hear you and it's not nearly as interesting.  It's the same as the Deck the Halls part in the 12 Songs of Christmas. Brrrm with a big strong B.

4.  Shine, Hanukkah: The dynamics could be better. They were pretty good in the parts we worked on, but I think we need more. I'll have a plan for next week.  The first sopranos, even with help, didn't come in on beat 1 at the end. I'll have to think of something. I'm thinking (Robyn would like this) of having them all come in on a C and forget the harmony in that descant part. We'll try again next week.

Monday, Nov. 23

Last chance to buy tickets, order poinsettias

Bowie and Bing at 6:45
Solos at break

  • 12 songs
  • 12 days
  • Shine
  • 3 folk carols
  • anything you need to go over- last chance 
Monday, Nov. 30 Rehearsal at Trinity Anglican Church to run through the concert order and to see what our sound system needs are, and to rehearse getting on and off stage

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mon.Nov.9 YRCC Rehearsal

You are awesome! We're ahead of where I thought we were. I'm feeling very positive about our upcoming concert!!! It's less than a month away. We have 2 more rehearsals to learn things and fix things and then we do our run-through. I'm sending Roxanne the order for the concert this week so that she can create our programs.

At 6:45 the Men's Small Group met and made good progress on the Bing and Bowie song.

Warm-ups included lip trills and tongue trills. Stretching your range with these causes less strain on your throat, because your focus is on the trilling going on in the front of your mouth. So, your throat can worry about itself and do what comes naturally :-)

1. Button Up Your Overcoat was super! The new tenors and basses blending in like a charm! We really nail this one now.

2. A-Men is definitely better at a faster speed and the augmented tenor and bass section worked! Or, maybe it was my threatening you that did it. We still need sopranos to be more careful from bar 61 to the end. Sing what is written, please ;-)

3. Bleak Midwinter is super-impressive! Again, the new folks are amazing! And, I guess it's because everyone does such a good job that it's possible for someone new to follow along. This is a difficult piece and you rock it! Janet and Todd were superb on the solos. Kristen knows both parts so could sub in for either one. I also can call on Heather, I'm sure if necessary.

4. Come Emmanuel was one of the songs that I was a bit worried about, but you surprised me with a nearly flawless performance! Wow! And, it was another example of a stellar night for the tenor and bass sections and their new guys! I'm impressed!

5. 3 Christmas Folk Carols became a medley! Yay! It was much better that I expected. We tried out the back-up soloists and switched them around a bit. Melinda's strong voice suited the last part, Sussex Carol, much better. And, Robyn will make a wonderful back-up for Heather on Lovely Fragrance (Shepherds). We always love to hear Stanley's beautiful voice. He'll be a perfect back-up for Blair on Lovely Fragrance. Next week, we'll try to really do it a cappella without Sapphire's help!

6. 12 Songs is gorgeous and so much fun! Be sure to hold notes until there's a rest, or another note. Sometimes people are cutting off words before they should be, which results in a weird popping or hissing of final consonants. (This is always important, but I think you're forgetting with this piece because the melodies are so well-known. Read your music.)

Next week, November 16th

Men's Group meets early at 6:45

  • 3 Folk Carols: We need to do the a cappella parts without help from Sapphire (except for that intro for Sussex Carol). We did great last Monday. Let's polish it up so that we feel really confident. These songs are so special! 
  • 12 Days After Christmas. Can you look over your parts before Monday? At least get the words, the flow of the story going, so that you will come in confidently when your part has the melody and softly when you don't. We're going to polish this up. If there are parts you need to review, this is the time to ask. We have only 2 more learning rehearsals. 
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Let's remember to come in soft and clear. Mark your music so that you're doing our dynamics, which are not quite as written. We are loud in the middle throughout that section which starts "Word of God". We often use the words as guides as to what should be the high point of a phrase, so that the same dynamics don't work for both verses. 
  • Shine! First Sopranos, anticipate your special ending. Come in before everyone else with great conviction and good volume! There were some Seconds who were going to help? Everyone: Review the music so that you're ready to be louder when you have the melody and softer when you don't. Mark your music to guide you.

Bing and Bowie recordings coming for Men's Small Group

Gentlemen, your recordings are on their way.

Sapphire recorded a new accompaniment for our Bing and Bowie song, and I sang your parts on top of it. Trix will upload the recording from the SD card to some format that she can send to you. The new accompaniment will go on the website.

It ain't pretty, but the notes are there and the timing, so you can sing along. I hope you don't share those recordings because I sound pretty weird.

You're singing an octave down, obviously.

I just did one Tenor and one Bass, and that should be fine. We don't have to do any tenor harmony, except maybe at the end. Or, if we have a brave tenor or two. It's quite a busy piece with the two melodies alone. Let's try to get the duet parts.

There's your homework. See you on Monday! (If you don't get the recordings in time to practise with them, then listen to the real Bing an Bowie a few times and sing along)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Men's small group: Bing and Bowie

Our arrangement of Bing and Bowie's Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth is for a 4-part choir, not TTBB so we're adapting it. It will mostly be in 2 parts. Sometimes the Tenors will divide but the Bass will not divide (except maybe the last note).

We move around a bit, so I'll try to describe it here (without the music in front of me-I gave mine to somebody):

Basically, there are 4 sections:

1) is a "high" part with T and B in close harmony singing Little Drummer Boy together. Tenors on top and Basses on the bottom, one octave down from what is written.

2) is a duet part with T singing Bowie and B singing Bing way down low. We're all an octave down from what is written, even the Bass line. When tenor divides, just make sure the melody is clear, if someone wants to take the harmony part, that's cool but not necessary.

3) is a "high" part with T and B in close harmony singing Peace on Earth together. Tenor on top, Bass on the bottom of the Treble Clef only. So, Bass has to move up to just below the Tenors, until the last section. The middle system of the last page of that section is written in 2 parts. The Basses move down a bar or two before that to incorporate the A below middle C in the Bass line. You'll know it when you see it. We need that note, and you can move down right there. I think it's beat 4 of the second last bar of the first system.

4) is a duet part with T on Bowie and B on Bing down low again. This continues to the end. The last note, will be a big chord and we might all have our own note, and we can figure that out when we get there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mon.NOV 2 and Mon.NOV 9 YRCC Rehearsals

Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth and Coventry Carol had early rehearsals. Sapphire will record a new accompaniment and parts for Little Drummer Boy at break next week.

Warm-ups included watching and following exercises.

1. A-Men was messy, but we seemed to have solved the unbalance by adding Altos to the Tenor/Bass part. Sopranos have to watch out at the end. We have more energy when we sing it faster, so that helps too. Remember to mark the high notes at 61 so that they're not a surprise when you turn the page. Same notes. Not difficult.

2. 12 Songs of Christmas is fantastic! It's so much fun that we sound like we're having fun, and sound great. You can hardly tell when there's something wrong. We need to find this kind of enthusiasm for all of our pieces. We reviewed lots of the parts, starting at the end, with the Hallelujah chorus. We spend a fair amount of time on the bottom of page 18. If you weren't there, review this part. We don't have parts recorded for this so you have to let me know where you need help on your part. I think we covered all the tricky bits. Sopranos: Silent Night has a dramatic 'holy night'. Sopranos watch out: Joy to The World starts on straight Cs, and harmony, not melody. Tenors: at 14, you BRRRMMMM like bagpipes. Come in hard and strong. BRmmBRmm Fallalala...You need to come in strong also on the pick up to 117 and at 121 again. Your big moment. Review the top of page 11 "Peace". If you lean on the A of Heavenly (He-), you'll get back there for the A (the first note) of Peace, then you just go downstairs from there.

