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!

Monday, March 30, 2020

YRCC Cancellations: Sad, but Confident in our Decision

So, I'm sad about missing choir. It was difficult to make the decision to cancel our rehearsals and our concert, but I'm so glad we did! We can see clearly now that we did the right thing.

Bill sent me a link to this story in an email about a choir that went the other way. They decided to rehearse but are now regretting it.

There's a choir about an hour away from Seattle Washington that took the chance and had a rehearsal on March 10th. 45 out of the 60 members who were there are sick, 3 are in hospital and 2 have died.

Read the story here. It's in the Los Angeles Times and entitled:
A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID-19 and two are dead

YRCC COVID-19 Pandemic Songs

Here's a list of songs you'll find on our website to sing with that Blair calls
 the YRCC Playlist for Covid19 Times:
Button Up Your Overcoat
From a Distance
Let There Be Peace on Earth
You Raise Me Up
You'll Never Walk Alone
We Rise Again
What the World Needs Now is Love
Why We Sing

They all have more meaning now.

Enjoy the selections of songs we have in our archives here.
Remember, you have to log in with your email address and password.
The list on the left is scans of sheetmusic and the list on the right are recordings.
So you can download the sheet music, and download the recording of the accompaniment or your part on top of the accompaniment to sing along.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

YRCC during the pandemic 29-Mar-2020 3:00PM sing along!

Melinda sent this:

 ChoirChoirChoir is doing their third sing along this Sunday. Here is the info:

Choir on Sunday @ 3


Join us for Choir!ntine: A 'Springtime'

Social Distan-Sing-Along!

We’ll be LIVE at Facebook.com/choirx3 (gotta “like” the page first) or via YouTube You tube 


Lyrics on Google Drive 



Here's a peak at what's on Google Drive:

Sunday, March 22, 2020

YRCC 2020 Spring Season Suspended, Concert Cancelled-COVID-19


We will never forget 2020, the year everything stopped and everyone stayed home. 

Our May 2nd spring concert is cancelled.

Our 2020 spring season is suspended. We definitely cannot return to our rehearsal room until late in April, but I'm sure they will soon send us notice that we are to stay away indefinitely. Nobody knows how long this period of social distancing and self isolation will continue, but I've been hearing that it will be months still. 

If we do get back to normal by the end of April, we will try to book some seniors' home visits. If they can have visitors, I'm sure a concert about love will cheer them up and the singing will be good therapy for all of us. If it's not May, maybe June, and I guess we just have to wait and see and keep in contact. 

Everything everywhere is up in the air, so we will just be patient and keep on top of our music for our eventual return. 

We have all kinds of music on the website, scans and recordings. Go to Previous Seasons Music for fun! It will help you to keep your music reading skills sharp. Why not sing You'll Never Walk Alone, We Rise Again, Thank You for the Music, On Eagles Wings, What the World Needs Now is Love, ...

We will be back. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

YRCC Rehearsals Suspended in response to COVID-19

What a stressful week this has been! With all the news of cancellations and closures, you must be wondering what will happen to choir.

We will join  in solidarity with other groups and the YRCC will stop meeting until COVID-19 is under control. Already researchers have made headway, and with people withdrawing themselves from the potential pool of victims, and from the potential need for medical care, etc., together we will stop this thing.

Keep your eyes on the website. There's an announcement on the home page. We'll continue to watch Facebook for news and will post there too.

While you're on the website, head over to the recordings and sing along with your part and then sing along with the accompaniment when you're strong on your part. For songs that don't have recordings, take a look here at my blog. I've posted links to YouTube videos of performances of the songs we're doing, and often they are the same arrangement so you can sing along with those too.

Keep singing.

Sing while you wash your hands, sing in the kitchen, sing in the bedroom, sing in the bathroom in the shower as usual, sing in the car and sing while you walk in the park. Sing to the dog and sing to the kids and grandkids (maybe you're babysitting during the extended March Break).

Singing will help you to take deep breaths and maintain your composure. You will feel less stressed and in better control. Try it.

People hearing your singing will benefit too, and maybe they'll join in to benefit even more.

Keep singing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

YRCC Rehearsal Review 02-Mar-2020 and 09-Mar-2020

This is a double review because I was sick last week with a horrible stomach bug.

Last Monday, March 2nd, Carol and Debbie rehearsed their duet with Peter

We had a serious warm-up, now that February is over. Lauren led the warm-ups with lessons learned in her singing lessons. So cool to learn stuff from a professional! Visualizing the vocal chords and redirecting your attention to movement were features.

1. Top of the World: So pretty and pretty easy too! We're pretty good. The polishing of this piece will be to make it sound prettier and more relaxed. There is a tendency to march this.

2. Your Song: Coming along beautifully. The tricky bits keep on tripping us up. We'll get it.

3. City of Stars: We sang this as a show-off piece for Joy!!! She came all the way from Montreal to visit us. (she was home for reading week) This is a joy to sing. We've got it.

4. You Raise Me Up: Also done for Joy. This one is good for pulling heart strings. Mary-Ellen sang the first verse and chorus as a solo. We forgot that we wanted to keep things long in the third verse, the loud verse. It's another way we're reinterpreting this one. We'll review it again.

5. Till There Was You: We did the doo-doos! It was good! We sang the whole thing for Joy. Impressive.

6. Love is an Open Door: Fun! I sang the solo part with Blair!!!

Monday, March 9th

The Randomnotez quartet rehearsed from 6:30-7 and Bill rehearsed his solo at 7.

1. Your Song: We spent a good amount of time on the sections at 28 and 62 and 70, all parts with oohs, and tricky timing. I picked on the tenors and basses quite a bit (with excellent results!) and the sopranos too, but the altos only got a tiny bit of a hard time.
Tenor and Basses: 62 Those oohs are not hard. Come in strong and sing with confidence. We need your notes there, especially on beat one at 62. 79 but=the=suns=been=quite 
I love the bass notes throughout this piece! The really low notes here and there are awesome! 
Sopranos and Altos: 36: Much. get your much tch in the right place. -not=much=but= it's= the and 65 MOSS -just leave out the s and sing Maaah if you can't get the s in the right place. 

2. Till There Was You: Doo-doos are so good! The basses have the coolest part! We're really getting this song now. It's very dramatic and impressive.

3. Seasons of Love: We took Marlene for a test drive on Nicole's solo. Fun to hear different voices on our solos. I do love this song. 

4. Moon River: I'm so happy with how well you've learned this one! It's also dramatic and impressive, but with a relaxed vibe that you totally get. 

5. Love is an Open Door: Trix joined Blair and rocked her first shot. Who's going to be Blair's back-up? Blair, you are not allowed to get sick! 

Next week: Randomnotez at 6:30,  Carol and Debbie at 7:00
  • Rewrite the Stars
  • You Raise Me Up
  • When I'm 64
  • Till There Was You
  • Moon River
Book your friends and family for Saturday, May 2nd. Have them invite you over for pizza and wine after the concert. Or, you can have them over. You won't need a big dinner, because the bake sale will fill everyone up!

Our concert is called Written in the Stars. How can they resist? It was meant to be.