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!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

YRCC Party instead of Performance on 20-DEC-2022

We'll meet at my (Renate's) house for a casual holiday get-together on Dec.20th at 7:00 in place of our seniors' performance at Roxborough. They've had an outbreak. 

Check the Calendar for the address or look me up on the members only side of the website in the members listing. 

I'll have a few snacks and some beverages, but if you'd like to bring something, that would be fun. 

I will set up the screen and projector and we can sing. If Donna or anyone else feels like playing piano, they can use my keyboard. Or, we can sing karaoke-style. I'll see what I can cook up. 

Bring your binders so we can give them to Peggy to file away Christmas and fill them up with our spring music for January 10th. 

If you can't make it, then you are responsible for getting your binder and all the music you have to Peggy before the end of the year. Look her up in the members listing on the website for her phone number and address. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

YRCC Singing with Seniors 13-DEC-2022

 We had another successful and fun sing-out at Hollandview!

They're always so nice and so many people come to hear us and sing with us! I wish they had a better space for us though. They need a nice room like the Roxborough has. Or even Mackenzie has a better room for a show. Oh, well. It is a lovely place. 

Speaking of Roxborough, keep your eyes on your emails. They seem to be on a lock-down. We might not be able to go next week. If not, I would love to get together with you anyway. Let's see what we can plan. 

The awkward room and difficulty sharing the screen got me thinking that I should have sent everyone a link to the PowerPoint for the lyrics. Sorry!

Another thing I could do is have my laptop there for people to share to see the words. 

If we sing out next Tuesday, I'll try to remember to bring it. 

Here is the link: Holiday Singing with the YRCC

You never know what lovely surprises happen when you're out and about. 

After the performance, when everyone was leaving, one lady stayed behind and wanted to talk to me. It often happens that someone has enjoyed the performance and the singing so much that they want to thank me. I love that. This time, there was more to it. She had heard me singing a little German and asked if I knew a couple of other German carols, and I did but only a few words of each. She was so moved to be able to sing those songs with me! And, we talked a bit and it turns out she's from Berlin, where my parents were from and she arrived in Canada just around the same time that they did, in the early 1950s. We both enjoyed the opportunity to use our mother tongue and it seemed no small coincidence that I had just been saying that we remember where we're from when we sing traditional songs and do traditional things at Christmas time.What a blessing our seniors' visits are! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

YRCC Concert and First Seniors' Performance Review


It was so good to be back in front of an audience with my beautiful chor! The concert on Sunday was thrilling. I was so excited, and everything went perfectly. 

Something new that we did was to hold up and wave little tea lights during the New Year Blessing. Wow! It looked so cool! And, during our encore, Why We Sing, we not only held up our tealights, but we also asked the audience to hold up their phones the way you do at concerts. And, it was stunning, so special!!!

We said all the thank-yous at the concert, so I just want to say that I feel extremely blessed and deeply grateful. 

I was in quite a bit of pain after the concert, as my sciatica has been flaring up, but it was totally worth it. 

Yesterday, we sang at Mackenzie Place. The residents there are always so sweet and it is always very rewarding. Yesterday was no exception. There was a glitch with the night folks not being prepared for us, but it worked out in the end, and they apologized in an email today. We know we don't have COVID, because we were all swabbed. So, that's something ;-)

The new Ho Ho Holiday Sing-along PowerPoint worked out okay, but I had forgotten that it needed to be open in the actual PowerPoint app, not in GoogleDrive. So, I had issues finding songs and that was a bit frustrating. But, I fixed it for next time. And, I added Feliz Navidad, which we sang a cappella in response to a request, and I added Winter Wonderland and O Christmas Tree. Someone asked for O Christmas Tree and none of us knew more than a few words. Donna says she has a good "fake" book of Christmas songs, so she is game for anything! I love that. Maybe I'll add a few more songs.

I'm thoroughly exhausted, but happy. 

Next week, we sing at Hollandview Terrace, which is one of my favourite places. Let's all keep healthy so that we can sing for a couple more weeks and then gather with our families. I'm so looking forward to Christmas with my family! Crossing my fingers. 

There are a few photos and videos of our concert on Facebook and Instagram. 

Check out Doug Jarvie's Instagram post here.

Here's a shot that Carol posted: 

04 DEC 2022

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Thursday, December 1, 2022

YRCC Getting Ready for the Show!

 Our run-through rehearsal was so good! 

I feel very confident knowing how wonderful we sound. Doug did some recording and it's so exciting to hear the big beautiful sound we make. We had a few little bits of stress, but that's how it's supposed to be. If it goes without a hitch, then the hitches will happen at the concert. This way, our concert should go smoothly. And, honestly, we worry about things that won't be noticed, or if they are they'll be forgotten in an instant. The main thing is that we're together and singing merrily. 

Some concert day details to review:

Wear black bottoms and white tops. There's a page on the website devoted to uniforms. This would be a formal performance. Bring both of your scarves so we can share and have more fun! Wear your biggest smiles. 

(btw, does anyone know where Musette and her basket have gone? Are you hiding her in your closet?)

Water bottles will be tolerated on stage just this once because you can tuck them in beside/behind a chair leg. Drinking should be limited to only when absolutely necessary. I frown upon single-use bottles, but I try not to be too judgy (out loud). 

1:00-1:45 set-up and small groups: Small groups and soloists, and anyone who wants to go over something specific can come as early as 1:00. Doug says he'll be there at 1:00. I think we said 1:30 on Tuesday, but we can get there earlier. Yay. 

1:45 Assemble: This is when we all want to be on stage, ready for a warm-up, quick clean-up of Little Tree, and anything else you feel needs last-minte attention, and a review of how we're going to enter. 

2:15 Doors Open, and choir goes to sit in the chapel to wait. 

3:00- 4:30 show. We might go over a bit ;-) 

Don't forget to take your gorgeous pointsettias home! 

