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!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bring Him Home for YRCC rehearsal

LINK to video

That link is to a video on Dropbox. Elizabeth, Liz, second soprano Liz, sent me this a while ago and I still haven't found a good way to share it. Hopefully this works.

We will be working on Bring Him Home for the next three weeks, so it would be good if you could do some work on it at home. Watching this video is a good way to get feel for how it comes together, however, it's not the same as ours. I have not found a video of a choir singing our version. Not to worry. We'll get it.

See if you have some time to work with the recordings.

Also, our version is available on Musicnotes. I can listen to mine with all the parts or focus on one part. I know Blair has found that useful too.

Best thing is to come to choir and work hard while you're there, and most of you are doing just that, so I'm not worried.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

YRCC Spring 2019 Poster

YRCC Rehearsal 25MAR2019

6:30 Stanley and Mona
7:00 Randomnotes

Warm-ups were brief because we talked about ticket sales.
$15 is the advance price; $20 at the door.
Advance price is only available when paid in advance. Simpler.
Poster is ready. It's groovy! Here it is:

1. B&B: We finished Beauty and the Beast! It's so good! A couple of notes you might want to add to-pencil in to- your music: pg 21 Melody and Stanley sing a duet (I signaled everyone in and most of you came in. It was good, but let's do the optional duet), pg 23 'prefer' sounds like prafer with a short first syllable and weak vowel, pg 30 'wreak' sounds like reek, pg 33 altos sing with tenors and basses bars 381-385 (to add to the melody), pg 37 'neither' sound like knee, pg 38 altos do not sing "learning you were wrong" and the rest sing a little softer there, so that "certain as the sun" is notably stronger. 

2. Somewhere Out There: Also finished!!! Fantastic! We are changing the ending to be a big one instead of a quiet one. So, we crescendo instead of decrescendo and we're adding the words "come true" starting on beat 3 of the 3rd from last bar. I'm thinking of having the sopranos, or some of the sopranos, sing the bass line up an octave. First sopranos go up to a G (yay!).

3. Higher and Higher: Fun! We just need to get the tenors and basses together and try to feel the groove. Sopranos and Altos are like back-up singers, doo-wop. It should sound easy, so try not to stress over it. We stumbled a bit on the ending, but once we had it, it sounded cool. We'll try it again. 
Listen to this, tenor and bass especially. It's not exactly like ours, (especially the women-they sound like mice) but it should inspire you. 

Monday, April 1st

6:30 Tenor and Bass Sectional  

Buy Tickets!
  • Bring Him Home
  • Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves
  • Higher and Higher
  • Rewrite the Stars
  • Somewhere Out There

Okay, here is a totally different Higher and Higher. Maybe we could slow ours down?
Check out how way back in the background the soprano and alto part goes here. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

YRCC Rehearsal 18Mar2019

I wasn't there! Sorry about that.
It's not often that I call on Anne-Marie to sub in for me, but when she does, I know it will be good.
I hear that you almost learned the whole Somewhere Out There and finished Beauty and the Beast! Wow! That's awesome. I can't wait to hear it. I've got a special ending for Somewhere Out There, so it's perfect that you didn't quite get there. All I Have to Do is Dream and I Will Always Be With You were also excellent, I hear.
Thank you, Anne-Marie!

Tomorrow Stanley and Mona are rehearsing their duet with Joy at 6:30, and then the quartet is coming in at 7:00.

Tomorrow, Monday, March 25th, we will work on:

  • Bring Him Home
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Somewhere Out There
  • Higher and Higher
Our concert has a title!
Just Love: it's all we need

YRCC Spring Concert 04MAY2019 Just Love: it's all we need

This year's Spring Concert is called Just Love: it's all we need.

Love is all we need to feel good about ourselves and to feel good about others. We need just love in our families, in our communities and in the world.

Music provides inspiration to make the world a better place with love, just love.

The YRCC will sing, with love in our hearts, about love.

And, our message will be that love can change a person, a family, a community, and ultimately the world.

We continue to sing a message of peace through song. Our feeling, our belief, is that singing together moves people towards peace and brings us closer to Peace on Earth.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

YRCC Rehearsal 11-Mar-2019

no small group met for this March Break Monday

Our physical warm-up consisted of moving the sopranos and altos to opposite sides of the room.
I'm trying various things to try not to strain my hurt shoulder. People were quite willing to "go back home". Thanks, everyone! Let's try this for the rest of the season, and we'll see how I heal.

Warm-ups included vocal fry and lip trill exercises.
1. Blue Skies was excellent. Trix and Jack sang the solos. Jack had some help from his friends.
2. Rewrite The Stars was excellent. We worked on the timing of lots of +3+4+ phrases. Beware of "it's up to you" and "it's not up to you". The words can trip you up, and you need to be really short on the to. Think t'you, with the briefest vowel there, definitely not a too or two, and not even a ta.
3. Bring Him Home is coming along. We went straight to page 4 and it was cool and not nearly as hard as page 3. Yay! Sopranos, altos, and tenors all have an echo while the basses have the melody. So, guess what? You all have to be very quiet while the basses have to be very strong.
4. B&B: the Mob Song: We learned the first section, pages 29 and 30 and sight-read the rest. I love this one! It's so dramatic!
5. Somewhere Out There: We ran out of time, but a bunch of us stayed to start singing this. We got to the part where you have to go back to the sign/segno and then gave up. But, it was fun. This is such a pretty song!

Next week: Monday, March 18th
6:30 Quartet (Randomnotes): Top of the World

  • B&B Mob Song (and intro to B&B)
  • Somewhere Out There
  • I Will Always Be With You

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

YRCC Rehearsal 04-MAR-2019

Small Group Lean on Me met at 7:00, cleaning up timing. Sounding Great!
Melinda, Stanley and Mona had time with Joy to work on their offerings.

Warm-ups included Lean on Me with straws and sirens too, after getting our bodies-our musical instruments- ready to serve us.

1. Bring Him Home: We spent the whole first hour on page 3 and still didn't finish! OMG!
We're getting there, but it is taking some work, some very careful counting and working to stay together with your group and not get pulled into a different timing. Luckily, this is a slow-moving piece.
2. Seasons of Love: I think this will be one of many seasons of Love for the choir. I can see us exploring different angles on the theme. The story of Rent and La Boheme which inspired it are both stories of love and friendship in difficult times. It seems we're in a season of Love Being Tested somehow. I'm trying really hard to think of a title for our concert. If you have ideas, send them by email or message or text. Let me know what you think. Joanne sang the solo and it was lovely :-)
3. Rewrite the Stars:We tried 2 different soloists for the Zendaya solo. Both were excellent. Nicole and Emily sang beautifully. It's more of an alto solo, so lower than Nicole likes, and it also has a couple of higher notes that challenge an alto like Emily. Next time, we'll work on some of the timing that we're a bit sloppy on, in particular when a phrase ends on the + of 4. Lots of +3+4+ where we sometimes want to land on beat 1 of the next bar, and then it throws off the next bar. Take a look and see if you can't work on that on your own.
4. B&B Gaston: We ended the evening with Beauty and the Beast. We reviewed Gaston, but also tried the solos on Something There. Melodie and Joanne sang and both their voices suit the part splendidly. Blair is a very impressive Frenchman and also quite a charming Beast.

Next week is March Break, so we will give Joy a break and have no early rehearsal. 7:30 for everyone!

If you're going away, have fun! If you have time you can work on anything you're finding challenging. March Break Monday, March 11th we sing:

  • Bring Him Home
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Blue Skies
  • Rewrite the Stars
  • Intro to Somewhere Out There