3. 12 Days After Christmas is quite difficult. We learned section E finally. The du-bas are great! One tricky bit is the part right after I say "Well, actually I kept one of the drummers." Sapphire will give us a chord, and then we'll sing, broadly and evenly, "And sent them back col-lect" (4-1-2-3-4-1) then we can take a breath (2-3) before singing, " I wrote my true love" (+4+1-2) This sounds really great when it's done as written. I thought we had all the parts recorded, and I totally remember do the recordings but it looks like we don't. Sorry.

It looks like we didn't do much, just 3 pieces, but we got through the whole medley, which is 12 Songs! I'm really happy with how well you're all learning your songs! Great work, Choristers!

Roxanne sold tickets for our show and for the Amadeus Choir performance at Trinity United in Newmarket on November 15th. I've got my ticket. I hope to see some of you there!

Next week:
Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth meets at 6:45
  • A-men
  • Button Up Your Overcoat
  • 3 Folk Carols
  • 12 Days After
  • Bleak Midwinter

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tickets available at break for our concert and for November 15 Amadeus Choir

I was given 20 tickets to sell for the Amadeus Choir concert to be held at my church, Trinity United Newmarket, on Sunday, November 15 at 7:00 PM. Buy tickets at break time for this major musical event and help me support my church. It will be so cool to see and hear a professional choir in my beautiful church, with its awesome organ.

Here's what they have to say about the concert:

Thrill to the sound of the award-winning 80-voice Amadeus Choir who will perform at Trinity on Sunday, November 15th at 7:00 p.m. Under the direction of Lydia Adams, assisted by Joan Andrews with accompaniment by Shawn Grenke on piano and organ, the choir will sing a variety of music... sacred and secular...and prepare us for the Advent season with some Christmas favourites. 

Please support this fundraising event organized by the Senior Choir with the help of many friends. Invite your friends and neighbours to this wonderful evening of fine music! Tickets are $20 ($10 for students) and are available on Sundays at coffee time, from choir members or from Dianne in the Trinity office.

I googled the choir, and discovered that they're celebrating 40 years, 31 with Lydia Adams as director! I can hardly wait. Hope to see you there!

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Sussex Carol- directions. Where do I sing? Where is my part?

The Sussex Carol, the third of the Three Christmas Folk Carols, is a lot like We Rise Again-same basic structure.

There's a solo, which Kristen sings, starting alone, and the choir does some background twice and joins in twice, and at the end everyone is singing and it's really big. The challenge is that it's not written that way.

This is not written as one solo, but that's how we're doing it. We're doing it our way (okay, my way).

So, at the beginning, up to bar 15, it's just Kristen.

At bar 15, SATB lines are indicated and Kristen will sing in the middle, in the line that says "3 or 4 men". Everyone sings do-do where indicated until bar 23.

Here, at bar 23, only the tenors will feel funny. The tenors move to the line where it says T. Tutti (=all the tenors). Kristen joins the sopranos in the soprano line, altos stay, and bass is at the very bottom.

At the bottom of page 10, at bar 28, there's a fermata and then a line shows you where your part moves, except the sopranos will also move down and take the top do-do part. Kristen will go alone to the top line.

So, on page 11 we have Kristen on top, with the choir below all in their usual spots. 

Bar 37 is strange for the sopranos. You stop the do-do part and move up to the top to the melody. Altos stay, Tenors and Basses stay.

From bar 38 to the end, everyone is where they expect to be.

Mon. Oct. 26 YRCC Rehearsal Review

Mon. Oct. 26

Coventry Carol Group met early and was excellent! Work on dynamics and a prettier, lullaby-like sound.

1. Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head is done! Wow! It's beautiful.
2. Sussex Carol is also done!!! We learned it all in one shot! Well done, everyone!
3. O Holy Night was awesome, as usual.
4. The Twelve Songs of Christmas is so much fun! It's an amazing ride, isn't it? I love it!

Our meeting went so well! The financials from last year, this year's budget and the new financial year-end all passed and we enjoyed treats while we met. Good stuff!

We're still looking for a home for our music library. Can you help? Does anyone know of anyone who has office space to give us/ rent us cheap? Maybe if we had all the stuff housed somewhere easy to access, someone could take care of it? Or, a couple of people could share the work? We're willing to look at creating a new system for the music library if someone has a great idea. We need some creative thinking if we can't find someone to take over from Trix. The weekly task of carting extra music around could be rotated like the equipment? The bi-annual binder switch is already done with help in a team. Put your thinking caps on, and see how you fit into the solution!

Mon. Nov. 2

  • Amen (balance between parts as the melody switches between parts)
  • 3 Carols (need to put them together)
  • 12 Days (review, fix any messy bits)
  • 12 Songs (any tricky bits? it sounded really good)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Our Beautiful Christmas Concert Poster: Share it everywhere!

Oct 19: Election night and a Jays game too, but we had a big, wonderful rehearsal.

Monday, Oct. 19

Roxanne brought posters and tickets! We started buying/ taking tickets and taking posters to post where we work, where we meet with others, anywhere.

We are still looking for someone to take over the Music Librarian position. We are willing to look at accommodating anyone willing to help. If you have the space but not the time, maybe someone will partner with you, someone with time but not enough space. It doesn't have to be an Executive position if you're not interested in the planning thing. Talk to us if you have any ideas. Trix really needs to give up this position asap.

Coventry Carol met early and Breath of Heaven sang at 7:15 with the accompaniment recording. Breath of Heaven people need to pay more attention to blending and enunciating so that the words are clear and the parts are balanced. Be sure to quiet down when you're not singing melody.

Warm-ups included watching hands and quickly responding to changes. Some of us are better than others at this, but we did well before our hands got too heavy.

1. Little Tree. We reviewed pages 6 and 7 and remembered to enunciate carefully, especially final consonants. It's not always easy, but try.

2.Shine Hanukkah We reviewed the special Soprano 1 ending, the Descant part, and added a few volunteers from Sop 2 for extra strength. It's cool, but we really need to hear it.

3. Shepherds (aka What is this Lovely Fragrance) We reviewed the a cappella part on page 5 at starting bar 56. It really helped that a bunch of us learned it the week before! Bam! We got it. And, Melinda and Blair sang the solos at the beginning so that we could do the whole song! It was awesome!

4. Jesus, Jesus We got all the way through! Again, it helped so much that some of us already knew the chorus from last week! It's so pretty! The altos and tenors and basses were excellent on their oohs, and everyone was great on that very challenging part at the bottom of the page, "Winds were blowing..." So cool!

I hadn't planned to get that far on Shepherds and Jesus, Jesus, but we did so well that I kept going with that instead of singing through the 12 Songs of Christmas. That will have to wait until next week.

Next week: Monday, October 26th

We are having our Meeting with Coffee and Treats, and hopefully it will be fast so we can sing more than talk. It's just a bit of financial business: approving our Financial Statements and Budget and officially changing our financial year-end. The doc was sent in an email for you to look at.

6:45 Coventry Carol

  • Twelve Songs of Christmas
  • O Holy Night
  • Jesus, Jesus
  • Sussex Carol

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thanksgiving Monday, October 12 YRCC Rehearsal Review and Preview to Oct. 19

Thanksgiving Monday, October 12

We were small but mighty! We did a lot of work, and made good progress!

We sang Amen, reviewing from bar 57 to the end. Some sopranos were finding it hard to find the notes at the top of page 11, but we discovered that when we started at 57, those notes were easy at 61, and if we remembered them from there, we could do the pick-up to 65, which is the same as the top of page 11. Follow me? Try it at home. You'll see.

