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, April 26, 2017

YRCC Canadian Pop Songs audience participation medley

So, we didn't get a chance to go through this on Monday, but here are some links to the songs I'm planning to do. We're just doing bits of each, and you'll have the words. 
Don't stress over it. It's meant to be fun. 

1.       Put Your Head On My Shoulder  by Paul Anka (1959)

2.       Snowbird by Gene MacLellan  (Anne Murray 1969)

3.       If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot (1971)

4.       Closer to the Heart  by Geddy Lee of Rush (1977)

5.       Up Where We Belong by Buffy Sainte-Marie et al (Joe Cocker 1982)

6.       Everything I Do I Do it For You  by Bryan Adams (1991)

7.    Everything by Michael BublĂ© (2007)

8.       Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen -2012

YRCC Rehearsal 24-APR-2017 last one before dress rehearsal

This Island Earth, V'la l'bon vent, and St. Elmo's Fire met early, and all was well.
Mary-Ellen, Stanley, and Trix and Rob had time with Joy to rehearse.
Echo Beach met at break with Kevin and Jeannie.

Song for Canada is beautiful with Jeannie an octave up on her flute descant. Basses are awesome on ahhs! It's not what I planned, but I like it.
Song for the Mira is also so much more beautiful with Jeannie playing flute. Thank you, Jeannie! (and thanks to Joy, too for finding Jeannie for us)
Where the Coho Flash Silver now has a solid ending! We reviewed and polished and now it's good and strong.
Unity is pretty and uplifting. Remember to keep it light and positive. Sopranos and altos only on the first page the first time. Only first sopranos in the verse until the Love thy neighbour part. Bass on tenor for the verse.
We didn't have time to go through the pop song medley!
I'll post links to the songs. I hope I chose well-known songs.
If you're feeling a bit behind on anything, remember there are recordings on our website to help you.

Next week: Dress Rehearsal-really! We're wearing our formal white and black to take an official picture. If you like, you can bring a change of clothes for the rest of the rehearsal. Don't forget black shoes and hose. Black to the floor. If you want to wear a skirt, it must be floor-length. Long pants to the floor. Long sleeves to the wrist.

6:00 start: solos, small groups until 7:00 for sound checks, where to stand.

7:00 everyone arrives. 7:15 picture and warm-up.

7:30 run-through. have your binders in order. The concert order is posted on the website (members only: Spring concert order).

Sunday, April 23, 2017

YRCC Canadian sing-along songs on YouTube

Thank you to Ellen, who found our sing-along songs on YouTube and sent these links!

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=upsZZ2s3xv8  ( The Log Driver's Waltz- iconic film)

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=WSjMuKh1Wpo  ( This Land is Our Land) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=JstZIsrGlP8  ( Give Us a Place ...Ontario)

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=BN_mZgSt5k0 ( Land of the Silver Birch- we're singing boom-boom) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9m4g8H4f4Q  ( O Siem)       

Thursday, April 20, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 17-APR-2017

Sorry, I missed rehearsal on the 10th. We had a family emergency.
Thank you to Joy and Lauren and Anne-Marie for leading and making sure "the show went on"!

Echo Beach met early with our new flute player, Jeannie. Anne-Marie led you in Song for Canada and Song for the Mira with Jeannie, and apparently timing was an issue. We'll work on that next Monday when Jeannie is back. Four Strong Winds and Where the Coho Flash Silver are getting good, as is Unity.

On April 17th, St. Elmo's Fire was the early group. We did well, even without Joy, who got her days mixed up on the long weekend. I'm so glad it happens to young people too.

1. We started with a test run of my "traditional Canadian songs" medley. It was not bad, but I thought you'd know all the songs I know. You'll have the words, but the audience won't, so I have to work out how to manage this thing. It might mean we do fewer songs, but repeat the chorus twice.

2. Four Strong Winds. We worked on the musicality. Dynamics and tempo are getting good. We had to review the Tenor and Bass part B. Please look at this  Tenors and Basses! It's hard to correct something this late in the game, but you're all here now, and you've got to become a team and sing together. We'll keep on top of it.

