Welcome to Renate's Baton. This blog is mostly for and about my choir, The York Region Community Choir.

But, While I'm holding the baton, I'm in charge. So, if I want to talk about other parts of my life, I will. :)

The choir itself is a community and I'm discovering that we have a lot in common with one another besides our love of music and singing.

When I go off on a tangent, there is always a crowd coming along. Join us!

Monday, 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