Shepherds What is this Lovely Fragrance. Starts with Heather on a solo and then Blair on a solo. At bar 56 on page 5, everybody comes in together a cappella (with no accompaniment). We learned that part! It's beautiful! Don't worry, we'll review it, and it sounds very fancy but is not terribly difficult. You can try it with the recordings on the website.

Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head Starts after a little piano interlude (which will test how well we keep our pitch), and it's also a cappella. We sang through the first page, which is the chorus. Listen to your part on the website!

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring was next. We reviewed how the dynamics that we are using are different from what's written. And, they're slightly different in the second verse from the first verse. On page 4, at the beginning of the second system, it's not the loudest, as written. Page 5 is the loudest. But, the word Soar is loud in the first verse and the word Joy is loud in the second. On page 6, in the last system, the word soaring is the loudest the first time through, but the word love is the loudest the second time through. Don't forget to do a big mmm chord at the end, under the fermata.

We sang a bit of Come Emmanuel which occurs twice and which has to be strong. The section starting at bar 35, "Some are waiting for a mighty king" is the same as the one at 57, " And you will come as a tiny child". I love those parts!!! So dramatic. The drama happens because we're all together and it builds up "poco a poco" (little by little) from very soft to very loud. It's not very difficult but sounds really great. Listen to your part on the website!

We ended the night singing about celebrating with the ones you love, which was appropriate because we were spending a holiday with our beloved friends at choir! We sang The Magic of Winter. It was beautiful, as always. Such a pretty song!

Next week is Election Monday. Remember to vote before coming to choir, if you haven't already voted.

Tickets and Posters will be ready! You can already book your family for December 6th at 2:30, and starting next week, you can buy their tickets too! In advance, you save $5 on a pair of tickets. 2 tickets are only $25. Singles and tickets at the door are $15. Think about where in your neighbourhood or workplace you can post a beautiful poster.

Coventry Carol is meeting at 6:45 and Breath of Heaven will be there a bit early to sing at 7:15.

We will sing:

  • Shine Hanukkah
  • Little Tree
  • Shepherds
  • Jesus, Jesus
  • 12 Songs

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

YRCC Rehearsal Review for Oct. 5 and preview to Oct. 12 Thanksgiving Monday Rehearsal

Monday, October 5

Breath of Heaven met early and is awesome! Remember to enunciate carefully so that all the words can be understood, and to listen to the people around you so that you're blending and sounding like one voice.

Warm-ups included various vowel sounds all made with attention to open airways.

1. Twelve Days After Christmas. We made it to the end! We'll have to go over some parts and need to do section E, which I missed, but it was great singing all the way through. Remember when singing the Du-ba section that the Tenors and Basses have the important words that everyone needs to understand. Be sure to enunciate clearly throughout the whole song. Whenever there's a consonant at the end of a word, be sure to make it clear. Often that means you have to make it the beginning of the next word. Eg. love and I had a fight becomes la van di ha da fight.

2. Shine Hanukkah is fun and easy. The only hard part is for the first sopranos to come in "early" on beat one on the last page. Done. We'll work on some dynamics next time, so that those choruses don't become monotonous.

3. In the Bleak Midwinter is so strong! We're going to have Janet on the first solo and Todd on the second for extra drama!

4. Come, Emmanuel, Come! It's so dramatic! I love it. We are watching for those little stars that mean we hold the m or n closed as we hold the note. It adds to the drama.

5. Three Christmas Folk Carols. We walked through and sang through this interesting medley of unusual Christmas melodies. They're really special. The first one is What is This Lovely Fragrance. Heather starts us off with a solo, followed by Blair on a solo. And, then, the choir comes in a cappella in 4 part harmony that sounds like angels. Sapphire has a little piano interlude, and then the choir sings Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head a cappella in a strong 4 part harmony with soft verses of sopranos singing above ATB oohs. How is Kristen going to come in on her own after the last "manger bed"?
We'll find out. Kristen leads us in the last piece, Sussex Carol. She will sing the solo part throughout. Like We Rise Again, the choir will sing special bits behind her melody. Here, it's doo-doos. It moves. You'll see. And, like We Rise, the end is big- ff- and everybody sings a strong 4-part harmony verse that ends with a big Amen!

Lauren announced that we will have a brief meeting during our rehearsal on October 26. We will vote on some business that was left over from our AGM, and that arose our of our AGM. For example, because of our new status, we have to approve a new financial year-end (I know; try to reign in your excitement).

Jane will be coordinating the Poinsettia fundraiser again. It's a win-win-win thing. You get a great deal on some really great Poinsettias just in time for Holiday decorating and gift-giving, the concert looks beautiful, and the choir makes some money, too! Yay!

Roxanne has started to add Seniors Visits to the Events sign up. Sign up!

I noticed that the equipment roster is up on the website, so please have a look and make a note of when your turn comes up to help Lauren with setting up and taking down the equipment.

The recordings are also up, so you can sing with accompaniments and learn your parts at home, or in the car,...

Next week, October 12 is Thanksgiving Monday. We hope that lots of you will be available to keep learning our music. The more people know the music well, the easier it is for all of us. This is where we show that we're a team. Come if you can. If you need to miss, don't worry.

Nobody will meet early.
We will sing:

  • Amen
  • Button Up Your Overcoat
  • Come, Emmanuel
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
  • Magic of Winter
  • Shepherds What is This Lovely Fragrance

Thursday, October 1, 2015

YRCC rehearsal review Sept. 28 and preview to Oct. 5

September 28th - We had a social time coffee break! Lauren and I baked and Mary Ellen did her first coffee time perfectly.

Breath of Heaven small group met early and already sound excellent. Next week, you'll have the accompaniment recording to sing with!

Warm-ups included exercises to open our airways and tongue and lip stretches so we can enunciate better.

1. Little Tree: I had forgotten that we needed to finish learning Little Tree, so we did it first thing. Did I say that I love this song? I so do! Don't forget that we're saying gentle little Ts and not soft Ds in the word Little. Enunciate.

2. O Holy Night:We fixed our timing issue on page 8. O Holy night. O night divine and And glory ever more proclaim. We could perform this now. It's magnificent.

3. Shine Hanukkah: We learned the whole song! It's fun and pretty easy. The first sopranos have to work on the ending. They have a descant part with different timing.

4. Come Emmanuel: We sang it through once and it was already pretty good. Quite a few people remember this one from 2 years ago. This is a really cool Christmas song! It features the tenors and basses, so they should spend some time looking at their music to get really strong on their parts.

Remember to think about whether you can take on the role of Music Librarian. You'd have to have space for 4 or 5 filing cabinets and some boxes and bags and a table, ... a fair amount of space. You'd get help with preparing the binders and filing the music after each season, but it's a big thing to coordinate- there are 65 binders with 20 or so pieces of music that get filed away and another 20 that get put in. Some days you'll have a lot of stuff in your car, but people are very good at helping out with the carrying in and out.

Trix will continue to be our Webmaster, but doing both jobs has become impossible now that she has much  more responsibility at work. Maybe you've retired or you've found yourself with more time and space because your kids are grown up? Please help us out.

The men are going to have a small group song! They will be singing The Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth, the Bing Crosby and David Bowie song! Gentlemen: the music is in 4 parts, but you'll be singing it mostly in 2, whatever parts have the melodies. Don't worry, it's not complicated. If you listen to a recording of it, it will be clear. There will be a few places where you can easily split into 3 or 4 parts.

Roxanne has started booking our seniors home visits. You will want to look out for the sign-up 'Events' on the website.