After the show, you can take your friends and family out for dinner in Aurora or Newmarket or check out the Aurora Christmas Market from 5:00PM-9:30PM. It takes place in Town Park right behind the church. 

Wanda, don't forget the hockey stick. 

OOOOHHHH, and don't forget Tuesday, December 6th, we're singing at Mackenzie Place in Newmarket, and we should plan to arrive at 6:30 for a 7:00-8:00 show. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 22-NOV-2022

 We're getting close, and we're sounding ready!

Still My Joy and David's City met early and they're great. Next week, we'll be perfect. 

Warm-ups included raspberries, sirens, and Michael Buble. 

1. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal.-with accompaniment

2. Somewhere Out There- no solo- all sopranos. 

3. New Year Blessing- first time simple and in unison and straight up, no fermatas, second time with fancy accompaniment and 3 part harmony- note that we've eliminated the tenor clef line on the second page. Bass clef divides anyway and is not too low. Watch for fancy timing second time through.

4. Thank You For the Music-changing the end of the oohs to "so I say" makes all the difference.

5. We Need a Little Christmas- cleaning up nicely

6. Hallelujah- no solos for the show, it will be a kind of sing-along

7. Why We Sing will be our encore, so plant some standing ovation starters maybe?

Next week (Nov.29) is our run-through rehearsal in the sanctuary, upstairs! We won't need our equipment because Donna can play a real piano-yay! 

Small Groups are meeting at 6:30, and please can a few people come to help set up chairs? 

7:00 we start!

We will run through the concert order (on the website, but here's a link)

Put your binders in order so that we don't spend time searching for music. 

Binders absolutely must be in order for the concert!

Sell tickets to your friends and family, please, and order your pointsettias. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 8-NOV-2022 and 15-NOV-2022

 I'm so disappointed in myself that I haven't been managing to get things done. I was always so reliable and capable, and lately, well, maybe the past few years, I haven't been. I am taking steps to get back on my preferred path again. I apologize for being so late with this review, and for not getting last week's done at all. Thank you for your patience. 


1. Pointsettias: Jane started selling pointsettias again this past week, as a fundraiser for us, and to decorate the church for the holiday concert. She gets a good deal on some exceptional pointsettias and takes care of the pick-up and delivery, along with Lauren. Jane places the pointsettias in beautiful arrangements in the church, creating a festive scene for us. We take our plants home at the end of the concert, and some will be given away as door prizes. $25, choose red or white. 

2. Tickets: Start buying concert tickets for friends and family. Karen will have the Square payment processing device this week for us to pay by credit. She will happily accept cash or cheques made out to York Region Community Choir too, of course. Remember, all advance tickets sales will have to be paid in full. We cannot hold tickets this year. Share Lauren's beautiful poster (link to pdf):

3. November 29 Run-Through: This Tuesday is our last rehearsal downstairs at Trinity this year. On November 29th, we'll be upstairs. Doug, the sound technician will be there and we'll run through the show. I'll send you the order later this week so that you get your binders ready in show order. 

The two small groups are meeting early, along with Tab this week: Still My Joy at 6:45, David's City at 7:00, and Grinch at 7:15. Next week, we might want everyone a little early? Let's talk about our run-through plan. 

Ove the past two weeks, we rehearsed Somewhere Out There, Thank You For the Music (the section with Marlene's solo, with the oohs and aahs), O Holy Night, You'll Never Walk Alone, Magic of Winter, Need a Little Christmas (careful with timing on 99 and on the last page), Little Tree, New Year Blessing (still working on how the two verses will look-1-everyone on melody and simply, then 2-big with the fancy harmonies and big ending).

Focus this week:

We Wish You a Merry Madrigal, New Year Blessing, Thank You For the Music, We Need a Little Christmas. 

Fun: Somewhere Out There, Blue Skies, Why We Sing.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 01-Nov-2022

 November?! Time is flying faster this year, since we're not stuck in our homes as much. Flying!

Halloween was Monday, so we twisted to the Purple People Eater as part of our warm-up, and we had some treats at breaktime. 

Both small groups met early and sounded excellent. 

1. Blue Skies was awesome

2. Grown-Up Christmas List was awesome. We spent time on the Coda and key change.

3. We Need a Little Christmas was awesome, and it's so fast! Watch out with your counting and remember that one bar is only 2 beats, a whole bar is "one-two". The page turn from page 7 to 8 caused us some grief but we cleaned it up. The section at 99 is chill; you're the background and Donna has the melody on the piano. Get loud over "evergreen bough" and you're already louder at the chorus. 

4. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal is going to be a theme song for Merrily Singing Together, our concert on December 4th, just a month away!

5. We sang O Holy Night.  I want to make it a sing-along, but it was so pretty, we'll see. Maybe it will be a performance piece. It's that good! I'm looking forward to hearing Donna on the piano upstairs. 

You can put aside for spring these two songs: This Little Light of Mine, I Can See Clearly Now. 

Our big focus is community singing and Holiday/Christmas singing for this concert. 

We're starting to prepare for the concert so we'll be working on polishing up all of the rest of our songs. 

Get your family and friends booked for Sunday, December 4th. The concert will start at 3:00 and will go for 90 minutes without an intermission so that we don't mingle close up with too many people. The cost will be only $20 for all; everyone gets the senior/student/early bird discount. 

The York Region Community Choir

Merrily Singing Together:

A Real Live Holiday Concert

3:00pm on Sunday, December 4th, 2022

at Trinity Anglican Church in Aurora


Saturday, October 29, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review- 2022-Oct-25

 Another rehearsal missed?! 

This time I was sick. 

