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!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

YRCC March 21 and 28 Rehearsals!

Oh, my goodness! I've been so busy I didn't have a chance to review our rehearsal on the 21st and prepare for tomorrow's rehearsal until now!

Happy Easter! What a beautiful day! Church this morning was spectacular! What a joy!

I'm happy that I was able to celebrate early with my family so today is a quiet day. I really needed this break. I had a nap this afternoon. Now, I've got to look at my choir stuff.

Monday, March 21
Sing Me a Song met early and learned the whole piece!

1. Why We Sing- We looked at the dynamics of the song, how the volume builds. This is our finale and has to be dramatic. It's a powerful piece and we must express its message clearly.

We talked about dynamics in general, how you need to not give it your all when you see an F for Forte, loud, because you have to be able to sing louder for FF- Fortissimo. Your MF should not be loud, but Medium- Mezzo-Forte. P is Piano, soft and we really need to work on singing softly. Don't worry, we will be heard even at PP, Pianissimo, extra quiet. Really.

We have some dynamics built in to Why We Sing, because we start with Kit and Stanley's gentle and sweet voices, build with Enid and Rob's bigger, stronger voices, and then add everyone in at MP, medium soft, but think very soft, okay? Build that first phrase up to a MP on the word Harmony. Down again on This is Why, building to Take My Hand and Sing With Me, decrescendo. Pay attention throughout to the directions for dynamics!

2. I'd Like to Teach: We continued with our theme of dynamics. This one starts like Why We Sing, with solos to keep it soft, but it builds to a Forte (only) and the high point is at 57. After that section, we get softer and softer until the end, Piano (only) and a soft-but-strong last sentence.

3. Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves: Opera. Drama. This one uses dynamics very dramatically. We go from FF to PP twice in a row on pages 6 and 7! Wow!

4. Joseph! We finished! Go, Go, Go Joseph is so much fun! The last bit is hard, Ahead of My Time... but the rest is not hard and very satisfying. Now, we need to focus on cleaning up the rest.

Monday, March 28

Sing Me A Song is meeting at 6:30 and Grand Night For Singing at 7:00, or maybe 7:10

  • Thank You For the Music (timing top of page 6)
  • Joseph Medley, stopping to review trouble bits
  • I'd Like to Teach 
  • Can't Help Singing
  • Preview of One Voice?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Joy of Singing! YRCC Spring Concert Poster

March 14 YRCC Rehearsal and preview to March 21

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

When we meet next, it will be spring! Spring arrives at 12:30 Saturday night. Something to celebrate. And, it means we're getting closer to our spring concert! Yikes! There's still lots of work to do, but we've come a long way. We have gone through most of our new music and soon will be only doing review and clean-up.

Tickets are now on sale. You should be inviting your friends and family to our show and posting our poster everywhere you can think of.  Thank you, Roxanne, for this adorable poster and matching tickets!
Sapphire recorded parts for Thank You For the Music, starting at 6:30, so there were no small groups. Those recordings should be up on the website soon. I know some of you were very anxious to have them! Thank you for using the recordings! It means a lot to Sapphire and me to know that our time is well spent creating these recordings, and Trix, too spends a good amount of time to upload them. So, it's actually very nice to hear that you are looking for them. 

We warmed up with I Will Always Be With You, and made a new recording to replace the one that was too fast.

1. We learned lots of oohs and ahs, and eees, in Thank You for the Music. Everyone except the first sopranos has oo-ah in section E. The special ending (coda) has a long "me", so some of us are singing an oo line with an ee vowel. We have now learned all of this song, so from now on, it's review and polish.

2. Why We Sing is also done! We learned the last part, the ending. Review and polish from now on!

3. We sang a piece that a whole bunch of new folks were probably worried about- Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. It's a difficult piece, but only a few of us don't know it, so it's really very beautiful already. You can find your part on the website and sing along. Now that you've sung it once with everyone, it won't be scary anymore. You can follow along with everyone in your section. They know this one. We reviewed parts on pages 6 and 7, the most important part. There are videos of us performing it too. No worries!

4. Joseph: We did the Benjamin Calypso part! Perfect for March Break, when friends and family are away in warm places on beaches and we're stuck here. Everyone has la-las! Blair has a fun solo, as does (soprano) Robyn. Kristen and Trix tried it too to be back-ups. Rob will be Blair's back-up. We sang the whole Joseph Medley! It was so much fun!!! Next week, Go Go Go Joseph!

Monday, March 21
 Sing Me a Song Small Group meets for the first time at 6:30 
  • Joseph: Go, go, go Joseph!
  • Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves
  • I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing
  • Thank You For the Music
  • Why We Sing

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March 7 YRCC Rehearsal Review

Monday, March 7:
6:45 Grand Night for Singing

Warm up: Do Re Mi -We needed some review in the alto/tenor/bass line.

1. Can't Help Singing- Sop 1 descant (pg 9,10), pg 11 (ending)
2. Why We Sing-Sop 1 descant (pg 9), pg 8, ending
3. Joseph- Close Every Door

Monday, March 14:

No small group rehearsal: Thank You For The Music Recording parts with Sapphire 6:30.

  • Thank You For the Music
  • Joseph Benjamin Calypso
  • Why We Sing- ending
  • Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Monday, February 29 YRCC rehearsal

We warmed up with Canon of Joy to get ready to focus on the Tenor and Bass sections.

1. Thank You for the Music starts off with a cool echo thing in the Bass clef. The sopranos and altos will have to sing a bit softer for balance. We learned parts up to the chorus, so we can almost sing the whole song.

2. Joseph. We got through the next 2 songs! Angel in heaven features the Tenors and Basses. Song of the king has a big solo for Blair (Rob is his back-up). Everyone else does the bop- shoo- whadda- was. Tenor is on the bottom of the treble clef! 

3. Can't Help Singing has a tricky descant part that the First Sopranos learned. Listen to the recording if you missed this rehearsal, Sop 1! We learned our parts right to the end!

4. Why We Sing is almost done. Next week.

Next week: Monday, March 7

Sapphire should be back from her vacation, and we will be back in our room.

We will show off what we learned while she was away:

Same 4 songs

Grand Night For Singing small group meets at 6:45.

(Sing Me a Song postponed for a bit. We also need to do recording. Watch the Calendar for updates)