Next Week, October 5th

Breath of Heaven is meeting at 6:45 again.

  1. 12 Days After Christmas
  2. Come Emmanuel
  3. In The Bleak Midwinter
  4. Shine Hanukkah
  5. 3 Christmas Folk Carols (intro)
Don't forget: 

We are meeting on Thanksgiving Monday. Don't stress it if you have dinner plans. The recordings will be up by then so you can catch up.

We are meeting on Election Day Monday. Be sure to vote! Voting at the Advance Polls is so easy and convenient, you'll never want to vote on Election night again.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Be sure to vote!!! Do your civic duty! But, make sure you can come to choir too ;-)

Voting in the advance polls is so much easier (and faster) than voting on Monday, October 19. You can go when it's convenient for you and of course, you will be able to arrive at choir practice on time on election day!!!

Your Voter Information Card will have the Advance Voting Days information on it. On the card I got in the mail, it says I can go to the Newmarket Community Centre from October 9-12 from noon to 8 pm.

You can vote at Elections Canada starting now until October 13! The Newmarket-Aurora office is at 17315 Yonge St. (on the east side of Yonge just beyond the light north of the Admin Centre where we practise). To vote there before October 9th, you need to know who the candidates are and you will get a Special Ballot Voting Kit. The official Advance Polling starts on October 9th, and they use regular ballots.

The hours when you can vote at the Elections Canada Office are:
  • 9:00 am - 9:00 pm Mon. to Fri.
  • 9:00 am- 6:00 pm on Sat. 
  • 12:00 - 4:00 pm on Sun.
Isn't that amazing?! No excuses! Go and vote!

For more early voting  information and info on other ridings you can call 1-866-256-2872 or go to the website, elections.ca. It's very easy to use.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wow! Another great YRCC rehearsal! Sept.21 was super. Sept.28: what to expect

(* I have a water bottle that was left behind in the Soprano Section. It's grey and black.)

Sept. 21 was super!

Our warm-ups included, swaying and clapping and singing A-men and Hallelujah.

1. We started with A-men and all sang the Tenor melody line on page 7. When we got the hang of it, we sang all the way through and it was sounding very good. I've asked for a few 2nd Sopranos and a few Altos to join the Tenors on page 7, and might need them to do the A-mens with them too. They're just too far outnumbered. So far, Kit, Trix, Jenne, Carol, and Debbie have volunteered.

2. Some of us had sung Little Tree before, so when we sang through, it was pretty good already! I love, love, love this song. We learned parts up to the bottom of page 5.

3. O Holy Night is amazing! Most of us sang it last winter, but forgot a couple of key bits. We'll review them next week.

4. We continued learning the 12 Days After Christmas. We learned our parts in sections C and D, and reviewed A and B.

5. We had run out of time before singing You'll Never Walk Alone, but everyone agreed that it was worth being a little late for. What a satisfying song to sing!

We talked about small groups and solos. I spoke to the soloists that I had in mind for things, namely Mary-Ellen for O Holy Night,  Kristen for the Sussex Carol, Heather for What is This Lovely Fragrance, and Janet for In the Bleak Midwinter. I might divide the Bleak Midwinter again, as we've done in the past. Still thinking. Haven't spoken to the men yet.

Small groups: I'm still looking for another small group, at least mixed, maybe just men? I found a nice TTBB arrangement of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

A couple of business items:
Equipment Roster will be posted on the website soon. We all take turns helping Lauren set up and take down the keyboard and stuff. 4 people at a time have a 2-week shift. 2 come early and 2 stay late. The 4 decide.
Chair arrangement: someone is needed to oversee the arrangement of the chairs before everyone has arrived. It's harder to move chairs when people are sitting in them ;-) See Lauren if you'd like to take on this role.
Please consider taking over the role of Music Librarian from Trix. You'd have to have room for 4 or 5 tall filing cabinets, and a table or two for the sorting of music and preparing binders. There's also a printer. You will have help when it's time do do the binders, but you see Trix always has extra binders and music in case we have guests, a few bins of things to carry around every week. Talk to Trix and Lauren if you'd like more information about this Executive Role as soon as possible.
Small Group Assistant (Director or Accompanist) starting in January: Help Anne-Marie lead small group rehearsals either by playing parts or directing or taking turns with Anne-Marie.

September 28th

6:45 Breath of Heaven sign up online to join the group.

  • Come Emmanuel
  • In The Bleak Midwinter
  • O Holy Night
  • Shine Hanukkah
  • Twelve Days After Christmas

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Wow! Great start to YRCC's 20th Christmas season! Small groups to form asap. solos?

We had a very successful start to our season!

Our registration went smoothly thanks to the careful preparations of Carol and Debbie, our registrars, and to Trix, our music librarian, and to the large number of members who pre-registered online!

Once we got singing, it was obvious that we'd been looking forward to that first night of singing together. We were amazing!

We sang:

1. Magic of Winter, beautifully with dynamics and everything. Wow! And, people started and stopped perfectly throughout the evening! You watched me! It felt fantastic! Thank you!

2. Button Up Your Overcoat was super and we stayed on the subway very confidently.

3. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring was excellent. You were soft at the beginning and very strong in my favourite section. Thank you!

4. We started learning the 12 Days After Christmas. It's so much fun! A few of us have sung it before, so it's not entirely new, but there are lots of tricky parts. We have to work on getting the words out clearly,especially final consonants. Our audiences need to understand the words we're singing. We sang through the whole piece, and learned sections A and B.

5. We learned a whole new piece!!! A-men! Only 2 or 3 of us have ever sung this song before, but we sang through and learned parts to the whole song! It's fun and groovy. We need to get a feel for the jazzy timing, but it's not hard.

On Monday, September 21st, we will sing:

  • A-men
  • Little Tree
  • O Holy Night
  • Shine Hanukkah
  • Twelve Days After Christmas
Our first Small Group will start very soon, maybe next week, Sept. 28 if we can manage it. We'd like a group of women to sing Breath of Heaven.  We will not spend much time learning this, as there are a good number of you who know it. 

The Coventry Carol Group will be reunited to sing it again for us.

I'd like another small group to sing one of our songs from the past 20 years. Is there a choir song that you wish we had included which would work as a small group selection? 

- Somewhere a Child is Sleeping
-Noel Nouvelet/Christmas Comes Anew
-We Wish you a Merry Madrigal
-Calypso Christmas
-Mele Kalikimaka
-Carol of the Bells...?

Or, maybe you remember a solo. duet/small group that you particularly liked that might be adapted to a new small group?
- Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth
- Mr. Santa
-Bright Star of Bethlehem
-Christmas Dinner...?

I've asked Trix to sing  Santa Baby, and I am hoping that Anna will sing Ave Maria. 

Another solo and/or a duet would be nice too. If you are inspired, talk to me.

Solo songs in the choir pieces:

O Holy Night (I'd like to hear Mary-Ellen sing the solo again, and alone. Heather b/u)
In the Bleak Midwinter (1/2 Janet? Kristen/Todd b/u)
What is this Lovely Fragrance (2- S&T- difficult, wide range goes quite high Heather and Todd? b/u?)
Sussex Carol (1- strong solid soprano voice: Kristen? b/u?)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Back to Choir soon! Start Date is Monday, September 14th

Choir starts next month! Labour Day is late this year, so we're not back until Monday, September 14th. We have a late concert this year, too: Sunday, December 6th.