I hadn't been sick since last Christmas, when I thought I had COVID (like almost everyone at the time) and went for a proper test at a pharmacy (one of the last available) and didn't get the results until 3 weeks later-negative. This time I took a rapid test which came back negative in 20 minutes. I missed a beautiful weekend, a church meeting, a concert, and choir. It was awful, but it wasn't as bad as last Christmas. 

Lauren and Donna are the best! They helped me feel okay about missing and I'm sure you were all more than fine without me. Lauren is the absolute very bestest because she wrote me this summary of the rehearsal:

Small groups: There's Still My Joy is sounding wonderful. Our voices are blending nicely. Since we changed the music when Debbie wasn't here, I have decided we will meet again at 6:45 and Once in Royal David's City can start at 7:00. I handed out all 8 copies and I think we'll have a good blend of voices.

1. We started with Hallelujah as a continuation of our warm up and to go over the three tricky alto parts for our new altos. Sounds wonderful. 

2. I Can See Clearly Now: pages 4-7 could use more work. We went over the timing and the tenor part. Reviewed the word changes for everyone. The sopranos have forgotten to stop singing at the end of bar 27 to leave the rest for the first tenor "blue" in bar 28. 

3. Little Tree: with Kit and Natalie there, the sopranos came in at "Don't Be Afraid" but still not super strong. For some reason (perhaps my unpracticed conducting) a few also kept coming in and singing the alto/tenor part on page 3, right after we come in for the first time. 

4. Somewhere Out There: we reviewed the oohs on page 3, sounded amazing. Forgot to review the ones on page 4. Tenors and basses sounded much better at 2, both times. Reviewed the alto, tenor and bass parts at the beginning of the coda because they are all a little different from what we normally sing. Cleared up a page turn mystery for the guys -- too funny! 

5. We Need a Little Christmas: we learned the new part, starting at bar 99 and going through to the end. Almost there! When we sang the whole thing through, I realized we haven't really learned 81 through 99. 

6. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: I asked them to make the drama between the loud parts and the soft repeats even more so and to sing the soft bits like silly little elves, bright and cheery. Sounded great. We didn't sing it a cappella because Donna put the piano on harpsichord and everyone loved it. 

7. Grown Up Christmas List: ran short of time but ran through it a few times. Still needs a little work but sounds good. The coda needs the most attention I think. Specifically everyone could use a review of the key change and the timing.

8. Ended with Wonderful World. Which sounded wonderful. 

I'm looking forward to seeing you all again this coming Tuesday, November 1st (What?!! Already November?!!) We have to seriously start planning our concert. 

You can start telling your friends and family to reserve Sunday, December 4th for the concert. 3:00-4:30, so you can invite them for dinner after, or hint to them to take you out for dinner. Have a sing-along party, with some mulled wine, or have some hot chocolate and cookies after. We're thinking about having a bake sale with take-home plates of goodies. 

 The York Region Community Choir

Merrily Singing Together:

A Real Live Holiday Concert

3:00pm on Sunday, December 4th, 2022

at Trinity Anglican Church in Aurora 


Thursday, October 20, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 2022-Oct-18

 We discovered another good thing about meeting on Tuesdays: Halloween is on a Monday night this year, so our choir night is clear. And, we'll hopefully have extra chocolate and candy to share. 

The small group "There's Still My Joy" met and have a new arrangement that's more balanced, more 'choral' and prettier. Yay! Thank you, Donna for finding it. So, they're going to need at least one more rehearsal to learn it. 

Our warm-up included more dancing: a little twist again and "le freak". 

1. Magic of Winter was perfect. There was no hissing, because you watched my cut-offs. I love it when you watch me! Sometimes, I think maybe I'm a little over the top with all my conducting gestures, brandishing my baton like a weapon, and grabbing at the air with my left hand like a baseball shortstop. But, it's my own little dance and it works. 

2. Little Tree needs work. I love this thing and I want it to be good enough for Enid. Sopranos need to work on "Don't be afraid, put up your arms" and holding notes their full value. Listen to the recording from December 2015 on the website, or here. We decided that the soprano section, since they're not so huge anymore, can all sing at the beginning. It should be soft and very together, smooth, like a very small group. 

3. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal will be kind of a theme for our concert (Merrily Singing Together: a Real Live Holiday Concert) so we'll learn it with and without accompaniment. Donna improvised a fun accompaniment and I loved it, but I also love it a cappella - we rarely sing a cappella, and it's cool. So, I want to do both. Good Tidings (that we're together again) and merry, merry (merry making together again) and the fa-la-la element (singing merrily) are all simply perfect. This song also requires good watching for us to stay together with the timing changes. 

4. We Need a Little Christmas right this very minute. We're learning this one from the beginning. Some of us have seen it while we were having Zoom Choir. But, in real life, it's all new. 

Watch this: 

Don't worry; I won't ask you to dance. But, they look like they're having so much fun, right?!

5. Thank You for the Music is coming along wonderfully! Lauren is going to write out the parts in section C and at the end so you can see your part alone, but that takes some time. Hopefully, we'll have it next week. Think about singing that solo at E, or being Marlene's backup (Marlene wasn't there, so we volunteered her. I think she'd be a super "girl with silver hair")

We talked about the next small group, and listened to 2 Christmas Hymns from Voices United to decide on Once in Royal David's City. This small group will start on November 1st. 

Next week, Tuesday, October 25th, There's Still My Joy will meet at 6:45. 

Next week, we'll start promoting our concert: Merrily Singing Together: a Real Live Holiday Concert on December 4th at 3pm.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 2022-OCT-11

I'm so sorry to have missed this rehearsal! 

I had a little business trip which was very nice and quite successful. Still, I hate to miss choir because of work. And, it was the big move to Christmas rehearsal. Up to now, we only did Magic of Winter, and this week, the Christmas music all came out. Lauren sent me this very thorough report:

The small group There's Still My Joy met and all learned the verses and the harmonies for the chorus. The music switches back and forth from 3/4 to 4/4 time and the timing is very tricky.

