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!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

YRCC Soloists, Memorize!

Soloists, please memorize your solos so that you can look at the audience.

You will sound so much better looking up and out instead of down at your music!

You will enunciate better when you are actually singing to somebody, rather than singing to your sheet music. 

People like to see who's singing. Don't be a disembodied voice! Look out over the crowd, open your eyes and mouth expressively.

Have fun, feel the sentiments you are expressing so that your audience feels them too!

You are fabulous! This is not the time to be humble. Share your gift! Let it go!

April 22 YRCC Early Birds

Early Birds get to sing more 

6:45 Robyn and Trix
7:00 First Sopranos

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 11 and 18 YRCC Rehearsals

April 11
Song Sung Blue and Sing Small group met at 6:30 with Kevin T.
1.Hallelujah: remember to check the tricky bits on the website
2.One Voice! Sounding amazing! Love this song. Remember to watch for all words ending in s. So, here we have "voice" all the time and I have to cut you off, and you have to watch for the cut-off so that we're all together. First sopranos, give yourselves lots of air, open up and hit those high notes clearly and without over-reaching.
3.Thank You For The Music! So good! Everyone, watch the ending, as usual, especially "for giving it to me". We need all the first sopranos on that I've been so lucky... part! And, try to blend. Maybe we need to seat you differently? We also had this problem with Why We Sing on the descant. You're not together and you're not all singing.
4. Joseph: Two notes to watch: hold these notes all the way, until I cut you off- on page 16, starting on page 15 "die" is held through the first bar on page 16, and  on page 20 "you" goes all the way to bar 64, one bar into Close Every Door (imaging singing through the the words "close every"). Always hold notes until you see a rest or a new note. You don't get to choose to cut it off early. One More Angel is getting better every time. Benjamin Calypso is better too. Remember to watch out for when it's your turn to sing. You can watch me ;-)
5. Why We Sing. So pretty and powerful (like us)! First sopranos, learn your part and sing together.

April 18
Grand Night for Singing is meeting at 6:45 (Melinda will catch up whenever she can). Teija will come at 6:40 or so, to run through her song with the recording.

  • I Will Always Be With You (with flute)
  • One Voice
  • Thank You
  • Joseph
  • Can't Help Singing
April 18 and 24 are the last chances to go over parts. May 2nd is a run-through at Trinity Anglican, more to see how things will flow, standing, sitting, soloists using microphones, and overall sound, and hopefully not going over parts. If you have parts that are troubling you, let me know now. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Review Monday, April 4. Preview to April 11

Monday, April 4th

Sing Me A Song met early and  Grand Night for Singing met early.

1. We started with a good warm-up, physical and vocal. And, sang Do Re Mi as a warm-up. Tracey wasn't there so Mary Ellen sang the solo. It was awesome!

2. We finally started One Voice! The soloists will be Kristen, Jonathan, and Trix. Their back-ups and some other friends sang along to start. A good number of people know this piece, so it's already pretty good! We reviewed from the ba-da section to the end. We'll do more on the beginning next week.

3. Canon of Joy was a joy, as usual. The tenor/bass section was especially good tonight! We're really feeling the graceful joy of this piece. It's a good compliment to the exuberant joy of Can't Help Singing.

4. The focus was on the tenor/bass section again with One More Angel in Heaven. We've got to get this timing together. Try to learn your part well enough to be able to watch me more so that we're all together. You all sounded so wonderful tonight! What a difference it makes to have a few more people in your section!

5. We were going to sing Thank You For the Music, but did Benjamin Calypso instead. Be sure to know when to sing! The back and forth between SA and TB is a bit confusing. Soloists, learn your parts! It's best if you can memorize these short bits so that you can look at the audience. Rob and Robyn are soloists here, with Garry and Trix as back-ups.

6. We ended with Go, Go, Go Joseph, and are adding several tenors to the bass part at the end. Only the front row will hold notes.

Next week:

Sing! and Song Sung Blue are meeting at 6:30 with Kevin!

  • One Voice
  • Thank You For the Music
  • Joseph
  • Hallelujah

Small Group Change- Not Sing Me A Song Apr.11

There has been a change in plans.
Sing Me A Song is not meeting on April 11 at 6:45.
Instead, Song Sung Blue and Sing are meeting at 6:30 because Kevin is available on April 11 to come and help us with those songs. They will be accompanied by Kevin and Kevin on guitars.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weekend review- YRCC Monday, March 28 and prep for Apr. 4

My goodness! Again, it's the weekend and I haven't posted the review yet. I'm sorry. 
We made some important discoveries last week. We might have to get the tenors and basses in for a sectional rehearsal early or keep you late one night. There are some places where it's really important for you to be together, and you're not. More below.

1. Warm-up was I Will Always Be With You, appropriate for Easter Monday. There is still some confusion with the Tenor part at 46. Make it very clear that those 2 phrases have the same melody! "Where my love and peace abound." is huge and equal to "Near my heart I'll lay thee down." The second one goes sour when some of you sing it differently, the way it is for the rest of the song. This part is different. It's the high point of the song. We're at forte and then drop to piano with "In the quiet mountains."

2. Thank You For the Music is coming along really nicely! It's hard and we need to review it again and again, but we fixed an important bit. At the top of page 6, in the chorus, there was a bar that was messy. We all have to be together on "what are we". So, at the bottom of page 5, we sing Without a song. "or a dance" comes at beat 2, and altos and basses have an extra bit that falls on beat 3. "what are we" is on the + of 3: + 4 +. What are we = + 4 +. We practised this until we were all together. I hope we can manage to stay together :-) We also reviewed the oohs and aahs and the fist soprano part at E and the Tenor and Bass bits at the beginning. The second one: "You must have heard it before, oh yeah" is the most difficult. Review it please.

3. Joseph is in review, and it's looking very good.

 The first part we stopped at was One More Angel in Heaven. Tenors and Basses need to get together with their timing here. Please review this song. 

Song of the King: Blair is rocking his Elvis solo (memorize?). He will be on a microphone, so don't worry about your Bop-shu-wada-was being too loud. 

Benjamin Calypso: Rob/ Gary please memorize that solo " I hear the steel drums sing dere song..." Same with Trix/ Robyn on "Sure as de tide wash de golden sand..." You shouldn't need microphones since you're on your own, but it has to be strong and you have to look at the audience. 

Go Go Go Joseph: Fun! we need to be more together on the entry + 4 + (again). We'll keep working on it. And, at the end, 285, we'll need to add some tenors on "ahead of my time". I'm thinking all the men on that, and we can have only the women tenors on the ahhs.  

Monday, April 4

Sing Me a Song 6:30 and 6:45 with Renate/ Grand Night for Singing 7:00 with Renate

  • One Voice-finally! Kristen will sing the solo at the beginning, joined by Jonathan/Stanley and then Robyn/Trix (I'm not sure how that's going to work because Robyn was the one I had in mind to be Kristen's back-up, but let's see.) I'm counting on those who've done it before to remember it well so that we can learn this quickly,
  • Thank You For the Music
  • Joseph
  • Canon of Joy (since we'll be focused on the Tenors and Basses with Joseph)
  • Do Re Mi?