What a beautiful summer we've had! I hope you've been enjoying it. I'm sure that music has been a big part of your lives even when your Mondays aren't dedicated to it. Music festivals and concerts in parks are a huge part of summer, and with lots of parties with dance music and pool-side music and campfire sing-alongs, there's music everywhere. I went to a 25th Wedding Anniversary party where the music was supplied by a steel band (2 guys) playing popular songs and dance music by the pool. It was fantastic! What a great, festive summer vibe that provided!

And, I've had Christmas music interwoven in all this.

Our Christmas repertoire was decided in June, and the music has all been ordered. Sapphire and I have done some recording so that you have parts to learn and accompaniments to rehearse with. I'm trying to figure out which soloists will sing which parts, thinking about what to teach first, how long it will take to learn the new things, and getting wonderfully sticky melodies stuck in my head. It's never a problem when it's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, but strange when it's the Magic of Winter, or Button up your Overcoat and Santa Baby! It's always fun when we put the binders together and start singing our favourites. It's better when there are a few of us. It's weird being the only one singing Christmas music in July and August.

I've posted the songs we're singing here on my blog. I hope you enjoy singing them and I hope that people will have fun memories of the older pieces that I've pulled out to commemorate our 20th Christmas/ Winter season. Over the years, we've moved to a more inclusive Winter concert in December, but our earlier December concerts were Christmas concerts, so, this season, the majority of our music is Christmas music. There are some exciting challenges, some fun and easy pieces, and lots of our old favourites too. You can start telling your friends and families about our concert on December 6th in the afternoon at Trinity Anglican Church again. Mark the date on the calendar!

The YRCC Executive for 2015/2016

the Executive of the York Region Community Choir 
for the 2015/2016 Choir Year:

The Executive works together with the Director and Accompanist, and the Reading Committee, to choose music, decide when and where we sing, and make sure people are there to sing and to hear us sing, and take care of our equipment, finances, website and music library.The Executive is elected and the Reading Committee, Conductor and Accompanist are appointed. 

Our President is Lauren Solar (laurensolar@gmail.com). This is Lauren's third year as President. Lauren is responsible for everything happening. 

Our Vice-President is Jane Griffiths (jane.griffiths@rogers.com). Jane is replacing Heather, who is preparing to move to BC. (We wish her all the best! Heather will continue to assist wherever needed throughout the winter season.) Jane's role is to help Lauren and anyone else on the executive when they need a hand.  

Our Public Relations Chair is Roxanne McCormick (roxannemccormick@rogers.com)If you need to contact us regarding advertising, or to book us for a concert, or just need some information, contact Roxanne. The PR role is to keep us connected to the community.  

Daphne Young (youngdc@rogers.com) is our Secretary/Treasurer. If you want to write us a cheque, make it out to York Region Community Choir, and Daphne will put it in our account. We accept cash too. Daphne will keep our paperwork in order, creating and maintaining records like the minutes of our meetings and accounting stuff. Michele Horton supports Daphne and will continue to represent us when we share condolences and congratulations. 

Trix Verge (trix.verge@gmail.comis our Webmaster and former Music Librarian. She had our music collection in her basement for years and her organizational skills and patient dedication served us well in our greatest period of growth. Trix is the one to go to for help using the website, and she makes sure that it's functioning properly. In her role as Music Librarian Trix had a place on the Executive and always had excellent ideas to contribute.

Lyn Gad recently took over the Music Librarian role. She has several filing cabinets full of music in her basement now, along with tables and a printer, and she makes sure we all have music to sing every Monday, and has extra binders made up for guests, or people who are checking us out. If you have a binder of music that belongs to us and want to know how to get it back to us, contact Lyn! 

Carol Ford and Debbie Hood are the Registrars. They make sure the membership list is up-to-date and coordinate registration in September. They will be calling you if you're on the waiting list. Debbie had our coffee (and tea) equipment and supplies in her basement for many years, and together with Carol took care of our refreshment needs, but has recently passed on that responsibility to Mary-Ellen Scriver ( the alto Mary-Ellen).

Heather Vickers, Teija Cumming and Enid Maize are the Reading Committee. They help choose new music and order it from the publishers, shopping in person and on line. They are chosen for their ability to read music and knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses. They've had a bit of a break during this 20th anniversary year, but will be engaged to find a couple new pieces for the spring season. 

Renate Naghavi (That's me.) is the Conductor/Musical Director of the YRCC. The Conductor chooses a theme and selects music for each season, with the help of the Executive and the Reading Committee, and with input from the Accompanist. The Conductor teaches the music with the help of the Accompanist, and leads the choir in performances. 

Anne Marie Vandekemp has been the Assistant Director, officially and unofficially for at least a decade. Since she is one of the original members of the choir, Anne Marie is consulted on everything from music to venues and managing member politics. Together with Heather Vickers, Anne Marie leads the small group rehearsals. 

Sapphire Navaratnarajah is our Accompanist. She is a talented pianist who helps Renate teach the music and accompanies the choir in rehearsal and in performances. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Choir Poster: Send it to everyone you know!

Monday, April 13 Rehearsal Review and Monday, April 20 Preview

Monday, April 13
6:30 Musical Medley-We rocked it!

Warm-up was all the movement we learned for Another Op'nin'!
Basically, we're holding our binders on our hips in our left hands, like we do when we walk. When you sing Another Opnin, you hold your right hand out and up, like you're introducing someone on stage. Point up left, centre, right for Philly Boston Baltimo'e. Say Hello: tip your hat. Job: thumb up. Make your future forget the past: point up left sweep hand over forehead (forget). Pain: hold open hand on chest (nobody can see your belly). 4 fingers, point like at a naughty child. 3 fingers, hand on forehead. 1 finger, shrug at your neighbours. Hat: same as say hello. Overture: cup your ear. Cross fingers, hold heart. open the curtain. That's it.

All I Have to Do is Dream: easy as pie, and beautiful!

Moon River: You got it! It now sounds as easy as pie and it's beautiful!

Tup Tuppa: You got it! Enough of you have it that it sounds great! Don't stress it. I need more Altos at the beginning of the second part. You have the melody there. Everyone else should be quieter at the beginning of the second part so we can hear the Altos in their moment of glory.

Yesterday Once More: The ending is so cool. Remember to start to be soft right after the Sopranos sing It's yesterday once more. Both shoobie-doos are soft and the basses come in strong, but everyone else is soft for one smore.

On Eagle's Wings: Stunning

You'll Never Walk Alone: to die for!

Monday, April 20th

6:30 Born This Way
Boogie Woogie Man at break
Solos and duet stay after

  • Another Opnin
  • Do Wah Diddy
  • I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
  • Jesu, Joy
  • Moon River
  • This Little Light
  • Tup Tuppa
Monday, April 27th

Run-through rehearsal at Trinity Anglican Church in Aurora.
Soloists and small groups will come early to work with microphones.
Everyone else, be there and ready to start at 7:30, so maybe aim for 7:15? 
7:30 we start from the beginning and run through the whole show. We might finish late. Be prepared to stay a bit longer if necessary. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Moon River Inspiration

We were talking about how Moon River should flow with more ease now that we've got the hang of it, and not with the intensity that we had when we were learning it. 

Here's a video that Sophie found of a choir singing our arrangement, very beautifully. And, some of them sing and dance! (And we get stressed about snapping!)

The colours and the graceful wave-like movements also help to create the peaceful flowing water effect. We sometimes sound like we're white-water rafting ;-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Monday, April 6th Rehearsal Review and Preview to April 13th

Monday, April 6th

With less than a month until the show, you should be spreading word around. Send your friends and families a note to tell them to set the date aside. We'll have posters and tickets available next week. 