1. Wonderful World: focus on the louder bright, quieter night. Really just a warm up. But sounded fantastic.

2. Magic of Winter: a couple of hissing s's at wakes and lakes on page 5 that could use some attention but could be performed today and be good.

3. We Need a Little Christmas. We got through to the top of page 9 although we'll need some review, especially the tenors for their special bits.

4. Thank You For the Music: we went over and over the chorus. I offered to break everyone's parts out like I did for Bring Him Home and the offer was gratefully accepted. I'll try to do that this week. (Thank you, Lauren! It's so hard to read three parts squished into one staff)

5. We Wish You A Merry Madrigal: went really well, considering we haven't sung it for a while. Only problem was the tempo slowed throughout when we sang without Donna, although as she pointed out, we stayed precisely on key, which was great. Dynamics were also good but could use a little more drama in my (humble?) opinion. (I will work on drama with you.)

6. Little Tree: we could perform that today and it would be great. Sopranos hesitated at the beginning of your favourite section so that could use a little review. (My favourite section?! We will fix that.)

7. Grown Up Christmas List: we looked at the coda timing -- both bars 26 to 28 and bars 41 and 42. The key change could use some work, and there was some fumbling to get back to the beginning, even though I reviewed the pages before we sang. I suggested to the second sopranos that they sing the alto A flat right before the split for the final "list", bars 44 to 45. It makes their part A, B, C, A (instead of E), B. Also, I realized after that I forgot to mention to anyone with new copies that we are changing every man to everyone.

8. New Year's Blessing: we just went through it a couple of times. Sounding OK but needs more work.

9. Blue Skies: we reviewed because I am hearing harmony in the alto/tenor part in the section starting at 21. Having no alto but me there, it was easy to see the problem is with the altos as the tenors were singing it fine. 

10.Why We Sing: I just told people to sing the solos but in twos and threes. I had Lynn and Bev sing the first one, Kit, Rosemarie and Janice sing the second, Blair and Melinda sing the third, Kathy and Nadine sing the fourth, and it built nicely that way and no one felt too terrible about being singled out. (I love that!)

Wow! You did so much AND you had a coffee time social with snacks and decaf coffee at breaktime?!!

I'm so impressed, and happy to know that you're good without me, but I will do my best not to miss any more!

Next week, the small group is meeting again at 6:45.

We will continue to work on Thank You and Blessing, and Grown-up, and Need a Little Christmas, and we'll continue to have fun with the stuff we know well.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 2022-OCT-04

 Oh, boy! I've been a little crazy with work and Thanksgiving and everything. 

Finally, here's a review of the past rehearsal:

Our warm-ups included dancing a twist (Reet Petite was the song) and humming along with the YRCC singing O Shenandoah. Such a beautiful song, and the most wonderful arrangement and performance by us!

1.Wonderful World: we decided to increase the volume on Bright Blessed Day to create greater contrast with Dark Sacred Night. Stunning.

2. Blue Skies: we got other people to try the scat solos!!! And, it was fine. 

3. Thank you for the Music! We did the whole section C! We will continue to work on this, but wow, is it ever coming along nicely! 

4. New Year Blessing: We did the parts on the second page and thought about how to make it longer, maybe by having everyone in unison for the whole thing, with no fermatas, straight-up and then repeating with the fancy ending with all the drama. Donna could come up with a straight-up accompaniment for the first go-through. 

5. Magic of Winter: it's been cold, but we're not really ready for winter. Still, this is so pretty!

6. Why We Sing: we got 4 new, different soloists to try and it was nice! You can do it! Especially, when it's just for us, and not an audience. Maybe some day?

Next week:

6:45 Small Group: There's Still My Joy 

bring money/cheques for the Nov. 18 singalong show at RHCPA

Renate will be absent, but Donna and Lauren will lead you wonderfully

Social (decaf)Coffee Break - Yay! enjoy your social time. I'm sorry to need to miss it. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

This is the guide for tempo terms, the real truth


YRCC Rehearsal Review 27-SEP-2022

 New members and new/old songs.

We have a number of new members! It's so good to share our wonderful world of choir nights with them! Welcome, new folks!

Our warm-up included humming O Canada. It was nice. It felt good, and research shows that humming is good for your body and spirit. 

1. What a Wonderful World: it is. We spent a little time on the top of page 5. I like the contrast of "bright blessed day" and "dark sacred night" So we want the first to sound bright and the second to sound soft and moody. We nailed it. The sopranos have to be quite soft so that we can hear the alto and tenor parts which are especially dramatic. The bass part was super strong tonight! We also worked on the timing and blending on page 6 in the soprano/alto section and again with tenor/bass parts. Tenors and basses are not always as tight as the sopranos and altos on this page. 

2. Somewhere Out There: Last week, Cathy did the solo, and this week we heard Nadine. It was very nice, and I encourage Nadine to take more opportunities to sing solos. We reviewed the tenor/bass part at the segno again. It's getting better all the time. 

3. Hallelujah: Jane and Cathy shared their voices on the solos and then we had Blair and Kit too. The altos are so good, I forgot that I wanted to review their tricky bits. Maybe another time. 

4. Thank You For The Music: This is new for anyone who wasn't with the choir in 2016 or 2011. It's going to be difficult but fun and so worth it! We started it by walking through and noticing the places where we have to repeat. There's a segno in this song too, at C, but before that there's a repeat at A to come back to, for a second verse. The end of the repeat is in the middle of page 6. There are two endings. After the second ending, we go to the end of page7, then head back to the segno. We jump to the coda (ending) just before that first ending of the repeat. The coda is page 8. I might actually leave the ending quiet. Maybe. We learned parts at C, just 3 bars. So pretty. I got goosebumps a couple times. 

