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, September 29, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Review 26SEP2016

Monday, September 26th, 2016 YRCC Rehearsal

6:30 Jeremiah Joy with clapping and shaker

Warm-ups incorporated ideas from our Saturday choir event with body movement.

1. O Holy Night: Mary Ellen sang the solo. It was beautiful. Joy was amazing on the accompaniment! What a fantastic arrangement we have! New folks, please sign in on the website and download the recordings to help you learn your part if you're having trouble following your neighbours. There's a lot going on.

2. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: We learned the 3/4 part in the middle, so now we have learned the whole song! It's fun and not too difficult. The parts should be on the website soon. They were recorded a few years ago. Remember to be loud on the first repetition of the sections and soft on the second each time.

3. Carol of the Bells: We learned the last 2 pages, so now we have the whole song. Remember that the ending is the second ending where the Tenors and Basses have the melody. We will need to be sure to build from pianissimo to fortissimo and back down again, and then back up again!

4. Do You Hear What I Hear: This is another really big, awesome arrangement of a favourite Christmas song. Again, Joy was spectacular! There is a lot to learn here for all parts. The recordings were also done years ago and should be on the website soon. You will want to take advantage of the recordings to help you learn your part.

5. Winter Song: New, new song! This one is new to everyone. We  only sang it through to see how it goes. This will take some learning and Joy is making recordings to help. There are special bits for Second Sopranos!

Next Week: 3 OCT 2016

6:30 Jeremiah Joy
7:00 Noel Nouvelet

  • O Holy Night
  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • Winter Song 
  • Carol of the Bells
Looking ahead: We are meeting on Thanksgiving Monday! Please try to come, but if you have to have a Thanksgiving dinner on Monday night, don't panic. You'll catch up. But the more people there, the better. 

Online Resources for Singers

When I'm looking for ideas for warm-ups, I go to YouTube and find all kinds of cool things.

Bill recently sent me the following links. If you go to any one of these, you'll have fun warming up and stretching your voice. Once you're there, you'll find a ton of other videos to watch.

Remember that it takes regular practice to keep your voice strong and healthy. You should be warming up and singing several times a week, not only once a week on Mondays.

Have fun!





Thursday, September 22, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Review 19-SEP-2016

We welcomed several people from the waiting list who were checking us out.
We hope to see them all back next week!

Small Group at 6:30:
Jeremiah Joy to the World- listen to the recording a few times to get in the groove ;-)

Warm-ups: breathing, relaxing, opening up the throat

1. Canon of Joy: excellent! Remember to raise your eyebrows and bounce a bit on the joys, but to be smooth and sweet with the aahs, not taking big breaths at the same time-staggered breathing on the first couple of pages

2. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: We learned the parts all the way to the 3/4 time section. Remember that the second fa-la-las are quiet but still bright and bouncy.

3. Carol of the Bells: New format. Last time we had lots of solos. This time we'll just be sure to do the gradual crescendo from pp to ff together, mostly. Everyone starts at bar 21. Solo at 9. Front row sopranos and altos start at 13, tenors at 17. We got to bar 33 and stopped there.

4. Why We Sing: Back to soloists: Trix and Stanley/ Peggy and Rob will do the beginning on Saturday.

5. African Noel: I've asked Marianna, Janet and the Kevins to accompany us on drums and percussion. Marianna started working on her Djembe. Fun!

Next week:

6:30 Small Group: Jeremiah Joy to the World

  • Carol of the Bells- starting at 33
  • Do You Hear What I Hear - intro
  • O Holy Night- awesomeness awaits
  • We Wish You a Merry Madrigal- 3/4 section
  • Winter Song- intro

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Noel Nouvelet: Video to help you learn it!

NOEL NOUVELET is a pretty 2-part piece for women only (SA) in French!
Sign up for the "Event" on the website. We start rehearsing on October 3rd.
Don't worry!
There's help!
This video!
Follow along with the music as you listen to the song being performed.

YRCC Rehearsal Review 12-SEP-2016

12-SEP-2016 Welcome Back!!! Registration Day.

Warm-ups included a new Swans Sweetly Singing round.

1. Canon of Joy: We welcomed our new accompanist, Joy, with a very lovely performance of Canon of Joy. We will be performing this at the Saturday 24th Choral Event. Don't drone. Remember to smile and raise your eyebrows when you're singing "joy". We'll try to get this prettier.

2. Why We Sing: We tried a new format with first row Sopranos and Altos and Tenors and Basses instead of the solos at the beginning. I liked it, but might prefer the solos. We'll try again next week. We'll also try it a bit faster. We are also performing this at the Choral Event.

3. Magic of Winter: Always pretty, a seniors residence favourite.

4. New Piece: African Noel: we sight-read and it was pretty good! I had planned to learn the first two pages, but we got all the way through!!! This will be extra-fun with percussion. I've asked some people to play drums and other percussion instruments with this. I heard a version with percussion and liked it, but like the choir part better with this version.

5. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: new to many, this piece was done not too long ago, but we seem to have forgotten it. It'll come back. This is one of 3 fa-la-la pieces we have this season. Another one is a small group piece called Please Don't Sing Another Fa-la-la!

Our theme is still the Joy of Singing, and to extend it into the holiday season, we've called our winter concert YRCC Singing Joy to the World. We'll sing Joy to the World and a small group will sing the other Joy to the World (Jeremiah was a bullfrog...joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea,..). We'll also enjoy singing lots of familiar melodies from Christmas music and everywhere, songs that people sing along to, even when they only know the fa-la-las.

Log in on the website, and sign up for all the events: small groups, September 24th, and now Seniors' home performances!

Next week: 19-Sep-2016 Registration will continue. 
$75 cheque to York Region Community Choir or cash, please. $50 for half year.

Small Group 6:30: Jeremiah Joy To The World

  • Canon of Joy
  • Why We Sing
  • We Wish You a Merry Madrigal
  • African Noel
  • Carol of the Bells

Monday, September 12, 2016

Joy to the World YRCC version of Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog

A small group will do a fun Joy to the World inspired by the song in the "video" here.

I had to figure out how to make the song available to you. And, my solution was to create a video with the song in it. There's just a picture with the song played on it. Ignore the picture.
The beginning of the song is strange. There are some children speaking in French. Just wait. The song starts after a few seconds.

Our version will not be quite as exciting as this but we'll see. When my Teen Choir did it, we sang in unison, and together, without the gospel-choir stuff in the background. We did clap. It was fun and our audience enjoyed it.

Sign up for this small group right away. We start on September 19th.
Log in on the website and sign up for this Event.
The YRCC is Singing Joy to the World is our concert title. :-)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Monday, September 12th YRCC return!

Tomorrow, Labour Day Monday, is the last choirless Monday of 2016 until December 26!

Go online now and pre-register for the 2016-2017 season which starts next Monday!

Here's a link so you don't have to think.

The more pre-registration is done, the more singing we can do on our first Monday.

Registration on September 12 will simply be check in, pay, get your binder, and sing!

You can bring $75 cash or a cheque made out to York Region Community Choir.