6:30: Musical Medley- we reviewed B&B, Razzle, DQ, Joseph. Watch for fermatas in B&B and remember the long guests and the short guests. Razzle- dazzle with those rests, sing loud at What if your hinges, and smile while you sing the last Razzle-Dazzle. There were timing issues in DQ. In Joseph, at the back and forth part, Altos sing with Sopanos and Tenors sing with Basses and nobody holds.

We warmed up with Another Op'nin'. We are memorizing this one, so that we can move and do motions with it. We're learning the movements next week, so memorize this week. The movements will probably help with the memorizing. (some people were surprised about the memorizing thing- I told you about it for the first time on January 7th. And, we have rehearsed it several times, and each time I mentioned that we would memorize it. Maybe you were away or talking/not paying attention)

Yesterday Once More went beautifully with Janet singing Lauren's solo. The sopranos fixed there messy bits. We reviewed the ending. I recommend you memorize your "Once More" so you can watch.

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows looks cool! Everyone snapping together is really special. Try hard to learn your part well enough so that you can sing and snap. Watch me for the direction of the snaps. We all have to be together. Remember- they're the same snaps as in Blue Skies and if you can't snap, just move your hand the way everyone else does. Apparently, this is extra hard for lefties.

Tup Tuppa was awesome! The sopranos are very strong as many of you have memorized this song and are carrying the others. Follow your friends; they know the way! The tenors, too, are rocking their part. Sapphire played for the basses the first time. Your part is the hardest. Don't stress too much about it. Just sing something down there.  Sing a third below the tenors, or an octave below the altos at parts and that's cool. Altos are getting stronger every time! Sapphire played for you and it felt great. Be sure to sing out loud when you have the melody on the second half!

Moon River is really, really good! I'm so proud of you! Just one thing here: you sound like you're trying really hard but it needs to sound easy. Think Andy Williams laid-back. You have to try to make hard sound simple. It's not James Bond, it's Breakfast at Tiffany's.

You Raise Me Up!!! Bill is back! Bill was the one who introduced us to this song at the Stephen Leacock Theatre a million years ago. We fell in love and have been singing it as a choir for ever, since then. Bill is going to sing Stanley's solo, the first verse and chorus, and we'll remember that first time, and looking up Josh Groban and discovering a whole world of beautiful music. Thank you, Bill!

Hello, Goodbye! So much fun!

Next week:
6:30 will be Musical Medley again, and the following week will be Born This Way. So, we need to finish the Musical Medley! Boogie Woogie Man will meet at break. Solos and Duet meet at 9:30 for the next 2 weeks.

  • All I Have to Do is Dream
  • Another Op'nin'
  • Moon River
  • Tup Tuppa
  • Yesterday Once More
  • On Eagle's Wings/ You'll Never Walk Alone

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Carol Ford found me as a toddler conducting a choir and shared it on Facebook

Monday, March 30th Rehearsal and Monday, April 6th Easter Monday Rehearsal

Monday, March 30

6:30 Musical Medley from start to finish- wow!

Warm-up was Monday, Monday

Yesterday Once More was very pretty. The ending is supposed to be soft. Altos shoobies are soft and Sopranos move down to the second note of "more" softly. Only the bass is strong at the very end. For everyone else, the word "once" comes on beat 2 and lasts 3 beats, then you go down to "more".
Sopranos, you need to pay attention to the following:
pg. 5 bar 29-30 "be-fore" has 4 syllables. Look at "fore".
pg. 5 Shoobie do lang lang, the note is lower than you want it to be. It's actually the same note that you end up on singing "before".
pg. 6 bar 38-39 "had" has 2 syllables.
pg. 6 bar 41-42 "changed" has 2 syllables.

Button Up Your Overcoat gets better every time. The subway works well now, just remember that the sopranos and altos have to be soft enough to hear the tenor and bass "French fries" line.

Tup Tuppa gets better every time! Really, the first time through was amazing, especially the first page! Each section had a turn having Sapphire play their part, and it was really, really good. A number of sopranos have taken the suggestion to not look at their music, but just sing it often enough to memorize it, and it really worked. They were watching me, and I was pretty much directing to the sopranos. The other parts mostly need down beats and up beats anyway, which I try hard to keep clear.

Moon River is so cool! We did an awesome job of learning this one relatively quickly. We went over the Soprano and Alto "oohs" at page 7 (Sopranos divide) and page 8 and 9. The whole song is done and sounding awesome!

We Rise Again is such a treat to sing and to hear! I just love it! Something we have to remember is for the Sopranos and Altos to keep it soft during that first We Rise Again (page 5/6) so we can hear the Tenors and Basses who have cool stuff going on. Also, if we're loud right from the start, we risk sounding noisy and not musical, as that melody repeats and gets louder.

Monday, April 6th. (Easter Monday) 
6:30 Musical Medley

  • Another Op'nin'
  • Hello, Goodbye
  • Chasing Rainbows
  • Moon River
  • Tup Tuppa
  • Yesterday Once More

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 23rd-Rehearsal Review and Preview of March 30th

Monday, March 23rd

Thank you to Jane and Tracey for bringing treats and to Debbie and Carol for taking care of the delicious decaf for our social time at break!

6:30 Musical Medley of Medleys

Warm-up was I'm Always Chasing Rainbows. Sang it twice and then on the third time, we also snapped through the whole song. It was a challenge, but we can do it! We'll stop somewhere on the last line since the timing there is hard.

Shenandoah is so beautiful! We reviewed the oohs at the beginning, and the top of the last page, and the rest was excellent!

We finished Moon River!!! The ending is very cool and we'll review it next week. So happy that we've done so well learning this really tricky piece. Thank God it's a great melody that everyone loves!

Tup Tuppa doesn't seem to be everybody's cup of tea, but I've had enough with the bad attitude I'm hearing. From now on, no more rolled eyes and no more moaning about this charming piece of music (not even joking, Really.)! You will find it much easier if you adopt a positive attitude. The first page is really very good already, and you need to work on the second page. Please listen to and sing along with your part on the website. Some people report that it's easier when they don't look at their music, because to them that's intimidating. When they just listen and sing to the recording, it's easier to just let go and sing without thinking about it.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring was also intimidating at the beginning, but now it's so good, we can do it in our sleep. We talked a bit about some of the really scary challenges we've overcome together. It's such a great feeling when we conquer a scary piece!

Hallelujah is our reward for all the hard work we do. It's one of our most beautiful and satisfying songs to sing. Our arrangement is the best I've heard. Gerry and Trix did a great job on their solos. When you remember to stay strong on the last chorus, it's magical!

Next week, Monday, March 30th:

6:30 Musical Medley of Medleys

  1. Button Up
  2. Moon River
  3. We Rise Again
  4. Yesterday Once More
  5. Tup Tuppa
  6. Hello, Goodbye/ Monday, Monday/ Eagles Wings? (we'll see what we feel like and how much time we have)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 16 Rehearsal Review and Preview to March 23

March 16

6:30  Sapphire recorded all the parts of Tup Tuppa on their own. Listen to your part and sing along!
7:00  Born This Way! 

Warm-ups included lots of stuff for paying attention to the conductor and breathing exercises.

Do Wah Diddy Diddy is easy, but you have to pay attention to where you're singing and where you're not singing. Sopranos have to be confident coming in on each section. 

Button Up Your Overcoat is good! We can stay on the subway! It was fine. 

Tup Tuppa is coming along. Each time we sing it, it gets better. Keep on singing it. Use the recordings. 