5. New Year Blessing: 2012 was the last time we sang this one, so it's new to most people. Yay! It's short and sweet, and we might sing it twice? I'm thinking about how to make it longer. We sang the first page- we're all in unison, and looked at the second. It's even tricky in the soprano line! You can watch the choir singing it here: 

We talked about: the show at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts in November. I've set up an "event" on the website. Sign up and then pay for your tickets at choir. You can bring a cheque made out to  York Region Community Choir. 

We're going to continue to feature different soloists in our songs, reviewing the ones we know well, and we'll get working on these two new pieces. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 20-Sept-2022


It's so good!

We had a fun warm-up that including singing Bohemian Rhapsody!

Our theme was  Solos

1. Somewhere Out There: 

solo at the beginning: Cathy has done it before, but maybe you'd like to try it. Let me know.

Tenor and Bass solo/duet at the segno: maybe the whole section, or maybe a solo and duet? We're working on how the parts go, and what's written, which is not necessarily the same.

2. Hallelujah:

solo at the beginning: Blair has done it, and it's a tenor solo, but let me know if this speaks to you.

second solo: lots of people have done this one. Kit did it tonight, but anyone else?

3. Blue Skies:

two scat solos: The first is open for a change, the second is for Debbie.

4. Why We Sing:

 there are 4 sweet solos at the beginning: lots of people have done this one. Nadine tried the first one and it was very nice. We can try lots of combinations and see what works best. Think about it.

5. This Little Light of Mine:

2 solos in the "on a Monday" section. I like Lauren and Melinda, but please do speak up if you'd like to try this. It's fun!

6. You'll Never Walk Alone: no solos. you'll never sing alone (hee hee)

We talked about:

 Sunday's dinner at Milestones with Anne-Marie and Stephen. The choir is taking them out for dinner. Join us! 5:00 at the Milestones at Yonge and Green Lane on Sunday, September 25th. 

An Event at RHCPA that you can sign up for, Choir! Choir! Choir! Epic 80's Singalong on November 18th.  There will be an "event" on the website for you to sign up and you can pay  $45.20 to YRCC. We have 10 tickets but can get more.

Small groups and solos. Daphne will do the Grinch. Donna recommended a song: There's Still My Joy, by Indigo Girls. 

See you next week!

I've had a crazy week and have not planned next week's rehearsal. We should be able to look at the new pieces: Thank you for the music and New Year's Blessing.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 13-Sep-2022


Here's a happy headline:

We're back, baby: Community choirs singing again after pause of more than 2 years.

You can click on that and read the CBC article about a choir meeting again in a town on Prince Edward Island. It's good to know we're not alone. The pandemic has been so hard on us singers! Many of us still feel uncertain about getting back together, but so many of us are ready now, done with isolating and distancing and all of that. 

We're back, and those of us who were there on our first Tuesday this season felt wonderful singing and laughing and chatting together again. 

And, we sounded great too!

We started with a brief warm-up. After stretching our bodies and voices a bit, part of our warm-up was to hum the tune of God Save the Queen/God Save the King. For me, it's still Queen Elizabeth's song, so experiencing it without words was a way to honour her. Humming is a very healthy activity, good for your body and soul, so there's that too.

Here's what we sang:
  1. Wonderful World 
  2. This Little Light of Mine (Lauren, Melinda solos)
  3. Blue Skies (Lauren, Debbie solos)
  4. I can see clearly now 
  5. Somewhere out there (no solo)
  6. You’ll never walk alone
  7. Why we sing (no solos)
  8. Hallelujah (no solos)
Here's the plan for Tuesday, September 20th. Think about what solos you might want to try!

Blue Skies (solos)
Hallelujah (solos)
Somewhere out there (solo)
This Little Light of Mine (solos)
Why we sing (solos)
Wonderful World 
You’ll never walk alone

Let's talk about the Choir, Choir, Choir! Sing-along concert in November, and maybe some movie nights? (An American Tale, Greatest Showman, Mamma Mia,...?)

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

YRCC Rehearsals Return: Tues, Sept 13th

We are going to have a Winter/Holiday/Christmas Season in 2022!

Our start date is Tuesday, September 13th. We've rented the basement of Trinity Anglican in Aurora again. It's a good space, large and comfortable. The church is careful with pandemic protocols so we can feel safe. It's a familiar place, since we've been singing in their sanctuary upstairs for years and years at our concerts. A number of us met there earlier this year. I would like that number to increase. Please come back to sing with us. 

We're going to plan to sing familiar things and I want to include the audience more than ever before. So, we'll ask them to sing along with Hallelujah, Wonderful World, and seasonal favourites too, maybe from our sing-along list. 

We have a concert date: Sunday, December 4th at 3:00 at Trinity Anglican. 

I'm crossing my fingers that we will have a safe and healthy fall and winter and can perform for an audience again. We had a good experience singing at seniors' homes this spring, so if possible, we want to go back and sing with seniors again. 

We will be flexible, agile and we'll do as much as we can. 

The most important thing is that we will be able to sing together every Tuesday night this fall and winter with our wonderful new accompanist, Donna! 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

YRCC Concert July 24th Rained Out- Binder Collection

 The show must go on, except when it can't.

We can't have an open air concert with thunderstorms threatening, wind, heat, wet grass, wet everything. 

I'm so sad, but we knew that this was a possibility. 

The walk from the parking lot to the amphitheatre and pavilion is not paved, it's grassy and it's a slope. So, I can't ask you to slide down to sing together. The walk in from the first parking lot is far and there's still a slope and grass to cross.

 So, let's meet in the parking lot just to collect binders. 

If you have a binder and can't meet today, then please reach out to Peggy Keall about getting it to her house before September so that she can manage the music inventory and prepare our binders for the winter season. 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

YRCC Concert in the Park- Forecast Change (or we meet briefly)

 YRCC Concert in the Park July 24th.

