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!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 27-MAR-2017

Monday, March 27th

Remember that tickets are for sale for our concert. Roxanne is selling them at break. Next week, we will have coffee and treats at break too (oops. we forgot to ask for treats)

Remember to sign up for Sing! Sing! and Sing some more! April 29th all-day choir event.
Sign up on our website so that we can determine whether we can offer a YRCC performance for the concert at the end. Right now there are only 4 of us signed up. You have to register for the event on the Georgina website and pay your fee there too.

6:30 Rob and Trix: OMG I love this song! You two are wonderful for sharing this with us!
7:00 Melinda's group: now includes Rob. Thanks, Rob, for joining us on this island.

1. Warm-up was Hallelujah. What a joy! Washed away our Monday stress. We need to sing it in the concert, so we're going to have to think of a way to make it into a sing-along for the encore. It's fun to try out different soloists during rehearsals. Will you try some time?

2. Song for the Mira gave us opportunities to hear other solo voices, too. We are getting very good at this East Coast song! We reviewed section 5 again. It's hard, but it's awesome.

Kudos to those of you who rose to the challenge when I called on new soloists! You are not only beautiful, but also brave! It's not easy to sing alone when you're used to singing in the choir. It's a different thing. We don't have many willing and able soloists. We hear the same ones again and again for that reason. I think I need to give people more opportunities in rehearsal time even if you're not going to sing a solo in a performance.  What do you think? You can say no when I ask. But, didn't it make you proud for the ones who sang? It felt wonderful to me. Remind me. (Having said that, it sounds strange to say that I still haven't decided on the soloists for that song. I haven't found the right combination of voices, the right chemistry.)

3. Four Strong Winds This has been stuck in my head now for 2 weeks! Luckily, I love this. We looked at the triplets in the tenor part at B. Remember that they take up beats 3 and 4. We need the tenor and bass section to sound like one voice here, so you've got to be together. We also decided on pronouncing Alberta the normal way, with a Canadian flap and not a strong aspirated T. We reviewed the doo-doos to the end and sang the whole thing. It's funny how I'm not so good at so good at quiet endings. I love a big end, or at least a very clear end. This non-ending is stressful for me. I understand the idea of it, but I'm having trouble doing it. I'll keep trying. We all have to try to be wistful at the end.

4. Hockey Song We did this one instead of O Canada. I just wasn't in the mood, somehow. This one is so much fun! Just remember to have fun. It's not too picky a song. Just watch for the weird entries.  Enjoy it and give it a great big goofy Wayne Gretzky!

5. Where the Coho Flash Silver We are pretty good at this West Coast one too, now. We spent some time on the last page. There is still some work to be done, but it's coming along. It's hard work, but worth it.

We're on the home stretch. we should not be looking at anything new, but only reviewing and polishing our performances. (if there's stuff you haven't learned, you can go online to hear your part, but also let me know) We do still have the sing-alongs to learn. I'm working on them, and they should be easy- all unison, all well-known bits of songs, that we have to just know better than the audience, or be better prepared than them, anyway ;-)

Next week: Monday, April 3rd 

6:30 V'la l'bon vent Small Group

  • Ca-na-da
  • O Canada
  • Four Strong Winds
  • Unity
  • Where the Coho

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

6204 Main Street, Stouffville 24/7 music Record Attempt

YRCC Rehearsal 20-MAR-2017

Monday, March 20th, 2017

6:30 Rob and Trix
7:00 Melinda's group

Roxanne had tickets and posters at break time.

Remember to buy as many tickets as you can in advance. It's good to know how big our audience will be. Tickets are priced better in advance. You can buy 2 for $25. At the door, all tickets are $15. Everybody enjoys the student and senior rate ;-)

1. Unity: We reviewed page 2 thoroughly and spent some time on the transitions- from the first to the second verse, from the bottom of page of page 2 to the nest section (we didn't observe the 2 fermatas) and from page 3 to the end. It was pretty good.

2. Where the Coho Flash Silver: We reviewed the a cappella section and the end, pages 7 and 8. It's getting great!

3. They All Call it Canada: We reviewed pages 10 and 11 where the Sopranos and Altos have the descant part and sang from there to the end (going back to "from the Atlantic" and skipping to the coda).

