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, December 19, 2018

Merry Christmas to YRCC Choristers!

My very warmest wishes to my beloved choristers
for a Christmastime which is a perfect balance of
joyful and peaceful, 
exciting and restful,
a holiday that's perfect for you.

I hope you have opportunities to sing, 
or make opportunities to sing.

If you're among loved ones, 
they will love your voice as much as they love your face, 
because it's yours, and perfect for them. 

I'm looking forward to seeing you in the New Year
and I wish you a year of peace and love 
and lots of singing!


Congratulations YRCC on Super 2018 Winter

Congratulations, YRCC!
Our Winter 2018 season was a huge success!!!
We sang to a very satisfied full house on Sunday, December 2nd!
They were satisfied musically and spiritually and their sweet teeth were also satisfied- our bake sale was glorious!
I heard so many wonderful compliments!
There are always a few people who are especially touched by something, and a few people who think this concert is "the best one yet". And, I guess in a way each concert is the best yet.
We are always improving and our sound is truly beautiful, especially when we sing songs we love and have meaning for us. When we sing with our hearts and souls, then we touch the hearts and souls of our audience members. This was certainly true this season!
We were lucky to have Philip play his cello and Robyn play her flute again! They add a special touch to our concerts that is priceless. Our Let There Be Peace was the very best ever and impressed our audience as much as I had hoped it would. And, as always, the Kevins provided a valuable change of pace, and I love their hearts.
Joy was amazing! I had tears in my eyes when she played her Silent Night. It was so moving and so special, but I also felt a bit of pain at the thought that she would not be playing at our next Christmas concert. I will miss her horribly.
Our seniors' visits were also successful, extremely rewarding, and enjoyable for all of us and all of those in our audiences (who were all awake, except one).
I'm especially happy with our choir party this year. I loved sharing our beloved choir songs with you without the pressure to "perform" but just to sing for fun. We'll definitely have to do that again. And, as usual, the food was fantastic!
Thank you for all your work learning your parts, especially those of you who missed rehearsals and used the recordings to help, thank you to all of you who came to each and every rehearsal and worked hard to learn and improve, and thank you for watching me, especially at the concert- it really works and it looks so good when you do!
I'm so proud of my choir!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

YRCC Rehearsal 26-NOV-2018 run-through

It was perfect; that is, it was perfectly imperfect. There were sufficient messy bits, and mistakes, and things that didn't sound good at all, so that all should go beautifully on Sunday!

I like the order, so nothing will change there. But, I'm making a change in Twelve Days After Christmas, to add Blair at the mic during the tenor melody lines (F and G). There's a lot going on in those sections and I don't want to lose track of the melody and I want to make sure we can hear the words. All tenors and basses will continue to sing there, but there will be added clarity with one voice at the mic.

Just to confirm, for Silent Night:
1. Robin, Joy and Philip- (J&P stay)
2. Pat, Carol, Joanne- German
3. Sophie-Dutch
4. Robin and Karen- French
5. Anna-Italian
6. Stanely and Mona- Cantonese
7. All and audience- English

 I'm working on my script, and I think our concert will say what I hoped it would say.

The meaning of fa-la-la is that we can all join together in song, no matter what language we speak, or how well we sing, or whether we can remember the words. And, when we join together in song, we are one. We are one with each other and with our ancestors when we sing traditional songs together, so we do it at important occasions like birthdays and holidays, baptisms and funerals, hockey games, soccer matches...

The songs of the Christmas season are about peace, kindness, love, and joy.

Keep those things in your heart when you're singing and the message will be felt in the hearts of our audience.

Amazing coincidence: Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent for Christians, when the first candle on the Advent Wreath is lit, and it is also the first day of Hanukkah, when our Jewish friends light the first candle on the Menorah!

  • Remember your baking for the bake sale.
  • Remember to park farther away to give good spots to those who need it most.
  • Remember that we have a seniors' visit at Amica on Monday!
  • Remember to hand in your binder before Christmas, so that you get your new music in January.

You can hand in your binder on the 10th at our party or after the 17th if you're singing then.