The forecast says rain, thunderstorms. 

But, the forecast can change. I'm hopeful that the concert will go on as planned.

If the forecast doesn't change, we will meet briefly in the parking lot (the last one, parking lot #3) to collect binders. Maybe we can make plans to go for a coffee (stiff drink). 

And, if you planned to bring all of your friends and family to the concert, you can meet with us for a moment and then take them all out to a fun restaurant on Main Street. 

If the forecast changes and the rain will be light and/or intermittent, then maybe we can meet in the pavilion to sing a cappella. We can do a bunch of our stuff without accompaniment. Or, maybe Donna can sing the piano accompaniment ;-) LOL I've sung bits of accompaniment before.

The show must go on, except when it can't.  

Friday, July 15, 2022

YRCC at Fairy Lake next Sunday! July 24 2:00 Concert

SO EXCITING! SUNDAY, JULY 24th 2:00-3:30 

Come around 1:30 to get set up, stay after to chat. (Visit Main Street?)

We're going to sing together and we can have an audience too. We'll be outdoors.

We sang at Fairy Lake last year too, but it was a rehearsal only because we couldn't have an audience and we had to do contact tracing. This year is more relaxed and we can invite our friends and families to come and hear us. We have an accompanist, Donna, whom we love. A bunch of us have been singing together since February 28th and it's been great but we miss everyone. 

Please come and sing with us outdoors. We're going to sing all of our old stuff that we know and love. Small groups will do new things, just a few. 

Enter the park from Water Street, and park in Lot #3 if you want to be closest. You will need to walk down a bit of a hill on the grass. Dress comfortably- any black and white outfit. Bring your red scarf in case it's cool enough to wear them. There is a washroom near the pavilion. 

You will probably want to wear a mask when you use the washroom or when you can't be 2 metres away from others, but we'll be outside and in a spacious place, so we should be comfortable to take our masks off to sing. We hope that everyone will feel comfortable for this first concert since 2019!

Here is a picture of the amphitheatre:

It's located just past the pavilion, to the left in this picture:

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

YRCC Concert in the Park July 24th Order of Songs

Please take a look at the order of the Concert in the Park on Sunday, July 24th.

I do hope you're coming! 

Peggy made binders for everyone at the beginning of the season, and Carol has them all. Come a bit early to pick up your binder, but don't worry- you can sing only the ones you feel comfortable with, or sing melody when you don't remember. It will be great to sing together. Fun is the goal, not perfection.

It will be fun, and relaxed, and all your family and friends can come to the park to hear us. Afterwards, take them out for ice cream or dinner on Main Street!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Monday, July 4, 2022

YRCC Performance Review 28-JUN-2020: Last of the series

Last Tuesday, June 28th was our last seniors' performance for this season, Spring 2022. We went out with a bang!

It was a wonderful end to a fantastic season, fantastic despite the pandemic dragging on, despite having no big concert to prepare for, despite having to find a temporary home, despite starting without an accompanist! 

We have a superb new accompanist- Donna- whom we love, Jane and Lauren made sure we had a place to sing every week, and we had a small but mighty, brave, and talented group of choristers come out every week. It was so much fun!

We had an extraordinarily successful seniors tour.  The choir was excellent, with a surprisingly harmonious, delicious blending of voices and parts. There were only 12-15 of us. The rapid tests all went well, and the mask/no-mask thing was not an issue. I am extremely grateful to all the staff members at the residences who made these visits possible. The audiences were all beautifully entertained, and we all felt warmly welcomed and appreciated every time. We witnessed as the residents transformed into dancing, singing, clapping, laughing, giggling, engaged, happy participants. It was exhilarating. Twice, after performances, a group of us went out for drinks (and snacks), and, after our last performance, we were invited to have drinks and snacks on Melinda's huge backyard patio. So special!

I encourage everyone to come and sing with us on Sunday, July 24th at Fairy Lake in Newmarket.

Please come back and sing! We'll be outside, and you can be socially distanced if you want to, and you can wear a mask if you want to. You can bring a chair if you want, or a stool. Whatever you need to make you comfortable, just do it, or let me know and I'll help you. 

It was best when we sang without masks and stood shoulder-to-shoulder. We kept some distance between rows, but there were two rows at most. We all had done all the vaccinations we were able to, so we eventually felt safe and comfortable together. It felt heavenly to sing together again, and even more so when we had the audiences in the seniors' residences. Happy faces in the audience singing with us, clapping, wiggling in their seats, wow! It was truly heavenly.

Your binder is waiting for you. Peggy and Anne prepared all the binders and Carol has been carrying them around all season, hoping to be able to hand them out. 

We're trying to arrange another outdoor concert for August in Aurora. If you can't make it to the July concert, please try to come in August. 

Finally, cross your fingers and say your prayers that the fall and winter will be safe and open so that we can all start again in September. I'm planning a Winter Concert again. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

14-JUN-2022 Roxborough Performance Cancelled due to COVID outbreak

 I’m so sorry to share that we’ve been asked not to go to Roxborough tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14th.

I was wondering when we’d have a cancellation like this. Although I’m not surprised, I’m still very sad and disappointed. 

I wonder if we should plan that drink anyway?

Let me know what you think!

UPDATE: We're meeting at the Crow's Nest at 7:00 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

YRCC Performance and Social Time 7-JUN-22

 Tuesday evening was so much fun again, even though it was so different!

We sang at Hollandview in Aurora to a large crowd of youthful and energetic seniors, and we were a larger group too. The choir sounded great! It felt wonderful to be in a room with so many people again! We wore masks to sing but most people in the audience did not. Seeing so many beautiful faces and the way that they lit up to laugh and sing with us was delightful and heartwarming. 