This Little Light of Mine is fun. We decided to pronounce our Ts carefully on the first page to make a bigger contrast between the "Sunday School" beginning and the groovy gospel part that starts on the third page. Gerry and Kevin sang the solo together and it was great! After the solo section, the chorus is quieter. The end is loud, starting at the key change at bar 68. It's at the page turn, so make a note at the bottom of the page. 

Moon River is so cool! It's pretty hard, but so rewarding! We continued on with the oohs on page 7 and learned pages 8 and 9 and reviewed everything from the beginning. It's coming along nicely, but please have a look at it at home if you have some time. The recordings are up for that, so you can sing along.

Next Week,    March 23            Coffee and Treats at Break! 

6:30 Musical Medley Group
  • Hallelujah
  • I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
  • Moon River
  • Shenandoah
  • Tup Tuppa

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 9 Rehearsal Review and Preview to March 16

***Please check your binders and bags for missing Keynote's Choir music, Steal Away. We were given #20-40 and there are 4 missing: #21,24,31,33

Thank you to everyone who participated in our performance on Sunday. I'm very, very proud of you for coming to Roy's funeral and for being so wonderful! You learned new music in half an hour and did a great job with it, and of course On Eagle's Wings was fantastic. Emanda Richards, the Trinity music director sent a nice email thanking us, and the family presented us with a lovely card an an honorarium.

The Born This Way Small Group met at 6:30 and they've re-vamped their already awesome version of this popular Lady Gaga song! The Boogie Woogie Man group met at break. It's so much fun! We're working on page 7 and the ending. The rest is just a matter of looking at the words.

Warm-ups included stress-reducing stretches.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring was excellent! It's hard to believe we used to think it was really, really hard!

Tup-Tuppa is really, really hard. I wonder if it will ever feel as good as Jesu? We sang it through, with both repeats, and it wasn't great, but it's getting better. We are planning to re-record the parts so that you only hear your part so that you can try to do more work on it on your own. It's going to come together.

Moon River is a treat! It's not easy, but it's so rewarding! All parts are on the website with only the accompaniment in the background.

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows is coming along really, really well! I'm thinking we might be able to do the snaps all the way through the way it's written. Once we're comfortable with our parts, let's try it!

Hello, Goodbye is getting close to perfect. I think we even got the "no mac" part the last time through!

Monday, Monday is always fun and when the tenors and basses get their "fine" in strong and on time, it feels magical.

Next week, Monday, March 16:

6:30 Sapphire and Renate recording
7:00 Born this Way

  • Button Up Your Overcoat
  • Do Wah Diddy Diddy
  • I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
  • Moon River
  • This Little Light of Mine
  • Tup Tuppa

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 2nd Rehearsal Review

The Musical Medley group met at 6:30 and learned the Joseph piece, and sang the whole thing from the beginning up to that point, then sight-read through I Could Have Danced All Night. Great ending!

Warm-ups included marching and wiggling and All I Have to Do is Dream. It's pretty

Hello, Good-Bye is almost done! We learned Ticket to Ride and Can't Buy Me Love, and sang the whole thing through!

Tup Tuppa is hard, but we have to make it sound easy. Try to relax and have fun. If we have a bit of extra harmony, it will be okay ;-) Here's a link to the video of an orchestra all singing their instruments' parts in the William Tell Overture.

Yesterday Once More is sounding excellent already. We looked at the shoobie-doo lang-langs on page 5, 9, and 11, and the ending. The timing at the end is tricky. We'll look at that again.

At breaktime, the Boogie Woogie group got together and sang it for the first time. (Enid, Lauren, Janet, Debbie, Altos and Sophie S2, Trix S1) Pretty good. Great team. We've to to look at the alto part on page 7 again, and page 8 is not quite what we expected. We'll do it again at break next Monday.

Next week, March 9

  1. Hello, Goodbye
  2. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
  3. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
  4. Moon River
  5. Tup Tuppa

Funeral Sunday- Music and details

On Sunday, at Roy Bryson's funeral at Trinity United Church in Newmarket, we will be given the opportunity to sing with the other choirs (Trinity church choir, the Keynotes and the Harmony Chorale). This is voluntary, but I highly recommend it.

Come at 12:15 and we'll try to learn Steal Away. Here is a link to a video of a small choir singing it on YouTube. Here's one without the clarinet. Not sure if we'll have one. If you're looking for other versions, look for the arranger Helvey. I'll see if I can get the music and scan it for you and put it up here or on the website.

We'll be sitting in the congregation, on the far right (north) side in the front.

All choristers are wearing black and white. We will wear our formal concert uniform, which is white on top to the wrists and black on the bottom to the floor (pants or long skirts, and black hose/socks and shoes) plus our scarves.

We will have our black binders with On Eagle's Wings at the front, ready to go.

The library reserves some parking spots in the town lot. Be careful not to park there. The town lot opposite the church by the library fills up. So, you can park on the street (lots of streets allow parking on Sundays) and at Roadhouse and Rose Funeral Home, and down in the town parking lot by the skating rink. There's a stairway up to Main Street that lands you right across from Trinity. Carpooling is probably a good idea.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Feb 23 Rehearsal Cancelled Last Minute!

Sorry, Everyone! Something went wrong and we didn't know until people went to choir that our room had been re-booked. If we had known earlier, we could have found an alternate place to rehearse. As it is, half an hour was not enough to find a place and find everyone, so we just implemented our call tree and called off tonight's rehearsal. So disappointing!

We'll have the Musical Medley small group try again next week at 6:30.

Boogie Woogie Man will have to wait. No worries; it's going to be easy to learn.

If you have some time tonight or during the week, please review your part in Tup-Tuppa. Have fun with the recordings. Sing along to some of the accompaniments.

Listen to the sound recordings of our December concert! Have a great evening!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Family Day Rehearsal and Preview to Feb. 23

Monday, Feb. 16 was Family Day and we had quite a few of our choir family together for a good rehearsal. We did so well that we went right through our break and left early!

The Musical Medley group met at 7:00 and we did all of Dancing Queen with accompaniment! Sapphire was back from her trip and we not only learned Dancing Queen, but did Razzle Dazzle and went straight through to Dancing Queen. It was fun!

We started by warming up with On Eagle's Wings. It's always good. But, try to remember that page 6 is for the Tenors and Basses- all the way through. They have the melody the whole time and we have to hear it.

Another Op'nin' is coming along nicely and most of us have already got it memorized. We'll be walking in with our binders closed and singing this with some hand movements!

We sang all the way through I'm Always Chasing Rainbows! We learned our parts in the Do-do section and the ending, so we have the whole thing now. We'll review the do-do section when everyone is together again. All the parts are on our website. Take advantage and sing along with your part.

This Little Light of Mine is good, but it needs more spunk. We used to clap along with this one. I wonder if we can memorize it and clap, or sway like a gospel choir. We need something. In the "On a Monday" section, pay close attention to the words and notes. There are some pretty chords there but you have to be together. Sopranos and altos should hold back so that we can hear the tenor and bass parts. The loudest part is right after the key change after the second time through "On a Monday" and stays loud up to the big ending.

Button Up Your Overcoat was appropriate. How well will it go over if it's really hot in May? It's a cute and fun song. Don't worry. I think we should try to stay on the subway- not jump off- on page 8, bar 57-58.

We Rise Again was not as beautiful as it was at the concert. Did we forget our oohs and aahs? All the parts are on the website for you to review them if you've forgotten. Kristen did a stellar job, as usual.

Next week, Feb. 23

The Musical Medley group will meet again at 6:30. Boogie Man will meet the following week. (It was scheduled to start but we'll get more people signed up first)

  1. All I Have to Do is Dream
  2. Hello, Goodbye
  3. Moon River
  4. Tup Tuppa
  5. Yesterday Once More

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Feb.9 Rehearsal Review- Family Day we're meeting.