4. Four Strong Winds: We reviewed the middle hard part starting at the doo-doos and sang to the end! We weren't sure we liked the end, but decided that if we slow down starting a bit earlier and get softer and softer that it would satisfy my need to have a clear ending :-)

5. We Rise Again: I was sad to announce that we will not be able to sing We Rise Again this season. We are running behind because we needed work on songs that I thought we knew better. Not to worry; we'll do it again soon. It's a beautiful song and will fit into all kinds of themes.

We do have lots of work to do on the songs that we have. Spend some time working with the recordings, please!

Next Week: Monday, March 27th

Get more tickets for your family and friends! You can take tickets and pay next week, giving you time to get the money from your family. Or, maybe they'll pay you at Easter :-)

  • O Canada
  • Hallelujah
  • Where the Coho
  • Four Strong Winds
  • Song for the Mira

Thursday, March 16, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 13-MAR-2017

It was March Break and it was a crazy-snowy day, but lots of us came and sang and felt wonderful!

6:30 This Island Earth, Melinda's small group

Warm-up were quick and focused on where our breath comes from.

1. All The Little Rivers: getting excellent!

2. Four Strong Winds: we did the hard middle part! It wasn't so bad. The doo-doos were good! The "fancy" verse is cool, and we do get that "going home" feeling when we get to E. This is something to review on your own if you have some time. It's challenging and beautiful.

3. Song for Canada: in wonderful contrast to Four Strong Winds, Song for Canada is straight-up in unison, and the focus is on the words and the fact that we sing in French for the second verse. The end is cool and will include a Flute Descant based on O Canada. The timing is tricky, but you've got it! If you're uncertain, you can listen to the recording online.

4. Unity:we've now learned the whole song. We just need to clean it up, and remember page 2. Don't forget to write in the words for the second verse:

Through respect and dignity (sopranos)
Will come peace and unity (tenors)
No race, religion, skin nor creed (all)
For you are you. And I am me
Together we're we.

Next Monday: Monday, March 20

6:30 Trix and Rob 7:00 Melinda's group

  1. Four Strong Winds review all, focus on middle
  2. Unity review, all focus on pg 2
  3. Where the Coho Flash Silver review middle
  4. Song for the Mira try further pair of soloists to finalize who sings where
  5. They All Call it Canada just page 10-11
  6. We Rise Again? Talk about whether or not we can keep it

Saturday, March 11, 2017

YRCC Spring Concert: Canada: a Land of Harmony, Sat., May 6th

Sing! Sing! And Sing Some Moire! Georgina Choir Event April 29th

SING! SING! AND SING SOME MORE! 2017 Saturday, April 29th 9-5

Register yourself and pay on your own.
Click on the links below to register.

Register on the YRCC website to see if we can offer a YRCC choir song for the concert at the end.

Enjoy a morning of vocal workshops, lunch and an afternoon of singing! 

Click below to sign up for the full day:

$30.00 Full Day 9:00am-5:00pm 

Includes two workshops, group sing-a-long and group choir, lunch and snacks

just come out and Sing! Sing! And Sing Some More! in the afternoon! 
To register for the afternoon only, click here: 

$15.00 Afternoon Only 12:30pm-5:00pm 

Includes Group Sing-a-long and group choir and snack

For more information, please check out their Facebook page (link)

Search Facebook: Sing Sing And Sing Some More (no exclamation marks)
Or email Susan stewartsusan78@yahoo.ca 
or call her at 905-716-2565

AGES 12+
There will be a 4:00 public performance.
Please invite family and friends.

Refreshments will be served.

The event is brought to you by The Town of Georgina
In partnership with The Voices of Georgina

YRCC Rehearsal 6-MAR-2017

Monday, March 6th, 2017

6:30 St. Elmo's Fire- Excellent! We got over the timing issues. It helps that it's in cut time, 2 beats per bar instead of 4. You feel beat 3. You've got to cut off on time, too. It helps to watch me. ;-)

1. They All Call It Canada Wow! It's awesome, but we didn't remember everything at first. Keep looking at this one, please. Especially Sopranos and Altos at the "new" part, pages 10 and 11, that descant part. It's really cool there and makes for a big climax to the song, making our big ending even bigger. Review the ending too, and make sure you're ready for it after the second "from the Atlantic", and remember to cut short the "-tic" on Atlantic and Pacific.