Afterwards, a few of us went for a beverage and snack to Symposium, a cafe/bar on Hollandview Trail, just minutes away. It’s such a pretty and elegant place! We had a great time talking about stuff that we do when we’re not singing together. We learned quite a bit about our lovely accompanist, Donna. I look forward to spending more time with her and with all of you like that. I’m never surprised, but always amazed, at what interesting, talented, and gracious people you are. 

Next week, this coming Tuesday, the 14th, we sing at Roxborough in Newmarket. They don’t require testing, but we will prove that we’re vaccinated and fill out a screening tool/form. We have to sing with masks on. Arrive early to complete that screening. 

After our performance, we are planning to go out for some social time again. The Crow’s Nest Pub is just around the corner. These early nights are a perfect opportunity to spend more time with our choir friends.

 Crow's Nest

115 Prospect St. Newmarket 

(905) 953-8776


Thursday, June 2, 2022

YRCC Performance Review- 31-May-2022

 Mackenzie Place is alway a good performance! We were great, and everyone had a good time. Staff and residents alike sang and even danced along. 

I was a bit worried about needing to reduce our numbers to 6 (8 with Donna and me) but it was fine. The sound was good and the blending of voices was outstanding. 

Staff set up plexiglass screens for us to stand behind so that we could take off our masks. They were surprisingly good. Our projector and screen worked well again. I skipped over our whaling/sailor songs, so we got through lots of sing-alongs.

The staff that did the rapid tests were kind and gentle. And, waiting gave us time to hang out together. Afterwards, we were saying it would be nice to go out for a drink after next week’s performance. If you have a place to recommend in Aurora, let me know, but I’ll also take a look and we’ll have a plan.

We have a plan for a fun group activity in November! Melinda suggested that we go to Choir!Choir!Choir! Epic 80’s Singalong! We bought 10 tickets and can get more if we need to, but these things sell out, so think about it now. It’s at the RHCPA on November 18th, 2022.

I love my choir!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

YRCC Performance Review: 24-May-2022 (yes! performance!)

Wow! On May 24th, 2022, we performed, live, together, with a live audience!!!

The last time the YRCC performed was in December of 2019! It was a long, dark winter. 

The performance for the residents at Amica was wonderful. 

I felt euphoria, bliss and blessedness. I was giddy with joy.

The choir sounded excellent, small but mighty; the audience was excellent, big and lively. 

Donna, our pianist, was fantastic! We had silly and fun moments, and Donna fit right in, adding her own humour and embellishments with skill and charm. An experienced and kind accompanist, she was patient and nimble when we 'improvised' (intentionally and unintentionally- and no, I'm not using the royal 'we' but often it was me).

Our first time using a projector and screen to provide lyrics for sing-alongs went well. It wasn't perfect, but it was good, better than handing out the plastic things we used before. It'll get better too. 

I am so grateful to everyone who came out! We were a super team, setting up and taking down, carrying equipment around and plugging things in, managing the screening exercise, singing solos, carrying parts and leading parts, and following along flawlessly when things weren't always exactly as rehearsed. You each deserve an extra round of applause. Bravo! 

The roomful of residents at Amica were a fun bunch, and their spirited participation and exuberant applause warmed my heart. I hope you all felt how much you were appreciated. 

I'm so looking forward to next week!

Next week, we're scheduled to visit Mackenzie Place in Newmarket. I'm very hopeful that all will go as planned, but stay tuned just in case. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 17-May-2022

 Tuesday, May 17th at ST ANDREWS in the sanctuary

Small Group: Tomorrow Duet and Good Morning, Starshine  (Awesome!)

Choir Warm-upShort physical warm-up, short breathing (huh and tuh) and vocal stretch exercise with arpeggios

1.     Blue Skies is Excellent!

2.     Walking on Sunshine: Excellent! But, to gain more confidence, I encourage you to sing along with the parts' recordings.

3.     I Can See Clearly NowExcellent, but I encourage you to sing along with the parts' recordings. 

4.     Sing-alongs: Screen and Projector didn't work. I need to work on that! We managed somehow, though. Wellerman and Nova Scotia were good. For balance, we won't have only one person on a verse.  Be prepared to sing your parts' verse, to pitch in when necessary.

5.    Why We Sing was wonderful

6.    This Little Light of Mine was so much fun!

We Talked About:

Video of 2004 concert- same place as concert recordings- It's a big file and it has to download to your computer to play. Soraya is working on finding more choir videos to digitize. 

Seniors’ Visits:  I expect you all to be there unless you let me know otherwise, or if the seniors cancel on us. We’ll find out maybe close to the performance date, so please keep your eyes on your emails, and the usual places you get choir info.

Next Week: Tuesday, May 24th at Amica Newmarket

Go to the Calendar for the address and information.

We don't have to have rapid tests! They will give us a screening to complete when we get there. Be sure to arrive by 6:30 so we can set up and get the screenings done before we start at 7:00. 

For the order, go to the Seniors' Performance Orders page on the Members section website. There is a link to the PowerPoint of sing-alongs there too in case you want to print it for yourself  (Just a warning: it's going to be sideways. Maybe copy and paste?). Hopefully, I'll get the projector working properly. 

Here's a snip. Maybe you can read this? 

Friday, May 13, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 10-May-2022

 Sorry, I'm a bit late this week. 

Tuesday, May 10th at ST ANDREWS in the sanctuary

Small Group: Good Morning, Starshine and Carol and Debbie duet Tomorrow 

Choir Warm-up:

Short physical warm-up (we talked about having loose knees and good control of your body so that you can keep your balance), short breathing (huh and tuh) and vocal stretch exercise (up and down) with arpeggios. At the high and low edges of your range, be sure to keep your throat open, give yourself lots of air and avoid getting small, lowering your chin, to reach low notes. 

1. This Little Light of Mine is Excellent

2. Walking on Sunshine is Excellent: continue to work on page turns. Go to the website, sign in, and listen to your part. Tabatha has uploaded parts! You’re going to love this!

