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, 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.