2. Where the Coho Bar 27 seems like a little thing but it's the way that section B connects to section C through the key change. A,B,C, D are all fine. We need to review E. Please look at it on your own. Use the recordings on the website if you need to.

3.Song for the Mira We heard a few different soloists and it was cool! I'm trying to figure out how I want the solos to work, who sings what. We've tried different things at the first "Can you Imagine" and I think I want to go back to what we've always done before, having the whole choir come in soft and in unison. It's a better transition from the ooh part. Also, the last solo should be one person. In the meantime, Tenors and Basses, please review section 5, especially page 10.

4.Unity We learned from bar 24 to the bottom of page 3. Take the second ending only and continue to the end. Yes, we're almost at the end! Such a pretty song, and powerful too.

Next Week:
Monday, March 13th, 2017 March Break Monday.
If you've got plans because the kids are at home, enjoy them! We expect there to be people missing. Those of us who are there will work had and will help you when you're back. If you have some time, listen to the recordings of your parts on the website.



6:30 This Island Earth- Melinda

  • All the Little Rivers- just sing through
  • Four Strong Winds - middle section
  • Song for Canada- just sing through  
  • Where the Coho- E
  • Unity- ending, review page 2

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 27-FEB-2017

Monday, February 27th, 2017

6:30 St. Elmo's Fire Small Group-getting closer. Timing seems to be an issue.

We had a wonderful surprise visit from Enid who sat in the alto section, having a hard time not singing. We can all imagine the frustration she must feel at being told not to sing. Hopefully, her health will improve and she will be able to sing again soon. We wish her all the best!

Joy was at a choir event with her church choir, so she prepared a few recordings for us, and we managed quite well with Anne-Marie at the keyboard and Lauren managing the recordings. We look forward to having Joy back next week! We all have an increased appreciation for our wonderful pianist.

1. All the Little Rivers. Well, I had planned for us to just sing it through. But, the recording was faster than what we're used to, and we did really poorly. It seemed to me that we didn't know our parts as well as I though we did. So, we went over a bunch of stuff, even the second page. I asked the sopranos to come in at bar 12, noting to the altos and sopranos that this beckon me line is different form the first one. We sang through a couple times and it got quite a bit better.

2. Four Strong Winds. We learned section F to the end. At F, we come out of a fancy section and it feels like going home. It's the regular timing and harmonies and the ending is only a little bit big, just so you know it's the end. We sang along with Joy's recording and it went better than I expected. We know the beginning and the end. Next, we have to learn that fancy middle section.

3. Song for the Mira. We learned the oohs at section 2. It says hmm, and we tried it that way, but we've done it before with oohs, and I think we'll do it that way again. We can have the soloists on microphones. These are very pretty oohs. If you missed today's rehearsal, you probably want to listen to the recording of your part to hear how they go. We will review them, but everyone who was there learned them very well. We sounded so pretty! And, Joanne had a go at the solo part along with Blair. I will listen to other possible soloists. I haven't decided on a soloist for this, so consider whether you'd like to try it and let me know. I also haven't quite decided who sings when.

Next week: Monday, March 6th

6:30 St. Elmo's Fire Small Group: I will also come and we'll see what we can do about the timing.

Four Strong Winds- starting at the a cappella part
Song for the Mira- review oohs, sort out solos
They All Call it Canada- once through
Unity- starting at pick up to bar 24
Where the Coho Flash Silver- bar 27 and a cappella

Thank you for supporting me on my CNOY walk!

A very big, heartfelt thank you to Trix, Rob, Robin, Melodie, Lyn, and Ellen for supporting me on my walk! I love my choir! It felt wonderful to have raised close to $500. Soraya, Victoria and I walked with our heads held high among approximately 200 walkers and volunteers. It was cold and windy and there was a stretch of the walk where we were walking with our faces towards the setting sun and into the wind, but it was great.
This year we walked 5 km. Next year, we are thinking of walking 10 km.