3. I Can See Clearly Now is Excellent: continue to work on page turns and go to the website, sign in, and listen to your part in the recordings!

4. Sing-alongs: Screen and Projector work well. Look at the verses of Wellerman and Nova Scotia. Be prepared to sing your parts' verse, to pitch in when necessary. Maybe try to memorize the words to make it easier to fit them all into the melody.


Verse 1 is soprano, and Liz and Kit can solo or duet when they’re there, and other sopranos can support if required.  

Verse 2 is alto, and all 3 altos can do it as a group

Verse 3 is tenor/bass, and all can do it, or whoever is there

Verse 4 is soprano, and Nadine and Marlene can solo or duet, and other sopranos can support if required. 

Nova Scotia: Verse 1, soprano, Verse 2 alto, Verse 3 tenor/bass

We Talked About:

Seniors’ Visits: You don’t have to sign up; you must come or let me know you can’t. We’ll find out details or cancellations maybe close to the performance date, so please keep your eyes on your emails, and the usual places you get choir info.

Summer Concerts: We hope to book a Sunday in June and a Sunday in July at parks for outdoor concerts. We hope that some folks who have been missing this season will come out and sing with us! Spread the word with any members you know. 

Next week: Tuesday, May 17th at St. Andrews

7:00 Small Group: Good Morning, Starshine and Tomorrow 

  1. I Can See Clearly Now
  2. Blue Skies
  3. Walking on Sunshine
  4. Sing-Alongs
  5. requests

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Tentative YRCC Summer Concert Order

 All members would be welcome to come and join us singing a summer concert at Fairy Lake and/or Aurora Town Park. Your binders are ready, but you could also use electronic copies which can be downloaded from the choir website. You don't have to sing all of the songs. It will be a casual thing. We might just wear anything black and/or white as a uniform. We're looking at Sundays in June and July.

If we manage to book a concert in the park, it would look like this:

highlighted songs are ones that everyone probably knows


Somewhere Out There


We Rise Again


Why We Sing


Blue Skies


I Can See Clearly Now (whoever can-recordings are up if you want to learn it on your own)


Good Morning, Starshine (Small group)


Tomorrow (Duet)


When you Wish Upon a Star (Blair)


Walkin’on Sunshine (whoever can)


This Little Light of Mine


Sing along (chorus) Wellerman Sea Shanty


Sing along (chorus) Farewell to Nova Scotia


Wonderful World (sing along)


You Raise Me Up with sing along


On Eagles Wings


You’ll Never Walk Alone



Friday, May 6, 2022

My Name Renate Means We Rise Again

Renate comes from the Latin renatus/renata which means reborn.

Rebirth, resurrection, reincarnation, revival, reawakening, regeneration, renewal, even recovery and recuperation, are all my words. Spring is my season. 

We Rise Again: 

We rise again in the faces
Of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again

I'm so happy that the sun has been shining and it really feels like spring is finally here. It's not really spring for me until the choir sings though. Our big spring concert marks spring like our winter concert opens the Christmas season. We rise again in the voices of our song. I hope we manage to have an outdoor concert in June, and maybe another in July! Wouldn't that be awesome? It's being planned. 

I wrote a post about our spring season and my name on another blog (renatesmusicalempathy.blogspot.com). Check it out.

Here comes the sun!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 03-May-2022

 Tuesday, May 3rd at ST ANDREWS in the sanctuary

Small Group: Carol and Debbie duet Tomorrow is so sweet!

Choir Warm-up:

Short physical warm-up, short breathing (huh and tuh) and vocal stretch exercise with arpeggios

1. Somewhere Out There (this will be our opening song, it’s so good)

2. Walking on Sunshine

We are saying walkin’ throughout. We started at page 11, and went to the end. We did it! The page turning is something to work on.  At the bottom of page 10, we have to go back to page 5 to the Segno, and then on page 7 we have to jump to page 11 for the Coda.  Maybe add a tab or sticky note on page 5 and 11? Memorize the parts right after the page turn?

3. Why We Sing 

I sang along with Blair on tenor and then with Marlene and Anna on first soprano, and it felt wonderful to sing with you all. After break, we all stood together up at the front, as if we were performing. It was awesome!!! At first, I stood in front conducting and the sound was fantastic, so much better than when we’re spread out. I feel good about performing! We will be fine even now, but I’m happy we have a couple of weeks to work on our new songs to get them polished. 

4. You’ll Never Walk Alone (OMG, so good!)

5. You Raise Me Up (Big and lush, love!)

6. On Eagles Wings (Amazing arrangement- powerful)

7. I Can See Clearly Now

We reviewed the section at 16 again. It’s tricky, but we got it. The tricky section @38 was excellent! We had to review the notes @45. Coming in on the right note was a challenge especially for alto and tenor. We’ll look at that again next week. Page turning was still a problem. See if you can do something to help- add a tab, memorize the bit right after? 

We talked about:

Seniors’ Visits: I will not be setting up Events. You don’t have to sign up, just come or let me know you can’t. I expect you all to be there unless you let me know otherwise.

Using the washrooms at St. Andrews: we need to go outside and enter at the side door on Victoria to use the washroom. We must not go through the building. There is a group using the hall that needs privacy, and there are alarms set once they’re out. 

Planning a Sunday in June and a Sunday in July to sing outdoors, free concerts for friends and family. I'm hoping that some more members will come to these performances, some people we haven't seen much or at all yet. We'll just do the stuff we know well.

Next week: Tuesday, May 10th at St. Andrews (pssst: Carol's Birthday!)

7:00 Small Group: Good Morning, Starshine and Tomorrow 

  1. Blue Skies
  2. I Can See Clearly Now
  3. This Little Light of Mine
  4. Walking on Sunshine
  5. We Rise Again
  6. Sing-along songs