At break, we listened to 2 of the recordings made by the sound guy, Doug Jarvie, at our concert in December. Some people didn't think Welcome, Welcome Winter was us! It was so, so good! You'll Never Walk Alone was spectacular! There will be links to these recordings on our website soon. Be sure to listen to them! There's something special about hearing us without any distractions. The blending is awesome. We sound crazy good!

6:30 Musical Medley was successful, went through Razzle Dazzle (watch out for little rests that make the preceding words short, kind of clipped and crisp- in fact/ you're just/) and started Dancing Queen -fun for the first sopranos!

We warmed up with Monday, Monday. We discovered that a number of us didn't know it and some had forgotten, so we worked on it quite a bit. Now it's better! I love when you sing Fine-Fine-Fine Yeah! Magic wand. Maybe go over the words in the every other day of the week section, you can find me...tongue twisters

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows is  one of my favourites. I love how Sapphire's Fantaisie Impromptu has the melody in it! Wait 'till you hear her play that one! Wow! We will also wow the audience with this song. It's really cool. We just got to the really cool part. We went through all the parts on pages 3 &4. I wonder if we can snap, or if we can have someone snap? Kevin Jaques?

Do Wah Diddy Diddy was better this time. My plan went really well, and the back-and-forth on pages 8 and 9 works even better with the back-and-forth in the other sections. (I forgot to post the plan! Here it is: Page 6, 31-39 is Women only and Page 8, 51-59 is Men only) There's clapping marked at the end on Page 11. I wonder if we can do it, pass your binder to someone or tuck it under your arm? Something to think about.

All I Have to Do is Dream is so pretty and sweet! This will be one of those tunes that lots of audience members will be humming all the way home. Maybe you find yourself singing it during the week? Very catchy. The key is to keep it smooth and easy and we'll work some more on dynamics. The ending is soft.

We had an interesting experience with Hallelujah. It didn't download onto my iPad, or sync, or something. So we didn't have the accompaniment. Trix eventually found it on her phone, when we were done. We know this song so well, we did it beautifully without accompaniment! It sounded good, too! Now we're thinking of how to incorporate an a cappella bit into the song!

I also messed up with the recording of You Raise Me Up, but Trix found a version on her phone. We did great! Stanley's solo was partly a duet, with Anne Marie's voice singing the soprano part on the recording! It was fine.

We'll be very, very happy when Sapphire is back, but we're doing really well without her thanks to all the recordings and Anne Marie's help on the keyboard!

Next Monday is Family Day. If you have plans for the evening, that's understandable. We'll be working on our stuff, and I'll be sure to write down everything we do so you can catch up. There are lots of good recordings up of your parts of many of our songs. They really help!

We won't start at 6:30, but can the Musical Medley people come at 7:00 so we can do some more of Dancing Queen?

  1. Another Op'nin'
  2. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows (the doo-doo section)
  3. On Eagle's Wings
  4. Shenandoah
  5. This Little Light of Mine

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 26th and February 2nd YRCC Rehearsals

Monday, January 26th
6:30 Musical Medley Small Group met and went all the way through Be Our Guest!

1. Do Wah Diddy Diddy was fun, but we had some (not quite supportive and respectful) discussion over who should sing what. It's 2 parts, and Soprano is always on top, on part 1. On page 8, there's an echo thing that we're going to do a girl-boy thing with. Sopranos sing 'I'm his' and Tenors and Basses sing 'I'm hers', then Sopranos sing 'and he's mine' and T&B sing 'she's mine', then Sopranos sing 'well, I'm his and' and then ST&B sing he's mine or she's mine together. Altos join in at 'and the wedding bells will chime'. This same thing happens again on page 10
We'll have to go over who sings what next week. I'll have a more definite plan so that there won't be any discussion about it. We might want to talk about our choir culture though.

2. All I Have to Do is Dream is pretty! We learned the whole thing except the ending! It's not very hard, but the Sopranos have to fight the urge to sing what they want, and just sing what's there. For example, at the top of page 3, the Tenors and Basses sing 'want you-ou', but Sopranos and Altos don't.  That happens every time. Also, at the top of page 5, Sopranos have a special "away".

3.Another Op'nin' is the one we have to memorize. We've pretty much got it already; no worries. For people who read music, please don't worry that we don't sing the opening the way it's written, also the ending. We don't overlap the parts, but sing one after the other to make the echo clearer. It's very fast, so make sure you know where you're going. Remember, we repeat  page7 but jump down to the key change at the bottom of 9 the second time through.

4. You'll Never Walk Alone is still very, very special and fantastic! If you're new, you might want to review your part with the online recording.

We enjoyed decaf coffee with treats at breaktime, and the executive had a brief meeting. One of the things we discussed was contacting former directors and accompanists. If you have contact info for anyone, see someone on the executive. We also discussed creating a memory lane audio-visual display for intermission. I'm now thinking that we could also post things on our website throughout our special 20th anniversary year. If you have old photos, programs, posters, videos or anything, see us too.

Next Week: Monday, February 2nd

  • All I Have to Do
  • Do Wah Diddy
  • I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
  • Monday, Monday
  • You Raise Me Up/Hallelujah? 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rehearsal Review: Monday, January 19th

Monday, January 19th
Sapphire and Renate recorded the accompaniments for Boogie Woogie Man, Button Up Your Overcoat, Another Op'nin', Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and Hello, Goodbye. We also did all the parts for Jesu so you can review them at home :-)
Most of the recordings for this season are already up! Spend some time singing at home- or, how about singing in the car?

Warm-ups included Mi Me Ma Mo Mu.

1. Button Up Your Overcoat was amazing!!! The tenor and bass section was especially strong.

2. Tup-Tuppa was hard. We learned our individual parts for the second half. Wow! 32nd notes are fast! Everybody has challenges in the second half.  Look at your music and divide things up into manageable bits. Which parts are the same, repeated? Mark up your music with pencil. Listen to Sapphire's recordings and listen to versions on YouTube. The more familiar you are with the song, the easier it will be to read your music. The first half is already sounding pretty good after only 2 rehearsals. Trust me. It will be great.

3. Hello, Goodbye is fun and not very hard (Yay!) but we do have some work to do. We started with Penny Lane, with the bm-bm part. We noticed that the bm-bms are supposed to be detached, and that's similar to what we're doing in Tup-Tuppa. If it helps you to detach your pa-pas, think of them as pm-pms. We did say that the Tenor and Bass parts have pa-pa-pum and quite a bit of it sounds like pum-pum.

4. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring got messed up last week when we sang the second verse. So, this week we started with the second verse. No worries. Whatever happened got fixed. It was fine this week :-)
Looking ahead, we want to be very strong on our parts in both verses, and remember to sing very softly at the beginning and to give pages 5 and 6 extra attention. There's a lot of drama there.

5. This Little Light of Mine. We just sang through once, sight-reading, and it was already pretty good! Gerry is going to sing the solo in the section that starts "On a Monday" and that section repeats. Sopranos lead the key change out of that second repeat. We'll have to work on making the many repetitions of the chorus interesting by varying the dynamics.

Monday, January 26th: Social Rehearsal with Coffee

6:30 Musical Medley small group rehearsals start! Sign up and come early to sing special selections of our past musical medleys. 

  1. All I Have to Do is Dream
  2. Another Op'nin'
  3. Do Wah Diddy-Diddy
  4. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
  5. You'll Never Walk Alone