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!

Friday, October 29, 2021

We Need to Sing Together Again!

I so much want to get the choir together again in person! We need to stand shoulder to shoulder singing our songs. 

We need to sit together chatting in person, arms around our shoulders, hands on our knees, hands patting our backs. Touch. Hugs. I need hugs. 

I think we have to wait some more. 

I'm excited by all the things opening up and concerts and shows and sporting events happening. But, I'm also nervous about the COVID numbers. There is also that story of the Newmarket recreational hockey players with a COVID outbreak with lots of families affected and one league member died. It's scary.

The YRCC executive/board is meeting next week to talk about when rehearsals should/could start, among other things. I'm afraid we're going to have to wait until January at the earliest. 

We talked about it briefly at our last Zoom Choir on Monday, the 25th. We also talked about the possibility of singing at an outdoor tree lighting in Newmarket, if they have one. Nadine also said she was pretty sure that the seniors' home she works in would be interested in having us. She's going to find out some details about that. I think we can perform a few of our songs without much rehearsal time. We still don't have a rehearsal space, but we'll need to figure something out. We'll talk about it more this coming Monday at Zoom Choir and then at the executive meeting. 

I'm hopeful that I'll see some of you again this year and that we'll be able to perform some of our music. 

Keep your fingers crossed. 

Here's a link to a news article about the man who died after the COVID outbreak in Newmarket.

Maybe outdoor carols with masks? 
outdoors with 2m distancing is hard

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving! YRCC Zoom Rehearsals Continue on October 18th

I hope everyone enjoyed a peaceful, joyful, satisfying Thanksgiving. 

Happy Turkey Day!

I've called our Zoom Choir "rehearsals" but they're really just fun get-togethers with singing. We're continuing to sing our songs but there is no pressure to perform them. We cannot be sure there will be a concert this season, and with so many choir members attending irregularly or not at all, the goal is to make our time together mostly enjoyable and even the "work" is for fun. 

Thanksgiving was good. I enjoyed my time off to spend with my family. We couldn't do all the things we like to do, and not in the ways we always did them, but it was still wonderful. This year was far better than last year, and next year will be even better. 

Of course, I got to thinking about Christmas Dinner and how that will look this year. I'm hopeful that my family will all be able to come to my house and sit around our dining room table. I'm enjoying dinner parties again. Some of us, however, are still wary of gatherings.

I worry about Christmas in my house, and I worry about Christmas for the choir. Will we be able to have a concert? It's not clear yet. Will we be able to rehearse for our concert, live, in-person, together? That's not clear yet either. Will people feel comfortable gathering to sing?

I want so much to have a concert, but please don't worry about rehearsing for a performance this season! If we can have a concert, we can have one without much rehearsal time. We will only perform things that we have done well in the past, our old favourites. And at Christmas, we can do a fair bit of sing-along with our audience. Also, I think that an audience will be happy to have an "all hits" show. I'm planning a fun and easy concert, and a short concert. One hour (or maximum one and a half hours) would be similar to a seniors' performance. We would not have an intermission, no extra mingling. Easy-peasy. 

We're going to start learning a new song this coming Monday, but it might be just for those of us who are meeting on Zoom this season and it will see its debut in 2022. I really want to sing We Need a Little Christmas because I really do need a little Christmas. The moment the Halloween decorations come down, I'm putting up some Christmas decorations. 

    For we need a little music, need a little laughter

    Need a little singing ringing through the rafter

    And we need a little snappy, happy ever after

    We need a little Christmas now

Let's all keep vigilant and do what we can to keep the pandemic under control so that it will come to an end soon. Stay safe!