3. All the Little Rivers. Getting the middle of the first page good and loud was a challenge. Try to remember that part so you can be strong there. Remember to anticipate the fortissimo at the top of page 7 so that you come in super-strong.

4. Unity. Page 2 we had to take the second sopranos off of the verse from "Sometimes/ Through respect", and add the basses to the tenor part there for balance. First sopranos are alone on the soprano part until "Love thy neighbour/ No race", which is strong, so everyone can sing their parts.

5. Where the Coho Flash Silver. I love Blair's solo there! Daphne seems well-suited to her part as well. We'll hear her better with a microphone, don't worry.

Next week: 24-Apr-2017

Early groups: 6:30 This Island Earth
                       6:50 V'la l'bon vent
                       7:10 St. Elmo's Fire

  • Song for Canada with Jeannie
  • Song for the Mira with Jeannie
  • They All Call it Canada
  • Unity
  • Where the Coho
  • Four Strong Winds
  • Pop Medley?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 03-APR-2017

Monday, April 3rd. Wow! It's April already!!!

Roxanne sent a nice sample email that you can copy and paste to send to all of your friends and family. I've sent mine :-) Offer to pick up tickets in advance for them. They can pay you back at Easter :-) Or, you can have tickets set aside for them to pay at the door. Get them booked now, so they don't make plans for our weekend! May 6th is not far away.

We had a really nice coffee break with sweet and savoury treats. It was great to hear the noise of happy conversations. It's good to be able to relax and chat for a change, when I've got you working so hard all the time. Thank you to the volunteers who brought delicious delicacies.

6:30 V'la b'bon vent:  Rob had his clogging shoes on! It's so cool! We need to support Rob and Joanne (spoons) with more energy to in our singing. At the end, we don't slow down, maintaining the energy and tempo, and we're nice and loud, then give Rob and Joanne a bit of a last hurrah before our last bar.

1. O Canada We talked about whether Altos, Tenors, and Basses should memorize their parts or write the words of the other 2 verses into their music. It's up to individuals. Whatever makes it easier for you. I absolutely love the pines and maples verse!

2. Ca-na-da This song is fun and not serious, so relax and have fun! There are a ton of words for the Sopranos to fit in, but don't stress about it. Do practise, though. Say the words a few times getting faster each time. I was hearing Sopranos saying province and territories in the French verses. Remember that provinces comes out something like pro-van-sa and territoires is kind of like terra-twar. We decided to ignore the two beats on Notre (first bar at bottom of second page) and sing NOooootr instead of no-traaaaaa.

3.Where the Coho Flash Silver It's getting very good! We sang all the way through and went over bits we had trouble with. The a cappella part to the end was reviewed for all parts. If you missed it, try to listen to the recording to review your ending. Endings are important. We also worked on the transition between part B and part C at the bottom of page 4. We need to listen for the piano accompaniment to know when and how to come in at the key change. There's a little "la-la-la-la pa-pa oom-pa-pa" and we sing 'Well the' on the second pa-pa. Listen for that low note.

4. Unity This is getting very good. Page 2 is really cool. I'm worried that the tenors are not loud enough on their bit of the melody. We have to fix it. My first thought was to have the basses join, but the basses have a really cool part there. Not sure what the answer is. I'll figure it out. We had to work on page 3. We are in unison, so we have to sing the same thing. This is also on the website. Listen to it if you can find some time.

5. We only sang Four Strong Winds once through, but it's still stuck in my head! I love this song. We got the doo-doos! All the stuff we worked on last week went well. I'm happy. We need to review the tenor and bass part at B. First of all, "Think I'll" is fast on beat 4 not 3 and 4, "fall" is only 2 beats, so "I got some" takes 2 beats not one. Same with "go to working". It's part of the "full warm sound" that is indicated in this section. The rhythm is a bit different. Take a look please, tenors and basses!
Second Sopranos: at the end, from 98 to the end, you have the melody. Enjoy it! You're forte until 'back this way'.

Next week: Monday, April 10

6:30 Echo Beach with flute

1. Song for Canada (flute)
2. Song for the Mira (flute)
3. Four Strong Winds
4. Where the Coho Flash Silver
5. Unity